Many individuals and businesses invest in personality profiles but often they get read once, used at a one-off workshop and then they get confined to the equivalent of a dusty shelf in your hard drive. It’s such a shame that companies can forget about them when they should be a great ongoing resource for you and the business.
Using personality profiles
Do you recognise yourself in one of these colour energies from Insights Discovery on a good day and a bad day? I know I did. We’re all human so we know there are good and bad days, but that isn’t what I use this for. Instead, I use this with my colleagues, for the benefit of open communication around having a bad day. When we’re aware of our own behavioural preferences and those of our colleagues, it becomes easier to foster open communication, even on those days when we’re not at our best.
Navigating the ups and downs
Now, we all have our ups and downs, but the true power of profiling lies in how it helps us navigate these fluctuations in our daily lives. By recognising and acknowledging different communication styles, we can tailor our approach to ensure more effective and empathetic interactions with others.
For example, when someone’s having a bad day, we can use our knowledge of their preferences to tweak our communication. If a colleague with a dominant Fiery Red style is struggling, we might want to offer them a chance to regain control over their tasks or provide clear, concise information to help them make decisions. You’d certainly want to avoid taking up too much of their time though. On the other hand, a colleague with a high Earth Green style may need reassurance and a listening ear, so we can be there to provide emotional support and let them know we’ve got their back.
Promoting open communication
Profiling promotes a culture of open communication within the workplace. When everyone on the team is aware of each other’s communication styles, it helps to break down barriers and create a more inclusive environment. This fosters better collaboration, improved morale, and a more positive work atmosphere.
When you get a comprehensive report (there’s quite a few on the market), it’s difficult to take it all in at the first read, especially if it’s several pages long, so you’ll need to keep dipping back in to find other areas of interest or focus for you. When I first get a profile, lots will resonate with me immediately, but I might struggle to see myself in some of the sentences. When this happens, I’ll go back and read it when I’m in a different mood and feeling more open to discovering my blind spots. It’s not that you must agree with everything in the profile, but if you’re struggling to accept parts of it, ask yourself “could anyone describe me in that way?”
So how can you squeeze every last bit of value from your personality profile?
Your profile should give you plenty of inspiration if you’re having that ‘blank page’ dread when writing a personal development plan – why struggle when your profile already has suggestions in it? Some aspects of your personality can change over time and if you’re using a tool like Insights Discovery, it will describe what you have to put conscious effort into and over time, these can become learned behaviours that you no longer need to consciously make an effort around. For me, becoming a better listener was initially a big effort and since training and qualifying as a coach, I’ve worked hard on this so my preference towards listening v talking has increased.
Settling into a new role
This is often a time when you feel tired and although we often put this down to information overload, it’s likely to be linked to the efforts you’re making around fitting in with a new team and understanding what’s expected of you. The more you understand what challenges a new role and environment might mean for you, the quicker you’ll settle in and feel energised. It’s worth saying that for people with introverted preferences, being around others constantly can also be tiring in a current role. That doesn’t mean that they don’t like people; it’s just that they’ll need to recharge by having quiet time afterwards.
Your relationship with your manager
Some people find the thought of sharing a personality profile with their manager daunting, but just think of it as a way of letting them how to get the best from you and even more importantly, how to not push your buttons and see your worst side. Your profile is a brilliant way of making these conversations easier and if you can learn how to better communicate with them by understanding their preferences, that’s going to help you!
Ways of working with your team
How you behave and your preferences around what you enjoy will impact how you work with colleagues and you will ‘land’ differently with other personality types. The best teams are made up of people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and preferences – but getting to the stage of having healthy conflict and understanding each other is a huge step towards becoming a high-performing team.
Your leadership style
We often get asked what the best personality type is to become a successful leader (watch out for a future blog on this!). The days of the stereotypical outgoing, charismatic, assertive ‘hero’ leader are over. To be a successful leader, you need to adapt your style to the person/situation as well as understand what natural gifts you’re bringing and which areas you’ll need to make more efforts to dial-up or down. Understanding your values and preferences will help you to shape your authentic leadership style because trying to be someone else never works well and is also extremely exhausting!
Your influencing style – how you ‘sell’
We all ‘sell’ in some shape in our roles so even if you don’t deal with clients directly, you’ll still need to sell your ideas to people if you want to successfully influence them. So, do you behave the same around everyone and expect one style of presenting or communication to work? Or do you accept that you’ll need to step towards someone to have a better chance of influencing them? If people are like you, they might love your typical approach but if you’re not getting the results you want, it’s likely you’ll need to change gear and try a different style. Banging out a long proposal might work for people who like detail but for those who want a high-level overview might never read to the end and you might lose them. (I’m definitely a one-page overview person and don’t need or want all the detail up front.)
How you react under pressure
A good personality profile will highlight how you respond to pressure which is when all your normal efforts disappear out the window and you can act without thinking about how you’re coming across. The next time you feel overwhelmed, try looking at your profile to see if it can give you any clues as to how you might be showing up. Sharing what the outward signs of pressure are for you and how others can best support you (‘reach out’ or ‘leave me alone’) will help them to spot it in the moment as that’s often the point where we find it the hardest to lift up our heads and look outside ourselves.
So, why not embrace the power of Real Conversations and make the most of profiling in your daily interactions?
My top tip is to set a reminder to look at your profile every 6 weeks or so and focus on a different section so you can think about what you could do differently and how you could share some of this with others.
We work with insights Discovery profiles as clients respond so well to these resources and love how much value they get from them.
If you’d like to know more, we offer a free personality profile and virtual debrief call for anyone interested in trialling this for their organisation so send a message to us to chat about setting this up for you.