mBraining is about aligning head, heart and gut. At ChangeQuest we’ve been talking for a while about the need for a growth mindset to tackle change, and engaging ‘hearts and minds’ is a familiar idea. mBraining takes this a stage further.
What is mBraining?
Very simply it is about using your multiple brains in an integrated and powerful way. We don’t just have one brain (in our head): we also need to consider our heart brain and our gut brain. Research in neuroscience has uncovered that we have complex, functional and adaptive neural networks in the regions of our heart and gut. These neural networks exhibit memory, complex processing and a level of intelligence in their functioning, independent of the head brain.
In fact, we’ve grown up knowing that our heart and gut have much to teach us. Think about these phrases:
‘Listen to your gut’
‘Follow your heart’
‘Use your gut intuition’
‘Be true to your heart’
They reflect the wisdom and intuition occurring in the heart and gut.
According to a report in Psychology Today, the gut sends signals to the brain that directly affect feelings of sadness or stress, even influence memory, learning, and decision-making. It relies on, and in many cases manufactures, more than 30 neurotransmitters that are identical to those in the brain.
mBraining gives us a road map to look at how the three brains work together. Aligning them and encouraging each brain to work from its highest expression allows new wisdom to emerge, and practitioners have reported amazing transformations.
mBraining and change management
The uncertainty, complexity and constant change that are so much part of working life today leave many people overwhelmed – there’s too much going on in their heads to operate at their best. What’s more, while people may be able to see the logic behind a change (their rational thinking), too often their heart isn’t in it and there is resistance at an unconscious level. Just like when we pay for gym membership but never actually seem to get there.
This is where mBraining comes in.
In the words of Master trainer Suzanne Henwood from mbraining4success: “By understanding and listening to the three brains, people are better able to recognise where they are out of alignment. You know that feeling when you want to do something, but you can’t quite take the action required? Or where your heart says one thing and your head says another? Or you have made a decision – but it doesn’t ‘feel right’? That is your brains not being in good alignment. And it is only when you align your three brains that you will move forward positively.”
mBraining can help overcome an obstacle to transformation that organisations typically overlook – the internal shift. This is what people think and feel about change, the invisible fears and insecurities that keep us locked into behaviours even when we know rationally that they don’t serve us well. Resistance, especially when it is passive, invisible and unconscious, can derail even the best transformation strategy.
Key mBraining techniques
Two mBraining techniques that particularly resonated with me are:
1. Coherent breathing technique: this allows you to bring yourself back to a balanced state, reducing stress and anxiety in the moment of any difficult situation and giving you more choice about how you react. In the constant busyness we have to operate in nowadays, it is important to find that stillness – to help us perform better, think more clearly, be able to make decisions better and manage stress. Breathing rhythmically allows our body and mind to become more balanced, quietening the mind. It allows our head, heart and gut to sync and become aligned.
2. Emerging goals: less focus on clearly defined outcomes and more of an emergent approach. This focuses on taking smaller steps and dealing with blocks that get in the way. It is a much more agile and adaptive coaching approach and one of the biggest shifts I’ve seen in coaching methods over the last decade. It recognises that in times of greater uncertainty and more complexity it is a waste of time trying to define outcomes in detail.
mBraining to build resilience
This all helps to build the resilience essential to embracing rather than fearing change.
I feel very fortunate to have been trained by Suzanne Henwood as I continue to grow, learn and keep up with latest ideas to build my toolkit. I’m delighted that I am now a certified mBraining coach and at ChangeQuest we will be weaving the new learning and insights into supporting people through change.