Communication Training and Neuroscience: Time to Change Your Mind

Recent research from the realm of neuroscience reinforces the importance of communication and presentation skills training.

Turns out the human brain is as sensitive and responsive as the mind it manufactures, and that every meaningful experience you have contributes to reshaping the actual physical matter of your grey cells. This, in turn, gives your mind increased functionality and aptitude.

The human brain really is the most highly adaptive organ you can get your hands on – far less a steady state, than an ever expanding universe of complexity and skill.

It’s called plasticity: the brain’s ongoing ability to deepen and rewire neural networks beyond the initial developmental stages of childhood.

Simply, practise makes perfect. We humans are only good at that which we rehearse. Actors rehearse plays until they feel like they are part of their being: often called muscle memory, when in fact it’s more likely to be brain power.

The more you rehearse a task the more the brain is shaped by it, leading to more connections and greater internal communication across your inner circuits. Leading to a sharper mind.

A good, and somewhat hackneyed (excuse the pun), example is a recent study of London Cabbies undergoing the famous Knowledge Exam. The specific part of their brain used for memorising journey details actually expanded permanently as a result of their studies, enabling them to become the experts on London geography they needed to be.

The same was also found to be true when a group of adults underwent piano tuition.

Even more interestingly, the same was found to be true of a group of adults who simply imagined playing the scales on the piano. The brain responded to the imagined learning event as it did to the real one.

The point being: training matters.

And, the style of training matters.

If the brain/mind isn’t in an optimum state for learning i.e. it is stressed, frightened or bored then the benefits of the experience are reduced.

The implications of this research for human kind are quite profound. If we consider that much of modern experience is spent hunched behind a computer interacting virtually with the online universe, we are bound to have somewhat stunted communication and presentation skills. Unless, we find the time and opportunity to rehearse those specific skill sets.

And they really are crucial skills for any large organisation to possess.

To extend the brain/mind metaphor, if the staff and systems of an organisation are the brain, then the mind is the speed of thought and quality of communication and output produced across the business.

To make your organisation as intelligent, responsive and fluid as it can possibly be, staff need stimulating and inspiring communication skills training. It builds new neural pathways both within the mind of the individual and the mind of the organisation as a whole.

Find out more about neuroscience and brain plasticity on Wikipedia.

David Windle