Here at uneon the summer has brought a welcome break from the day to day and an opportunity to crack on with some of the essential office duties including getting my book off to the publisher.
Over my reflection time I have had some serious break thoughts! For that I thank The Cube London, an innovation idea engineering work space in Shoreditch (do go visit their meeting spaces, the building and vibe is incredibly inspirational as are their events). I am working with them to continue to develop an innovative and relevant model for the London market place. It was whilst here I was referenced for the second time the work of Dr Helen Fisher. I saw her TED.com talk last year and planned to buy her book. For the last nine months I have had her website on my iPhone (I always think that if a recommendation comes to you twice, I take it as a prompt).
She has outlined a fascinating personality profiling concept which resonates with me immensely. She is a ‘love’ specialist which technically makes her a communication specialist, who has researched how we relate to one another in work and life. Her work with Match.com has created four core personality profiles based on the chemicals individuals produce and have high amounts of:
- The Explorer – high dopamine – new ideas, situations and adventure
- The Builder – high serotonin – building stability and consistent circles in family and friends
- The Director – high testosterone – straight talking and directive in decisions
- The Negotiator – high oestrogen – communication specialists, peacemaking, empathy
Interestingly she says that:
- Explorers are drawn to (communicate better with) explorers
- Builders to builders
- Directors to negotiator
- …And negotiators to directors.
The work looks at how these chemical work, and what personalities develop as a result of them. Most interesting to me is; if you can harness the chemicals you can develop your personality to adapt to different situations, particularly to become more effective at work. Dopamine is the happy chemical, how will putting on high energy music and going for a run and watching comedy impact on your productivity and creativity? Deep breathing or spending time by waters and trees heightens serotonin, how will this impact on your ability to focus? Standing tall and being very firm with your body movement increases testosterone, can you use this to be more assertive and get the outcome you want, and softening body language and using questioning and perception releases oestrogen which can be useful when challenges arise.
The Cube have taken these four chemicals and formulated them to harness and create an innovative ideas process:
- Start with oestrogen – ask questions, don’t make judgements
- Bring in the dopamine – get some ideas and thinking
- Calm it down with the serotonin – create calm ah monuments using cognitive though
- Hardness the testosterone – think linear, what is the use?
As an individual I use three of the profiles; the Explore in me is my creativity and energy for the new and the training environments, the Negotiator in me is the coach and the understanding of the individual in the group training environment, the Director in me makes the business happen and keeps us growing. My journey is on valuing all three profiles as they do conflict with each other and seeing each of their values in my success. If your interesting in finding our more go meet The Cube and read Helen Fishers book, ‘Why Him, Why Her’, don’t be put off by the name and the dating connotations, the book is about communication.
So what have you planned for the rest of the summer, are there some books you’ve put off reading and know they will add real value? Summer should be a time heightened activity. This year I have picked up my tennis racket in a serious way and joined a regular group. Wonderful to be outside, running around and meeting new people. I would highly recommend for the last month of sunshine getting involved in that ‘thing’ you’ve fancied and put off for a while.
Holiday wise I’m being a bit more low-key. I got rained-in, whilst in Falmouth but it was wonderful to rest, and spend quality time with those I love. Next week I’m off for a bit more high adventure in Budapest, stories to come in September.
Until then, enjoy the sunshine, take proper lunch breaks and drink plenty of water.
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