Important facts about the brain for leaders and decision makers
In the previous blog post on Brain Myths and Facts That Leaders Should Know, I shared some interesting information about four facets of the brain: brain power, brain size, whether we have right-handed or left-handed brains, and the brain’s ability to adapt and compensate for a damaged area when necessary.
In this second part of a three-piece series on brain facts and myths, I will share four more interesting facts about this vital organ which leaders and decision makers should know.
Maturity — sadly, especially for parents and teachers of adolescents, the brain does not fully grow and mature until around age 25. Additionally, it matures from back to front, meaning that the prefrontal cortex (home of judgment, problem solving, decision making, organized thinking, personality development, and impulse control) is the last region of the brain to finish developing.
The older brain — getting older does have some brain benefits, including a better ability to judge the character of people, greater ability to differentiate the nuances of language, and an increased capability to keep emotions in check.
The teenage brain — it may seem like teenagers are brain dead, but in reality teenagers have overtaxed and overwhelmed brains. This is because they are starting to make more decisions for themselves, school is becoming more challenging (as are their social lives), and more responsibilities are being given to them by parents, teachers, coaches, and others.
Additionally, since the brain does not reach maturity until at least age 25, the teenage brain is having to calculate an increasing multitude of risk and reward decisions, problem-solving solutions, prioritizing, planning, thinking, and controlling emotions before it is completely grown and fully functional.
A multitude of senses — in addition to the five commonly taught senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch the brain actually has 21 slightly different ways of sensing things. Nociception refers to the senses of pressure, heat, and pain. Proprioception is a sense of where our bodies are and the position we are in. Interoceptive senses include balance, hunger, and thirst.
This article is partially excerpted from my award-winning book Better Decisions Better Thinking Better Outcomes: How to go from Mind Full to Mindful Leadership, available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. The book is the recipient of a Silver Award from the Nonfiction Authors Association for bringing “a comprehensive plan of action for improving life through recognizing decision-making patterns that don’t serve us well, don’t enrich our lives, and don’t bring us to our goals and dreams.”