“Everyone has as much energy as I do – they just decide if they are going to use it or not.”
Colton – age 9
This was Colton’s response when his uncle told him he didn’t have as much energy to play as Colton did. While I laughed at the exchange, it hit me with a fresh lens that what Colton was saying is insightful and true. We all make choices about where to expend our energy. As leaders, the more we know about ourselves and our style, the more we can make choices about expending that energy in a way that helps us develop our best selves.
There are a variety of personality assessments available to help us build greater self-awareness. I’m certified in several, however my favorite is Insights Discovery because it uses a simple and memorable four-color model to help people understand their style. These styles are called “color energies”, and it’s the unique mix of the four energies – Fiery Red, Sunshine Yellow, Earth Green and Cool Blue, which can help us see why we show up the way we do. My favorite thing about Insights Discovery is that while it shows we may have a preference for two, or even three, color energies, we can actually use any color energy at any time. And we can choose if we are going to use more of one, or less of one.
I also like the way Insights Discovery talks about Introversion and Extraversion. It doesn’t have anything to do with being quiet and shy, or a loud talker, but more with your preferred way of recharging your energy levels. Do you get more energy from needing independent time for yourself, or do you get more energy from hanging out with a group? If you’re like me and you get more energy from hanging out with a group, the pandemic has been particularly challenging because I don’t get much of a chance to recharge in a group.
Insights Discovery is also a self-awareness tool that can be eerily accurate. I was facilitating a session where everyone had just received their profile and the room was quiet as people read theirs. After a few minutes of quietness, a gentleman blurted out loud, “Oh my goodness, I swear my wife wrote this!” That’s how accurate his profile was.
When I read these two statements in my profile, I belly laughed out loud because they describe me so well:
• “She is bored by details and repetitive activities, especially those not relevant to her current areas of interest.”
• “Routine administrative work is of little interest to her though unexplored and unexpected elements of a job often aren’t considered work at all.”
I can get bored easily with the details, UNLESS it relates to something that I’m really excited about, such as a new project or idea, and then I can obsess over the tiniest detail!
Productivity, collaborative cultures, and team effectiveness are all ways Insights can help transform leaders and culture. LinkedIn turned to Insights Discovery to help team members effectively work together, address conflict, and raise awareness of how we all work differently. Using the Insights Discovery language of color, teams are able to find common ground and maximize performance. You can read the case study here.
One of my favorite quotes from Ted Lasso (a comedy about a college football coach that goes to England to coach soccer), is from a scene where he asks his star player who is pretty arrogant if he would rather be a lion or a panda. The player answers, “I’m me – why would I want to be anyone else?!” – to which Ted replies, “I’m not sure how you realize how psychologically healthy that actually is.”
Insights Discovery can be a tool to help you on your own self-awareness journey to discover your best self so that you can also say, “I’m me -why would I want to be anyone else?!”