Fiona Murden BSc, MA, MSc, CPsychol, AFBPsS
Fiona is a Chartered Psychologist, fellow of the British Psychological Society, author and public speaker who has spent the past 18 years working with multi-national companies, and some of the UK’s most successful business leaders and prominent people from across different industries.
She is on a mission to use her knowledge and expertise to make our lives just a bit better, easier, and healthier as individuals. Fiona believes passionately that psychology can be an invaluable resource – part of an everyday toolkit we have available to help understand our own and others’ behaviour and positively influence it.
Working at senior levels with organisations across the globe, Fiona has seen how behaviour can influence the outcomes of hundreds and even thousands of people either positively or negatively, yet this is often overlooked or brushed aside as ‘common sense’. She is on a mission to raise our awareness of how a joined-up understanding of human behaviour can positively impact society, and how instilling this in the fibre of society could stop us from repeating the same mistakes again and again – and thus make life a bit better for ourselves and our children, and ultimately create a better world.
Fiona’s book ‘Defining You’ is due to be published by Hodder & Stoughton in March 2018. Other written work include a paper that she co-authored with Professor Peter Kinderman, President of the BPS and Policy Advisor Kathryn Scott entitled ‘Making Better Decisions: How understanding our psychology can stop us falling into the bias trap.’ The paper was presented at all of the political party conferences in October 2016. Her chapter ‘The Brains Behind Business: Cutting Edge Neuroscientific Research and it’s Application to Business Psychology’ was recently published in Business Psychology in Action, edited by Pauline Grant. She also wrote a scientific paper as a result of her Masters research in 2006 entitled Age, Aerobic Fitness, Executive Function, and Episodic Memory which is published in the European Journal of Cognitive Psychology.
Fiona is a lively, articulate and engaging presenter. Her public speaking appearances include the Institute of Directors, Selfridges & Co., The Cabinet Office and The Royal College of Surgeon. She has Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Warwick University, a Master of Arts in Organisational Studies from Warwick University Business School and a Master of Science in Psychology, gained with distinction, from The University of London. Fiona is also MD of a Psychology Consultancy called Aroka Ltd.
Psychology and behaviour governs every aspect of our lives yet we generally brush it aside as being a bit ‘fluffy’ or a ‘nice to have’ or something we won’t visit unless we’re struggling (then cultural norms dictate it really is best to keep it quiet). But my job is in large part helping some of the most successful people in the world understand behaviour. The frightening question is, if they don’t get it, then who does?
It is behaviour, or our lack of understanding when it comes to behaviour, that trips us up time and time again: e.g.
- Why do we eat and drink too much when we know it’s bad for our health?
- Why we don’t speak up about something wrong when we know we should?
- Why do we feel so protective of our space, from a preferred seat in a coffee shop to anger at someone cutting us up in our car?
Leading to macro consequences: e.g.
- A global obesity epidemic – in November 2014 a total of 2.1 billion people were classed as overweight or obese, with an economic cost of £1.3 trillion.
- The global financial crisis of 2007-2008 – resulting in the worst recession since the Second World War.
- Issues surrounding gun ownership in the US –“Americans are five times as likely to be murdered as Brits but over 40 times as likely to be murdered with a gun.”
Arguably this and many many more personal and global issues are caused by a failure to prioritize our understanding of behaviour.
So why don’t we teach behaviour at school? The answer is usually that, we pick it up as we go along, after all it’s common sense isn’t it? But if it is, why all of the problems? Voltaire was a wise man when he said: “Common sense is not so common.”
My next step beyond publication of my book ‘Defining You’ is to push forward with the charity I am launching called ‘Dot-to-Dot’ which aims to improve lives through helping people better understand their own and others behaviour. Pulling together expertise from around the world to help us really push the importance of understanding behaviour. Really understanding it. Not just snap shots in articles, interesting TV documentaries or something we may hear from a friend but then forget. Instilling it in the fibre of society, so that maybe we can stop repeating the same mistakes again and again. Maybe, we can make life a bit better for ourselves, our children and ultimately create a better world.