by Casilda Malagon

“Optimistic people play a disproportionate role in shaping our lives. Their decisions make a difference; they are inventors, entrepreneurs, political and military leaders.”

Daniel Kahneman

In that list, Daniel Kahneman could have well included the bright young minds of the Royal Holloway, University of London, BSc Psychology programme. We recently worked with this clever cohort learned a lot ourselves. Amidst a golden light-filled morning, Stephen Welch and I got a chance to engage with them to discuss, dissect, and develop our RECIPE model of influencing for change as a part of the Occupational and Organisational Psychology Module. Thank you to Dr Michal Chmiel for the invite.

RECIPE, as our regular readers will know, is a model of six influencing styles and their archetypes. At Archetypical, we originally developed this for UK civil servants as part of our work with the Cabinet Office and now we teach it in multiple organisations to help executives identify and apply different influencing styles. Our original model is built around icons such as the Bill Gates and the Beatles, but today it got a fresh of breath of fresh air when 40 bright third-year psychology students looked at the model, learned it, and improved it by developing their own set of archetypes. Let’s call it a shared language for a new generation.

So, out went Bill and the Beatles; in came Rishi Sunak, Elon Musk, Volodymyr Zelensky, and Yves Chouinard. Our co-creation exercise was spiced up with a deep discussion of behavioural economics, neuroscience, and trauma-based psychology; peppered with discussion on the transactional approach to M&As and rebranding. It was at times closer to an MBA discussion than a psychology one. This speaks to the fluid mental models of today’s students. And their voracity for knowledge.

For Stephen and I, working with the students was inspiring and humbling in equal measure. Archetypical has good foundations and the generations behind us are strong, ready and able to help us change the world. And transform the culture of learning.

“We love seeing this cross-fertilisation between academia and practitioners; seeing that the theories our students learn in the classroom are then translated to real life business applications is incredibly motivating”, said Dr Michal Chmiel, of the Department of Psychology. “The RHUL Psychology programme is one of the best in the country. We love working with Stephen and Casilda because they bring theory to life, make it fun and engaging and never lose sight of the academic rigour we need, while also helping students consider how they can apply their knowledge in their future careers.”

We can bring the new RECIPE to you, just get in touch. or

What will you learn from today’s students?