Coaching is about change. Neurocoaching differs from other modalities by the central importance of using the brain-mind-body continuum in how the coaching is effected.
Neurocoaching is a part of natural health (including physical health – as our physiology can be reshaped by our thoughts) and mental health (including emotional fitness). In this natural healing modality neurocoaching techniques, tools and neuro-behavioural change. Models of change are all evidence-based and can generate positive, lasting results that can be measured. Often traditional coaching is when the unconscious self and emotions block or inhibit a positive outcome. Yet neuroscience has now proven that making an emotional connection is the key enabler in the process of changing behaviour.
Odyssey Magazine set out to find out more about neurocoaching in the local context and met with Kim Everitt of the NeuroCoach Institute to explore this ground-breaking modality including the mBraining and the mBIT technique.
In a quest to explore the latest cutting-edge neuroscience techniques and tools for coaches, wellness practitioners and human resource practitioners, Kim Everitt set out into the wonderful wide world of the internet. Her current business is already deemed a leader in NeuroCoach qualifications and services to business in this coaching modality.
One late evening surfing the net, a conversation began that quenched that specific thirst of training and teaching healers, practitioners, coaches, human resource development agents and many individuals and teams on applied neuroscience with proven and powerful techniques and modalities. She engaged in this online discussion with Grant Soosalu, one of the brilliant minds behind mBraining and the profound mBIT technique.
As the founder and CEO of the NeuroCoach Institute, Kim’s dedication and tenacity to bring this certification to Africa, has proven very beneficial and rewarding to the institute as well as all the certified graduates.
So what’s mBraining and what is mBIT
It is hailed as ground-breaking and cutting-edge in life, leadership and management and expands our understanding of our three centres of intelligence or brains, discovering what the latest findings in neuroscience have to offer for increasing your intuitive abilities for wiser decision-making, getting unstuck, mobilising toward your vision in your daily life, leadership and management, to name but a few applications. Providing you with numerous practical and easy-to-learn techniques, there is an internationally certified program that will equip you in how you can tap into the innate intelligences of the three brains that scientific research has identified in your head, heart and gut areas. The authors, facilitators and coaches have brought together a remarkably wide range of disparate yet related research and synthesised them into an integrated approach that is practical, powerful and immediate in its results.
Applying the ‘mBIT Toolkit’ of techniques dramatically increases an individual’s personal effectiveness in the following areas:
- Self-awareness and evolving your intuition;
- State management and self-control;
- Exploring clarity of mind and stuckness;
- Courage, motivation and action-taking;
- Decision-making and problem-solving;
- Habit control and overcoming compulsions;
- Health and wellbeing.
Let’s talk application in life
Neuroscience and the Cardiac (heart) and Enteric (gut) ‘Brains’
Over the last decade or so, the field of neuroscience has uncovered some fascinating and intriguing findings that give support to the notion that true leaders of their own lives – and in other applied professional areas – use all of the intelligence available to them and go well beyond that of just their head brain. Kim suggests that this may be the ‘missing link’ to those who navigate life and business with authenticity and wisdom.
Pioneering researcher in neuro-cardiology, Dr. J. Andrew Armour, introduced the concept of a functional brain in the heart. His work revealed that the heart has a complex intrinsic neural network sufficiently sophisticated to qualify as a ‘brain’ in its own right. The heart’s neural network meets all the criteria specified for a brain, including several types of neurons, motor neurons, sensory neurons, interneurons, neurotransmitters, proteins and support cells. Its complex and elaborate neural circuitry allows the heart brain to function independently of the head brain and it can learn, remember, feel and sense.
Following on, in 1998, neurobiologist and M.D., Dr. Michael Gershon, published his pivotal book, The Second Brain, in which he described the culmination of over a decade of research and discovery, that the gut also contains a complex and fully functional neural network or ‘brain’. The gut brain, also known as the enteric brain, contains over 500-million neurons and sends and receives nerve signals throughout the chest and torso and innervates organs as diverse as the pancreas, lungs, diaphragm and liver. The significance of these findings to leadership development is profound.
Modelling the competencies and functions of the heart and gut brains
Over the last three years, informed by these neuroscience findings, we have performed behavioural modelling research on how the heart and gut brains function in the practical areas of decision-making, action-taking, intuition, relationships, health and wellbeing and personal fulfilment. Along with this action-research, further analysis of evidence from a wide body of divergent sources has shown that the heart and gut brains are involved in representing and processing very specific forms of intelligence and intuitive functions.
These findings support commonly held notions such as trusting one’s ‘gut instinct’ and being ‘true to your heart’ and they also back up the assertions that whole leaders need to use not only their heads, but also the innate intelligence and wisdom of both their heart and gut. [Both the neuroscience findings and subsequent modelling research are documented the recently published book ‘mBraining’ by authors Grant Soosalu and Marvin Oka*.]
Grant Soosalu and Marvin Oka’s* findings indicate that there are three core prime functions for each of the three neural networks, or ‘brains’:
*Marvin Oka is an international consultant and keynote speaker specialising in leading-edge behavioural change technologies and research. Grant Soosalu is a leadership consultant, trainer, and writer with backgrounds and expertise in Psychology, NLP, Behavioural Modelling, and Applied Physics.
HEART BRAIN PRIME FUNCTIONS
- EMOTING – emotional processing (e.g. anger, grief, hatred, joy, happiness etc.);
- VALUES – processing what’s important to you and your priorities (and their relationship to the emotional strength of your aspirations, dreams, desires, etc.);
- RELATIONAL EFFECT – your felt connection with others (e.g. feelings of love/hate/indifference, compassion/uncaring, like/dislike, etc.).
GUT BRAIN PRIME FUNCTIONS
- CORE IDENTITY – a deep and visceral sense of core self and determining at the deepest levels what is ‘self’ versus ‘not-self’;
- SELF-PRESERVATION – protection of self, safety, boundaries, hungers and aversions;
- MOBILISATION – motility, impulse for action, gutsy courage and the will to act.
HEAD BRAIN PRIME FUNCTIONS
- COGNITIVE PERCEPTION – cognition, perception, pattern recognition, etc.;
- THINKING – reasoning, abstraction, analysis, synthesis, meta-cognition etc.;
- MAKING MEANING – semantic processing, languaging, narrative, metaphor, etc.
Clearly, each of the brains has a fundamentally different form of intelligence and has different goals operating under different criteria. In other words, the head, heart and gut have different ways of processing the world with different concerns and domains of competence.
The importance of this to you, as a leader of your life and career, is two-fold. First, it’s crucial whenever making personal, family or company group decisions that all three intelligences are accessed and ‘consulted’, given opportunity to communicate and incorporated into the decision-making process. Added are areas such as getting ‘un-stuck, gaining clarity and much more.
The second implication is to ensure you avoid using one brain to do the function of another. Each brain has its own domain of competence and, by definition, is not the most competent in the other prime functions. The founders maintain that to cope with the complexity of modern-day life and business, truly adaptive individuals, be their position that of leaders, business owners or any other position in life, need to use more than just the skills engendered in their head brains.
Kim confirms that the result the coaches in the NeuroCoach Institute are obtaining on the journey with their clients is profound. She mentions that the sensing and voicing of gratitude during and after applying this modality and technique is rewarding and humbling.
The Generative Power of Sequence
Another key finding from this behavioural modelling research is the importance of sequence whenever aligning and harnessing the wisdom of your three brains. Not saying that another sequence will be ‘messy’ in any way, however the order in which each of your brains is accessed makes a significant difference to how they work together and the wisdom that does or doesn’t emerge. This makes sense when you consider the fact that they are separate neural networks with different prime functions. It therefore makes a difference if the head is influencing the heart or the heart is influencing the head, or if the gut is leading the head or if the head is directing the gut (along with any of the numerous combinations between the three brains). In other words, it makes a difference if your thoughts are influencing your feelings or if your feelings are influencing your thoughts, or if your gut reactions shape your perceptions and thinking versus your thought processes triggering your gut reactions. This sequence has shown the wonderful results achieved with delegates during the training as well as with their clients.
Of the multiple combinations that are possible between the three brains, it was found there is a particular sequence that is more ‘neurologically friendly’ than others. This seems to be the most generative in its results.
This image illustrates the foundational sequence that we have found produces the most generative change is: 1) start with the heart, 2) move to the head, 3) move back to the heart, 4) move down to the gut, 5) finally, move back to the heart
Kim mentions that this forms a core part of the training en route to becoming an internationally certified mBIT coach, amongst other insightful and fascinating content.
Let’s talk application in leadership and management, where you, as a practitioner, could add powerful value.
As mBraining states, this is not a new approach to life strategy, management or leadership, but a new form. This new form is not about a particular leadership style or ‘type’ of leadership. It’s about the leaders themselves and their ability to attain new levels of consciousness and wisdom in their decision-making.
Despite the abundant variety of leadership models available today, persistent issues still remain common to many organisations such as:
- Staff engagement;
- Execution of strategy;
- Attracting and retaining talent;
- Cultivating a performance culture;
- Maintaining market and community relevance;
- Brand relevance and having a compelling and authentic brand story;
- Delivering quality customer experience.
When applying the modality of mBraining and NeuroCoaching you will become a key role player in leadership and management coaching, wellness practice and other fields you may practise in.
Let me delve into another interesting and insightful area of teaching: The highest expressions of these brains
One of the many powerful models emerging from the research work suggests that each of our brains has what is known as a ‘highest expression’. This is an emergent competency that expresses what it means to be truly and deeply human. It represents the highest, most optimised and adaptive class of intelligence or competency of each brain. The highest expressions of each brain are:
- Head brain – Creativity
- Heart brain – Compassion
- Enteric brain – Courage
Generative wisdom is a wisdom that is holistic and transformational. It continually transforms who you are, how you see the world and how you relate to it. In essence, generative wisdom is about continually attaining your highest sense of self through the pragmatics of daily living. And for leaders of their own lives and in occupation, this includes the way you are leading yourself, your clients, the organisation, your industry and the wider communities you impact.
mBIT provides us with a range of simple and pragmatic tools and methods for engaging and developing the head, heart and gut intelligences of every individual and team within an organisation. There are obvious and immediate applications of mBIT to organisational decision-making, talent development, relationship building, coaching and the full range of people skills that make a leader truly great. The best companies develop ‘complete’ leaders and, with mBIT, those leaders are able to tap into and harness the intuitive intelligence of their multiple brains to know how to guide, grow and develop their people, their relationships, their decisions and their organisational worlds wisely.
The international certification
In the international 4-day certified programme you will learn:
- How neuroscience research has shown that you have three brains and how these findings validate many ancient wisdom teachings and practices;
- How to harness the intelligences of your multiple brains through the process of ‘mBraining’;
- An entire suite of powerful and easy-to-learn ‘multiple Brain Integration Techniques’, collectively known as mBIT;
- The 6 Prime Functions of your head, heart and gut brains and how each provides you with a different ability and talent;
- The 5 classes of mBIT Neural Integration Constraints that give you deep insight into how your three brains may produce internal conflict within yourself and what you can do about it;
- How to recognise and interpret the different languages of your three brains when they are communicating important messages to you;
- How your gut brain is able to learn and grow new neural pathways and how you can actively educate it for greater ‘gut intuition’;
- How to balance your autonomic nervous system through the ‘mBIT Balanced Breathing’ method to relieve stress quickly and gain access to the innate intelligences of your three brains;
- How to work with the ‘Core mBrain Competencies Framework’ to diagnose quickly any unresourceful states and to discern what is needed to bring your nervous system back into balance for optimal functioning in all three of your brains;
- How the technique of ‘mBIT Neural Syntax Mapping’ can explicitly reveal the functional or dysfunctional sequence in which your three brains are working together or conflicting with each other;
- How to do the ‘mBIT Foundational Sequence’ for yourself to ensure you are working with your three brains in the optimum sequence for generative results.
How to become part of the first wave of international mBIT coaches. Enhance your current portfolio of offering and/or including this powerful intervention technique in your current modality, as an additional modality or intervention technique.
Kim Everitt, Founder and CEO of the NeuroCoach Institute, shares the following wisdom around collective congruence and integration in her business:
“Often, in our organisation, we have experienced what I call ‘collective brain integration’. In our company we get together and make collective decisions or table (for example) gut messages, when the heart and even head brain tries to interfere. Important decisions have been made or delayed this way, which, soon thereafter, have proven so wise and protected our company. We have even experienced how other parties, or another party, would start experiencing discomfort during a meeting – as though their wisdom realises that we have knowledge regarding aspects that have been kept from us. Collective wisdom prevails when both parties part ways, to move into different directions which serve them respectively. How well has my gut served me and how well am I able to rely on my business partners’ gut brains when my other two brains show up instead of waiting their turn. Some wisdoming has come through trial and error. The important thing is it has come. Personally and in our business, I have learned to understand the importance of ‘act’ and ‘delay’ respectively. For example, am I delaying wisely or am I merely being lazy or procrastinating or submitting to unhealthy fear?”
Amelia Sterrenberg, a master coach with the NeuroCoach Institute and the Lead Ambassador reveals some wonderful work and results obtained by mBIT certified coaches.
So, how would you as an existing holistic healer or CAMs practitioner or medical professional go about adding neurocoaching to your practice? Are you considering a coaching career with NeuroCoaching?
Many coaches, wellness practitioners, therapists and teachers worldwide have had wonderful results in a variety of areas with clients. One of the common reasons coaches and practitioners love using mBIT in their practices, is because of the simple and gentle process that yields powerful results in a relatively short period of time (sometimes in minutes!).
The interesting fact is that the graduates are from various and diverse industry: Medical, holistic wellness, coaches, teachers, psychologists and many, more.
By sharing some of the wonderful testimonies of these professionals, we hope to give readers insight into the wide practical application of this powerful modality.
Natacha Nelson (Ni-Ze Centre of Excellence) qualified as an International mBIT coach through the NeuroCoach Institute. Natacha has been an mBIT NeuroCoach at Region Centurion Primary school in Centurion, Pretoria for the past year.
Natacha says: “The journey is really phenomenal and the progress I witness in the tiny humans blows my mind.
With the introduction of mBraining to the learners, they were all a bit confused but very interested. I take time to teach them about the amazing work the three brains do.
I found that the magic in the teachings lies in creating rapport with the children. We use blindfolds to practise balanced breathing to ensure the children are not self-conscious about classmates looking at them and to keep their focus on the breathing exercise.”
The greatest breakthrough for me and one of the girls was when we discussed our “superpowers”. The eight-year-old girl, in grade 2, designed a cape with the three brains and I truly, deeply and really believe that, because she understands the power within, her journey will be one to witness.
Another grade 2 girl made a body map of herself. She explored the different emotions she feels during the day and was able to link each emotion to one of her brains. With this activity she had the opportunity to explore ways to deal with the different emotions. She is currently finishing grade 2 at the top of her class, as opposed to the beginning of the year when she refused to attend school.
Briony Liber, a Comensa master practitioner and international mBIT coach, had the following to say about utilising mBIT with her client:
“I do a lot of career coaching work and a client of mine was going around and around and around in his head about some career options. And eventually I said to him – “cut to the chase; what does your heart truly desire.” I said it with some trepidation as he is a mining engineer and I was pretty sure he was going to ask me what the hell I was on! But he didn’t even blink, he just answered. I then asked him what his gut deeply wanted… and he answered. And the two were in alignment. I further asked him what was getting in the way of his head. And he answered. What was astonishing was all three answers were in alignment. So, I told him all three seemed to be saying the same things… and his answer, which did (n’t) really surprise me was – “Yes, all three are in alignment – all three want the same thing. I have just never listened to my heart or gut! It’s obvious what I should do – can we work out a plan for this?”
The results and realisation were almost instant and what would have taken me a lot more time, in the past with clients, came together in minutes.”
For more information on the path to international certification or how to access this powerful modality either in your organisation or personal life contact https://neurocoach-institute.com/
‘This article references the beautiful work of Grant Soosalu and Marvin Oka with other contributors in their research.’