Brian Woodhead, former Customer Services Director, London Underground Ben Renshaw, Leadership Consultant Jess Fraser, Arup Kathryn de Kort, Arup The presentation began with a rather disconcerting but powerful reflection on the mindsets of the presenters: they were each asked to indicate what kind of day…
Brent Hamerla – Personal Profile
How would you describe what you do?
Haha….the eternal question! Through my suite of skills, I help companies to better utilise the skills of their workers and help those same employees to achieve more of their own potential. In terms of Business Psychology my specialist skills are training and coaching with a broad mix and contributing influences from other areas of the discipline such as assessments, psychometrics, and job design.
What was your first role as a business psychology practitioner?
I partnered with a Business Psychology consultancy to create an assessment center to be used in ongoing recruitment within my firm. Together we redesigned the interview process and I saw firsthand the impact and improvements of results from using best practice.
What has been your greatest role or achievement so far?
My Masters, I completely loved every minute of it and earned a distinction which I was very proud of and my dissertation won a prize from Penna. Completing the Masters as a mature student really enabled me to show the value of merging my work experience with academic principles and best practice and how my career had contributed and built to that moment. The thing that gives me the most pleasure and reward in my work is helping someone to develop and move onto the next stage of their career – especially if they have been stuck or it has been negatively affecting their life in general.
What has been your biggest challenge as a business psychology practitioner?
(see question 1) Describing what I do! – I have some friends who think that I am a spy as they think our work is so mysterious! Sometimes, companies can be time-poor and short-term in their outlook which can hamper our work in that we can’t be as thorough or give the long-term value we would like – getting them to see that, is not always easy!
Which advice has helped you the most?
‘Not to care too deeply about what others think and have courage in your own conviction’. What I mean by that is sometimes if we are not careful we can get talked out of things by other people, the opinion of others is, of course, valuable, insightful, and helpful but my opinion is that our inner voice should be the strongest
If not business psychology, what would you love to do?
To combine my love of sport and psychology to be a sports psychologist, when I was younger my dream was to be a sports journalist!
How do you spend your spare time?
I will say that I have two young children which eats into a lot of my time, however, I do regularly swim and play tennis and watch most sports. For TV I tend to binge-watch international shows – I’ve been going through a French phase recently! I really enjoy cooking and find it relaxing. I am fascinated by the ancient World and the buildings that remain and I have recently started to enjoy researching them. Before the pandemic and having children it would have been travel and meeting new people and discovering new places.
Who do you most admire, and why?
I honestly don’t have a single answer for that – my influences are quite eclectic and range from the worlds of business, academia, sports, music, and people that I have met ‘along the way’. I like the backstory of people who have succeeded despite adversity and I love reading such inspiriational autobiographies when I get the chance.
What, for you, does the future of business psychology look like?
The future of business pyschology should be huge, we can have a real impact on redefining the world of work, especially post Covid. I sincerely believe we need to get better and louder at telling people what we do so they know how to use the great skill sets and people within our realm, I almost feel at times we can be ‘a best kept secret’ and this needs to change to fulfill our potential.
You are the ABP Awards lead for 2021/22, can you tell us more?
The ABP Awards are a great way of celebrating the work that is being done in our industry. This is especially so this year as we have not had a chance to meet up in person for a while, and showcase the great work that you all have been doing in these times. This year’s awards submission will open from 1 September and we will accept entries up to and including 22 October, we will be posting more information about how to enter on the website. You should also mark Thursday 27 January inthe diary as the night of our awards which will be held inperson in central London
Music Choice of the Day:
Being a teenager from the 90’s and Britpop era – Absolute Radio 90’s station is on a lot in the car and around the house!