Practical Management Skills

After completing this course, students will be able to:

Create your own unique leadership strategy by understanding how the brain links social connection, physical discomfort and survival

Provide strategy and leadership for your team by understanding  the workplace as a social system, not just an economic transaction

Perform day-to-day team management while avoiding triggering the brain’s threat response during:

  • Performance appraisals
  • Setting and monitoring objectives for teams and team members
  • Career development and training plans
  • Challenges to authority and other interpersonal issues
  • Enhance your interpersonal skills and work with difficult people
  • Use self-management tools and techniques to realise greater personal effectiveness

Course Outline

The Social Workplace & the Brain

  • Linking social exclusion and the pain response
  • Social connection and physical discomfort
  • Recognizing the brain’s “background processes”
  • The learning process
  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs revisited

Leading in the Social Workplace

  • The five pillars of leadership – SCARF
  • Status
  • Certainty
  • Autonomy
  • Relatedness
  • Fairness
  • Identifying your own leadership style
  • Your shadow side
  • Your leadership credentials

Dealing with Discontent

  • How to deal with “difficult” people
  • Types and levels of discontent
  • The origin of challenges to authority
  • Dealing with the threat response
  • Stopping organizational values from triggering discontent
  • Money
  • Rank
  • Respect

The Need for Certainty

  • Identifying the performance impact of uncertainty
  • Testing the limits of working memory
  • Conscious incompetence
  • Unconscious competence
  • Reframing uncertainty
  • Problem, challenge, or opportunity?
  • Managing uncertainty to build confident, dedicated teams
  • Delivering certainty through performance appraisals and objective setting

Autonomy and Stress

  • Processing stress without reducing the ability to function
  • Reducing stress by avoiding micro-management
  • Presenting options for choice
  • Time
  • Organization
  • Flexibility
  • Facilitating a productive work/life balance

Relatedness: Trust and Empathy

  • Dealing with the “them and us” reaction
  • Team-work vs. organizational silos
  • Building effective teams by re-engineering tasks to avoid a threat response

Playing Fair

  • Fairness and the brain’s limbic system
  • How the brain deals with fairness
  • Encouraging trust and collaboration
  • Demonstrating fairness
  • Transparency
  • Information sharing  
  • Setting and monitoring achievable objectives
  • Creating the career development environment

Using SCARF at work

  • Becoming attentive to the concerns of others
  • Creating a “low threat” environment
  • Minimizing uncertainty
  • Maximizing autonomy
  • Applying the SCARF model to yourself

Dealing with and Implementing Change

  • The neuroscience of change
  • Mitigating potential negative effects of organizational change
  • Types of Change
  • Individual
  • Team
  • Organizational
  • Barriers to Change
  • “Silo” mentality
  • “Not invented here”
  • “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM)
  • Change is hard: the origin of the “social workplace”
  • The neurology of change
    Cognitive science and change

The Pain of Change

  • Working memory: the “holding area”
  • New information vs. routine and habit
  • High vs. low energy thinking
  • Detecting errors: Expectation vs. reality
  • Overcoming the pain of change

Theories of Motivation

  • Behaviorism
  • Herzberg’s theory of Motivation and
  • Hygiene: “Carrot & Stick”
  • Why incentives fail
  • Humanism
  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
  • “Person centered” motivation

The Power of Attentional Focus

  • The human brain as a quantum environment
  • Rewiring your brain to deal with change
  • Reshaping neural connections with attention and focus
  • Causing physiological change via specialization

Expectation and Reality

  • Examining your mental maps
  • Visual
  • Auditory
  • Kinesthetic
  • Achieving rapid change by reconfiguring mental maps
  • Ownership: The key to overcoming the brain’s resistance to change

Achieving Personal Change

  • Self-management and personal change
  • Using attention density for personal change
  • Modeling mindful change
  • Mindful change in practice
  • Positively focusing attention
  • Employing broad goals
  • Engaging the “victims of change”
  • Concentrating on insights
  • Your personal change strategy

My Course Notes

You will receive a full set of course notes and all supporting materials for your course. Hard Copy Delivered to your premises or Downloaded to a chosen device.


To book this course please call +44 (0) 1444 410296 or email at

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