When we created our IT Leadership Community of Practice Charter, we identified that leadership development and mentoring were core to why we exist. In support of that purpose, our community gathered last week to participate in a fun, interactive Insights Discovery Personal Effectiveness Program. If I were to be completely honest, I was skeptical of the program, but at the end of the day I learned a lot! We uncovered the traits which will help each of us understand our unique personalities, develop our interpersonal skills, improve our communication skills, and enhance our personal and professional relationships.
The Insights program began with a brief survey where I identified traits that were most like me and least like me. The Insights folks used those responses to map our personalities into four "colors": blue, red, green, or yellow. You might recognize folks who have these colors if they exhibit these qualities:
Folks with strong blue or green tend to be introverted, and those with strong red and yellow tend to be extroverted. Blue and red tend to rate highly for thinking while green and yellow tend towards feeling.
My Insights color mapping looks like this:
My blue and red are very strong, and I lead with blue. My green and yellow color are non-zero and about equal. I'm strong on thinking and equally weighted between extroverted and introverted.
So what does that say about me? The Insights program presented each of us with a small booklet that included a personalized interpretation of the color mappings. The section on "Personal Style" itself is just over two pages of dense text, but here's a sample:
He is usually neat, tidy, and orderly—both at work and at home. Outwardly quiet and reserved, inwardly he is constantly absorbed in analyzing problems and situations. Jim is an analytical thinker who prefers to be fully objective in his work.
Jim gains great pleasure from improving existing techniques with the objective of maximizing efficiency and cost effectiveness. He displays little emotional response to situations which others may perceive as crises, and is usually seen to deal with them in a calm and cool way.
That describes me very well; I agree with this analysis, as well as the Insight profile's recommendations for how to communicate with me most effectively. A few items that stand out:
- Come prepared.
- Ensure he has all the facts before asking for a decision.
- Be clear and straightforward.
- Stick to the topics at hand.
And some things not to do:
- Don't prevent him from expressing his thoughts.
- Don't press for a response before all the facts are on the table.
- Don't be immature, childish, or silly about issues that are important to him.
- Don't be vague.
There's lots to learn from the Insights profile, and if you have a moment I encourage you to take the free version of the survey at Insights.com (although not as accurate as the full survey). Maybe you'll discover something new about yourself.