Why are we wiring ourselves to be unproductive?
I’m a bit of a science-led, analytical thinking creature. It was all about mathematics for me during my school days, and my Mum often reminds me that, as soon as I could talk, I was asking: ‘but, why?’…
Scroll forward a good few decades, and I’m still the same, continuing to ask, ‘but why – what’s the truth, what’s the real reason, what else?’. Getting to the root cause brings me much pleasure! It’s just like solving that mathematical equation.
With my leadership effectiveness hat on, my question to clients isn’t WHAT do you do; it’s WHY do you do what you do? That one sentence is the key to transformational change at a personal level. Finding out the answer is not so straightforward, but it’s like everything makes sense when you do. There is a system within us – we are all wired differently, and knowing the root cause of our feelings, thoughts, and actions is our internal e=mc².
This way of thinking has led me to want to incorporate more and more neuroscience-based solutions as part of my leadership effectiveness consultancy. I need to see the evidence. I need to see the science. I need to get closer to the ‘why’ from a human behaviour perspective.
‘But, why?’. Why is this important to me? It’s where the magic happens. This is when YOU connect with what’s possible and boost your effectiveness. It’s where YOU connect with your brain and start to gain command of its thinking and create a path to take you where you want to go. YOU move forward, and you stay there by understanding the system within you and your root cause.
So when I come across research that sheds light on how our brains work to bring us closer to why we do what we do, I get excited. As we get a better understanding of how the brain processes information and emotion, the ‘but, why’ inquiry leads us to answers that can help us do things differently and achieve what we want.
For example, the article below published by Forbes magazine talks about how our brain responds to the back-to-back meeting culture that many of us are in. Whilst a small sample study, it’s a great piece of research that gives us the evidence we need to stop back-to-back meetings. It proves that the brain needs a break to recharge and reset. Getting to the root cause of why back-to-back meetings are part of the day for so many is the key.
Without knowing why, the rational response to stop won’t stick; we need to go deeper.
- Hand up who is looking at the week ahead seeing a back-to-back diary?
- Hand up if you use your ‘breaks’ to tidy up a few emails, answer a few texts, write a list about what you need to do next?
- Hand up if you look at a diary with fewer meetings and feel uncomfortable
- Hand up if you think a back-to-back day is a good day because you are ticking lots off the ‘to-do list’?
Here’s my question for YOU. Why?
And let’s be honest, most of us will put our hand up for many of those questions, and most of us know that this relentless pace of work isn’t sustainable. Here’s where I get excited – We all put our hand up for different reasons.
There may be similarities for back-to-back meetings, but we are all unique with a different internal system. And peeling back the layers to reach the root cause is the key to answering why you do what you do.
But why? Why is this important? Why is understanding the driving force for YOU important?
Let’s use the back-to-back meeting situation again
- Where do YOU think it will lead?
- What do YOU think you’ll achieve from it?
- What’s the impact on YOU?
That magic and your transformation to achieving more are in the answer. The journey to leadership effectiveness is not easy but achieving your full potential is possible. Gaining control of your brain to intercept what’s driving your behaviour is a path worth taking. The impact on you is life-changing.
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