The age-old question for every leader is one: how do we bring out the best in our subordinates? Anyone who has run a company, raised children, commanded a military unit or coached a team struggles to find the key to helping others excel and express their potential. It's amazing how often we resort to judgment rather than an approach that actually shapes a better subordinate and a better person.
What if we could express Words of Life that transform those under our influence, fanning the flame of spontaneous motivation? What if our subordinates found a great purpose in what they do and devoted themselves to their work with all their soul? Isn't that what all leaders, parents and teachers really want? We all hope to cultivate the intrinsic motivation of others so that the individuals we lead become better employees, better students, better athletes. Recent research in brain science, and the wisdom of the great corporate CEOs interviewed by Dr. Tim Irwin for this book, provide the answers we have been seeking for so long.
In most companies, the methods used to evaluate subordinates, such as performance appraisals and multi-criteria evaluation systems, often accomplish the exact opposite of what they intend. Inevitably, what we are expressing are Death Words. Brain science reveals to us that these methods usually induce a natural "negative predisposition" that is instinctive in all of us.
In recent years, science has discovered that affirmation brings about tremendous positive changes in the brain. It releases specific neurochemicals associated with euphoria and efficiency. Amazingly, affirmation causes the exact opposite reaction of neurons. The most primitive part of the brain goes into defense mode, worsening our efficiency, torpedoing our motivation, and limiting our higher potential.
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