The following is an edited transcript of Dr Justin James Kennedy interviewing Dr Bill Price. Both are neuroscience experts who believe neuroplasticity has much to offer the world of business as part of a specific focus on executive coaching.
You can also watch the video of this interview in our post entitled Dr Bill Price weighs in on neuroplasticity and evolving leadership which also provides a biographic background of both neuroplasticians.
Dr Justin James Kennedy: I’m here with Dr Bill Price and looking forward to this interview and sharing it will fellow neuroplasticians.
Dr Bill Price: I’m super-excited, can’t wait.
Dr Justin James Kennedy: I love your expertise and the domain in which you work. Tell us a bit about the topic we are going to focus on today.
Dr Bill Price: I wonder if we could chat about my work with leaders and corporations. A big part of what I do is hosting webinars that I call ‘Synapses’ as they are fare more than just seven action points. They are a live exchange of energy that offer something unique and different, but very practical. I also love to be playful with things. I am the one you will hear screaming while I am having the time of my life at an amusement park!
Dr Justin James Kennedy: How did you get involved in neuroscience?
Dr Bill Price: I was going through burnout when a Jewish rabbi encouraged me to study neuroscience to discover “the mysteries of the universe and the glories of amazing things”. You also introduced me further into the wonderful world of neuroscience. Thank you for being part of that reality in my life.
Ever since I became involved in neuroscience I’ve seen how much value it brings, helping leaders build a better businesses or corporate entities, and how leadership needs to evolve because it hasn’t changed that much over the years. This new kid on the block, neuroplasticity is so powerful and it helps leaders to be much more focused within themselves and aware of all that is going on in their corporation.
Dr Justin James Kennedy – Tell us about about the work that you do with leaders and your unique selling points?
Dr Bill Price: For me, my USP is providing an agile, adaptive, conscious, neuro-leadership journey via 12 emersion sessions, where I coach leaders of leaders in organisations together with their various teams.
I’ve always felt that whenever you see a tortoise balancing high on top of a telephone pole, the logical conclusion is that it never got there by itself. So coaching C Suite leaders is wonderful but coaching their teams is an added advantage. So I like to take a leader and his or her whole marketing or sales teams etc on an immersion journey where we pay attention to leadership style, leadership impact, and strategy.
I never coach executives outside of the rollout of their strategy or where they headed otherwise, it’s just a band aid experience. So we work with actual strategy, projects and impacts in real time using neuroscience or neuroplasticity as the trampoline on which we do all our jumping!
Dr Justin James Kennedy: I’m interested to hear how you work with leaders to build their neuroplasticity.
Dr Bill Price: The first thing I do when I work with a leader is to introduce him or her to their personal neurology, neuroplasticity and loving their brain. This can involve using practical tools like oxygenation to ensure plasticity. Once they have an understanding of this, they start to work better within the reality of their inner consciousness as well as with their teams.
I take mainly C Suite leaders on a journey of self awareness, mindfulness and motivation using neuroplasticity to set goals where they sense energy in motion. We consider how you can hack anger levels while feeling stressed and consider the importance of wellbeing, personal resilience and social integration. I coach them on how they can lead their teams with greater focus, bringing conscious awareness into conversations and meetings. This creates better team alignment and discipline. We also look at team resilience and connection.
Throughout the coaching process, there is a lot of assessment or evaluation happening simultaneously. 78% of my last group of executives told me in their exit interviews, that discovering neuroscience was a wonderful experience for them as they came to know themselves better, their personalities and their teams. They discovered the dance they as a leader can now have, having being empowered with practical neuroscience tools.
Dr Justin James Kennedy: I note your point about oxygenation of the neurology to ensure plasticity. Without oxygen cells die and there has to be sufficient glucose and oxygen to ensure that synaptic processes can be engaged. How do you apply this tool in your practice?
Dr Bill Price: I get leaders to breathe with me before we start coaching. I then share what’s happening in their neuroplasticity while they are breathing. They sense it and start to introduce it into their teams during meetings. Applying neuroplasticity tools including using breathing techniques has a direct influence on wellbeing, helping to maintain optimal brain function. This has a significant impact on the individual, their team and delivers the results they’re looking for.
We find less stress, anxiety or drivenness within teams as they learn to relax as I help them to discover their flow. We also look at social connection tools that help leaders to have better communication skills. For example, empathy is a way of achieving increased interconnectivity. However I’ve notice this word results in an immediate block among C Suite leaders. They don’t want to embrace it. Until they understand that when we are in a place of empathy, we are a place of interconnectivity in our consciousness with our teams. That is a huge eye opener for the executives I’m presently coaching. So I’m observing the great impact neuroplasticity can achieve for leaders within corporations and organisations.
Take ACTION with Dr James Kennedy
Dr Justin James Kennedy: I’m enamoured with your approach. I love the idea of applying neuroplasticity to the SMART model of goal setting, (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) and have developed a neuroscience model I call ‘Action Based Goals’ using the acronym, ACTION.
A – Aim. Look to see what needs attention eg stress, anxiety, or performance.
C – Consider the appropriate associated neurotransmitters and behaviours
T – Tactics. What are the brain hacks that can be applied?
I – Implementation – how can the neuroplasticity be shifted?
O – Overview. Assess what has transpired or not.
N – Next steps. An opportunity to describe what further action can be taken.
I would like to hear your understanding of rebooting SMART goals through the lens of neuroplasticity.
Dr Bill Price – I realise that is exactly what I’m doing. You have explained it perfectly.
Dr Justin James Kennedy: Having an acronym is helpful but it is all about doing the work, that is where the rubber hits the road. Tell us about the reality of consciousness and how an understanding of neuroplasticity builds an awareness of the machinery of our brains. So we can influence our choices or hack our brains to change behaviour to find a sense of wellness so we can lead better and impact others more effectively with our business strategy.
Dr Bill Price – The moment you use the word, ‘neurology’ or ‘consciousness’, a haze pops up in the in the minds of executives and leaders, so I tend to use the term ‘conscious awareness’ to mean consciousness. This is all part of the experiential, kinesthetic awareness of achieving goals. For example, I help executives climb their ‘Mount Everest’ and once they’ve taken all the trouble to get there I help them live in the moment. That is not a time for you to take photographs, ask someone else to do that while you allow joy to swell up or whatever the emotional feeling that pops up.
I help them to become aware, physically, kinesthetically within their body, because that’s what your consciousness and neuroplasticity is wanting. You set the goal, “I want to drink a cup of coffee”. You grab the cup and sip it. You could take a photograph to prove you have achieved this goal. However what your neurology really wants is for you to taste the coffee!
So it’s taking leaders on an adventure and I have the privilege of watching them internalise each experience. Some of them take a little bit more time than others because it’s hard to get used to our kinesthetics or feel the energy that’s in motion but it’s a beautiful journey to coach people in this way.
Dr Justin James Kennedy: I love the reference to coffee and the thinking around kinesthetic observation and interception of the neurophysiology and being mindful of that. That is a big part of the fundamentals of neuroplasticity for the neuroplastician. Tell me more about your Synapse workshops and master classes.
Attend a Synapse with Dr Bill Price
Dr Bill Price – I’m super excited about these. I have been doing two Synapses per month for the past two years dealing with the neuroscience of things, from leadership management to sales, marketing, culture, interpersonal relationships, wellbeing, spirituality, etc.
I present a particular topic on each Synapse and we get an average of about 100 people attending each time. I use flip chart because I do a lot of drawing as we walk together on a journey. Attendees get a copy of the notes and often a copy of an ebook or an article on the subject.
We’ll talk about how to use neuroplasticity in leading a team to be more cohesive so they can practically work this into their context, of who, what, when, where and now. We have a very loyal group of people attending and have a marvellous time together. What started as a small group on Zoom has now become something of a community or ‘tribe’. It’s been such an interesting journey and good to see it evolving.
Dr Justin James Kennedy: What are the costs involved?
Bill Price: So it’s a free 40 minute Zoom call. This can be followed up by a Master Class where there is a small fee. I also offer 1:1 coaching. I advertise the Synapses mainly on my LinkedIn profile providing a range of topics suitable to neuro leaders or managers and those who want to become neuro coaches. We take you through Neuro leadership principles, shifting with your team to orchestrate your strategy so you become a conductor of your orchestra creating the symphony you want to impact the world.
Dr Justin James Kennedy – Thank you so much for having me this time with me. It’s really interesting to hear about the work you’ve done so brilliantly and here’s looking forward towards attending one of your Synapse events.