GGU Professor Leads First-Time NeuroStroll™ Exercise

As part of GGU’s recent seminar series, Professor Marcia Ruben (pictured above, standing) led an experiential exercise called a NeuroStroll™. She created the exercise – conducted for the first time – to help current and future leaders to identify and strengthen the parts of the brain and mind that contribute to success. Dr. Ruben has given presentations and taught about the link between neuroscience and leadership, as well as writing about the subject on her Leadership Tangles blog. The seminar, titled “Know your Brain; Boost Your Effectiveness,” was co-facilitated by Dr. Debra Pearce-McCall, who co-authored The Neurochemistry of Power Conversations with Dr. Ruben.

MBA student Yulee Kim-Whetstone volunteered at the event.

Attendees identified a personal development goal such as building confidence in making a presentation, running a meeting, speaking up when they disagree, being more direct, networking in a room of strangers, or showing empathy to others. Next, they visited a series of stations representing the acronym S.T.R.O.L.L: Sensing, Thinking, Regulating, Orienting, Lasting, and Leading Yourself. Each station was led by a volunteer student, who participated in a pre-training just prior to the exercise.

At the “T = Thinking” station

Participants completed pre-survey and a post-survey, contributing to data on the NeuroStroll’s effectiveness for current and future leaders.

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.

—Marcia Ruben, Ph.D.


Dr. Ruben’s Teaching

Dr. Ruben is an Associate Professor, Chair of GGU’s Management Department, and the 2016-2018 Recipient of the Russell T. Sharpe Professorship. She has incorporated the latest scientific knowledge about the biological basis for leadership behavior in five GGU courses: Management and LeadershipPersonal LeadershipTeamwork in OrganizationsExecutive Coaching; and Leadership Theory, Research, and Application.

If you are interested in the issues raised by the NeuroStroll, you can look for the article, Know Your Brain, Grow Your Leadership, which appears on her Leadership Tangles blog. You can follow Dr. Ruben on Twitter at @TangleDoctor.


More 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 was awarded the Judith E. Browning Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2015. She was awarded the 2016-2018 Russell T. Sharpe Research Professorship. In 2017, she was promoted to an Associate Professor. Marcia continues a private executive leadership development practice. 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. 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. Her article, Untangling Conflicting Organizational Agendas: Applying Emotional Regulation, SCARF, and Other Neuroleadership Principles to a Case Study, was published in the 2015 Neuroleadership Journal.

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