Neuroscience of Leadership and Coaching with Janet Crawford


What really happens when coaching goes well or badly? The exploding field of neuroscience is bringing us a revolutionary new understanding of human learning and behavior.



As experienced practitioners, we’ve mastered the fundamentals and learned numerous tips, tricks and best practices. But why do they work? And how do you choose the right approach in the moment?

Understanding the relation between the brain and good coaching unlocks this secret code. It gives us the “why” behind the effectiveness of the “what,” and empowers us to apply the right best practice in the moment with confidence. The essence of transformational coaching is helping our clients change the way they see, feel and act in the world. This requires changes in the way they think about themselves and others, their habitual moods and emotions, and the stances they take in the world.

At the biological level it means they actually rewire their brains and nervous systems. This is no small task our clients are taking on, as our adult brains are built to resist rewiring. We know that coaching works, so we can assume people can develop new neural pathways that result in them experiencing greater effectiveness and satisfaction in work and life. But understanding how the human brain works from a neuroscience perspective gives us as coaches a new and powerful way of looking at learning and change.

When we know what’s going on in the brain we can offer our clients the most effective approaches to their own learning, and to helping the people they interact with learn, change and grow.

In this podcast, Janet covers a basic introduction to the neurobiology of:

  • Safety and the “flight/fight/freeze” response, and how this plays out in the modern workplace;
  • Status and inclusion as biological drivers of behavior in organizations;
  • Learning and memory, particularly the kind of transformational learning our clients often seek from coaching.

Human neurobiology and what it means for change at the individual and collective levels.

About Janet:  Janet Crawford is a Principle of Crawford Consulting, specializing in leadership development through coaching and group facilitation. Formerly a scientist with the EPA, Janet bridges the scientific and leadership development worlds by exploring how human biology and neuroscience inform coaching, facilitation, leadership and organizational effectiveness. She supports managers and executives in developing the leadership presence, relationships, collaboration, trust-building behaviors and visionary thinking that produce results.



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