Benefits of using psychometric testing in your team

Benefits of using psychometric testing in your team

We recently paid for the team at Optix to be profiled using a psychometric testing system called ‘Insights’. After collating the results and sharing, we then took them on a half day with a trained Insights professional and motivational coach Jack Russell. To say we’re all buzzing about it would be an understatement.

Why did we do it?

We all communicate and like to be communicated with in different ways. Our preference will be based on something born in us as well as key points in our upbringing. Often the challenges seen in team environments comes down to a lack of understanding of this. So often people will assume a lack of respect/disliking when someone is different to them. Often its no more than a misunderstanding or a clash of personalities.

How does Insights work?

The system is based on a coloured wheel. Starting with Fiery Red in the top right, you move to Sunshine Yellow in the bottom right, Earth Green in the bottom left and Cool Blue in the top left. There are various shades and mixtures of the colours as you go round but for ease lets just talk about these four energies. Those in the right hand quadrants are considered extroverts (red and yellow) while those in the left are more introverted (green and blue). Those in the top are more task focused (Red and Blue) while those in the bottom are more people focused (Yellow and Green). If you fall into the Red category you’re likely to be driven, dominant perhaps demanding and sometimes difficult – when speaking to these guys you better know what you’re talking about, don’t give them any fluff, just get on with it. They hate wasting time. The Yellows, as their colour would suggest are bright and bubbly. They are probably the ones standing in the middle of the room chatting or inspiring others. You want to be spending time getting to know these guys and involving them in the big ideas. Greens are calm and helpful. They are driven by strong belief systems and you don’t want to mess with that. Be slow and steady in your communication, don’t rush them. Finally blues are detailed and very task focused. An eye for getting things done exactly and in a precise manner is what drives them. When communicating with them ensure you are precise and have all the facts. 

Why is this important?

We were asked to do an exercise in our groups which involved organising our perfect night out (I’m a sunshine yellow by the way…YAY…according to my colleagues that can also mean ‘annoyingly cringey’ but hey I’m ok with that 😉 The yellows went off bullet pointing a night with laughter, friends, frolicking and drinking, all of which takes place in multiple locations through the evening. The blues went about precisely describing a night out somewhere they have been before (so they knew the consistency) and a pre-booked taxi home. Red and Green were similar distances apart. This was an eye opener for me. Consider this in a work scenario; put these people in an office or team without an understanding of what makes each other tick and its bound to fall over occasionally.

Key Take Aways

Its all well and good understanding Insights, its what you do with it that makes it worthwhile. My immediate takeaways are as follows:

1). You are a mixture of colours. You can’t just pigeon hole someone. This is key when considering the person you’re communicating with because….

2). Its your responsibility to change your communication style to that of your colleagues, not theirs to adapt to yours (although clearly if they do there is perfect harmony!)

3). Working in teams involves skills from all the colours – are you playing to the strengths of those individuals or making them do something they are naturally not good at or where they expend an awful lot of energy doing their best to perform.

I’d highly recommend using the insights profiling in your business – it will change the way you view your colleagues and give you an edge with your communications that lead to a better environment and culture. I’ve not even touched the sides with how it can help your comms with clients – what would that mean to you to have better relationships with them? 

Have you used profiling in your business? How has it changed the way you do things?

photo courtesy of Steve Corey

How to change a habit…The #21days Challenge

How to change a habit…The #21days Challenge

It’s that old saying that comes to mind…if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got… yet we find it so difficult to break the habits we’ve become accustomed to and still we believe that tomorrow might just hold something different – why is this? Are we all stark raving mad? :)

Whether it be your business or your home life, I know you’ll have been wanting to make changes (probably for years). You’ll have thought about it time and time again but probably never got round to it. Let me guess; you’ll start tomorrow or perhaps New Year would be a good time or you’re going to start when someone else starts with you? Sound familiar? Before I go any further – I’m no different and this is the reason for this post!

A week or two ago Robert Pickstone (whom I know through Twitter) wrote an excellent post on his blog about the #21days challenge and created the hashtag for people to follow. He had read the book by Jack Russell , a Devon based motivational speaker, ‘Don’t tell the bumble bee’ (affiliate link) in which Jack explains that to successfully break a habit or make a change, a consistent period of 21 days of change is needed. Robert decided through social media, to pull people together and see how many he could get to take the challenge.  He now has a good 50+ people committing to start the #21days challenge from this Monday (28th June) and I will be one of them.

I met Jack Russell about 7 or 8 years ago and he inspired me too.  I’d not heard much about him in the last 5 years (he travels the world so it’s not surprising really) until I saw Robert’s post. I was genuinely excited. I commented back and started to help spread the message to my followers on Twitter.

I’m an open an honest person and am more than happy to share my challenge. I’m planning a two-parter which ties into both business and home life. I plan to address the work life balance first by changing my (somewhat ridiculous) working hours to make sure I’m in earlier in the morning and leaving no later than 6:30pm. I work late most nights which is not particularly healthy for anyone. With these new working hours I intend to change the first part of my day (the first hour before anyone else gets into work) into ‘marketing time’ – I will concentrate purely on the marketing of my business. I will not open up email or tweetdeck – it will be pure marketing time….let’s see how it goes. I’m quite excited!

Just before I submitted this post, I thought I’d give Jack a quick call to let him know what was going on and luckily I managed to get him on the phone. He’s about to go off for a couple of weeks running courses but was absolutely thrilled to hear about this challenge. He wished everyone taking part the very best of luck and hoped to be able to drop into Rob’s blog post to say hi to everyone when he was back. :)

So are you up for changing anything? If you are why not join us on the hashtag #21days. Get yourself over to Rob’s blog and tell everyone what your plan is, I hope to see you all there and good luck :)