Did you know there are 2,000 emotions in the universe? Dr Alan Watkins opened by asking delegates to tweet their emotions, which he would later use to map the emotional state of the audience.
He described a journey of emotional growth, starting with the physical self (year one), progressing to the emotional self (two or three years old). The “concrete self” happens aged three to six, when language develops.
Next is the transpersonal stage, when social scripts develop. From this stage you begin to rebel against societal rules, and start to take control of your emotions. He said most people don’t grow emotionally beyond 14 years of age.
Watkins said the majority of people don’t leave the “concrete self” and if they do, it’s usually triggered by pain (loss of job etc), which causes you to question why events happen. It is called “crossing the threshold” and is critical when taking ownership of your emotions.To overcome this, Watkins highlighted the importance of vertical development.
“Most senior executives you meet on the outside may be 40, but 14 on the inside. Development is the gamechanger.” By mastering this, “you move from victim to taking control”.