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Thought Leadership 22 July 2014

Watching you learn more about yourself? It's the best part of my day…

The silence that takes over the room as a group of people delve into their Insights Discovery Personal Profiles is something really pretty special to behold.

People softly turn over pages and a hum begins to fill the room, as people start to take on the significance of what they are reading. They know this is a pivotal moment, but perhaps just not HOW pivotal, not quite yet.

Reactions begin to show on people’s faces; a brow might furrow as someone reads something they’d rather not acknowledge, someone else hoots with laughter as they recognise themselves as, say, that bull in the china shop we all know and love. There are gasps at how certain phrases seem to strike right at the core of who people are, wry smiles as others realise that their team were right about certain traits all along, and then the conversations begin…

Mostly the first things we hear are along the lines of:

  • How did you get me so right from 25 little questions? (well it’s really 100 word pairs tucked into 25 questions – clever, eh?)
  • Have you been talking to my partner/mother/dog?
  • Have you been going through my trash? (a definite no to that one. It’s just really accurate, sir)

Hard truths and 'aha' moments

And so the ice is broken; as we move through the day, team mates who just never quite got each other, suddenly each understand where the other has been coming from all along.  So much affection between colleagues spills out, as people see that others really cherish them for traits that they maybe didn’t even realise they had. Of course, some hard truths might come out – that’s always possible, as colleagues are asked to be brave in revealing who they really are, when they may have previously hidden behind a mask.

But, without being flippant, it really is all good. Although there may be conversations that come out of the profiles that are tricky, difficult to have and sometimes even a little embarrassing, what could be better than being given a platform on which to stand up and say, in front of all of your colleagues, ‘this is who I am, this is what motivates me, let me tell you all about me.’ Being given the space for open, honest conversations with someone you may have previously struggled to understand is an unbelievable gift. And sprinkled throughout the day are so many ‘aha’ moments as things fall into place for people right around the room.

It’s been said that we spend more time with our colleagues than our own families, and yet how often do we really take the time to learn who they really are, or to show them who we really are? Sharing your Insights Discovery Personal Profiles gives you an opportunity to reveal so much about yourself that you probably wouldn’t do otherwise.

Communication Do's and Don'ts

Even something as simple as sharing some of your Communication Do’s and Don’ts with your colleagues can really transform how you all relate to each other: if you’ve been grabbing people for ‘a quick chat’ all these years, when it turns out that off-the-cuff chats are their pet peeve…that’s the kind of tiny change that can have tons of impact on your relationships.

And while we’re talking about personal truths, here’s a little something about me: that moment when you opened your Discovery Personal Profile, and recognised yourself in there so fully that you laughed out loud? That was the best part of my day. It reminded me of the power of what we do, all over again. And that you were ready to be open, brave and have fun. Is there a better way to spend a working day?

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