Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Neuroscience of Analytics

Analytical thinkers are often criticized for their lack of soft-skills. As this blog has mentioned many times before, this is something far more acute in Asia, where balance and harmony are an important part of the business landscape.

UCLA professor Matthew Lieberman might have a suggestion of why this is. The HBR Blog discusses his presentation at the the recent 2011 NeuroLeadership Summit on our ability to predict other people's emotional states. Evidently this takes quite some effort, we are generally poor at it, and get even worse when under even mild stress.

To compound matters, however, it appears that the brain circuity for analytics actually switches off the circuitry for thinking about others and those who spend a lot of time being goal-focussed even find their social-skills circuitry diminishes.

No reference was made as to whether this might happen in the opposite direction too!