Saturday, 14 June 2008

Insights - a tool all L&D professionals should know about

For some time now I have been a fan of the Insights Discovery tool. It is a personal preference type profiler that enables an individual to raise their self awareness with respect to their personality type. Of course there are many personality profiling tools out there with MBTI being perhaps the best known. However, here is why I like the Insights approach:

  • After answering 25 questions rather than being allocated a forgettable set of letters such as INTJ, the tool assigns you one of the following colours:
  1. FIERY RED: Competitive, demanding, determined, strong-willed, purposeful
  2. SUNSHINE YELLOW: Sociable, dynamic, demonstrative, enthusiastic, persuasive
  3. EARTH GREEN: Caring, encouraging, sharing, patient, relaxed
  4. COOL BLUE: Cautious, precise, deliberate, questioning, formal
  • People find the colour much easier to remember and also much more meaningful.

  • You recieve a detailed Insights report that tells you lots of details about your personaility. When I first read my report I found it alarming as to how accurate it was. How could they have possibly found out all of my inner secrets with just 25 questions!

  • Perhaps the more useful part of the report are the recommendations it makes for you to be able to build relationships with people who are a different colour. So if I am a cool blue who likes structure then what do I need to do to get along with a fiery red who just wants to see results!

The tool can be used effectively as part of any training that is helping people to develop relationships. We make use of the tool with our sales community. Good sales people can build relationships with others who are similar to them (ie. the same Insights colour). Great sales people can build relationships with any personality type. Often I have overheard a sales team huddled together discussing how they will respond to a client's bid request...."Well the CIO is a fiery red so we need to get straight to the point.....". Insights can become a common language that can have a very powerful impact.

It is also a good tool to use as part of a leadership development programme as it really does raise awareness.

For those of you wondering how Insights links to MBTI this excellent summary provides this including a discussion about their roots in Jung theory.

Also, see here for a study by the University of Westminster that did some indepth statistical analysis to prove the validity of the Insights tool.

There are lots of tools out there and if you have any particular favourites then let me know.


Peter said...

It is great to see that someone else loves the work that Insights can do!

Chris Morgan said...

Peter - yes, I think Insights is a great tool that can be applied to many different situations and audiences.

It takes some sophisticated thinking and turns it into something that everyone can understand and connect to!