Emotional Agility

Author Speaker Series

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After two decades of researching the science of emotions, Harvard Medical School psychologist Susan David made waves when her concept “emotional agility” was declared by Harvard Business Review as one of the “Management Ideas of the Year.”

Now, in her book EMOTIONAL AGILITY: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life (Avery, September 2016), Dr. David exposes how our emotions hold us back or carry us forward in our goals depending on how well we confront—not control—them. Science shows us that it’s not possible to smother your emotions with affirmations espoused by the latest positivity movement.  It’s equally unrealistic to set your mind to a rigid “grit” goal that might not be working for you. Like it or not, your emotions are there, and the more honest and agile you are with them, the more you can overcome the demands of work and life to thrive.

The increasing forces of speed and change that characterize business today have provoked an epidemic of emotional rigidity: we can’t let go of being right, we stay silent when we witness trouble, or we criticize our abilities when we know we are capable. The antidote to emotional rigidity is emotional agility—being flexible with your thoughts and feelings so that you can respond optimally to the increasingly unpredictable challenges of business.

Adam Grant, author of Give and Take, lauds the book saying, “Susan David acknowledges the benefits of sadness, anger, guilt, and fear, and then shows us how to make sure they don’t take over our lives.”

Among the fascinating questions Susan David explores are:
  • What causes us to get hooked and unable to unhook from self-defeating behavior?
  • Why do we listen to negative inner chatter in our head if we know it only holds us back?
  • Why do changes at work turn most of us into brooders or bottlers of emotion?
  • Why do time management and goal setting set us up for frustration unless we reframe them as values choices?
  • Why are want-to goals more achievable than have-to goals?
  • Why do we need to update our career narratives, not just our résumés?
  • How can we own stress rather than let it own us?
  • And what’s the good news about bad moods and the upside of anger?
Dr. Susan David, a Harvard Medical School scientist whose work revolves around the science of emotions. Hailed as a “Groundbreaking Idea of the Year”,  her forthcoming book, Emotional Agility (September 6, 2016) demonstrates how our emotions influence all our decisions and can hold us back or carry us forward toward reaching our goals.  Dr.  David warns us of the dangers of today’s popular Happiness and Positivity Movements that are scientifically unsound  and try to smother real emotions with affirmations.  It’s equally unrealistic to set your mind to a rigid “grit” goal that might not be working for you. Like it or not, your emotions are there, and the more honest and agile you are with them, the more you can overcome the demands of work and life to thrive. Feature coverage is We’ve already secured in Self Magazine, Health Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Success Magazine and Harvard Business Review.

In addition to her academic role at Harvard Medical School, Dr. David is a highly sought after speaker and consultant to large organizations, including the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, Coca-Cola, and Ernst & Young. Written for our age of increasing pressure and uncertainty, this is a book that will help us face our emotions in any challenge, cope with stress, take ownership of our careers and be successful on our own terms both in the moment and long-term.

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Knowledge @ Wharton Interview

Tuesday, April 4, 2017
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Midtown location (Note: Address will be sent via email to all registered guests 24-48 hours prior to the event to the "Primary Email" address listed in your profile. Please review your profile to confirm that the email address listed is correct.)

WNCY & Silver Members - $20 (WCNY supporting membership costs $95/yr at Join/Renew Membership)
Other Wharton Alumni & Guests - $40
Gold & Benefactor Members - $0

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Due to building security requirements, you must pre-register for this event.  Walk-ins cannot be accepted.
Registration is subject to availability and will close on Monday April 3 at 2:00pm - No Exceptions! 


6:00PM - 8:00PM Tue 4 Apr 2017, Eastern timezone


Midtown Location

New York, NY

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