Leaders say right things at right time
Leaders Say Right Things At Right Time. A new study has recently revealed that great leaders sync their brain activity with the followers during...
In the process of communication, the relationship between leaders and their followers develops spontaneously according to new research from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig and the State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning and IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research in Beijing.
When a member becomes the group leader, the leader's brain activity in the left temporo-parietal junction, known as representing others' mental states, begins to synchronize with that in the same area of their followers. Based on interpersonal neural synchronization, the researchers were even able to predict who would emerge as leader of a group, and when.
The findings also suggested that interpersonal neural synchronization was more likely due to the communication skills of the leader and less likely due to how much they speak. Thus, in a group of peers, the individual who says the right things at the right time usually emerges as the leader.
Ideally, leaders and followers cooperate with each other, and the mutual benefits outweigh any negative effects suffered by competition. Although researchers have theoretically suggested that neural synchronization between leaders and followers was important for leader emergence, there was little empirical evidence supporting this perspective.
The results showed that the brains of the group members subconsciously made a decision even before the end of the discussion. During the discussion, the left temporo-parietal junction in the brains of the group members began to become active in unison with that of the leader. Interpersonal neural synchronization between members in this brain region even made it possible to predict who will emerge as leader of a group and when such a leader will emerge.
In the study, verbal communication induced stronger neural synchronization than the non-verbal communication. The overriding significance of verbal communication might be a unique human characteristic.
Neural synchronization occurs in both directions but it was more pronounced from leader to followers. However, language areas in the brain did not synchronies during the experiments.