A Celebration Cocktail Each Executive Should Know How to Mix!

A Celebration Cocktail Each Executive Should Know How to Mix! 

By Judith E. Glaser

Great leaders identify, measure, recognize, and reward meaningful efforts and achievements—and celebrate often with the people involved.

Why should managers and leaders celebrate more?

Creating a feeling of celebration helps meet people’s needs for inclusion, innovation, appreciation, and collaboration. Our brains are designed to be social – and the need for human contact is greater than the need for safety. The research by Matt Lieberman and Naomi Eisenberger, scientists at UCLA, has shown that feeling socially excluded activates some of the same neural regions that are activated in response to physical pain, suggesting that social rejection may indeed be “painful.”

Those companies practicing celebrations as part of their conversational rituals open up their employees to make them feel part of the company’s common success, enable them to have the confidence to challenge the status quo, take ambitious initiatives, and share their creative ideas with others.

How might the disciplined practice of celebration change the culture of a company?

From my study of The Neuroscience of WE, and my work with executives, I know that celebration has a big impact on individuals, teams and companies.   It literally works wonders in the brain.

Scientists are learning that our brain is more changeable than we ever imagined—our brains exhibit neuroplasticity.  Our brain neurons can change their physiological properties in response to outside factors.  That is how babies develop and learn.  As we grow older we do not lose that ability to learn and modify our responses to things that happen.  In fact, we now know that a percentage of our genes, can be impacted by the environment – these changes, called epigenetic changes, are part of neuroplasticity as well – however they open up a whole new set of insights about the power of conversations to change fundamental and long lasting changes to our character – yes nurture is as or more powerful than nature!

The Ingredients of Healthy Celebration Cocktails
Neuroscience explains what impact you as a leader can have on healthy physical and emotional changes of your team by having positive celebrations and intelligent conversations.

  • Celebration Conversations elevate the level of such “feel good” chemicals as oxytocin and the endorphins – neuropeptides produced in the central nervous system. Their release into our system gives us a sense of well being, creating a safety space that enables us to experiment, take risks, learn and handle the challenges of growing the business.
  • Serotonin that is boosted by cheering and pleasant conversations is widely known for transforming lazy people into enterpriser, low performer into go-getters, and skeptics into supporters. For individuals or teams, serotonin adds focus, support innovative or disruptive solutions, increases motivation and can even transform stress into success. 
  • Researchers found that by having positive conversations during celebration time you trigger basal ganglia system that releases the neurotransmitter dopamine. This chemical communicates with the brain areas in the prefrontal cortex to allow people to pay attention to critical tasks, ignore distracting information, and update only the most relevant task information in working memory during problem-solving tasks.

What Makes Us Feel So Good?
Recent studies by numerous researchers show that the basal ganglia facilitate learning, with dopamine important to the process. One way that these behavioral routines are encoded is by the processing of reward information.

Wolfram Schultz, a principal research fellow at the University of Cambridge in England, studies how the brain processes reward information. “When something is really good, you go back for it again,” he says. “ Thus, by praising the accomplishments a leader, we are contributing to creating healthy behavioral patterns that will be repeated more often.  Celebration and dopamine is a reward to our brains like treats are to animals.

  • While elevating the level of “feel good” hormones with positive conversations, the level of cortisol is significantly lowered. Cortisol has been shown to damage and kill cells in the hippocampus (the brain area responsible for your episodic memory) and there is robust evidence that excessive cortisol shuts down learning, creates anxiety attacks, can cause depression, and premature brain aging.
  • The words of acknowledgement, encouragement and support, especially when granted to a person under much stress, calms her amygdala mediated response – of fight-flight-freeze – allowing her to move into a more thoughtful and calm state.

When we converse openly with others, we are sharing our inner world, our sense of reality, to validate our reality with others.  We are measuring the levels of trust in our relationship to determine whether we can partner with others. The quality of our conversations depends on how open or closed we feel at the moment of contact. The neurochemical reactions in our brains drive our states of mind, and these affect the way we communicate, how we shape our relationships, and how we build trusting relationships with others.

When we receive public praise and support, we unlock these powerful set of neurochemical patterns that cascade positive chemistry throughout the brain. Highly motivated employees describe the feeling of performing well as an almost drug-like state.

When this state of positive arousal comes with appropriate, honest, and well-deserved (sincere) praise, employees feel they are trusted and supported by their boss. They will take more risks, speak up more, push back when they have things to say, and be more confident in their dealings with their peers.

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Judith E. Glaser is CEO of Benchmark Communications, Inc. and Chairman of The Creating WE Institute. She is an Organizational Anthropologist, and consults to Fortune 500 Companies. Judith is the author of 4 best selling business books, including her newest Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results (Bibliomotion, 2013) Visit www.conversationalintelligence.com; www.creatingwe.com; jeglaser@creatingwe.com or call 212-307-4386.

Power Shift: Attracting Today’s Empowered Buyer – Get the Report now!

“The opposite of an impulse buy, a considered purchase is a complex buying decision with a high degree of financial and emotional risk and reward, requiring meaningful deliberation prior to purchase. Considered purchase marketing is a focused strategy that involves intimate understanding of the mindset of your customer, throughout the decision-making process.”

Dan Nelson, Jr., President & CEO, Nelson Schmidt Inc.

Dan Nelson, Jr., President & CEO, Nelson Schmidt Inc.


Changing market dynamics, new channels, information and technology requires marketers to redefine how we reach and influence the brand choice of customers. Labeling buyers either as business-to-business or business-to-consumer is no longer a relevant starting point.

The now-outdated ways of marketing communications forced buyers through the traditional sales funnel. But today’s buyer is in control of the information they consume, and can therefore create their own journey. As marketers are ever more challenged to be effective and efficient with our investment, we need new thinking and approaches to intersect with our customer’s purchase journey.


Instead of business-to-business and business-to-consumer, we must focus on the end-customer journey and understand where, as marketers, we can directly and indirectly influence their purchase decision through every available channel.

Now is your time to learn key business trends in the latest Nelson Schmidt Trend Briefing! Download by clicking HERE!



Using the NS MetricsTM methodology to discover, formulate, execute and measure our plans and programs they ensure strategy is brought to life and put into action in a way that delivers maximum impact. For more information visit NelsonSchmidt.com.

C-Suite Network Announces Winners of C-Suite Social Media Legends Awards


C-Suite Network Announces Winners of C-Suite Social Media Legends Awards

The honorees were announced at the C-Suite Conference on November 2nd at the Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco 

NEW YORK, NY – December 10, 2015 – The C-Suite Network, the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders, announces the winners of the C-Suite Social Media Legends Awards. The awards acknowledge business leaders who show outstanding success in social media engagement and thought leadership.

“Social media has a massive impact on business and using it effectively has the power to exponentially grow your bottom line,” said Jeffrey Hayzlett, C-Suite Network Co-founder and Chairman. “These winners know first hand the importance of using social media in an innovated and engaging way. They are truly their brand’s greatest ambassadors.”

The top ten winners were announced on November 2 at the C-Suite Conference in San Francisco:

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce

Brian Halligan, CEO of Hubspot

David Bray, CIO of FCC

Elisa Camahort Page, Chief Community Officer of SheKnows Media

Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn

Sandy Carter, General Manager, Ecosystems and Social Business Evangelism of IBM

Christopher Penn, VP Marketing Tech of Shiftcomm

Dharmesh Shah, CTO of Hubspot

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter/Square

Jonathan Becher, Head of SAP Digital

“I am honored to receive this award and be recognized amongst such an esteemed list of social media thought leaders,” said Sandy Carter, General Manager, Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, IBM. “Social media has the ability to transform a business, and I accept this award in hopes of further educating business leaders on the importance of social media practices.”

“These awards acknowledge a prestigious group of winners impacting the way businesses successfully use social media. I am fortunate and grateful to be recognized amongst them,” said Elisa Camahort Page, Chief Community Officer, SheKnows Media.

The C-Suite Network partnered with OneQube, a company that provides real-time social media tools, to develop a unique social media methodology that identifies leaders who are most engaged with their communities. Accenture Digital, a leading global professional services company, was the marque partner for the awards.

“We are proud to support the C-Suite Social Media Legends Awards. It’s a great way to recognize leaders who are making major strides in brand engagement,” said Rob Harles Global Lead for Accenture Digital’s Social and Collaboration Practice, “As a leader in helping organizations drive digital transformation, we encourage C-level executives to become more involved and display their company vision and thought leadership through social media.”

To learn more about the C-Suite Social Media Legends Awards, visit: http://conference.c-suitenetwork.com/social-media-awards/


About C-Suite Network

C-Suite Network is the world’s most powerful network of C-Suite leaders, with a focus on providing growth, development and networking opportunities for business executives with titles of vice president and above.

C-Suite Network brings leaders together through C-Suite Collective, a private online community for executives. C-Suite Network also offers invitation-only conferences held three times per year, custom-tailored content on the C-Suite Network blog, C-Suite TV, C-Suite Radio, C-Suite Book Club, and educational programs from C-Suite Academy. Learn more at www.c-suitenetwork.com, join the LinkedIn Group and follow @csuitenetwork and facebook.com/thecsuitenetwork


Ashley Knapp

TallGrass Public Relations