Applying Neuroscience in Business

It’s something of a “buzz” word out there and it has been used in connection with many areas such as the law courts and the military, as well as business. It is gaining more traction and there are several fields where the term “neuro” precedes a common business term – like leadership, coaching, teaming, economics and marketing.

What do these terms mean – and should you be using them in your business?

Neurocoaching

This is the term used by business coaches who incorporate elements of neuroscience into their training and coaching programs. Often these programs are aimed at executive leadership as these people are usually the key decision makers and are in charge of large teams of people.

Neurocoaching essentially shows leadership how an understanding of how the brain works can help them in their business.

Now, the brain is incredibly complicated and scientists still finding its workings hugely challenging, but there is now a wealth of information out there to use. This is mainly thanks to more advanced imaging and scanning techniques which can highlight more about what’s happening in the brain as it performs certain functions.

Being so complex, it does require experts with a thorough understanding of the science to be able to apply it effectively to business; otherwise misrepresentations and wrong conclusions can be drawn.

It’s often difficult to find business coaches with the necessary depth of understanding of the science – or scientists with the necessary understanding of business – so it’s important to vet your neurocoaches and ensure they have the necessary experience and qualifications.

Neuroleadership

Neuroleadership is a term used to describe how neuroscience relates to leadership. It doesn’t take too much to see how a better understanding of how the brain works, and therefore a deeper understanding of human behavior, could be beneficial to leadership.

When managing large teams of people, it helps to know the response that a particular stimulus will create; generalisations, of course, are always dangerous, and people are complex organisms, but certain behaviours can be more manageable if we understand why they occur and when they are likely to occur.

Neuroleadership frameworks are detailed, complex and multi-layered for all the various levels of leadership within an organisation. Courses often take many days to cover all the necessary ground.

Neuromarketing

Neuromarketing is emerging more into the spotlight. Large advertising and marketing companies have long used behavioural sciences to help their clients tap into the buying habits of their customers and to be more persuasive in their advertising campaigns.

In fact nothing motivates marketers more than the belief that they can read customers’ minds!

With neuroscience starting to uncover possible reasons for patterns of behaviour from fMRI scans of the brain, it should be no surprise that the marketing companies have latched on to this and created another “neuro” field, all of their own.

Market research firm Nielsen recently bought a firm called NeuroFocus, which is a multinational neuromarketing company – indicating just how close the relationship has become.

Neuroeconomics

Neuroeconomics is another emerging area of study; it looks at how the findings of neuroscience can guide economic models, using research methods from neuroscience, experimental and behavioral economics, and cognitive and social psychology.

It generally focuses on areas like decision making under conditions of risk and loss aversion – how we can understand these better and improve the outcomes.

As you can see neuroscience and business cross over in many areas. Most of these disciplines will continue to develop in the years ahead – and more will be added. We haven’t even mentioned Neuroteaming, which is another field of development.

If you are looking for a deeper understanding of how neuroscience might be able to make a positive impact for your business, ensure that you hire neurocoaches that understand both the science and your business.

6 Essential Ways To Effectively Build Stronger Customer Relations

Do you want to know your customers’ needs better but feel lost in terms of trying to reach them? Do you want to grow your list and thereby grow your company? You’re not alone, yet, many resources that you turn to tell you that you need to “fix” all of the above without telling you how. If you’re like me, advice like that can take your blood pressure from 110 to 260 in a millisecond.

Let’s examine some workable solutions toward building stronger customer relations.

Getting to know your customer’s needs is a process takes time and effort, the very things that business owners struggle against…but, taking the time to explore this now will save you days, months, even years of headaches later.

Let’s start in a place few have considered starting: Let’s begin with you.

Above All Else, Know Thyself

As business owners, we put a lot of time and money into trying to figure out who our customers are, yet many times we haven’t really addressed who we are, what we want, why we want it, how to get it, and when to start.

To get to know your customers, get re-acquainted with yourself. Now you might be saying, “Wha-wha-what? I thought this was about THEM, not ME. I am reminded of the message given to us when we fly: In the event of an emergency, put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others. The fact is, you have to know what’s important to you before you can know what’s important to your potential clients.

By now you might be saying, “I already know myself, but do you?” To better understand yourself:

1. Make a list identifying 5 things that are truly important to you.

2. Now, revisit the list and prioritize it, starting with what’s most important down to what’s least (this is harder to do than it sounds, and you may not want to share it with loved ones in case they did not make it to number one on your list. A friend of mine had this happen and it did not lead to any happy conclusions! This is your list – for you – only–to start.)

3. Revisit the low priorities on the list and determine who can handle them in your place.

4. Revisit the high priorities and break each into doable steps. Be specific about what those steps entail. Don’t just say, “Create project”, but lay each project out onto a flow chart from first contact to last.

5. Focus. Discipline often means unhooking the phone or not checking your emails every five minutes. Schedule a time you’ll check emails and stick to that time frame. Avoid distractions, but do get up and stretch or run in place for 15-second intervals to stimulate your body and brain.

6. Make action your priority. What’s the adage? A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and we can waste a lot of time thinking and not doing. Don’t get me wrong, thinking is important, but thought without action is just thought. And actions are what ultimately generate business.

Now, guess what? Your customers are not that different from you. To get to know your customers, here are 5 key things you can do TODAY that will help you develop strong customer relations.