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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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“It’s a tremendous opportunity to train working professionals in the Bay Area who are involved in a dynamic, diverse global economy and that’s what I love the most about teaching at GGU part-time. We have a great institution with a legacy of training working professionals and I believe in what GGU does." - Christian Teeter, leadership and international business instructor in the School of Undergraduate Studies ... See MoreSee Less

“It’s a tremendous opportunity to train working professionals in the Bay Area who are involved in a dynamic, diverse global economy and that’s what I love the most about teaching at GGU part-time. We have a great institution with a legacy of training working professionals and I believe in what GGU does. - Christian Teeter, leadership and international business instructor in the School of Undergraduate Studies

GGU is committed to serving our military veteran students. That's why we're proud to announce a $2 million commitment of support from The Helen Diller Foundation toward an ambitious initiative that will provide robust support for veterans along their entire educational pathway. Among other things, the grant will fund the establishment of a Veteran’s Center that will focus on academic, social and career success.

Learn more here: ow.ly/pUB550BzGQb
... See MoreSee Less

GGU is committed to serving our military veteran students. Thats why were proud to announce a $2 million commitment of support from The Helen Diller Foundation toward an ambitious initiative that will provide robust support for veterans along their entire educational pathway. Among other things, the grant will fund the establishment of a Veteran’s Center that will focus on academic, social and career success. 

Learn more here: http://ow.ly/pUB550BzGQb

The San Francisco Business Times reports that COVID-19 is accelerating changes that are making the MBA valuable to more diverse students. More schools are rolling out flexible and affordable programs. Women and students-of-color are opting for part-time and online programs that allow them to work, go to school, and care for their families. Experts say these trends will continue in the age of COVID-19. And among Bay Area offerings, GGU ranks in the top 10 for MBA program enrollment. 👏 🎓 ... See MoreSee Less

The San Francisco Business Times reports that COVID-19 is accelerating changes that are making the MBA valuable to more diverse students. More schools are rolling out flexible and affordable programs. Women and students-of-color are opting for part-time and online programs that allow them to work, go to school, and care for their families. Experts say these trends will continue in the age of COVID-19. And among Bay Area offerings, GGU ranks in the top 10 for MBA program enrollment. 👏  🎓

As we're reaching the end of this year's SGA Elections, our current SGA Team is hosting their last event to bring our community together. Join this event to connect with our SGA Team and enjoy the virtual fun on Zoom!
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As were reaching the end of this years SGA Elections, our current SGA Team is hosting their last event to bring our community together. Join this event to connect with our SGA Team and enjoy the virtual fun on Zoom! 
Register today: http://tinyurl.com/fall2020sgakickoff

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How to Cultivate an Entrepreneurial Spirit featuring Oranee Daniels and Shannon Sutherland is TOMORROW at 10:30AM PT. Register and join our student leaders in their conversation:
http://tinyurl.com/wibaugust
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