November 23, 2016

The Most Important Leadership Skill Corroborated by Neuroscience

Out of all the skills that make an effective leader, there’s one that can make or break your business—creating a safe and trusting environment. Makes sense, right? But what might surprise you is that neuroscience corroborates just how important it is. If mastering this skill isn’t a priority, then neither is turning your vision into a reality.

Creating A Safe and Trusting Environment

There are three competencies that help to create this environment that will foster enormous opportunities. Thanks to the research by organizational scientist, executive coach and leadership development consultant, Dr. Sunnie Giles, we know just what they are. Dr. Giles completed a study of 195 leaders in 15 countries over 30 global organizations. Participants were asked to choose the 15 most important leadership abilities from a list of 74. Her findings were published in the Harvard Business Review article, The Most Important Leadership Competencies, According to Leaders Around the World.

According to her data, the three competencies that contribute to this environment are the most highly rated:

Top Ten Leadership Skills

Together, these create the safe and trusting environment where, as stated by Dr. Giles, “employees can relax, invoking the brain’s higher capacity for social engagement, innovation, creativity, and ambition.”

The #1 Responsibility for Leaders

From a neuroscience perspective, making sure your employees feel safe on a deep level is conducive to progress. Dr. Giles explained that,

“When the amygdala registers a threat to our safety, arteries harden and thicken to handle an increased blood flow to our limbs in preparation for a fight-or-flight response. In this state, we lose access to the social engagement system of the limbic brain and the executive function of the prefrontal cortex, inhibiting creativity and the drive for excellence.”

As a leader, creating a safe and trusting environment is your #1 job; it’s the most important leadership skill, period. It’s also imperative if you want to unlock your team’s human potential to progress your company vision. So here’s your guide to developing this game-changing environment:

leadership guide to creating-and ideal work environment

Additional Resources:

  1. Behave in a Way that is Consistent with Your Core Values
  2. Clearly Communicate Expectations and Consequences
  3. Build Camaraderie and Rapport

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