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The Neuroscience of Trust, Empathy and High-Performance Teams – Kenneth Nowack

Session Description

All people have a profound need and capacity to connect with each other, including those working in organizations.  Social connections are critical for our species to address and cope with survival-related threats (real or imagined).  An important way that we cultivate social connections is through our ability to perceive the thoughts, emotions, and feelings we experience in others. Individuals who have social and emotional intelligence successfully navigate the politics inherent in organizations, better manage conflict with others at work, and sustain relationships with colleagues. 

This session describes new research on how to measure and change a key aspect of an effective company and team culture: Interpersonal trust and psychological safety.  The presenter will summarize the latest neuroscience research around interpersonal trust and its relationship to the hormone oxytocin that provides insight about the biological survival roots of unconscious bias and in-group bias. Finally, research from the presenter will explore the link between high trust teams with important employee outcomes such as retention, engagement, reduced job burnout and well-being.

Learning Objectives

LO1: Explain the association between empathy, trust, in-group bias and the hormone oxytocin

LO2: Describe the two foundational components of high trust/high performance teams

LO3: Identify four key contributors to interpersonal trust and psychological safety

Kenneth M. Nowack, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist (PSY13758) and Co-founder of Envisia Learning, Inc. ( Ken received his doctorate degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and has published extensively in the areas of 360-degree feedback, leadership, stress, coping and wellness. He is the author of two books and his latest is Clueless: Coaching People Who Just Don’t Get It (2nd Edition).  Ken serves on Daniel Goleman’s Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations and serves as Associate Editor for the American Psychological Association journal Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice & Research.


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December 06, 2018
11:00 AM PST to 12:00 PM PST
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