First-of-its-Kind Brain Research Shows Strong Link Between Workplace Skills, Emotional Connection

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New research from TTI Success Insights has indicated undeveloped skills of which we have no opinion may be easier to develop than ones we have already attached emotions to or had some experience with.

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Through this research, we were able to see authentic, unbiased reactions to skills, which hasn’t been done before in our industry.

Our experiences, and the emotional connections tied to them, largely shape our strongest and weakest skills — from leadership and management to organization and teamwork. When a person has a negative association with a particular skill, he or she is less likely to master it in the future.

These are the latest findings of a brain imaging study released this week by TTI Success Insights (TTI SI) at the ATD Conference in Orlando, Florida. By monitoring brain reactions through gamma brain wave mapping, the researchers presented individuals with images relating to 23 highly desired soft skills in the workplace and recorded real-time brain activity. Brains registered one of three reactions: positive, neutral, or mixed and aversion.

“We concluded that the emotional baggage we carry around different skill sets is an indicator of how high our propensity is to develop those skills in a professional setting,” said Ron Bonnstetter, Ph.D., senior vice president of research and development of TTI SI and Target Training International, Ltd. “If you show an aversion to creative thinking, it will be more difficult to develop than a positive or neutral reaction. Through this research, we were able to see authentic, unbiased reactions to skills, which hasn’t been done before in our industry.”

This research will be showcased in-depth at the ATD 2015 International Conference & Exposition, a training and development conference with more than 10,000 attendees, May 17-20. ATD attendees are invited to visit Booth 1627 to learn more about the brain research findings and ways to apply it within an organization. The findings can also be found in the white paper distributed at ATD, “Uncovering Training Challenges With Brain Imaging” and available to download at A Q&A with TTI SI Chairman and Founder Bill J. Bonnstetter on ATD 2015 can be accessed by clicking here.

In addition, TTI SI Value Added Associate Lou Russell and her associate Brittney Helt will serve as featured speakers from 3 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 19 in Room W304AB on the benefits of TTI SI’s patented job benchmarking process. Attendees will learn the connection between engagement, performance and profit, and why job benchmarking drives performance results at all levels of an organization to seize market position and steer growth.

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Emily Soccorsy
since: 05/2009
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TTI Success Insights
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