Compassion for Change Coaching Leads to Self Discovery

Traditionally, organisational members are coached for compliance to meet pre-determined goals. Neuroscience research is upending that approach, leading to coaching with compassion to inspire.
By Ingrid Johnson

Neuroscientists are gaining a much better understanding of how the brain responds to stimuli. In the 1990s, fMRI enabled them to detect changes in the brain's blood flow in response to neural activities. Research on neuron mapping continues but it is now known that there are two major categories of responses.

The limbic system is the most primitive structure and quickly responds in an unconscious manner to stimuli. The frontal lobes are more advanced and enable people to consciously reason and make choices. When people feel threatened, the primitive part of the brain gets a higher level of blood flow, and rational thinking decreases.

Applying this knowledge to leadership, people who perceive coaching events as negative (threats) w...

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