The Neuroscience of Change
3 Instructional Hours

The Neuroscience of Change

Using behavioural science to bring out the best in those around you

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The Neuroscience of Change

About the program

Everyday around the world, well-intentioned leaders unknowingly push their team in the wrong direction.

When managing others, every action we take has the potential to trigger a wide range of potential psychological and social threats. All too easily, your goal of driving motivation and urgency can manifest as fear, self-doubt, and avoidance in your most promising team members.

Thankfully, neuroscience provides us with a map to understand the psychological threat response along with methods to ensure our behaviours inspire the emotion and actions we desire. This half-day program uses the SCARF model to distill the science of self-development into practical strategies any manager can use to bring out the best in others.

In this program you will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of threatening and rewarding reactions to employee behaviour
  • Acquire best practices to change the culture of your organization
  • Learn how to lead yourself and others toward a positive rewards mentality rather than a punitive state, which actually diminishes one's potential

Who should attend:

This program is designed for senior executive and mid-level managers.

Discounts Available

Registered Charities

Queen’s Executive Education is pleased to offer a limited number of discounted seats in every program to employees of Canadian registered charities. Check your eligibility.

CCDI Partnership


Smith School of Business is an Employer Partner of the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion.

Personal Benefits

  • Learn how to spot threats early to avoid psychological and social stress within your team
  • Improve your ability to drive productivity in your team, by eliminating de-motivational leadership behaviours
  • Practice self-reflection to understand the source of your own emotions in order to better manage your own response to potentially stressful stimuli

Organizational Benefits

  • Promote equality and comradery, while dismantling out-groups through proper leverage of the SCARF model
  • Increased productivity, engagement, and satisfaction through the appreciation of the unique qualities of all team members
  • Improved organizational culture through the creation of true personal connections and reduced emotional stress

Program content:

Through a combination of live online instruction, group discussion and personal assessment exercises, you will:

  • Learn the SCARF model (Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness) and how it relates to more effectively leading within the organization
  • Learn the warning signs of psychological and social threats, allowing you to spot issues early and avoid unintended negative consequences
  • Explore strategies to dismantle out-groups and promote camaraderie amongst all team members
  • Practice methods of self-reflection to understand yourself and the source of your emotions
  • Learn ways to recognize your own emotional response and methods of better managing them during periods of stress
  • Discover proven strategies to leverage the science of threat versus reward in order to change the culture of your organization
Continued Access to Online Materials

Participants will have continued access to online materials for 30 days post-program.

Dynamic Virtual Classroom

Participate in the program from anywhere. Our online learning platform combines live, interactive video instruction with breakout sessions, panel discussions, and expert Q&A.

Our learning platform is fully encrypted, allowing you to connect securely from home, office or anywhere in between.

Virtual programs are designed to fit within your schedule, allowing you to learn new skills and immediately put them to work.

Session Leaders

Session leaders include senior professors from Smith School of Business and knowledgeable experts from industry. These outstanding teachers are constantly in touch with today's business world through real-world business experience, Board memberships and their own consulting practices.

Session leaders include knowledgeable experts from industry. These outstanding teachers are constantly in touch with today's business world through real-world business experience, Board memberships and their own consulting practices.

As President and CEO of APA Solutions, a human capital consulting firm, Joan has made it her mission to bridge the communication gap between leadership and the people they employ by disrupting human capital norms. She has successfully applied the data and research from her three decades in the recruiting space to defy traditional beliefs as it relates to the mindset of the workforce. For the past five years Joan has pursued further education in neuroscience, and through recent advancements in this field, can validate that everyone has access to the development of new ways of thinking. As part of the neuroleadership team at APA, Joan has utilized her knowledge to unpack how this innovative brain-based methodology helps leaders, teams, and organizations benefit from self-awareness.

As a result, companies that are bold enough to use math and science to align their people strategy to their business goals have successfully experienced exponential revenue growth, retention, and engagement rates. This science puts the "BEST" in places to work.

Joan received a brain-based certification from the NeuroLeadership Institute and completed the Women's Leadership Development Program at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. She is a graduate and former president of the University of Buffalo Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Alumni Association, and remains an active member of the UB community. She also received a 2015 Woman of Influence award, issued by Buffalo Business First, which honors female entrepreneurs who have grown their businesses by making outstanding contributions to society.

Erikson Neilans received his doctorate degree in Behavioral Neuroscience from the University at Buffalo, SUNY. He specialized in sensory perception and the impact on decision-making. Currently, he is researching and providing his expertise in neuroscience to the organizational development of human capital. He is also an expert in both psychophysical and neurophysiological techniques, which have been used to study perception as well as consumer response to various marketing techniques.

Erikson is published in numerous peer-reviewed scholarly journals including PLoS One and the Journal of Comparative Psychology. At the 2013 Acoustical Society of America in Montreal, Canada he was awarded the Best Student Paper Award for his work and has also been fortunate to receive numerous awards including the UB College of Arts and Sciences Dissertation Fellowship, the UB Psychology Department Bugelski Dissertation Award, the Mark Diamond Research Foundation Award, as well as the UB Graduate School's Excellence in Teaching Award while at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. During his tenure at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, he also organized and lead his fellow graduate students in a business competition in which they were two-year winners for the Panasci Technology Entrepreneurial Competition (2012-2013).

Available for Teams & Organizations

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