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Internationally-renowned neuroscientist and biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher is a pioneer in the biology of human personality and the neurochemistry of leadership. Named a TED All-Star and one of “the 15 most amazing women in science today” by Business Insider, Dr. Fisher has given the world a new way to look at relationships and “corporate chemistry.” Her groundbreaking research has shown how understanding the biology behind personality styles can be used to build teams and corporate boards, advertise, innovate, and succeed at work.
The Chief Scientific Advisor for Match.com, Dr. Fisher has developed The Fisher Temperament Inventory. Taken by over 14 million people in 40 countries, the Inventory is the first and only personality questionnaire built from and validated by neuroscience (using fMRI brain scanning). Her discovery of the four basic biological styles of thinking and behaving — Explorer, Builder, Director, and Negotiator — represents the biggest leap in personality tools in the last 100 years.
Dr. Fisher is the Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer of NeuroColor, a revolutionary business consulting and training firm. Her work reveals how to recognize and influence each personality style, increasing the effectiveness of teams and improving our understanding of how individuals collaborate, resolve conflict, sell, innovate, and lead.
Along with her concept of the four thinking styles, Fisher’s research from NeuroColor was profiled in Harvard Business Review’s 2017 March-April issue, The New Science of Teamwork, and in the 2017 book, The Leading Brain: Powerful Science-Based Strategies for Achieving Peak Performance by Hans W. Hagemann and Friederike Fabritus.
A consultant for Procter & Gamble and American Express, Dr. Fisher helped VISA understand card usage data and Deloitte University create stronger customer services. She has addressed audiences at Fortune, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, The World Economic Forum, SXSW, The Economist’s Ideas Economy, and the G-20. She has delivered three TED Talks, which have been viewed by more than 12 million people worldwide.
A Senior Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute and an Anthropologist at Rutgers University, Dr. Fisher is the most referenced scholar in the field of love and relationships in the world today. A documentary film based on her work, Sleepless in New York, premiered in April 2014. She has written five bestsellers on the neuroscience behind human social behavior, including Why Him? Why Her? and the 1994 classic Anatomy of Love, which was released in a second edition in February 2016.
In addition to appearing on 20/20, Charlie Rose, and The Colbert Report, her articles have appeared in The Huffington Post, Frontiers in Psychology, and Newsweek, where she examined the leadership styles of Presidential nominees.
Corporate Chemistry: How Different People Think and Work
Neuroscientist and biological anthropologist Helen Fisher distinguishes four broad styles of thinking and behaving, based on the brain systems for dopamine, serotonin, testosterone and estrogen/oxytocin. Using the Fisher Temperament Inventory — taken by 14 million people in 40 countries and the only personality questionnaire built from and validated by neuroscience (using fMRI) — Dr. Fisher shows how knowledge of these biologically-based personality styles can be used to build teams, construct corporate boards, advertise and sell.
In “Corporate Chemistry,” Dr. Fisher gives detailed data on how to recognize and connect with each temperament type, including: what to avoid; how materials should be presented; the words and body language to employ; each type’s strongest skill set; how to recognize signs of trouble when interacting with each personality style; and how individuals of each temperament dimension are predisposed to think, work, buy, innovate, follow and lead.
Better Teams: Why Brain Biology and Diversity of Mind Make a Big Difference
For millions of years, our forebears survived by working together, in teams. With time, humanity evolved four broad styles of thinking and behaving that together make effective teams. Dr. Fisher applauds the drive to create diversity in teams by including those from different backgrounds, ethnic groups, genders and life styles. But cultural diversity is only half of the solution. The other half is brain biology — diversity of mind.
In this presentation, Fisher uses her brain scanning data (fMRI) and cross cultural research to explore four biologically-based styles of thinking and behaving associated with the dopamine, serotonin, testosterone and estrogen systems in the brain — as well as the aptitudes (and pitfalls) of each thinking style, and what each personality dimension can contribute to an effective team:
- Creative Intelligence
emanates from the dopamine system and contributes outside-the-box thinking, risk tolerance and inspiration.
- Logistical Intelligence
is associated with the serotonin system and contributes concrete ideas, careful planning and managerial expertise.
- Technical Intelligence
emanates from the testosterone system, contributing skepticism, experimental strategies and designs, and decisiveness.
- Emotional Intelligence
springs largely from the estrogen system and contributes insight, context and consensus.
Then Dr. Fisher shows how team members can best understand one another and together spark innovation and progress.
If you want to generate fresh perspectives and genuine diversity on your teams, in your think-tanks, at your conferences, on your Board, you need to look beyond cultural variations and incorporate the natural mechanism for composing teams: the biology of mind.
The Neuroscience of Innovation
The first stone tools; controlling fire; the wheel; the steam engine; the printing press; the computer: humanity has been innovating for at least two million years. Many thinkers and business leaders have focused on the “right environment” to spur innovation. However, no one discusses the biological styles of thinking and behaving that naturally stimulate innovation. Until now.
Pioneers like Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, and Richard Branson all innovate and lead in ways that stem from their different styles of thinking and behaving.
Drawing from her own innovation, the Fisher Temperament Inventory — the first and only personality questionnaire built from and validated by neuroscience (using fMRI brain scanning) — neuroscientist and biological anthropologist Dr. Fisher discusses: 1) the role of brain biology and personality in innovation; 2) the natural composition of teams; and 3) introduces four basic biological styles of thinking and behaving, each linked with one of four broad neurochemical systems in the brain: the dopamine, serotonin, testosterone and estrogen systems. She explores how each personality “type” is predisposed to innovate and suggests how to stimulate your own natural innovative style.
Explorers — Individuals primarily expressive of the traits linked with the dopamine system tend to seek novelty and tolerate risk; they are curious, energetic, spontaneous, optimistic, and mentally flexible. Explores are predisposed to “idea generation” and tactical intelligence. They are most likely to innovate with new concepts.
Builders — Individuals who primarily express the traits linked with the serotonin system tend to think concretely; they like plans, routines, schedules and traditions. They are often meticulous, rule-observing, self controlled, and modest. Builders display logistical intelligence, and they are particularly likely to invent new processes and procedures.
Directors — Individuals primarily expressive of the traits linked with testosterone tend to be experimental, direct, decisive, tough-minded, skeptical, and exacting. Directors excel at “systems thinking” and are predisposed to strategic intelligence. They are most likely to invent new technical devices.
Negotiators — Individuals primarily expressive of the traits linked with estrogen excel at verbal and people skills; they are also intuitive, imaginative, empathetic, and big picture thinkers. Negotiators are predisposed to “web thinking” and diplomatic intelligence. They are particularly likely to innovate with new services.
History is filled with innovators who fit these personality styles. From George Washington, Beethoven, and Albert Einstein to Gloria Steinem, Meg Whitman, and Bill Clinton, different styles yield different methods and results. In “The Neuroscience of Innovation,” Dr. Helen Fisher shows how you can capitalize on your own style of creativity and reach into the minds of others —to work effectively together and stimulate innovation.
Is Technology Changing Love?
Is technology changing love? Is monogamy natural? Why do we love one person rather than another? Can we remain in love long term? What is “slow love?” And where are we headed? Anthropologist Helen Fisher takes a thorough, scientific view of current social trends. She points out that the neural systems for lust, romantic love and attachment lie in primordial brain regions that will not change with modern texting and Internet dating. Technology is changing how we court, however. Fisher uses her data on over 100,000+ American singles — as well as her fMRI studies of the brain in love — to give a new, vivid and concrete perspective on hooking up, friends with benefits, living together, happiness in a long term partnership, and the transformation of human sex, love and family life associated with the rise of women in the paid labor force. She is optimistic about the future — and she defends her position with concrete data from anthropology and cutting edge neuroscience.
The Biology of Leadership
Does Barack Obama think like Abraham Lincoln? What do George Washington and Mitt Romney have in common? How about Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs, or Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump?
Some 50% of who we are stems from our temperament, our individual biology, and different types of people naturally lead in very different ways. Using data collected from her questionnaire, which has been taken by 14 million people in 40 countries, as well as her knowledge of genetics and neuroscience, Dr. Helen Fisher discusses four styles of thinking and behaving based on specific brain systems and shows how each style is predisposed to think and lead.
The Neuroscience of Advertising, Marketing, and Sales
Why do some ads make an unexpected hit while others are a flop for no apparent reason? It may well be the result of natural brain wiring. Human beings are built to think, act—and buy—in specific patterns. Neuroscientist and biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher has uncovered four broad human styles of thinking and behaving, associated with the brain systems for dopamine, serotonin, testosterone and estrogen. Her data are substantiated by her questionnaire, the Fisher Temperament Inventory, now taken by 14 million people in 40 countries and the only extant personality test constructed directly from and validated by neuroscience, using fMRI. In this speech, she discusses these personality dimensions to show how specific ads can either entice or repel each of these personality styles — as well as how to sell and market directly to the human mind.
The Female Mind: Born to Lead
Worried about the bottom line? There’s a potent resource nearby. Using her brain scanning studies (fMRI) and her questionnaire now taken by 13 million people in 40 countries, neuroscientist and biological anthropologist Helen Fisher reports that as women move into the paid workforce around the world, they bring some innate–and powerful–talents to a business climate that needs these female skills. But women vary in how they use their biologically-based capacities to lead. So Fisher dissects basic, yet profound, gender differences in the brain and behavior to show how the sexes think, act and lead differently, how different types of women naturally lead in different ways, and how women’s ancient abilities are becoming priceless assets to the modern bottom line.
Are Men and Women Wired Differently? Gender Differences in the Brain
Why can’t a man be just like a woman? Why can’t a woman be just like a man?
For her book, “The First Sex: The Natural Talents of Women and How They Are Changing the World, ”Dr. Helen Fisher has extensively studied gender differences in the brain and behavior. In this talk, Dr. Fisher explores how women’s “web thinking,” intuition, mental flexibility, long-term planning, creativity, and verbal and social skills — as well as their different views of power and leadership — create undeniable win-win strategies in business.
The NEUROSCIENCE OF Teaching & LEARNING
How do we learn? Educators and scientists have long examined the environmental conditions that spur learning; yet no one discusses the learner’s natural biological style of learning or the educator’s natural style of teaching. In this presentation, anthropologist/neuroscientist Dr. Helen Fisher discusses four basic biological styles of thinking and behaving, each linked with one of four broad neurochemical systems in the brain. She discusses how each personality “type” is predisposed to learn and shows how to stimulate their educational attainment. Explorers (individuals primarily expressive of the traits linked with dopamine) are curious, energetic, spontaneous, optimistic, mentally flexible and predisposed to “idea generation.” They excel when first given theory, even when not based in fact. Builders (individuals primarily expressive of the traits linked with serotonin) tend to think concretely; they like plans, schedules and traditions; and they are often meticulous, rule-observing and modest. Builders excel when addressing concrete topics and need to be given the details first. Directors, (individuals primarily expressive of the traits linked with testosterone) tend to be experimental, direct, decisive, tough-minded, skeptical, and exacting. Directors learn best through logical “step thinking” and hands-on technical experimentation. Negotiators, (individuals primarily expressive of the traits linked with estrogen), excel at verbal and people skills; they are also intuitive, imaginative, empathetic, diplomatic and contextual ‘big picture’ thinkers. Negotiators are predisposed to “web thinking;” they like to assemble a host of ancillary data as they learn. In this talk, Fisher gives many examples of how to educate people of different thinking styles; how to better match students with mentors, tutors and guidance counselors; and how to compose classroom teams to more naturally reach into the minds of learners and produce more effective classroom communication and individual learning.
*A Special Note on the Fisher Temperament Inventory
In Dr. Fisher’s speech, she may make reference to the Fisher Temperament Inventory, a four-part personality examination that is central to her research. 14 million people worldwide have taken the FTI to discover their own personality styles. Now, you and your attendees may experience her findings firsthand, too.
To prepare for your event, consider taking the Fisher Temperament Inventory and distributing it to your attendees. This will allow for a more interactive and immersive experience, as well as a stronger understanding of Dr. Fisher’s work and yourself.
Click here to view a PDF version of the Fisher Temperament Inventory