Support from Neuroscience

Brief Annotated Bibliography

Begley, Sharon (2007) Train your Mind, Change your Brain, Random House, New York

With a major scientific gathering in Dharamsala with the Dalai Lama as the backdrop, the author takes an indepth look, tracing research historically and up to the present, of the changing “scientific dogma” about the brain’s plasticity and the relationship between our brains and our bodies and minds. Begley describes how the new research that demonstrates that the mind and body affect the wiring of the brain, and not just the other way around, has led researchers down many exciting paths. These include: using mindfulness training to heal brain dysfunction such as OCD, and to the scientific discovery that compassion, joy, and positive states of mind can be “learned” and that they change the brain’s wiring.

Emoto, Masaru, (2005)The Hidden Messages in Water Atria Books, (Simon and Schuster), Korea

A scientist photographs ice crystals and water crystals (from a range of sources such as bottled water and lakes) after positive and negative words are said near the water, or music of varying genres is played near the water.

Fredrickson, Barbara L., Ph.D, (2009) Positivity Crown Publishers (Random House, Inc) New York

Trailblazing scientific research that proves that there isn’t a “set point’ for happiness as had been previously thought and that offers myriad tools to increase positive emotions, decrease negative emotions and become more resilient. Personal, professional, and team examples are highlighted. Appreciative Inquiry is specifically mentioned related to creating positive emotions.

Rock, David, (2006) Quiet Leadership HarperCollins, New York

Making use of recent groundbreaking research on brain plasticity which proves, among other things, that we can easily create new wiring, the author unveils and supports his 6 steps to transforming performance. He provides many specific examples, and many great coaching questions that coaches could use in working with clients/leaders. He also provides practical applications of the steps for such areas as decision-making, problem-solving (from a solution focus) and working with a team. Rock posits a new way of giving feedback and a new way of listening, among other things that are very much in line with Appreciative Inquiry. So much so, that this book could be called “Appreciative Leadership”.

Rock, David, (2009) Your Brain at Work  HarperCollins, New York

Filled with information on how the brain works and strategies to use as a coach to help clients work in a more focused way– as well as ways to get around the amygdale hijack. It’s a must have!!!


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