Talk with Dr Oliver Runswick
We were fortunate to welcome Dr Oliver Runswick as a special guest speaker. Dr Oliver Runswick is a lecturer in performance psychology at King's College London. His research focuses on enhancing learning and performance in different environments, including sports and the military. Dr Runswick also founded his own consultancy, Runswick Performance.
The team of King’s Junior Consulting received an incredible insight into Dr Runswick's work, as a lecturer and consultant. We were also given a detailed case study of his experience working with the English National Cricket Teams, male and female.
We would like to emphasize some points that we believed were particularly interesting:
The creation of a high-performance system highly depends on the environment and the people as well as the objectives behind it. Indeed, whether one wants to be a decent worker or an elite worker would highly influence the idea of performance itself within this environment. In addition, it is vital to understand the practical limitations of each person's context.
Performing and learning are two very different situations, and it is very hard to accomplish both at the same time.
Building from his experience in sports, Dr Runswick highlighted that men-only and female-only teams present different dynamics. There are still lots of very unhealthy masculine cultures and the leadership required in each scenario are different. For instance, well-being is very important for women and they engage well with it as the communication is more explicit. For men, even though well-being is still very important, engagement and communication are more difficult to achieve.
It is hard to make a good decision. There are several drivers to take into consideration: the time, understanding one's capabilities but also those of the team, being able to gather the most important and viable information but also the context and ability to execute.
Dr Oliver Runswick also reminded us of a few points that we, young people, should be mindful of: it is particularly important to understand why we like to do specific things, building habits and being consistent is essential for the long run and, finally, the quality of the time spent is very important.
We would like to express our sincerest thanks to Dr Oliver Runswick for his insightful talk that provided us with an informative introduction to the field of performance psychology.
Written by Louise Bouet