The Shared Mind: Essence of Interpersonal Neuroscience

Why are some leaders socially adept while others show lack of maturity? Why some teams are high performing teams and others just are not? Ever wonder why people behave the way they behave? I did too.  As a coach, my quest to help teams collaborate better (and organizations create great culture) took me through an extraordinary journey through the maze of gamification, motivation, psychology, coaching, system thinking, organizational development and group process, and interpersonal neurobiology. Through this journey, I discovered why Lean/Agile principles are brain-friendly and how they help teams and organizations. In this session I share some of the insights that I have gained applying some of these principles coaching teams and organizations. You will also learn how you can share these concepts with other and gave teams and organizations a “language” to have crucial conversations, thereby increasing the system’s (team/organization) self-awareness.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

I intend this to be an interactive session where I talk about a few concepts (7-10 minute chunks) and participants map those concepts to concepts that they already know/how they will use the concept in their organizational setting (3-5 minutes). I will cover 4-5 main topics in this fashion.

Update (based on Vijayanand's comments):

These are the topics that I intend to cover (15 minutes each. I will explain the concept for 8 to 10 minutes, and participants will do group exercises(5 to 7 minutes) to deepen their understanding )

1. Why prioritization is hard (from brain's perspective). Exercise - Different ways Agile teams prioritize

2. Multi-tasking experiment. Then the science behind the myth - what happens to the brain when you multi-task.

3. Why brain seeks safety. Power of situation selection and situation modification. Strategies for situation selection and situation modification.  Exercise (depending on time/participants' response): practices that agile teams adopt towards conflict and safety.

4. Bonding and rituals - the neurochemistry behind it. Exercise: What can you do to strengthen bonding and teamness in your teams. 

5. Vulnerability, shame and trust (no exercises) and effect of mirror neurons. 

6. Self awareness and awareness as a team (no exercise).How awareness about one's own feelings can help individual (and the team) and the science behind it.

7. Evolition of the brain (Triune brain)-  limbic system and neo-cortex.  What happens during a "flight or fight" situation. How you can use your rational brain (instead of your emotional brain) during a "fight or flight" situation.

8. Pygmalian effect, self-fulfilling prophecy and the brain science behind it. 

9. Motivation cycle,  why negative(viscious cycle) is the default, and what can you do to stay and be positive

Depending on the audience's participation/ level (beginner/advanced) I might skip some topics or exercises. 

Learning Outcome

  1. Understand  some of the underlying concept of how the human brain works

  2. Learn why Lean/Agile practices are brain friendly

  3. Brief introduction to Emotional Intelligence concepts (Self-awareness, Independence, Empathy, Social Responsibility, Impulse Control, etc.)

  4. How impact on one person affects others  in a team and organizational setting ( The Shared Mind) and levers that you can use for self-regulation and regulating emotions in a team

  5. How can you steer systems(teams/organizations) in a positive direction to help teams and organizations achieve more

 

 

Target Audience

Organizational Leaders, Managers, experienced Scrum Masters, Coaches

schedule Submitted 3 years ago

Comments Subscribe to Comments

comment Comment on this Proposal
  • Ellen Grove
    By Ellen Grove  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Ram

    This is a very interesting proposal but it might be a better fit for the Beyond Agile theme. Would you consider moving it to that theme?  Or clarify how this applies to Scaling Agile Adoption?

    Thanks!

    Ellen

    • Ram Srinivasan
      By Ram Srinivasan  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Ellen,

      Thanks for your comments and feedback. I am copy/pasting my reply to Archana, as she also had the same question. If you want me to clarify it more, please let me know.

       

      Thanks,
      Ram

       

      1. From my experience, and from what I have observed, a lot of people talk about scaling agile from a practices perspective (multiple teams, process tailoring, Agile PMO, SAFe ART, etc).  Very few people look at it from a leadership perspective towards transforming an organization to a "Learning Organization" (Peter Senge's Fifth Discipline) and from a "Systemic perspective". I am looking at it, (beyond scaling practices and) from a system perspective

      2. Scaling Agile is not just about scaling agile practices, but changing the very fabric of the organization. Scaling out (to multiple IT teams/multiple locations), scaling up (to other departments in the value stream eg. Marketing, Sales, and HR) and going deep (chaning the mindset and culture). 

      The goal of my presentation is to help Leaders, managers and coaches understanding the "meta" aspect of systemic changes. From a System's coaching perspective, touching one aspect of the system (say IT) has a cascading effect on the system (as it is a complex system). Process Work experts like Arnold Mendel have addressed it from using Process Oriented Psychology. Others have used different frameworks(David Snowden's Sensemaking framework, Peter Senge's System Thinking, Glenda Eoyang's Human System Dynamics Model) etc.  Until recently, very little work has been done in understanding systemic changes from a neurological perspective. Recent developments in interpersonal neurobilolgy are helping us understand the "meta" aspect of systemic changes.

      I find these tools incredibly valuable, especially with leaders, managers and coaches. The mere aspect of educating them about this and using this helps me to "normalize" a volatile situation. 

      For scaling agile, from a leadership perspective, the "leadership thinking" has to change from  "command and control" to being a "servant leader". By understanding these meta aspect of systemic behavior better, leaders, managers and coaches can be more empathetic, have increased (self and social)awareness, and be better servant leaders. 

      Thanks,
      Ram

  • Archana Joshi
    By Archana Joshi  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Ram,

    Thanks for your proposal on interesting topic. It will help of you could clarify the 2 questions that I have for you

    1. Could you please provide context on application of this proposal to Scale Agile?

    2. For audience, could you highlight the practical takeaways that the scrum masters or coaches can takeaway from the session to implement in their projects? 

    • Ram Srinivasan
      By Ram Srinivasan  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Archana,

      Thanks for your comments and feedback.

      1. From my experience, and from what I have observed, a lot of people talk about scaling agile from a practices perspective (multiple teams, process tailoring, Agile PMO, SAFe ART, etc).  Very few people look at it from a leadership perspective towards transforming an organization to a "Learning Organization" (Peter Senge's Fifth Discipline) and from a "Systemic perspective". I am looking at it, (beyond scaling practices and) from a system perspective

      2. Scaling Agile is not just about scaling agile practices, but changing the very fabric of the organization. Scaling out (to multiple IT teams/multiple locations), scaling up (to other departments in the value stream eg. Marketing, Sales, and HR) and going deep (chaning the mindset and culture). 

      The goal of my presentation is to help Leaders, managers and coaches understanding the "meta" aspect of systemic changes. From a System's coaching perspective, touching one aspect of the system (say IT) has a cascading effect on the system (as it is a complex system). Process Work experts like Arnold Mendel have addressed it from using Process Oriented Psychology. Others have used different frameworks(David Snowden's Sensemaking framework, Peter Senge's System Thinking, Glenda Eoyang's Human System Dynamics Model) etc.  Until recently, very little work has been done in understanding systemic changes from a neurological perspective. Recent developments in interpersonal neurobilolgy are helping us understand the "meta" aspect of systemic changes.

      I find these tools incredibly valuable, especially with leaders, managers and coaches. The mere aspect of educating them about this and using this helps me to "normalize" a volatile situation. 

      For scaling agile, from a leadership perspective, the "leadership thinking" has to change from  "command and control" to being a "servant leader". By understanding these meta aspect of systemic behavior better, leaders, managers and coaches can be more empathetic, have increased (self and social)awareness, and be better servant leaders. 

      Thanks,
      Ram

  • Vijayanand Nagaraj
    By Vijayanand Nagaraj  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Ram Srinivasan,

    Very interesting topic. Also looks like you have done a lot of study on Neuroscience.

    My only comment is could you elaborate a bit more in the Process Section of the Abstract on what kind of topics or concepts will be covered. Probably one example to help us understand the structure of your workshop and also to guage whether the participants can relate of the topics or concepts (because u have mentioned the Level as Advanced).

    • Ram Srinivasan
      By Ram Srinivasan  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Vijayanand,

      Thanks for your feedback. I have updated my proposal. I do plan to have some slack (in the topics that I cover) so that I can tailor it based on how the participants who attend(beginners/advanced) and their respond during the session. 

      Thanks,
      Ram


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    Offshoring in an agile environment (especially with Indian IT organisation) is always a hot topic within agile communities. You will often find people talk about challenges rather than opportunities with offshoring agile projects e.g.

    • communication challenge,
    • lack of focus on quality,
    • rigid offshore organisation environment,
    • lack of agile practice knowledge,
    • lack of trust etc.

    Although these constraint-cum-challenges often directly linked to offshoring but it can exists in a non-offshore environment as well. For example, to see how you can work effectively with distributed teams you don't need run a project in offshore environment, just split your teams and ask them to sit on a different floor without seeing each other face to face and all these so called offshore challenges will appear in an onsite environment as well.

    So lets understand various Myths, lies and facts about offshoring agile project and understand key ingredients to make it successful.