Emotional Agility - survival of the fittest

June 5, 2015


BCCJ members were joined by members of the ACCJ for an interactive workshop from Lumina Learning founder Stewart Desson yesterday evening.

Around 40 guests participated in the Emotional Agility session at Regus Japan, Ark Hills, to learn more about understanding their own behaviours in the workplace.

The session included chances for participants to deepen their knowledge of their own personal qualities and how these impacted their work with others via a personality profiling questionnaire.

Guests were from a wide range of the personality spectrum, which was a reflection of the different occupations of participants.

Stuart said understanding self-talk (a person's internal monologue) and managing emotions was an important skill for success in the workplace. "It's about being aware of the impact of thoughts and emotions as well as our behaviour. For example, critical self-talk and doubts can impede my performance. Self awareness is critical to being emotional agile."

Drawing parallels between peformance in the workplace and Darwinian theories on evolution, Stewart stressed it was not the strongest who achieved the greatest success but a case of "survival of the "fittest" - the most well-suited and adapted achieve results.

After the workshop, guests asked Stewart about whether there were any differences in personality types found in each gender, or across cultures.

Stewart said that, perhaps surprisingly, research had showed very little variation between the sexes and nationalities once results were averaged out. "With qualities such as being down to earth, introspective, organised, practical, thoughtful, with being an ideas person, there is no difference. Where there are differences is being competitive, where men score an average of 5 to 10% higher. Woman are, on average, more collaborative."

Cultural perceptions also play in a part in how the personalities of the genders are perceived, with assertative women being dubbed "pushy" whereas a man would be considered "tough". On the other hand, men who are less assertative, can be labelled "soft".

With nationalities it was found that while on average the Dutch tend to be the most assertive and the Japanese relatively unassertative, the margins between cultures was actually very small. "Underneath, people everywhere are broadly the same mix."

The session also covered whether there were any differences between how you see yourself and how others see you, and current ideas about nature vs nurture in the development of personality traits.

Lumina Learning Asia is a BCCJ Entrepreneur member.

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