Jack Be Nimble: Using Brain Science to Cultivate a Nimble Mind L Linda J' Page, Ph'D', ACC Canada - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Jack Be Nimble: Using Brain Science to Cultivate a Nimble Mind L Linda J' Page, Ph'D', ACC Canada


Present 3 requirements for a Nimble Mind. Experience Jack's Nimble Mind Challenge ... Serves as a gatekeeper to long-term memory (hippocampus) ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Jack Be Nimble: Using Brain Science to Cultivate a Nimble Mind L Linda J' Page, Ph'D', ACC Canada

Jack Be Nimble Using Brain Science to
Cultivate a Nimble MindL Linda J. Page,
Ph.D., ACC Canada
  • The Purpose of todays presentation
  • Apply lessons from neuroscience to coaching
  • The Plan
  • Present 3 requirements for a Nimble Mind
  • Experience Jacks Nimble Mind Challenge
  • Draw lessons to apply to coaching
  • The Outcome
  • A mind that is more nimble for you for those
    you coach

William Wallace Denslow, illustrator. Mother
Goose, 1901
When faced with a challenge, Jack must jump up
  • To avoid being burned by the flame (escape
    immediate threat)
  • To avoid putting out the candle, especially if
    there are no matches (maintain future
  • 3 requirements to be nimble enough to deal with
    immediate threats but keep bigger picture
    opportunities in mind

Nimble requirement 1 Brain
Why do we need a brain?
  • To identify positive opportunities
  • Activate toward response
  • To recognize negative
  • threats
  • Activate away response

To provide mechanism for flow of information
Nimble Requirement 2 Mind
  • Why have a mind?
  • To ANTICIPATE threats opportunities
  • To learn from past experience
  • To apply information from past to present
  • To consciously decide where to direct energy

Regulates flow of information energy
Nimble Brain/Mind Collaboration
  • Ideally, brain/mind work together to achieve
    opportunities avoid threats
  • However, threat trumps opportunity
  • Experience of threat, past or present, can
    disrupt minds ability to
  • Plan ahead
  • Recognize or seize opportunities
  • Perform in the present to avert future threat
  • Brain systems limbic prefrontal cortex

Brain Threat-Related Limbic Functions
  • Stands on guard against threats (amygdala)
  • Activates is activated by autonomic nervous
  • Serves as a gatekeeper to long-term memory
  • Can interfere with short-term working memory
  • More sensitive to negative emotions
  • Related to survival motivationsfear, anger, sex

Brain Opportunity-Related Prefrontal Cortex
(PFC) Functions
  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Social
  • brain/body regulation
  • emotional balancing
  • fear modulation
  • response flexibility
  • intuition
  • self-insight
  • attuned communication
  • empathy
  • morality

Brain Limbic/PFC Mutual Interaction
  • Simplified, is like a see-saw
  • Limbic activation tends to disrupt PFC functions
  • PFC activation (fear modulation, emotional
    balancing, attuned communication, empathy) tends
    to calm limbic reactions
  • especially aided by self-insight , an Impartial
    Spectator, METACOGNITION
  • Nimble situation-appropriate shifts
  • How can we escape from a downward spiral?

Brain Whats important to remember from
  • Even adult brains can grow
  • Neuroplasticiay Neurogenesis (Begley, 2007
    Doidge, 2007)
  • We can choose to use our minds to change our
  • The role of attention (Schwartz Begley, 2002
    Stapp, 2007)
  • Our minds are not limited to our individual
  • The importance of social participation (Brothers,
    2002 Siegel, 2007)

Requirement 3 Relationships
  • Why do we need other brains?
  • To provide scaffolding when we havent yet
    developed a capacity
  • To enable escape from downward spiral
  • To make virtuous cycles last longer
  • To encourage nimble shifts between immediate
    threats big-picture opportunities
  • To learn more, accomplish more, remember longer
    than a single brain/mind is capable of
  • To share information energy

Social threats challenge nimbleness
  • The SCARF Model
  • Statusnot just above others, but recognition of
  • Certaintyeven knowing time of next information
    can be comforting
  • Autonomy why coaches avoid giving advice
  • Relatednessisolation as punishment worse than
  • Fairness some will take less pay to be treated
  • (Rock Page, 2009 Rock, 2009)

Two Jack Be Nimble Exercises
  • Discussion Examples of SCARF limbic activations
    how they were resolved
  • Jacks Nimble Brain Challenge a game involving
    Neuron characters that must solve a problem

Exercise 1 SCARF examples
  • Form tables of exactly 6 people
  • At each table, introduce yourselves
  • Assignment from your own or your clients or
    others experience, come up with ONE example of a
    threat reaction from EACH of the social threats
  • What do you notice about
  • Effect?
  • Reaction?
  • What helped?

Exercise 2 Jacks Nimble Brain Challenge
  • A game to raise awareness of effects of social
    threats how to deal with them nimbly
  • Tables of six people together form a Brain that
    must solve a problem
  • Each person is a Neuron with a particular role
    to play in Brain processing
  • To find out which Neuron you will play, open
    distribute contents of envelope on your table.
  • Each person take one description of a Neuron
    character become familiar with its role

Characters in Jacks Challenge
  • Amygdala Neuron (on guard for threats)
  • Hippocampus Neuron (gateway to long-term memory,
    shuts down when triggered by amygdala)
  • (together, 1 2 form the Limbic System)
  • PFC Neuron (attends to physical functions)
  • PFC Neuron (attends to mental functions)
  • PFC Neuron (attends to social functions)
  • Metacognition Neuronthe Hero! (aware of
    whole-brain/body/mind/social activity)
  • Take 5 minutes to become acquainted with your
    character assignment.

You will be presented with a case requiring
nimble problem-solving
  • All Neurons submit ideas for what to do.
  • PCF Neurons scan for physical, mental, social
    effects, rejecting ideas that would do damage.
  • Winning idea from your brain (table) must have
    agreement of ALL neurons.
  • Once the Limbic Neurons (Amygdala Hippocampus)
    are triggered,
  • all but first idea on remaining list is erased
  • no processing is allowed until Limbics are calmed
  • Metacognitive Neuron has task of calming Limbics

Case Brain Family Company
  • You are on your way to a family meeting about the
    company you, your siblings, and your parents all
    own together. Two years ago, your parents, Mr.
    Mrs. Brain, the founders of the business, applied
    for a patent that will undoubtedly turn the
    company (and family) fortunes around. But they
    recently found that final award of the patent may
    take another two years. Meanwhile, the recent
    economic difficulty has meant substantial losses
    that cannot be sustained. Your parents have asked
    for a meeting of all the shareholders to generate
    ideas for how to respond to the crisis.

  • You have 20 minutes to generate your brains best
    response to the crisis
  • If you need more information, make it up
  • Amygdala Neuron stands on guard by watching the
    screen for rumors and signaling when threatened
  • Hippocampus Neuron notes all ideas presented but
    must delete anything recent (except for one) when
    Amygdala Neuron is threatened
  • When time is called, all Neurons in your brain
    select best response from the remaining ideas on
    the list
  • Hippocampus shares best idea

Rumor Mill 1
  • You are being demoted your least favorite
    sibling will take over as your boss!

Rumor Mill 2
  • This meeting was called to announce bankruptcy
    you the rest of the Brain family will lose

Rumor Mill 3
  • A competitor has already bought the company a
    representative is here to replace all the Brains
    with staff from new head office!

Rumor Mill 4
  • Your parents have consulted privately with
    everyone else in the family but you. You ask your
    mom if she wants to talk, and she says, What

Rumor Mill 5
  • You do more work than all the other Brains put
    together, but youre the one who will be pushed
    out left with nothing!

Reports from the Brains
  • Best response from each Brain
  • What was that like for
  • PFCs?
  • Amygdala?
  • Hippocampus?
  • Metacognition?
  • What supports nimble problem-solving in the face
    of threats?

Summary Nimble Brain/Mind/Social
  • Brain Perception of threat results in
  • amygdala activation
  • hippocampus disruption
  • PFC inhibition
  • Mind Strong metacognitive abilities enable
  • Awareness of reaction to threat
  • Insight as to source of threat
  • Self-soothing to calm limbic system
  • BUT, when caught in threat feedback loop
  • Social interaction Sharing allows us to
  • Normalize reaction (I am not alone)
  • Shift our attention outside narrow zone of threat
    reaction (This wont last forever look at other
  • Borrow metacognitive scaffolding until can
    develop it ourselves
  • (coach holds the space for clients potential
    to emerge)

Recommended Reading
David Rock Linda J. Page. (2009). Coaching with
the Brain in Mind Foundations for Practice.
John Wiley Sons. Sharon Begley. (2007). Train
Your Mind, Change Your Brain How a New Science
Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform
Ourselves. Ballantine Books. Leslie Brothers.
(2001). Mistaken Identity The Mind-Brain Problem
Reconsidered. State University of New York
Press. Norman Doidge. (2007). The Brain That
Changes Itself, Penguin Books. David Rock.
(2009). Your Brain at Work. Harper
Collins. Jeffrey Schwartz Sharon Begley.
(2002). The Mind The Brain Neuroplasticity
and the Power of Mental Force, Harper
Collins. Daniel Siegel. (1999). The Developing
Mind Toward a Neurobiology of Interpersonal
Experience. New York Guilford Press. Daniel
Siegel. (2007). The Mindful Brain Reflection and
Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being.
Norton. Henry Stapp. (2007). Mindful Universe
Quantum Mechanics and the Participating
Observer. Springer.
Presenter ContactLinda J. Page, Ph.D., ACPC,
ACC ljpage_at_adlearn.net President, Adler
International Learning890 Yonge Street, 9th
Floor Toronto, Canada M4W 3P4Tel 1 416 923
4419 www.adlerlearning.comThe ICF values your
feedback. Please take a moment to complete an
evaluation form and return it to the room host
located at the back of the room.
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