Dr. Brian Little

Dr. Brian Little

Award-Winning Psychology Professor

Described as “a cross between Robin Williams and Einstein,” Dr. Brian Little employs equal doses of humour and intelligence to explain how our personal communication styles influence our experiences with colleagues and clients. A personality psychologist and an expert in personality differences, group dynamics, and project management, Dr. Little was elected a “Favourite Professor” by the graduating classes of Harvard for three consecutive years.

Dr. Little received his Ph.D. degree in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and was a Commonwealth Scholar at Oxford. He currently teaches at Cambridge University in the Department of Psychology and in the Cambridge Judge Business School. In 2015, he was a senior fellow at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

A pioneer in the study of personality and well-being, Dr. Little mentored some of today’s leading business authors and speakers, including Adam Grant, Shawn Achor, Tal Ben-Shahar and Susan Cain. According to Achor, “he is one of the great lecturers of our time. I quote him and his research in both my books because his research is so foundational.”

Dr. Little’s award-winning research explores how personality shapes lives and the implications this has for flourishing in our corporations, associations, schools, families and relationships. His book, Me, Myself, and Us: The Science of Personality and the Art of Well-Being, provides a novel way of understanding the layers of our personality, why we often act out of character, and why doing so is important to professional success and personal well-being. Cain praises Me, Myself, and Us as “monumentally important”; Grant as “a masterpiece”; and Dan Pink as “truly gripping.”

Drawing on this research, Dr. Little’s keynote presentations are a blend of whimsical hilarity and passionate force. He explains the practical applications of recent research in personality science to communication, emotion, motivation, decision making, creativity, health and prosperity. His presentations frequently inspire standing ovations.

Personalities at Work

Why did the normally shy and reticent member of my team do what he did last Thursday? Why did my short-tempered, brutish CEO rise to that occasion with such warmth and largesse? For the last ten months, people have asking me if I am myself. Who else could I possibly be? Such questions are intriguing and consequential for understanding ourselves and our organizations.

This presentation provides guidance for answering them based on Dr. Little’s work on free traits, personal projects and well-being. A central tenet of this perspective is that people often act out of character in order to advance their personal projects. Such behaviour may puzzle us and we wonder what is going on. What is going on is both complex and deeply human. Audiences come away with some very practical examples of how they drive each other to distraction and with a clearer understanding of why it is essential to their organizations that they continue to do so.

Dr. Little’s presentations have been described by highly diverse groups as ‘utterly hilarious’ and ‘profoundly moving,’ suggesting he is a ‘cross between Robin Williams and Einstein.’

The presentation is ideal as an opening or closing keynote where exciting new psychological insights are merged with an exceptionally motivating message about respect for differences between individuals.

How to Build Winning Teams

Increasingly, the performance of your team determines the performance of your organization. But how do you ensure you’re getting the most from your group?

In this presentation, Dr. Little uses insights based on his years of psychological research to help you create and lead teams that perform and excel. He shows audiences how to combine the different skills, behaviours and personalities of their members, reducing stress, increasing productivity, and inviting success.

Through this humorous, interactive presentation, Dr. Little’s audiences learn to benefit from diverse personalities. They will understand the different learning, communication, and work styles of team members, and to develop strategies to bring them together harmoniously. Audiences walk away with a new understanding of how different personalities work together.

The end result will be teams that perform to their potential and take your organization to new heights.

Achieving Success in A Competitive Environment

Drawing on contemporary research into physical and emotional health, Dr. Little outlines practical strategies to help you and your team achieve success and deal with the stresses of life in a competitive environment. The issues he addresses in his funny, upbeat presentation include:

  • Challenging some common myths about stress, poor communication, and personality clashes, and they ways they affect your workplace
  • How to combine professionalism with innovative leadership styles
  • How perceived control affects people’s behaviour
  • The latest insights into “type A” personalities
  • Managing anger and aggression in the workplace
  • Building the most productive relationship with your clients

Whether you’re dealing with difficult clients, working with aggressive co-workers, or coping with stress of change, Dr. Little will equip you with the interpersonal tools and strategies you need for success.