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Noisy Mind

Podcast with Dr. Jeffrey M. Schwartz, co-author of The Neuroscience of Leadership

Dr. Jeffrey M. Schwartz Dr. Jeffrey M. Schwartz

An interview podcast with Dr. Jeffrey M. Schwartz, a well known scientist and author, seminal thinker and researcher in the field of neuroplasticity. He is a research psychiatrist at the School of Medicine, UCLA.

This is Peter Clayton reporting from the North American NeuroLeadership Summit. Our special conference leadership series is sponsored by Deloitte, LLP.

Do you have a "noisy mind?" The opening keynote featured Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz interpreting the remarks from quantum physicist and author, Dr. Henry Stapp: "How Attention Shapes the Brian" This is powerful stuff. It has the ability to transform corporations by understanding how to empower people, and provide effective leadership through these economically challenging times. I encourage you to open your mind to these possibilities. "A noisy mind can develop when the brain is overstimulated. Emotions such as fear or anxiety can also contribute to the noise by increasing stress levels."

"One of the biggest challenges organizations encounter is how to thrive when faced with constant, disruptive change. The study of neuroscience has provided us with a deeper understanding of why people find change so unsettling. It offers valuable insight into the way people approach new tasks or manage upheaval and helps us understand how the human brain utilizes mental resources to deal with ambiguity, resolve conflict, or find creative solutions to complex problems. Neuroscience can help organizations become more effective in how they manage change, which should increase organizational productivity and employee satisfaction."

"Responding thoughtfully to external events, rather than saying what first comes to mind, prevents leaders from responding in a way they may later regret. This ability to remain cool and rational under pressure is what the great economist Adam Smith called the "impartial spectator" perspective. It's also known as self-awareness." (strategy+business: Why Neuroscience Matters to Executives, by David Rock and Jeffrey Schwartz)

"Another important idea is the concept of a quiet mind. A noisy mind can develop when the brain is overstimulated. Emotions such as fear or anxiety can also contribute to the noise by increasing stress levels. Too much stress arouses the amygdala, a structure that is closely connected to the brain's fear circuitry. We all know the feeling of being upset by something at work, then not being able to concentrate for the remainder of the day. In short, a person's capacity to use his or her prefrontal cortex, also known as the working memory, can be impaired under conditions of peak stress, fear, or anxiety. This can result in a decreased ability to make rational comparisons among competing objectives."

Source: Why Neuroscience Matters to Executives

"The Neuroscience of Leadership" By David Rock and Jeffrey Schwartz "Breakthroughs in brain research explain how to make organizational transformation succeed." This article appeared in the Summer 2006 issue of strategy+business magazine.


Dr. Jeffrey M. Schwartz is a research psychiatrist at the School of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles and one of the world's leading experts in self-directed neuroplasticity. Decades ago,he began to study the philosophy of conscious awareness, the idea that the actions of the mind have an effect on the workings of the brain. Jeff's breakthrough work in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) provided the hard evidence that the mind can control the brain's chemistry. He has lectured extensively to both professional and lay audiences in the US, Europe, and Asia. His books include The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force and the bestseller Brain Lock: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, the seminal book on OCD.

Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.


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