The Neuroscience of Mentoring

The Neuroscience of Mentoring

The Neuroscience of Mentoring: Why Having Someone in Your Corner Matters


In a recent conversation with a mentor, I was struck by their words: “I firmly believe everyone needs someone solidly in their corner. That’s my role for my mentees.”

While having a personal cheerleader sounds comforting, its importance to our success runs deeper than mere encouragement.

It’s rooted in understanding the neuroscience of feedback.

Ever find yourself overly critical or witness a colleague berating themselves for a minor mistake? This isn’t just personality—it’s the negativity bias at work.

Barbara Fredrickson, a psychology professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has studied how our brains are wired to prioritize negative thoughts over positive ones. This bias evolved to help our survival by keeping us vigilant to potential threats. However, in today’s world, it often outlasts its usefulness.

Because our brains emphasize negative situations, it’s crucial to consciously notice and amplify positive experiences. This rewiring can lead to greater success.

Research consistently shows that a happy, successful life hinges on overcoming the negativity bias. Optimistic people tend to earn more, while gratitude correlates with lower depression rates. High-performing teams emphasize positives significantly more than negatives, fostering better outcomes. Additionally, those who frequently experience positive emotions are healthier overall.

This is where exceptional mentors play a pivotal role.

By being in our corner, mentors help counterbalance the negativity bias. They highlight our strengths, celebrate our successes, and redirect our focus from shortcomings to achievements. In doing so, they pave the way for our success.

Discover how having someone in your corner can reshape your perspective and elevate your achievements. Learn more about the neuroscience of mentoring and the power of positive feedback today.



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2013. Web 2 Feb. 2018.
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