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It’s Monday morning and you’re on your way into the office.  As you travel up in the lift, you have a quick glance at your emails and see there’s an important issue for a key client that needs to be dealt with urgently. You’re about to go to a meeting so you forward the email to Jane, one of your reports, asking her to deal with it in your absence. Jane is your “go to” person in these kinds of situations – you like her style and you know you can trust her to do a good job. This has been borne out by your experience of her.  She’s never let you down.

How much of your conscious brain did you use when deciding to delegate this task to Jane?  The answer is, significantly less than you probably think.

In fact, neuroscientists have found that less than 1% of our brain’s processing is conscious.  This means that the majority of our day to day decision making is automatic and unconscious. Our brains create algorithms and shortcuts, relying on biases, stereotypes, assumptions and “gut feel” to guide us in our daily social interactions.  The impact of this, in the case of Jane, is that she has been given this development opportunity and her colleagues have not.  If it’s a one-off, no big deal.  But it rarely is.  Most likely, her manager will continue to favour her, unconsciously, in day to day social interactions and task allocation.  So when the next critical project needs to be allocated, who will her manager choose?

In this practical and discussion-based session we will be exploring how you make decisions – both ‘level 1’ (day to day, social decisions) and ‘level 2’ (critical and often career enhancing decisions).  Crucially, we will reflect on the impact of these decisions on the values that many companies aspire to embed into their workplace cultures – for example, respect, inclusion, innovation, trust and accountability. We will also share a tool to help guide you to making decisions more consciously.

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