10 August 2012,


USING brain power to improve business opportunities is just simple commonsense.

That’s the view of Gold Coast’s Sonia McDonald (pictured), who has founded a new leadership and talent consulting company, LeadershipHQ, that uses neuroscience to build brand and boardroom confidence.

“By truly understanding and appreciating our brain, it's incredible how effective and insightful we can be in terms of all aspects of our lives,’’ says McDonald, who recently added a Diploma of the Neuroscience of Leadership to her 21 years of experience in the human resources and training industry.

McDonald says her methods aim to help individuals and organisations fulfil their potential through better understanding how the human brain functions at individual, team and systemic levels.

“Cutting-edge research in neuroscience provides insight into how we deal with change, decision making, self-regulation and stress etcetera, which are all crucial areas when it comes to leadership qualities.

“In effect it's actually like rewiring the brain,’’ she says.

McDonald is her own case study in the art of retraining her way of thinking. She grew up on the Gold Coast and graduated from Merrimac High School followed by Griffith University. After gathering industry experience across Australia, London and China, she returned to the Gold Coast five years ago.

“I had to look at my life after a number of challenges,’’ she says.

“As a busy working single mother, I developed my own leadership skills to follow my professional dreams.’’

McDonald says LeadershipHQ's programs are focused on bringing neuroscientific knowledge into the areas of leadership development, management training, change and talent management, consulting and coaching.

“I tell my clients that by improving our thinking and emotions, we become more centred and open to innovation and creativity,’’ she says.

“The focus I provide is on learning and memory, how the brain responds to change, lifting employee engagement and creativity, collaboration and finally a favourite of mine – mindfulness.

“New knowledge and learning allows people to shift their own thinking around tasks such as managing distractions and creative decision making.”

LeadershipHQ, which was founded in May, has already provided assistance to leading organisations such as accommodation provider Mantra Group, and construction clients TrackStar Alliance and Ostwald Bros.






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