Podcast #107

John Molidor – Communication, neuroscience, and labels

“Relationships are understanding that your experiences are very different than mine”

John Molidor

Dr. John B. Molidor, CSP, is a Professor Emeritus at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine with a strong interest in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral health, who works with individuals to make more effective decisions, lead others, and live their lives fully. He is a Past President of the National Speakers Association (NSA) and the Global Speakers Federation (GSF) and is the most recent recipient of the Cavett Award from NSA.

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Reflection option 1 (I know I’m sort of putting words in your mouth about a sensitive topic on this one, but this is something I genuinely think about so it is coming from an authentic place) The brain being stuck in its ways at 25 seems like such a young age to me. I didn’t come out as gay until I was in my mid-30s, and at that point I was thinking about being “the other”. I wonder what could have happened to my thinking if I’d tried it in my early 20s? What sort of changes would that have had on me? I’m not saying that at 25 the record scratches and plays the same thoughts over and over, but I wonder how my values around helping others have been affected by that time difference.

Podcast Notes

Dr. John B. Molidor, CSP, is a Professor Emeritus at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine with a strong interest in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioural health. John has a wealth of experience working with individuals and leaders to make more effective decisions, lead others, and live their lives fully.

When posed the question, is leadership a relationship? John takes us back to the infant brain and how the brain seeks wiring instructions. John says that these wiring instructions come from other people, and that from the moment a person is born, they are already starting to build relationships. If we think about babies, they should be held, nurtured, and given relationship attention from birth. These early years of a human’s life are critical for the ability to have connected relationships later on.

And so, it is natural that all human beings are designed for relationships from their start of life. The arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic turned the human norm of socializing and interaction on its head and suddenly the world went into lockdown and people had to live in isolation in many senses. Almost overnight, the way we engage other human beings changed. Screens, masks, and cameras have changed the way in which we were able to connect and reach out to others.

The pandemic highlighted many important aspects of our human needs and desires and forced people to come up with different ways of staying in touch and finding those feelings of ‘belonging’ even through isolated times. Although we couldn’t physically achieve this, the importance of words and personal sharing became new ways for people to connect and experience relationships.

In life and with the remote and virtual working world in mind, John advocates that people make the time to check in and catch up with one another before or after each call – he says that if we cannot physically be together then we need to be intentional about connecting in ways that we can.

The other important factor of relationships is the visual experience that goes with it, says John. The brain is incredibly fast when interpreting visual images and making decisions.  However, today with so many organizations and teams meeting on Zoom for example, the larger the group on the call, the more we will have to process visual information. The challenge here is that with many people on the call, we are now just looking at blurry boxes on our screens and missing the visual process.

This way of engaging people in our teams is challenging for both leaders and team members. When you cannot see and experience people at face value or engage them personally in the team environment, it becomes difficult to ascertain whether the information you are exchanging is truly being received in its entirety.

With so much having changed and so fast, how should we, as leaders, be shifting our focus and frameworks to engage the people in our teams? Take a listen to John’s insightful knowledge and thoughts around leadership and relationships for today’s world in this Exponentially Me podcast.

Podcast Timed Index

00.00 leadership as a relationship
00.48 – sheltering
2.30 – facial expressions
04.11 – scanning backgrounds
06.24 – movement
08.27 – connecting online
10.40 – zoom teambuilding
14.26 family
20.30 brain development
24.46 – rewiring the brain
29.33 – them
32.15 – early memories
36.03 – tricky conversations
41.32 – rewiring the brain part 2
48.05 – intention
53.33 – changing thoughts
56.46 – differences
59.35 – environments
1.03.00 – know thyself
1.05.31 – labels
1.09.45 – perspectives
1.14.10 – monster bosses
1.17.35 – emotions and the body
1.19.35 – deliberate actions

Get in touch with John Molidor
Articles, Books or Publications by John Molidor
More quotes from John Molidor
As a leader, get to know your people.

You do need to be prepared, be prepared as a leader that sometimes what they tell you is a little bit traumatic, and it's a little bit scary, but at the same token now you know something about them.

You really need to create a safe place for people to have an open, honest dialogue.

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