Bringing the Brain to Business with Friederike Fabritius


Fostering Contented Teams

A watchful monkey and a hungry lab technician combined to radically change our perception of what brings teams together, and what drives them apart. The now famous discovery of mirror neurons started out as a mistake, but its ramifications have the potential to revolutionize the workplace. In this presentation, I'll start with the story of this happy accident and then explain how it can alter the course of effective leadership. You'll learn

  • What you as a leader can do to make team members feel they are valued
  • Why the brain craves certainty and why uncertainty can be perceived as a threat
  • The number one characteristic for improving mood and reducing stress
  • How to strengthen connections between you and the members of your team
  • Why fairness trumps money for most people and how it should affect your leadership strategy

Taking Charge of your Emotions

In most companies, emotions in the workplace are treated like an uninvited guest. They are tacitly discouraged and when that doesn’t work, they are actively ignored. But emotions aren’t just unavoidable in our working lives; they’re absolutely essential! In this presentation, we’ll start out by exploring the brain science that explains the crucial role that emotions play in all decisions. In addition, we’ll learn

  • What it is about emotions in the workplace that makes us uncomfortable
  • Why attempting to suppress your emotions rarely works and almost always makes matters worse
  • Why top level executives who work long hours often feel less stress than their employees
  • How to strengthen your emotional resilience by using your body as well as your mind
  • Three easy-to-learn techniques that can help to make your emotions work for you instead of against you

Fun, Fear, and Focus

When it comes to dealing with stress, most of us are familiar with the famous fight-or-flight response. But let’s face it: fight or flight is a way of putting out fires. What if your goal is not to simply deal with stress but to perform at your best? Luckily, there’s another group of Fs that makes the secret of achieving peak performance far more attainable. As simple as it sounds, the key to reaching your full potential can be summed up in three words: fun, fear, and focus. In this presentation, we’ll learn

  • The trio of brain chemicals that keeps you performing at your peak
  • How your personal threshold for arousal affects the quality of your performance
  • What’s happening in your brain when you aren't at your best
  • The single most important factor in insuring optimal performance
  • How to "rise to the occasion" when you need to and "chill out" when you don't

Learning to Learn

As the old saying goes, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." Many of us fall back on this tired adage as an excuse for why we find learning more difficult if not outright impossible as we grow older. Well, despite what you may have heard, neuroscience has shown that our capacity for learning continues throughout our lives. In this presentation, we'll find out how the brain learns and then use this to improve your ability to acquire and retain new information, regardless of your age. In addition to exploring the unique characteristic that makes life-long learning possible, we'll learn

  • How positive and negative emotions affect the way we learn and remember
  • The two factors the brain considers when deciding whether information is worth retaining
  • Why a good night's sleep can be so important to the learning process
  • The brain science behind the idea of "getting it right the first time"
  • How our fundamentally social nature affects the way we teach and learn

Getting a Handle on Habits

All of us have struggled and failed to develop good habits and had even a harder time kicking our bad habits. Why is habit change so difficult? In this presentation, we'll explore the unique and powerful way that our brain handles habits and develop a way of "outsmarting" our brains so we can better manage those habits. During the course of the presentation, you'll learn

  • Why a whopping 92 percent of New Years resolutions fail
  • The three steps for establishing good habits and getting rid of bad ones
  • The one absolutely essential element that many goals and resolutions lack
  • A deceptively simple way to outsmart the brain's natural aversion to change
  • Why good intentions alone never bring about permanent change

A New Take on Diversity

Diversity has become a watchword in the modern workplace. But “diversity” may not mean what you think it means. After all, a team can look like the UN and still have a remarkably uniform way of thinking. In this presentation, we’ll examine how to achieve workplace diversity from a neuroscientific perspective and explain why it can lead to better decisions, more innovative projects, and more profitable production. We’ll learn

  • How an understanding of personality differences should influence the adjustments you make to the workplace environment
  • The four neurochemicals that define four distinct personality types
  • The best strategy for addressing a team member’s weaknesses
  • What to do if you find that your team lacks certain necessary talents
  • How to get the biggest bang from your training budget

Rewards at Work. Rewards that Work

The traditional way to motivate employees has always been with money. But neuroscience is telling us that big fat bonus may not be as effective as we thought it was. Beyond a certain level, simple monetary rewards fail to do the trick. In fact, they may even backfire. What kind of incentives can you provide to keep your employees happy, motivated, and performing at their best? In this presentation, we’ll delve inside the brain to find the source of motivation. In addition, we’ll learn

  • The power of surprise
  • The importance of fairness
  • Why comparison is more important than quantity
  • When money doesn’t matter
  • New ways to pay
  • Why most performance reviews kill motivation, and what you can use instead