Business on fire: The brain science of success

Communication is the science of self-awareness. We challenge ourselves each day with the question “Who am I?” a lot more than we pay attention to who other people are. White collar professionals don’t get paid for their manual labour, rather they are brought on board to think, articulate and interact with co-workers, managers and stakeholders. Work for the average Finance Professional is now reliant upon having a solid understanding of human psychology. Success or failure in your current position will ultimately come down to how well you can relate to other people inside and outside your organisation. Scott Schwefel built up and sold Minnesota’s largest technology and training company and used his time there to define a new set of personality assessments to better understand his staff. He has since gone on to spread his paradigm to 1300 CEOs globally as well as through presentations at TEDx events in the United States.

He invites participants to describe how they feel on the day using one of four colours; red, blue, green and yellow. Red types are assertive and dominant; yellow are more social, green are active listeners while those people who describe their day as blue are cool headed logical thinkers who prefer to work toward a goal in a more deliberate purposeful manner.

As an online marketer, one of the things I’m constantly reminded of is the 5 second rule when designing websites and brochures. People make snap judgements within 5 seconds and we’re no different when it comes to our judgements of the people we work with or clients we are trying to bring on-board. What’s driving this behaviour in us is not the conscious part of the brain but the subconscious realm. Considering 80-90% of our brain processing actually functions at the subconscious level that’s a scary thought (or not, depending on whether you’re consciously reading this article right now or if you’re just lightly reading looking for the bit where I tell you how to slam dunk that next promotion using cool science). The subconscious brain makes assumptions all the time and you just roll with it. The conscious brain is not as active as you might think it is. Patterns of behaviour change all the time in the subconscious recesses of our minds altering our life and career directions in many different ways. Because it’s subconscious we call it ‘fate’ but is it? How much can we actually change to alter our fate? It turns out quite a lot. What Scott Schwefel teaches is the importance of switching on that conscious part of the mind and to be self-aware. If you’re having a blow up with a work colleague over something, most people react emotionally (anger, fear or sadness) instead of stepping back and removing their ego from the equation. Experienced CFOs call it Finance Professionalism and try to drill this value into their teams all the time. Being self-aware means stepping back to question “who am I to this person?”

Fiery Red personality types love to get things done. This can put them in conflict with their polar opposites, the Earth Green types who prefer a more patient, relaxed approach to dealing with an issue. Don’t assume though that opposites can’t work together and it’s time to reconfigure your entire recruitment strategy. Opposites can absolutely work and thrive together. It all boils down to understanding how others view you not how you view yourself in relation to everyone else. If you are a Cool Blue then you’re going to think your traits are fantastic. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be formal, cautious and precise? Surely these are traits everyone wishes they had? Sadly what you might consider a strength others might consider a weakness. Fiery Reds, for example, might argue you’re indecisive and too inflexible for the task at hand. By switching on the conscious part of your mind you can better understand this and adjust your interactions with co-workers or staff accordingly to suit the situation and thus minimise time spent feuding.

If you are an Accounting/Finance Professional interested in exploring new opportunities in the Brisbane market we’d love to hear from you on (07) 3135 9780. I also encourage you to join our private LinkedIn network Accounting & Finance Professionals in Brisbane (click here). As you probably are aware we do move quite quickly on the roles we recruit for so it pays to stay ahead of the competition. Our group is an exclusive community I am building up for Finance Professionals in Brisbane who want to share job search opportunities, industry news, blogs and other content. You’ll also have an opportunity to network with each other. You might even come across some people you have worked with in the past!

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