Plenary Session with Dr. Sian Beilock
The brain registers social pain much in the same way that it registers physical pain. This fact puts a whole new spin on how to develop teamwork. For instance, team-work exercises that help people feel more physically connected may help foster mental connectedness as well. Beilock unpacks the most recent brain science to help your group perform at its best.
Sian Beilock is the eighth President of Barnard College. Previously, Sian was a professor of psychology and Executive Vice Provost at the University of Chicago. She recently received the National Academy of Sciences 2017 Troland Research Award, an award given to young investigators in recognition of outstanding achievement within experimental psychology. Sian’s work is primarily on performance, anxiety and why people “choke” under pressure.
Her book, Choke: The Secret to Performing Under Pressure, presents the latest neuroscience and psychology on what holds us back from working at our full potential. It’s a tour of the surprising factors that can undermine our confidence and sap at crucial mental faculties. We’ve all been there. The big presentation at an all-important meeting. The final exam in a tough course. The last putt at the last hole of a tense round of golf. You’re ready: you know the material, you’ve studied the books, you’ve practiced your swing. But as you watch the partners’ expectant looks — or struggle to focus on the page — or try to read the green as your friends snicker — you fail. You fumble. You choke. Why is so hard to show our strength under the gun? Conversely, why do some people thrive under pressure? Were they just born that way? Or can chokers learn how to keep their cool? Sian is here to tell you — yes, they can.