Neuroleadership in companies: What it is and how to apply it [Examples]

By February 1, 2023March 9th, 2023No Comments

Neuroleadership (neuroscience applied to leadership) is an approach and a practice for talent management very effective to achieve high performance teams in the professional world.  And there is a lot of talk about the (re)development of leaders. Many articles and publications warn that the world is changing, that leaders will become extinct and new leadership models must be sought.

But how to do it? That’s the big question. Against it, neuroleadership offers an answer as simple as it is powerful: let’s take advantage of the latest scientific advances related to the study of the brain and apply them to the business environment.

to create better leaders based on science.

Sound complicated? Too theoretical? Well, it’s not. Simply, it is about applying the numerous scientific evidences we know about how our brain works, to our day to day.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about the exciting relationship between science and leadership, practical examples of how to apply it and how we approach our neuroleadership workshops for companies in BeUp.

What is neuroleadership?

Neuroleadership is a new area of study that explores what happens in the physiology of the brain of leaders and how this influences their behaviors, interactions and decision-making in the workplace.

The goal of this discipline is to improve the effectiveness of the leaders, supported by brain-related discoveries.

The processes studied by neuroleadership are mainly:

  • Problem solving and decision making.
  • Innovation and creativity.
  • Emotional regulation.
  • Collaboration and influence.
  • Conversational skills.
  • Productivity.
  • Change management.

The origin of Neuroleadership

The sciences related to the study of the brain have experienced a spectacular boom in recent years due, in large part, to the development of neuroimaging techniques. This cutting-edge technology allows us to observe what happens in the brain while it thinks, reads, solves problems, negotiates or communicates. 

A revolution that was a turning point in treatments for diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. As well as the expansion of various applied neurosciences, such as neuroeducation or neuromarketing.

Brought to the business world, the word neuroleadership first appears in 2005 in the Harvard Business Review (Bennis and O’Toole). The first article describing the field was published in 2006 under the title The Neuroscience of Leadership, written byRock y Schwartz, becoming one of the most downloaded strategy and business articles in history.

After these two publications, the word neuroleadership began to be heard in the business world and numerous studies on talent management began to use neuroimaging techniques.

However, you may be thinking that the sciences that studied leadership are not new… And you’re right. So… Where is the leap, what is the contribution of neuroleadership? 

Well, simply, in the past scientists were able to observe only the stimulus that the leader received and the response he gave, what happened in his mind when performing these processes was ignored or, in the best of cases, intuited.

Well, technological developments and neuroimaging techniques allow us to directly observe what is happening in the brain when it carries out the functions, so it is possible to know exactly how it is done.

Advantages of Neuroleadership

The main advantage of neuroleadership is that it allows to more easily impact managers with a more analytical mind, those who are more reluctant to everything that has to do with soft skills, such as emotional intelligence.

By speaking to him in scientific language, neuroleadership offers the leader the dashboard of his team, allowing him to know which “buttons can turn on or off depending on the reaction it may cause in the other.

For example, thanks to neuroleadership we know that people process external stimuli by establishing whether they are threats or rewards.

If a manager learns that there is no middle ground between one circuit and another, that is, that you are in threat mode or you are in reward; in such a way that a person who is in threat mode is impossible to collaborate, bring out his talent or give the best of himself, since this only happens in reward mode, And if you also learn how to activate one circuit or another, you are developing a leadership skill very powerful.

Neuroleadership: a practical example

We know that in a first approximation neuroleadership seems a very theoretical concept, difficult to carry out in the day to day of real companies. However, this is not the case. 

In fact, at BeUp we have helped several companies in the Ibex35 to use neuroleadership techniques to enhance the soft skills of their teams.

Let’s show you a practical example of how to do it.

Neuroscience has shown that our brain emits different types of brain waves throughout the day, depending on the activity we are developing. We produce beta waves when we are alert, gamma waves when we have an idea, and theta waves when we relax. 

Our ability to do (well) anything occurs when brain waves are aligned with the task we are performing. And mistakes or stress are often caused by a lousy combination of waves.

For example: We can’t be creative in times of tension.

How to bring this theory of Neuroleadership to everyday reality?

Among many other activities, at BeUp we carry out an analysis of the agenda of the managers.

  • Are activities that enhance each type of wave present in your day-to-day?
  • What percentage of time do you spend on each of them?
  • How could it be optimized?
  • What can they stop doing?
This is what we call the agenda arcoirís, and if you want to know more, we encourage you to read this very interesting article by our CEO, Marta Romo.


Neuroleadership Workshops for Companies

Neuroleadership for companies teaches us the importance of leading from openness, positive emotions and confidence. Science shows that we can all be better leaders, developing new brain connections to learn new skills.

There is no excuse, the key is training.

At BeUp we know this and that is why we have been developing training in neuroleadership in 70% of IBEX35 companies such as Inditex, Banco Santander, BBVA, Ferrovial, Orange, Acciona, Enagás or Mapfre for 15 years.

Do you want us to help your organization too? Write to us and we will tell you how.

BeUp S.L.

C/ Gustavo Fernández Balbuena, 11 – loft 2 A
28002 Madrid

T: (+34) 910001268
E: info@be-up.es