Brain-Based Boss

People engagement expert Terry Williams talks about how to get better buy-in.
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Welcome to the webpage of the Brain-Based Boss PodCast. You can subscribe for free at iTunes Check out the books at

Jul 17, 2019

Pattern recognition, recency and familiarity biases can impact our perceptions and responses. If you're hiring a librarian and the applicant doesn't look like your preconceived notion of what a librarian looks like, does that impact your assessment of them? If your high school bully was named Toby, does that affect your impressions of other Tobys you meet later? On average it does. Don't be average.

Apr 11, 2019

The odds are very high that any people you’re leading, and from whom you’re trying to get buy-in for change, have had leaders like you try it with them before. On average, it’s likely that those previous efforts and results have not been great. Overt and obvious opposition is easy to spot and you're compelled to actively deal with it but how do you spot and proactively manage those that don't actively oppose change but 'drag the chain'?

Nov 20, 2017

Practical things a frontline leader can do to make a difference in the motivational levels of your people. The thing about behaviour change is that you can’t do it for them, nor can you always be around when the going gets tough. For those people doing the actual moving towards behaviour change, they need to:

• want to do it, 
• think they need to do it, 
• think they can do it, and 
• think they should do it now.

The combination of all those conditions is what we label ‘motivated’. What can you do to make that more likely to happen? This webinar gives you a buffet of tools & techniques to make that easier.

The Presenter is Terry Williams is an expert, author and motivational speaker on engaging people. A trainer and facilitator for over 25 years, he’s also a columnist in ‘Employment Today’ magazine. His book ‘The Brain-Based Boss’ takes psychological research and breaks it down, to make it interesting and useful for people wanting to improve their performance and engage the people they work with. His new book ‘Getting Better Buy-In’ provides techniques for frontline leaders to nudge their teams towards behaviour change. Terry is also a professional stand-up comedian, performing in several NZ International Comedy Festivals. More at

Nov 1, 2017

Our longevity, health, quality of life and personal productivity are due 30% to luck and 70% to our choices and behaviours. What are 10 choices we can make, any one of which would actually diminish our odds of decline or disaster? How wrong are we when it comes to estimating where our problems will occur?

Oct 24, 2017

What are the habits of those who do live longer and remain happy and meaningfully productive for longer? What are the signs to watch out for that maybe now is the time to start taking control rather than continue to rely on your body's and mind's good luck? What clues are there that the fad you're reading about is snake-oil quackery?

Oct 18, 2017

“Sleep is a waste of time.” – Thomas Edison (Inventor of the lightbulb, possibly the single item most responsible for messing up our Circadian Rhythms.)


Though researchers don’t know the exact mechanism, it seems that chronic lack of sleep causes inflammation, elevates blood pressure and heart rate, and affects glucose levels, leading to a much higher stroke risk in the sleep-deprived. Sleep increases the ability of the four main healthy lifestyle habits (a healthy diet, exercise, moderate alcohol consumption and not smoking) to protect the body against cardiovascular disease.

So, what can we do...?

Oct 10, 2017

Poor sleep can increase your risk of a stroke by 400%. Ineffective sleep makes you less productive immediately, not at 3pm the next day. If you pour red bull into your laptop, it doesn't work as well. The same goes for your body and brain.

Aug 23, 2017

Much time, effort and expense is wasted on hiring the wrong people. Job interviews are critically important, yet the vast majority of people conducting job interviews have received zero training at job interviewing. Here is a walk-through a simple but consistently effective approach to conducting job interviews, either solo or as part of a panel. From defining the role to drafting effective and purposeful questions to the mechanics of the face-to-face interactions to the post-interview work - this ep lays it out for you. And there's a handy tip sheet too.

Sep 4, 2015

People with strong connections to their future selves make better decisions. In the absence of time travel technology like the Terminator movies, how can we generate such connections?

Aug 24, 2015

A half dozen or so studies on how physical space influences behaviour, decisions and relationships.

Aug 17, 2015

When we start a job, how accepting are we of the way things are done around here? Where's the challenge or validation of things that may have lost their point or been surpassed?

Aug 10, 2015

A quick snapshop of a couple of studies on how our behaviuour can be nudged by others through small positive actions.

Aug 3, 2015

A few tips and techniques on getting the right amount of sleep consistently and optimising its quality, plus a breakdown on some consequences longterm for not doing so :-(

Jul 27, 2015

I talk about debriefing in a training context then a workplace context, plus recommend an HBR article by Doug Sundheim.

Jul 20, 2015

Some thinking around the inter-relationships and conflicts between social norms and marketing norms when it comes to influencing the behaviour of others.


Click here for my book 'The Brain-Based Boss' and more interesting psych studies.

Jul 13, 2015

Short n sweet - a quick story about a quirky psych study showing how we perceive that others take far more notice of us than they actually do.


Click here for more on my book 'The Brain-Based Boss' and more interesting psych studies.

Jul 6, 2015

What is a 'shift worker'? Is a tired employee 'fit for work'?

Click here for my book 'Live Work Love' and more on fatigue.

Jun 29, 2015

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. What tricks do our lazy brains pull on us and others? How can we prevent or lessen these, or, how can we leverage these to our advantage?

Jun 22, 2015

Continuing on from the last episode, we look at the criteria by which we assess our past jobs and provide a tool with which we can steer towards future jobs.

Recommending this book by Chris Johnson: 

Jun 15, 2015

My responses and reactions to a speaker I MC'd at a conference last week who spoke about career planning. What jobs are coming and going? Too many of us too often think about our careers and ask, "What next?" A smarter road is to ask, "Where to?"


I recommend Chris Johnson's book available at:

Jun 8, 2015

Following up last week's episode about how our brains fill in the gaps and make up memories, this episode gives a great case study, suggests some solutions and there's a neat optical illusion activity to prove our actual blind spots.

Jun 4, 2015

We often miss things. We often remember things that never were. We are very reluctant to believe that we miss things or remember things that never were. Memories are less like CCTV footage and more like all of us being directors of reboots / reimaginings of our lives.

May 4, 2015

In this episode, I look at several pieces of research around the illusion of familiarity and how evolution and experience has shaped us into preferring the safety of the familiar and distrusting the novel. This impacts on people in the workplace - the aversion to change in many and the errors people make in perceiving patterns in randomness. A higher performing workplace culture builds into its processes self-correction and the challenging of assumptions. How can we tweak our workplace cultures to be more like that?

Apr 27, 2015

Gladwell drew a lot of attention to the notion of expertise requiring 10,000 hours. In this podcast, I talk about the original researcher, the very narrow application of the theory, and the set of practical steps anyone can apply for themselves and those they lead (as long as you're really keen and passionate about what performance you're trying to improve.).

Apr 20, 2015

We might imagine that a tremendously positive workplace envrionment is a productive place to work. Research shows that a totally positive workplace isn't as productive as you might think. There's a place for negativity in proportion. How can we, individually and in teams, see things and behaviours as they actually are and critique them? 

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