The Advancing Leadership Blog

Three ways your brain affects your business

What do neuroscience and business have in common? A lot! TEC staff had the opportunity to witness professional speaker Rebel Brown in action, Wednesday morning, as she connected the dots on how understanding the brain can improve your business practices.

Rebel lives up to her name with her cool demeanor and powerful gaze. As she starts her presentation you know you’re in for an action packed three hours.

“Changing your thoughts for thirty days can change how you act and the information your brain chooses to use.”

As she makes this statement she leaves you with the feeling that maybe it can be that simple.

We are all raised to believe we are rational thinkers who make conscious decisions and actively think before making our choices. Boy were we wrong!  Rebel begins her presentation by telling us that on average our unconscious minds drives 95% of our behavior and decisions, filtering an average of eleven million bits of information per second; which means every two days we create information equal to that created from the dawn of civilization to 2003.

As a business leader what does this mean to you? Being able to utilize your brain and actively understand how to change your negative thinking to a positive can be the difference between making that merger being turned down on the spot.

To begin to understand the brain and the impact it has on business, it is important to remember three things:

1. Our subconscious brain doesn’t hear negatives.  It only stores the emotion and last few words attached to the idea.

Knowing this, you can choose to actively think positive and choose to process information and situations in a positive light. Changing the statement into a positive makes the subconscious believe it will accomplish the task and it will begin to filter information for positive reinforcement instead of negative.

2. Our brains are almost constantly in survival mode.

Used in the past by our ancestors as a sensor to warning us against predators,  our brain has become overloaded with the constant bombardment of negative information such as a lagging economy, war and other potentially harmful things.

Want to be innovative? Lead away from the herd! As an instinct from the survival mind people naturally seek to be a part of a group as a safety precaution; however the herding instinct rejects new thinking.  It can cause people to dig in their heels and resist change, because change triggers a natural fear instinct in the brain.

Instead of reprimanding new ideas in your next meeting, praise the individual and promote sharing new idea. As Rebel states, “this doesn’t mean you have to go with this idea” but by asking “what if?”, opens the minds of individuals.

3. Our subconscious takes everything personally.

It is its job to understand you and your needs, and to fulfill the information need for the conscious brain.

According to Rebel almost all behaviors are learned or based on of previous experiences. Our subconscious then chooses the experience suited to the current needs of our conscious brain.

One way to get those negative thoughts under control, is to begin a journal and write down every negative thought you have. Repeat this for a week and then review the journal. By doing this you make yourself aware of every time you think negatively, allowing you to use this as an opportunity to consciously change them into positive thoughts. Doing this training empowers your unconscious to remember and store positive thoughts about your experiences.

Want to learn more about Rebel Brown? Check her website at:

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