Southern Cross Coaching Insight

How is Applied Neuroscience Changing Leadership?

“We are not thinking beings who feel, we are feeling beings who think.” Antonio Damasio (Neuroscientist)

You have a brain. I have a brain. We all have a brain. Your brain and its 100 billion or so neurons is the centre of your thinking and arguably your entire being: it’s what drives your actions, reactions, responses, behaviours, desires, likes, dislikes, habits...everything you do. Which makes it almost incredulous that until very recently few people outside the laboratory understood even basic brain functioning, let alone its impact on leadership!

This is now changing and we’re actively leading this change. Our vision is to “make the world a better place through better leadership™”. To do that, we’re applying the latest neuroscience research and designing cutting-edge brain-based leadership, coaching and people development programs for the modern-day workplace. And they work - because they’re based on the one thing that drives our behaviour – the brain.

Our workplaces have changed – and will keep changing. What’s required of our leaders and managers has changed - and will keep changing. We passionately believe understanding how the brain works on a day-to-day behavioural level and practically applying that knowledge is not a leadership ‘nice-to-have’ - its critical. 

Providing ‘The WHY’
Another reason neuroscience and brain-based programs work is because the neuroscience gives people the WHY – based on proven scientific research and knowledge. And when people have the ‘why’, they will be more engaged in the what, how and when – the execution.

All this is why we’ve developed people development programs centred on the core of our humanity - our brains. And we’re constantly improving them as more research comes to light. That’s how we’re helping people at all levels evolve to be better leaders, cope better in our ever-changing environment, and so help make the world a better place.

The Results
We’ve seen the results in higher productivity resulting from higher engagement and commitment from teams. Independent benchmarking (by the Global Corporate Leadership Council) of just one of our programs demonstrated a 26% improvement in productivity (according to leaders/managers that did the program who were surveyed 9-12 months after completion of the program).

This brain-based program was improving leaders' coaching skills to have coaching conversations in the workplace, enabling and empowering people to have better feedback conversations, which of course improved ongoing performance.

Neuro T.R.E.A.D.™ Program – The Neuroscience of Leadership
We have a wide range of neuroscience-based development programs. Our Neuro T.R.E.A.D.™ program is our flagship leadership development program: How to Think, Regulate, Engage, Adapt, Develop with the brain in mind (TREAD™). It is the pinnacle of the application of applied neuroscience to develop leadership, and can be adapted to a wide range of leadership capabilities.

It’s also the basis for our extremely popular Coaching Conversations for Managers: whole-brain Coaching program.

Our Neuro T.R.E.A.D.™ program is specifically developed for leaders to improve their decision making and problem solving skills, to learn more about emotion regulation, people’s adaptability, change, collaborating, influencing, developing, and engaging with others and engaging others. People have told us it’s a life-changing program – not only making a massive difference at work, but also transforming personal relationships.

We can run it as a 1 day introductory overview of the TREAD program through to a 6-12 month ongoing, extremely comprehensive Leadership Development program, including individual, group and peer coaching as well as brain-based 360-degree and other assessments.

Our Whole-Brain Coaching Conversations for Leaders program is ideally a 2-day program with the days separated by several weeks to give people time apply the learning (using the 70/20/10 concept), but of course we can be flexible.

Contact us to discuss your needs or simply for more information on our Neuro T.R.E.A.D.™ Neuroscience of Leadership, Whole-Brain Coaching Conversations and other programs.

Call us on +61 2 7901 5618 or email


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Cut e-mail stress...get back an hour a day

Feel like you’re constantly battling the email onslaught? Doing work e-mails at home after dinner? No space for the strategic thinking you need to do? Feel like your days are too short and wish you had 2 (or 10!) hours extra every day to get your work done? Are you (almost) missing deadlines? It doesn't have to be this stressful... Our Time Management and Effective Use of Email program gets results! We guarantee it.

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Improving Communication - Giving & Receiving Feedback Course - 5 Sept 2016

“A Sunday Times study of the Top 100 companies to work for in the UK found that employees feeling listened to was the most important factor in how much they valued their organisations.”

We want to know how you rate your boss (and yourself) at listening, and giving and receiving feedback!

Take our fun 2-minute anonymous survey now:

Thanks for your time – watch this space for the results!

How do you think Giving & Receiving Feedback relates to productivity? Read on to find out...

In 2012, The Global Corporate Leadership Council (now CEB Global) independently surveyed 351 managers in one NSW Government agency. They asked them what the increase in productivity was in their teams as a result of completing our Giving & Receiving Feedback program 9-12 months prior.

This program was benchmarked alongside results from the top leadership courses across the world, including those from the USA, UK, Europe, Australia, etc.

Answer: productivity increased by an average of 26%.

The ability to deliver and receive feedback well, is a critical leadership skill that shapes culture, and is essential to high performing teams and great productivity.

It sounds simple, giving and receiving feedback. Unfortunately it is one of the most difficult things to do, and also one of the most underrated in terms of its impact.

If people don’t feel listened to, they don’t feel valued. If they don’t feel valued, they will soon leave.

When people feel heard and understood, they feel more empowered and engaged. The best leaders are those who make their teams feel empowered and engaged. Engagement means better productivity.

The principles and skills taught in our Giving & Receiving Feedback Program, cover the core foundations in building a collaborative, functional, and productive team and best-practice leadership at any level. They promote respectful communication and behaviours that are fundamentals of superior leadership, teamwork and a high-quality organisational culture. Whether or not you have annual performance ratings in your organisation, even the best leaders need to continually improve their communication and giving and receiving feedback skills.

We’ve seen some quite remarkable leadership, culture change, performance, and team improvement results from our Giving & Receiving Feedback program, as well as some quite moving personal stories of how these skills have changed personal relationships with partners and children.

The program focuses on building a culture and language of holistic, complete 360° feedback.

"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." George Bernard Shaw

The principles and skills taught in our Giving & Receiving Feedback program are applicable to leaders and staff at every level, and are the core foundational skills of every leader and staff member, as well as the core components for improved performance and culture change. However, in our experience, few people perform these skills well, even (and sometimes especially!) at an Executive level.

Our program is ideally delivered in combination with individual or group and peer coaching sessions to imbed the learned skills, and discuss personal situations.



More information about this course is available at:

Some testimonials from our G&RF course:

" Very useful. Provided insight into so many issues/ meetings that have occurred and how much better they could have been executed by all parties."


" Attending the training has opened my eyes and mind to alternate positive ways I am able to approach feedback within my professional and personal life."


"The best and most practicable course I have attended while working for HNSW."


"Presenters knew/actually practiced what they were delivering!"

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Try Our App-Based Team Building Events!

"Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress and working together is success." Henry Ford

Thinking of a team building event? Want something a bit different to the norm that people can have fun doing but still imparts some useful learning that can be applied back in the workplace?

One of our most popular options is our smart-phone app-based Social Scavenger Team Building & Team Development program. It’s innovative, fun, highly agile and adaptable with great practical learning that can be applied back in the real world workplace.

“Best team building day I’ve ever done – and I’ve done a few of these in the 20 or so years we’ve been doing them, I can tell you!” Manager & Team Member, NSW Government

The challenges appear relatively simple... however, they’re specifically designed incorporating the principles of neuroscience to bring out all of the team’s dynamics and behaviours in a non-threatening, mildly competitive gamified environment (we can make it very competitive if really want us to!).

The challenges are designed to involve and engage every team member and are tailored to every level of ability. We adapt the challenges specifically to the team, and the environment.

We do things a little differently and also get an experienced Team Facilitator / Team Coach to observe the teams undertaking the challenges then run a short debrief after each set of events to discuss what people did well, what they could improve on, and to relate this back to how the learning and insights can be applied back in the workplace.

It can be run in a normal training room type space, depending on group size and objectives, or we can expand it to encompass a local indoor/outdoor area, or even a local neighbourhood for a really adventurous program! We find most clients use it in an in-house, internal environment.

The challenges are completed by uploading a photo or short video before the team moves on to the next challenge. After the event we compile all the photos and videos taken on the day and put together a short montage to send out to the team a week or so after the event. This adds an extra and ongoing bonding aspect for the team back in the workplace.

We've often run this as a ½ day event as a fun but highly practical and useful team bonding event leading into an afternoon of team coaching, general team development, intensive strategic facilitation or team planning etc., as it brings out a lot of learning and brings the team together.

Of course, it can also be a stand-alone ½ day to improve general team performance, develop and improve trust, or simply for great team bonding and a bit of fun and relaxation!

All of our team building, team coaching and facilitation assignments are always specifically tailored to the organisation’s express requirements, and we like a little bit of a challenge! We can deliver a variety of options depending on the outcomes required and professional needs and levels of participants, and can customise and design programs to a client’s requirements.

Our fully customised team planning, team development and strategic facilitation programs, which often follow a morning of our Social Scavenger team building, involve a unique, facilitator-led, highly interactive methodology that tracks and records actions and outcomes to be applied back in the workplace.

To discuss your requirements or simply to find out more information, give us a call on 61 (0)2 7901 5618, email us at

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Executive Coaching - 19 Aug 2016

"A manager provides solutions to people's problems. A coaching leader develops people's thinking to empower people to solve problems for themselves."

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Four in a Row! Excellence in Business Ethics Awards 2016

We are very proud to announce that for the 4th year running Southern Cross Coaching & Development are Regional Finalists for the Excellence in Business Ethics award, run by the NSW Business Chamber (for the NE Sydney region)!

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Writing to Targeted Questions - Job Application Top Tips

In this article we are talking about answering Targeted Questions in a 1-2 page covering letter, in line with the NSW Government GSE Act 2013 changes - but the same principles apply for any limited length application (or any application for that matter) be it NSW/Local/Federal Government or Private Sector.

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Looking for something a bit different for your next Team Building Offsite?

Looking for an interactive and enjoyable Team Building Day that gets results?

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