Dr. Marcia Ruben Shares Expertise on Neuroscience and Leadership at Worldwide Event

Dr. Marcia Ruben shared her expertise in two “Ask the Doc” panels at the second-annual Conversational Intelligence® graduation program in New York City on July 22. Ruben is Chair of GGU’s Management Department and the 2016-2018 Recipient of the Russell T. Sharpe Professorship. The event was attended by 380 educators, executive coaches, and business leaders either in person or through streaming video.

Dr. Ruben has given presentations, taught, and written in her Leadership Tangles blog on the link between neuroscience and leadership. She has incorporated the latest scientific knowledge about the biological basis for leadership behavior in five GGU courses: Management and Leadership; Personal Leadership; Teamwork in Organizations; Executive Coaching; and Leadership Theory, Research, and Application. Since being certified in Conversational Intelligence® in 2016, she has embedded some of its concepts and tools in these courses. Ruben says: “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.”

Left to right: Dr. Richard D. Glaser, Judith Glaser, and Dr. Maria Ruben

Judith Glaser, who created the Conversational Intelligence® certification, invited Dr. Ruben to join the advisory team of her organization and speak at the 2017 graduation ceremony. Dr. Ruben and Dr. Debra Pearce-McCall (who co-authored The Neurochemistry of Power Conversations with Ruben) consulted with Glaser to create a Whole Brain Simulation exercise that took place at the event. Dr. Ruben took a lead role in designing a pre- and post- survey to measure the effectiveness of the simulation. Graduates of the certification program broke into pairs, each representing a part of the brain, and discussed how their part functions and communicates with other brain regions. The group then picked a triggering event – for example, announcing a layoff – and simulated how each part of the brain would react. Participants found the exercise beneficial in learning more about how the brain responds in challenging situations. Ruben says the most important takeaway for participants is learning how to regulate their stress to have more productive conversations.

At the core of all the courses I design or teach are techniques for managers and leaders to create a sense of safety so that they can bring out the best in their people.

—Marcia Ruben, Ph.D.

Dr. Ruben will collaborate on the analysis and write up of the survey she co-designed to access the learning outcomes of the Whole Brain Simulation experience. She is also working on a new and expanded version of her article, Know your Brain, Grow your Leadership, which appears on her Leadership Tangles Blog.

Dr. Ruben is the recipient of the 2016-2018 Russell T. Sharpe Professorship. She is focusing her efforts on identifying the most recent and relevant empirical research to include in GGU’s graduate-level management courses, as well as conducting research that will further enhance the teaching of neuroscience and leadership. Dr. Ruben will be conducting an experiential “Neurowalkaround” with GGU students in December 2017 and gathering data on its effectiveness for current and future leaders.

You can follow Dr. Ruben on Twitter at @TangleDoctor.


About Marcia Ruben, Ph.D.

Marcia Ruben Ph.D. began teaching full-time at Golden Gate University in 2012 and was appointed to the Chair of the Management Department at GGU in 2014. She is president of Ruben Consulting Group, Ltd. and has expertise in executive leadership, team performance, change management, and organizational development. Marcia earned the Certified Management Consultant designation from the Institute of Management Consultants USA in 2002. She is also an accredited executive coach and completed a year-long evidence-based coaching certification program. Marcia earned the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) designation from the International Coach Federation in 2010. Marcia earned her Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University and is currently working on a book based on her doctoral research. She earned an M.A. in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University and an M.S. in Counseling from California State University, Hayward. Marcia graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. from University of California, Berkeley. She has co-authored several articles that are recognized as thought-leaders in the change management and coaching industry.

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