How to train your brain for business success

Tina-Marie O'Neill, The Daily Post, Ireland 

4 February 2013

Training your brain and mouth to work together whenever you speak is vital for successful business leaders, according to communications expert Poll Moussoulides, who is co-presenting a series of seminars for business leaders in Galway and Dublin this week. "Our memories are good. What we're not good at is paying attention," said his co-presenter, Terry Small, a Canadian educator who specialises in applied neuroscience.

Entitled "The Smart Savvy Leader", the three-hour daily sessions are designed to help business people understand how the brain works, how to use it to speak more effectively, and how to engage an audience.

"If you tell yourself you have a bad memory, your brain will create that scenario," said Small. "If you're introduced to someone at a social event and you turn away, shuffle some papers, put food on your plate and turn back and can't remember their name, it's not your memory failing. You didn't forget the name, you didn't pay attention to it to begin with.

"Memory improvement is about the increased ability to pay attention, which is a challenge as we get older. Neuroscientific research has proved that memories physically reside in the brain. Business pursuits, daily chores, and life's complexities create more neural structures in the brain, sort of like a sprawling city," Small explained.

"The more information stored means a wider sprawl, so it's harder to find those memories. But you can improve brain function, you just have to know how."

According to Small, people with good brain function don't take as many sick days, have better relations with colleagues and are less involved in petty office politics.

Part of the seminar is dedicated to showing business leaders how to better communicate and influence their staff, colleagues and clients by understanding how the brain works, how to communicate better, how better to react to their environment and how to understand the "science of not being boring".

"Are people playing to win or just not to lose - in other words are they covering their asses?" asked Moussoulides. "Facts and logic are vital for the bottom line, particularly now in the areas of finance and compliance.

"But the reality is when people speak to a broad audience, if they can't engage that audience, they're just not interesting enough. They have to know how to be persuasive and effective."

The Smart Savvy Leader seminars are being held from 9.30 to 12.30 at The Clayton Hotel in Galway on Thursday. Morning and afternoon seminars will be held at The Morgan Hotel in Temple Bar in Dublin on Friday. Tickets cost 55 and can be booked online at