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Management and Leadership students learn neuroscience in the classroom.
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Photo credit: Lorena De Benedittis
November 24, 2019 |
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Professor Uses Neuroscience to Teach Leadership Skills

Marcia Ruben, PhD, PCC, teaches soft skills that help build peak performance and emotional intelligence.  

By Jenny McKeel
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The disciplines of neuroscience and leadership appear to share little in common. But the link between the two is the research specialty of Golden Gate University Associate Professor Marcia Ruben, a leading innovator in applied neuroscience and leadership who serves as the Program Director of MS Leadership and chair of the Management department.

Dr. Ruben has incorporated the latest research about the biological basis for leadership principles—ideas now trending at corporate leadership seminars—into MBA and MS Leadership courses.

“Leaders who are aware of the neurochemistry of social interaction are better able to regulate themselves, lower defensiveness, and bring everyone’s best thinking and ideas to the table,” said Ruben.

Feedback and Teamwork Skills

Ruben introduces students to scientific evidence that shows how the brain responds to feedback and teamwork environments. Students then practice facilitating teamwork and giving feedback that brings out optimal performance in others—using research-based techniques. In other courses, Ruben incorporates a framework that looks at the brain’s wiring to pick up environmental threats and rewards as well as unconscious habits and biases people have–all based on neuroscience.


Students in an executive coaching class learn the neuroscience of feedback.
Photo credit: Lorena De Benedittis

“The leadership courses at GGU have been so impactful,” said MBA student Simon Lee. “I’ve learned about different leadership styles, how to work on teams, how to build trust, resolve conflicts, and build contingency plans. Learning how to give and receive feedback helped me to see the skills I need to develop. These courses have built my confidence and given me direction.”

Self-Confident Leaders

Dr. Ruben says the neuroscience-based curriculum helps produce self-confident, better equipped leaders with strong teamwork and feedback skills that give them a leg up in terms of leading organizations.

“In every class I learn something that applies to my workplace, which my employers have really appreciated and enjoyed,” said MS Leadership student Christine York, who works in the biotech industry as a process improvement and program manager. “They ask me what I’ve learned in class and want to test on them. The classes and the models we learn—I am able to take all that back and create training and development for leaders in my company. That’s a huge benefit.”

 

3 Comments

  • Beau Crowley says:

    Dr. Ruben’s leadership courses are truly transformational.
    #Best in the business!

    MBA2019

  • Jan Newman says:

    Just read your post and found it very interesting…some of which I have used in facilitating focus groups in the past! Hope to see you in the new year!

  • Avram Grossman says:

    Who we are as individuals is very much a neurobiological balance that we can learn to master. It helps us to be patient, understanding, compassionate and centered. Dr. Ruben knows this very secret and teaches it to others so effectively.

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On the last day of Black History Month, we’re continuing to honor GGU’s own Black History in the Making. Greg Hodge, JD ’85, is a highly regarded community leader, social change activist, and organizational development consultant. His work focuses on the conditions and aspirations of boys and men of color and making racial equity actionable in organizations.

“I think Black History Month is really important, but I would want my new grandchild to not believe that February is the only month in the year when she’s supposed to learn about her history,” said Greg. “I want to impart that she’s supposed to know her history and the history of Indigenous Peoples, the Latinx community, the history of the Irish and Italians, the history of everybody as much as you can in the country to understand where the economic disparity and mistrust began.”

Read Greg’s story: ow.ly/zXKk50DM1In
... See MoreSee Less

On the last day of Black History Month, we’re continuing to honor GGU’s own Black History in the Making. Greg Hodge, JD ’85, is a highly regarded community leader, social change activist, and organizational development consultant. His work focuses on the conditions and aspirations of boys and men of color and making racial equity actionable in organizations.

“I think Black History Month is really important, but I would want my new grandchild to not believe that February is the only month in the year when she’s supposed to learn about her history,” said Greg. “I want to impart that she’s supposed to know her history and the history of Indigenous Peoples, the Latinx community, the history of the Irish and Italians, the history of everybody as much as you can in the country to understand where the economic disparity and mistrust began.”

Read Greg’s story: http://ow.ly/zXKk50DM1In

6 days ago

Golden Gate University

Thinking about going back to school to finish your undergrad degree or start a master's program? There are a lot of work-school-life balance things to consider when making that decision.

Every other Friday Assistant Dean, Liam Anderson, will go live to address your questions and topics such as:
++ fears about not being cut out for college and/or not being able to do well
++ being out of school for too long
++ fear that family, friends, employers won't support you
++ concerns about investing time and money in yourself
++ and more
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Pla tell me about PhD opportunities at Golden Gate University

Ok and wht about teaching opportunities

Hi from Pakistan 🇵🇰

What about felicitation ceremony for spring 2021 graduates

I have a good profile with 8 years plus teaching experience with a Masters degree in Innovation Management from UK. Good research background . My intentions are to teach in U.S.A. Y not start at Golden Gate University. Need guidance to apply as faculty. Pls

What kind of scholarships are available?

We can hear you!

What time management tips do you have?

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We continue to celebrate Black History Month by honoring GGU’s own Black History in the Making. We're proud of Robert Shoffner's rich history with GGU as director of MBA programs, director of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Program, adjunct professor, and EMBA alum. He also served as director of the San Mateo Small Business Development Center and enjoyed a long career in financial services.

“I believe passionately in small business and I’m concerned with the outsized impact of the pandemic on minority businesses," Robert says. “Forty percent of Black businesses that were here last year are no longer here. I want to see those businesses survive and thrive because they are so important to their communities. If you’re going to have strong communities you have to have strong small businesses.”
... See MoreSee Less

We continue to celebrate Black History Month by honoring GGU’s own Black History in the Making. Were proud of Robert Shoffners rich history with GGU as director of MBA programs, director of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Program, adjunct professor, and EMBA alum. He also served as director of the San Mateo Small Business Development Center and enjoyed a long career in financial services.

“I believe passionately in small business and I’m concerned with the outsized impact of the pandemic on minority businesses, Robert says. “Forty percent of Black businesses that were here last year are no longer here. I want to see those businesses survive and thrive because they are so important to their communities. If you’re going to have strong communities you have to have strong small businesses.”
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