As an internationally recognized thought leader in leadership and learning, Dr. Britt Andreatta brings over 25 years of experience in helping people and organizations rise to their potential. She is an accomplished presenter and keynote speaker, acclaimed for creating experiences that engage, educate and entertain. She has received over 10 million views worldwide of her courses on Lynda.com and LinkedIn Learning. Titles include The Neuroscience of Learning, Creating a Culture of Learning Organizational Learning & Development, Leading Change, Having Difficult Conversations, Leading with Emotional Intelligence. A highly sought-after speaker, Britt presents at international conferences and her sessions are frequently voted “best of the conference.”
This June, we look forward to having Dr. Andreatta as one of our keynote speakers at BridgeCon, THE employee development conference. In the meantime, we chatted with her about her career, the best manager she’s ever had, skills for the future of work, and more.
Q: What was your very first job?
BA: Even as a kid, I had an entrepreneurial spirit. When I was 11, I started my own business. My mom and I lived in a huge apartment complex just outside of town. I realized a lot of people wanted to get the town newspaper but might not have time to pick it up, so I started my own subscription business. For a monthly fee, I would bring the weekly paper to their door. I made a nice profit and learned all about customer service, keeping track of orders, and even having to work when I didn’t feel up to it. Good lessons for a 5th grader.
My second job was cool, too. I worked at a marine mammal rescue center. My job was to take care of the octopi, feed the orphaned seal pups, play with the orcas between shows, and give talks on local marine life. It was very fun, and I loved it. It definitely was the start of my love for teaching and public speaking.
Q: Who was the best manager you’ve ever had? What made them so great?
BA: I have been fortunate to have several good managers over the course of my career. They are all very different from each other and I think that’s because I needed different things at different points in my development. That is actually the hallmark of a great manager—they tune in to each individual employee and adjust to meet that person where they are at. They also see what you’re capable of, even when you can’t see it yourself, and nudge you (sometimes a shove is necessary) in the right direction. Those great managers taught me a lot and I tried to infuse those lessons into how I managed others as well as the management training programs I created.
Q: What are three skills that are important for the future of work?
BA: That’s easy.
Emotional intelligence (EQ) always has been and will always be the biggest differentiator of top performers. People are at the heart of every organization or business in the form of employees, leaders, customers, and clients. And that’s why investment in EQ training yields such huge ROI benefits.
Next, I would say that our modern world demands adaptability because change is happening at such a fast pace. But the kicker is that biologically, we are wired to resist change. So, creating successful change requires a deep understanding of how to get people onboard and moving them through that natural resistance more effectively.
Finally, I would say that understanding how humans are wired as a species is critical for all kinds of important issues. I started looking into neuroscience for my own curiosity and what I found changed every aspect of how I do my work. I started sharing what I was learning and it’s now the basis for my research, books, and presentations. Most of today’s workplace challenges are because we try to force people to go against their biology, something that has not changed much in 200,000 years of human existence. I have found that brain science in particular brings insights that create measurable shifts in all kinds of metrics that matter.
Q: What motivates you in your career? Why?
BA: My tagline is really my mission statement: I help people and organizations rise to their potential. This has always been my greatest motivator and is the golden thread that runs through all of my various jobs and careers. It has gotten more focused in recent years and now I firmly believe that what helps us the most is understanding how humans are wired as a species. I love doing the research (I totally geek out on it) and then synthesizing the science into accessible information people can use right away. I also love building training programs that drive real behavior change. I recently rolled out my brain science-based manager training for a national construction firm and it was so gratifying to hear all the comments because these managers were seeing significant shifts not only at work but in their personal lives as well. I feel blessed to get paid to do this work.
Q: What is one thing you wished you knew or learned before you started your career? Why?
BA: That everything unfolds exactly as it should so if something is not working out, it might just be that it’s not the right time. I am someone who makes things happen and while that has been a good quality, I didn’t always realize that when I was beating my head against a wall it was because I was supposed to turn my focus to something else. I slowly learned that lesson and now I really pay attention to when things are “in flow.” That’s when I know I am on the right path. Life is now much easier and more enjoyable!
Want to hear more from Dr. Britt Andreatta? Register now for BridgeCon (June 2 – 4 in Park City, Utah) and join us!