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Weatherhead School of Management

Bridge Analytic and Empathetic Thinking: Apply Neuroscience for Better Leadership

Available dates

Nov 20, 2020
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
USD 695
USD 695 per day


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About the course

Great leaders use their whole brains but, in just the same way great athletes use their body, effort is focused where it is needed while other parts remain at ease. The adept leader moves quickly and gracefully between the two poles of thought represented by analytic and empathic thinking. Average leaders, by contrast, tend to get stuck – they have a limp in their thinking.

You may already have heard of some useful concepts from neuroscience, such as ‘amygdala hijack.’ This workshop will expand your repertoire so that you understand a complete palette of brain-based concepts. You will get a feel for each concept by seeing the role the brain plays in a variety of typical workplace problems, from people pleasing and disorganization on the one hand to bureaucratic creep, alienation and ethical lapses on the other. Next we will work together to combine these insights to create a powerful and effective leadership style for the challenges you face.

Great leaders excel because they implicitly know how to navigate the landscape of the brain, leveraging the tension between complementary ways of thinking so they can stay focused on what matters. They have found a creative solution to use their innate neural resources to the best effect – a solution which allows them to socially engage and motivate others, avoid cognitive biases, stay on task, and maintain ethical awareness. In this workshop Professor Jack lays out key lessons from neuroscience for effective and ethical leadership. Experiential exercises are used to bring these lessons to life, from theory to practice.


  • Mental breath - engage more of your brain to be effective
  • Limping mind - identify problems that arise from overusing one way of thinking
  • Common hurdles - overcome the paradox of threat, empathic burden and bureaucratic thinking
  • Creative tension - leverage strenghts and avoid pitfalls of each way of thinking

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, participants will:

  • Select the right type of thinking to maximize leadership effectiveness
  • Understand how to engage others to create motivation and remove blocks
  • Know when an empathetic pause is needed to clear the emotional air, then...
  • Spring into analytic action to create focus, clarity and determination

Who should attend

Leaders at all levels who need to juggle competing demands, including:

  • Transitioning from a technical individual contributor role
  • Building empathetic skills without losing focused excellence
  • Seeking more orderly direction for their creativity and empathy

Trust the experts

Anthony Jack

Anthony Jack, PhD, is an associate professor of philosophy, psychology, neurology and neuroscience at Case Western Reserve University. He is also the research director of Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence, and principal investigator of the Brain, Mind and Consciousness Lab. D...


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