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Our knowledge of the brain is increasing exponentially each decade. However, it’s not always clear just how we might apply the latest findings. Over the past year Professor Patricia Riddell and Ian McDermott have been collaborating to make current state of the art neuroscience available in a practical format which offers tools and techniques based on the latest findings. This unique program is the result. It is the first of its kind anywhere.

So much that we do is influenced by how the brain works. Indeed, your brain is the driving force behind every thought, memory, emotion and behaviour that you have had or ever will have. This is why it would be smart to have a basic understanding of how you can work with your brain – and also make sure you’re not working against it.

In addition, understanding a little of how the brain works can create significantly more insight into the sometimes mystifying complexities of the behaviour of your team, your colleagues, your boss –even your family.

Programme Outline

Pre-Workshop Video Tutorials: The Evolution of the Brain

Learn what you need to know about the brain from an expert in four short 30 minute videos

  • How your brain came to be
  • How the parts of your brain connect up
  • What your neurotransmitters can do for you
  • How your brain changes to work best for you
  • Module 1: Emotion Regulation and Motivation

    It is easy to wonder after you have been involved in a particularly unhelpful emotional response to a situation what emotions are for, and in what way they can possibly benefit us. In this module, we will unravel the brain’s response to emotion – what it is for, its benefits, and how best to make these responses work for us.

    We will distinguish between expressed and regulated emotion and learn how to develop a larger emotional repertoire that can provide more flexible behavioural alternatives in emotive situations.

    We will also consider the connection between emotion and motivation. Our motivation is highly dependent on our emotional state. By considering the way in which the brain uses emotions to determine whether to approach or avoid a situation, we can investigate the link between emotion and motivation and how to use this more effectively both for ourselves and with others.

    By the end of this module, you should:

    • Understand the role of emotion in our lives.

    • Be able to distinguish between expressed and regulated emotions and have tools available to regulate your own emotions when required.
    • Understand the benefits of a large emotional repertoire and know how to expand your own repertoire.
    • Understand the connection between emotion regulation and motivation.
    • Know the difference between approach and avoid modes of behaviour and have tools available to switch between these modes.
    • Be able to describe the brain systems involved in emotional regulation and motivation in a manner that is accessible and useful to non-experts.

    Module 2: Creativity and Insight

    In times of economic hardship, one way for individuals and organisations to survive is to be more innovative than their competitors. Innovation requires creativity and insight to come up with new products, new solutions or new markets.

    One of the wonders of the human brain is its ability to come up with completely novel ideas. This does not just happen – as anyone who has sweated over coming up with a new idea will know. However, sometimes, we are all capable of moments of insight where an idea or a solution comes to us out of the blue. What is it that happens in the brain during these moments? And how can we create this type of original thinking when we need it most?

    In this session, we will explore different types of creativity and insight and determine what is happening in the brain when this happens. We will consider what state our brains should be in to give this the best chance of happening and will have fun with some practical exercises that give you a chance to increase your own creativity.

    By the end of this module, you should:

    • Understand the importance of a climate that is suited to creative thinking and have tools to create this climate.
    • Differentiate between different types of creativity and know which type is best for particular applications.
    • Understand the nature of insight and know how best to cultivate this in yourself and others.
    • Be able to determine types of creativity and insight to support best states for goal setting.
    • Be able to describe the brain systems involved in creativity and insight in a manner that is accessible and useful to non-experts.

    Module 3: Learning and Memory

    Every workplace requires people to be able to learn skills, to remember information, and to use both the skills and information effectively in their roles. Many workplaces use complicated induction procedures, training courses, and away days where employees are loaded with the information required to function in the workplace. And yet there is often little consideration of how to best communicate this information – potentially costing huge sums when information is not effectively provided.

    In this module, we will consider the systems in the brain that allow us to learn and remember. We will learn about different types of memory, and the systems in the brain that are used for each. This understanding will be the springboard for practical tools for effective communication with, and training of, people. These will be relevant both for organisations, teams and family units.

    By the end of this module, you should:

    • Have an understanding of the importance of learning and memory as functions in the brain.
    • Understand the mechanisms used for learning in the brain and how best to promote new learning.
    • Understand the role of context, repetition and emotion in learning and be able to use these to create more effective learning.
    • Understand what memory is and what it does for us.
    • Have tools to be able to improve memory where required.
    • Be able to use your understanding of learning and memory as springboard for effective communication skills.
    • Be able to describe the brain systems involved in learning and memory in a manner that is accessible and useful to non-experts.

    Module 4: Decision Making and Planning

    As we move up the ladder of success in the workplace, or when we become parents, we are required to make decisions and plan for events that affect a number of different people’s lives – sometimes in highly significant ways. We are also responsible for bigger budgets and financial planning. But we don’t always get support for how to get the best from the decision making systems in our own and other’s brains.

    In this module, we will present the evolution of decision making, and the different decision making systems that have resulted from this process. We will consider in what contexts these different decision making processes work best, and how to choose what kind of system to use.
    You will learn how to optimise both individual decision making and decision making in teams.

    By the end of this module, you should:

    • Understand the evolution of decision making and the brain systems that are in place to mae decisions.
    • Differentiate between different decision making processes and understand the strengths and limitations of each.
    • Be able to consider which decision making system to use in particular contexts.
    • Have tools to help with decision making in complexity.
    • Be able to optimize individual and team decision making and planning.
    • Be able to describe the brain systems involved in decision making and planning in a manner that is accessible and useful to non-experts.

    Module 5: Stress, Resilience & Contemplation

    In the workplace, it can feel that we are required to be more and more productive, but often without additional resources. Decisions, often with huge financial implications, or that have the potential to affect the lives of others, have to be made quickly and in pressurised environments. Events beyond our control affect our daily lives and we have to deal with these as best we can. This can be very stressful.

    What exactly is stress? And what function does it serve for us? Why would we have evolved to be stressed? And, how come some people seem to be much better at dealing with the stresses of life than others? What can we learn from these people about how to be more resilient?

    In this module, we will address the stress mechanism in the brain and what benefits it has for our performance under pressure. We will consider when stress is problematic, and what tools we have at our disposal to control it so we can work more effectively and live more stress free.

    Recent advances in neuroscience have demonstrated that contemplation of different forms (e.g. mindfulness, meditation, yoga) can have an effect on the way that we think and the structure of the brain. We will explore this evidence and provide tools for how to best use contemplation in different forms to reduce stress.

    By the end of this module, you should:

    • Understand the function of stress and how to use this effectively.
    • Understand the nature of resilience and have tools to increase resilience in self and others.
    • Have tools to decrease stress and increase resilience in self and others to work/live more effectively.
    • Understand the nature of contemplation and its benefits.
    • Understand the links between contemplation and techniques including mindfulness and meditation.
    • Understand the benefits of meditation and mindfulness practices to brain functions.
    • Be able to describe the brain systems involved in stress, resilience and contemplative neuroscience in a manner that is accessible and useful to non-expert.

    We will then go on to explore the extraordinary findings emerging from the rapidly developing field of contemplative neuroscience and its promise for the future.

    If you’re interested in some of the practical applications, you might enjoy the five minute videos which Patricia and Ian recently did which all focus on practical applications that work for individuals, teams and organisations. Click the links below to gain access.

    Hear what our graduates have to say…


    2016 DATES
    Module 1: May 20th – 21st 2017
    Module 2: June 17th – 18th 2017
    Module 3: July 22nd – 23rd 2017
    Module 4: August 19th – 20th 2017
    Module 5: September 16th – 17th 2017


    10am – 5pm Daily


    London Kensington Forum
    Holiday Inn, Kensington
    London, UK


    EARLYBIRD £1995+VAT (£2394)

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    If you have previously completed this programme with us and would like to re-take it, please contact us on +44 (0)1268 777125 & enquire about our significant graduate discounts.

    This programme qualifies for 33.5 CCE units of Core Competencies and 17.1 CCE units of Resource Development with the ICF (International Coach Federation)

    This programme is accredited by the CPD Standards Office, and equates to 70 hours of CPD.

    Training Faculty