Friday, June 10, 2016

Eyes of the Beholders: Using Neuro-Management to Achieve Executive Buy-in

Michael Cooper, Founder, Innovators + Influencers

Whether you have a seat at the executive table or not, getting your point across and framing competitive intelligence insights and recommendations to achieve executive buy-in requires careful thought and consideration of your audience. Neuro-management allows you to communicate directly to people’s brains, by-passing their personalities, and addressing their resistance to change based on their attention span, information need and resistance.


  • A neuroscience framework
  • A template for communicating with each brain type and teams that include all four brain types to eliminate confusion and manage individual perceptions and goals for growth and progress
  • Proven best practices and lessons learned from real world application of neuro-management
Are you frustrated that your ideas are not listened to by senior colleagues or management? Perhaps that is because you’re not hitting the points that they want to hear. Executives get to their position by working hard to get there. And it’s worthwhile to note that most executives are the Controller manager type -- motivated by control, results, and looking good to others. They want to do the right thing for their stock holders.

Presenter Michael Cooper has created a template for communicating with each brain type and team to eliminate confusion and manage individual perceptions and goals for growth and progress which he shared with the participants.

The four brain types are:

  • Controller + Manager: 15% of population, 70% of executives
    • Thrives on management and competition, control and results. Loves to look good, hates losing control, autocratic and challenges control choices. They also have the shortest attention span.
  • Innovator + Influencer: 15% of population
    • Focused on growth and adaption, flexibility and recognition impact, can have a lack of respect, seeks recognition, approval and popularity.
  • Nurturer + Harmonizer: 35% of population
    • Peace and harmony are important to this brain type. They love being included, having close relationships and being helpful. They don’t like to be excluded and will often acquiesce.
  • Analyzer + Systemizer: 35% of population, 7% of CEOs
    • Building and maintaining an orderly foundation is key to this type. They favor preparation, accuracy and security. They don’t like to be wrong and value quality and excellence.  They have the longest attention span.


Benefits of neruo-management include having the ability to:

  • Communicate directly to people’s brains
  • Force people to pay attention
  • Satisfy their information needs
  • Trigger motivators, avoid irritators
  • Bypass “personalities”- a motivator that drives decisions
  • Align the information with their attention span length
  • The information must correlate with the person’s attention span
  • Adapt to “type”–you cannot clearly covey an idea if the pitch is too long for some types


How to get your point across to different brain types:

  • The first rule is that you must be able to communicate and adjust for your audience. The way to get sales is to communicate the value of the product to others
  • The real problem is most analyzer + systemizers, and executives are controller + manager
    • Prognostic framing- offers a solution and how it will be implemented
    • Diagnostic framing- this is the problem but don’t tell them what to do about it
    • Motivational framing- what we need to do and have a call to action
  • Many executives are tired, run-down, and won’t have time to address the problem or they may want you to say “here are the actions we should take” but you only give them one option- they push back and start brainstorming. They want choices. Without choices 50% of the time you won’t get what you want


You must understand the value of framing. Framing is important because it gives you the ability to talk to different brain types successfully. In order to successfully do this you must:

  1. Identify your audience brain type
  2. Recognize what’s important
  3. Frame your message to get their attention
  4. Trigger emotion, use metaphor and story
  5. Sell the end result or the absence of it
Question and answer snapshot:
Are all executives one type of brain type?

Most people are a mix or about two but one type is normally dominant. People have traits of multiple types but you can always pinpoint the dominant type

Do you have any tips for a new boss with an ADD/controlling personality who is quick to make decisions? How would you learn to not say so much?

70% of people end up in relationships with opposite brain types. You must be able to communicate what you need to do and when you need to do it then STOP. Most controller-managers will ask questions if they’re not sure about something. They confer a significant amount of trust and respect automatically

What if you have a leader that has an opposite brain type executive that goes to them for advice?

Get close with the other brain type. Get to know the person to get them on your side so when the executive talks to them then they can agree.

What do you recommend when talking to analyzer + systemizer and controller + manager?

Tell data in 3 portions- supporting information, full rational, the information. Present in sections so people can ask questions then move forward

The biggest issue in communicating with people is that you must be able to trigger their specific brain type. If you are not able to convey the information to their brain then you will not be able to get your point across and they will not listen to important points.

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