Beyond Resilience – the Science Behind Mental Energy and Agility – September 2018

Facilitated By: Tina Harris

We were treated to a fascinating session about our brains and how they work. In particular, we learned how we can make use of the brain’s strengths to improve learning and development, for ourselves as well as our clients.

Tina Harris of Stellar Learning provided a great model of brain-friendly learning – we had quizzes on some of the more established models, ‘pin the tail on the donkey’ to establish the key parts of the brain, and taught each other through illustrated graphs and our own mnemonics.

We focussed first on Peter Clough’s work on Mental Toughness, with his 4 Cs – Challenge, Control, Commitment, Confidence – and one of Tina’s, Creativity. Later we were to see that Challenge is about the ‘right amount’ of challenge: enough to provide a challenge and some motivation, but not so much it causes overwhelm.

Then we annotated Tina’s picture of the brain with the description and function of the some key parts – having worked it out for ourselves (with some help). We heard about how the various parts work together through neurotransmitters, how the ’emotional’ can work (or not) with the rational and how we can use that knowledge to improve the efficiency with which we can use this wonderful instrument we all have.

Finally, we looked at the conditions needed for creativity using the acronym ARIA (awareness, reflection, insight and action) – all leading to a lightbulb moment.

If you’re interested in reading further, Tina recommended two books:

  • Stella Collins, Neuroscience for learning and development
  • John Medina, Brain Rules

Tina Harris can be contacted at: or 07962 973 830.

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