Connect Through Think Feel Know was mentioned in a previous blog. This week I was fortunate enough to listen to Clive Hyland give a talk on “Neuroscience: the HR proposition” so it’s an opportune time to feature his book. Clive had previously entertained our guests and a previous Mustard lunch so I knew that we were in for an enlightening and inspiring evening.
In this book, Hyland takes us through a model for understanding the brain, or more precisely the five brains that humans possess. The cranium houses three brains :
- Basal. This is sometimes referred to as the “stem” or “reptilian” brain. This is the area that sits above the spinal column and is the oldest part of the brain that was there from the very beginning. It is the core of our subconscious, where our basic instincts come from . Hyland refers to this as the Knowing Brain.
- Limbic. The middle layer of the brain, known as the limbic layer, sometimes referred as the “mammalian brain” because its primary evolution was developed in mammals. This is where we experience emotions, and different levels of energy. Hyland refers to this as a the Feeling Brain
- Cortex. The top layer of gray mass that separates us from the animal kingdom. It is the region of the brain where we create the rules for living out our existence. It is about process, structure, systems and logic. This is where we process facts and figures, detailed evidence and complex problem solving. Hyland refers to us as the Thinking Brain.
We all use all three constituents in our brain, but we communicate predominately through one of these styles. The book gives us examples of how to recognise these styles of communication. What are the practical implications of this knowledge? They are many and varied. The clue is in the title – Connect through Think Feel Know.
Even though we predominately use one (or two ) communication styles . we all use all three to some extent. Even if we normally use one style in a particular situation, for example choosing something off a menu, we don’t always use that style, depending on our mood, or energy level. Adapting our behavioural style, takes a lot of energy. Adapting our communication style can be learnt. Hyland takes us through examples and case studies of how adapting communication styles has helped individuals and teams to communicate better and improve performance. I am all for that!