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SCARF, NeuroLeadership, and Collaboration
Transcript of SCARF, NeuroLeadership, and Collaboration
to increase collaboration and
build team unity
we are complicated individuals
a drew presentation
"In a world of increasing interconnectedness and rapid change, there is a growing need to
improve the way we work together...
Understanding the true drivers
of human social behavior is becoming ever more urgent in this environment."
the thing is
Cox, Christine, and David Rock. "SCARF in 2012: Updating the Social Neuroscience of Collaborating with Others." NeuroLeadership Journal Four (2012).
Rock, David. "SCARF: a brain-based model for collaborating with and influencing others." NeuroLeadership Journal One (2008).
Rock, David and Yiyuan Tang. "Neuroscience of engagement." NeuroLeadership Journal Two (2009).
Thankfully, social neuroscience
is working to decode our brains for us non-scientist folk.
we ultimately want to minimize threat and increase reward
primary survival needs
draw upon the same brain networks to maximize threat and increase reward
the amygdala activate proportionally to the strength of the emotional response.
decreased resources for executive functions & conscious processing
inability to perceive subtle signals involved in the "a-ha" process
greater tendency to generalize
more likely to react defensively
see small stressors as large
avoidance of risks
synonymous with engagement
willingness to do difficult things, take risks, dig deep, develop solutions
increased dopamine = increased learning
perceive more options when solving problems
increased joy, happiness, interest, and desire
"Having this language improves our ability to label or reappraise our emotions, which helps regulate social threats and rewards."
humans have a fundamental need to belong, are sensitive to their social context, and are strongly motivated to remain in good standing with their peers.
A person's importance relative to others
Status threat triggers are surprisingly easy to activate, as we are all acutely aware (and usually accurate) of our social status.
are common triggers.
pay attention to learning & improvement
positive feedback & public acknowledgment*
reexamine what we consider important
our brains are constantly trying to predict the near future, based on our memories and previous experiences. When we can't predict, our brains
use more resources
trying to process what's happening.
establish clear expectations
break down larger projects into smaller steps
make implicit concepts more explicit whenever possible.
The perception of exerting control over one's environment; a sensation of having choices.
We have a fundamental need for personal control. When we lack a sense of
, we seek out a sense of
. We can be content with either control or choice (or both) but neither power nor control leads to dissatisfaction.
provide choice or power whenever possible (ie. here's two options, which would you prefer?)
allow for control even in smaller areas whenever possible
The degree to which people feel a sense of connectedness and similarity to those around them.
with people we deem
to us, and reduced empathy to those who we perceive as dissimilar. This is known as "
" and "
." Our brain generates a threat response when we do not feel safe in our social interactions.
find ways to increase safe connections
smaller groups appear safer than larger groups
even one trusting relationship can have a positive impact
The perception of fairness is
based on emotions
rather than a rigid, rational thought process. Unfair exchanges generate a strong threat response, and activate intense emotions in the brain, such as disgust.
increase transparency, communication, an involvement about business issues.
establish clear expectations, objectives, and/or ground rules
Why it matters:
Reward state is linked to engagement
how well a group of people performs across a wide range of tasks
is directly related to the social sensitivity of the group and how much time is spent focused on group equality
According to a 2014 Gallup poll, only 31.5% of U.S. employees rated themselves as "engaged" at work.
51% said they were "not engaged"
17.5% said they were "actively disengaged"
"Deep engagement" (a strong average reward state) occurs when people experience rewards from all five domains of SCARF.
threat-state: higher levels of stress, reduce creativity and productivity, and induces mental fatigue. Insights are harder, problems seem insurmountable, harder to stay cool under pressure, less likely to collaborate.
Understanding SCARF helps us understand what the issue is, and respond accordingly.
The SCARF model provides a framework for building
awareness of others
Without an awareness of other people's motivations, we will always try to motivate others in the same ways we would like to be motivated.
in spite of our overactive amygdala,
things to think about:
A person's ability to predict the future.
Perception of fair exchanges between people
the most important thing we can do is
manage our minds
, which happens to be very difficult.
in which areas do you feel
decreasing threat (for you? for others?)
increasing reward (for you? for others?)
how do we translate this knowledge into our team dynamic? how do we increase our