Abu Dhabi: Most people try not to get involved in their organisation's politics, thinking this will help secure their career path - a false assumption according to a senior expert who spoke about surviving the workforce environment at the two-day Gulf Meetings and Events Conference (GMEC).

How to survive and thrive in turbulent times was one of the topics discussed at the second annual GMEC conference, organised by Meeting Professionals International (MPI), a professional membership organisation for corporate, association and individual meeting planners.

During an interactive session, David Bancroft-Turner, Managing Director at the Academy for Political Intelligence, emphasised the importance of becoming familiar with one's own company politics in order to excel as a professional.

"You have to know the positive and negative characteristics about your personality. Ask yourself which type of animal's characteristics you relate to. Are you a fox? The clever, cunning, adaptable, resourceful, sly, kill for fun, furry type, or are you the owl; observant, kill for food, swift, silent, aloof and distant and wise?"

"There are four types of animals: the fox, who's politically intelligent and sneaky; the mule who's got a low level of political intelligence and the sheep who's loyal and interested in the organisation's goal; and the owl who has high political intelligence," he said.

The other two types of animal characteristics, he added, are a mule - who is determined, hard working, noisy and bad tempered or a sheep who is trusting, innocent, naive, a follower, gentle, timid and loyal.

"In reality you may be a little bit of all these animals at different times.

"It is also important to note that none of them is right," he told the audience.

Speaking about the GMEC programme, Nasser Al Reyami, Director of Tourism Standards at the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) which is supporting the conference said: "Leadership and training are high on the agenda of this crucial gathering which will assist.. in re-examining and repositioning ..goals and strategies to address and overcome the current challenges."

GMEC also marks the launch of Gulf Meetings Week being hosted by Abu Dhabi as the destination looks to build its position and profile as a global meetings hub.