Tutor in Psychology (Coaching) - University of Oxford | Executive Confidant | Director, Oxford Adaptation Academy
Having received my PhD in behavioural science, from the University of Bristol, I spent 15 years working in mainstream management consultancy specialising in organisation development – primarily focused on corporate “Excellence” and creating exceptional places to work in which people found real meaning. Inevitably, this involved a great deal of work with the leaders of those organisations, exploring their ideas, anxieties, and responses to others.
Along the way, I have authored 8 books, was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in Industry and Education, and regularly travel internationally giving keynote presentations, chairing conferences, and compering events, on various aspects of leadership, emotional and spiritual intelligence (EQ and SQ), governance, climate adaptation, corporate responsibility, futures, and strategy.
I write many articles and short essays, am on the editorial panel of one business journal, and judge some of the awards of the World Council for Corporate Governance.
Probably the fastest growing and most widely applied branch of psychology, psychodynamics was first defined by Freud as the study of the interplay between the conscious and unconscious forces which determine how people behave.
At the same time, perhaps the most conservative of psychological theories, and certainly one of the oldest established, yet also one of the most exciting and important ones as it allows us to understand how people are motivated, how they can find confidence, how they can achieve their dreams.
Everyone of us is different and, in acknowledging this, psychodynamics provides the theory and the practice that allows us to understand the unique combination of elements that determine an individual’s behaviour.
Psychodynamics allows athletes, artists, dancers, mathematicians, scientists, chefs, and, of course, business people, to lose themselves in their inspiration and so to achieve peak performance.
Psychodynamics isn’t a science of techniques and exercises, it’s about being able to tap into someone else’s emotional core (some might even say their ‘soul’) while being able to distinguish between their essence and your own. Once you can do that, it is about being able to remain sufficiently detached that your objectivity isn’t compromised – at least with regard to the individual.
My own interest, which again built on my previous experience, is to apply this not only at the level of the individual leader and their one-to-one relationships, but also to their interaction with groups and organisations.