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Self-awareness is the best icebreaker

If there’s one thing we know at Insights, it’s that people are all unique, and that’s ok. In fact, it’s more than ok; diversity of strengths, skills, preferences, work styles, challenges and areas of expertise is what makes teams and organisations stronger together.  Like a rope fashioned from hundreds of fragile threads, the strength of the collective grows by a magnitude until, woven together just right, it has the strength to bear the heaviest of loads.

Where such diversity exists, we should acknowledge it, honour it, and make sure that everyone’s unique style is taken into account – and that’s particularly true when it comes to people development.  You can’t shoehorn a one-size-fits-all learning experience into a diverse team and expect everyone to leave having heard the same things, understood them just the same as the next person, and been similarly impacted by it.

That’s because learning isn’t a one-way process where information is taken in, processed, and then comes out looking the same once people are back at their desks. Rather, it’s a meeting in the middle, between the way learning is delivered, and the innate character of the learner. There’s a unique alchemy at play in every single learning experience, and much of that comes down to the preferences of the learner.

Know your own style

If you know Insights, you’ll know that the foundation of what we teach people is self-awareness. Like Carl Jung said,

“Every advance … of mankind has been connected with an advance in self awareness.”

Only by truly understanding how you like to work and learn, why that is, how others perceive you, the true value that you bring, and how you could develop better working relationships, can you really know what steps to take in your personal development journey.  But it’s how you like to learn that’s key here.

Our foundational Insights Discovery model teaches that everyone is a mix of what we call the four colour energies, but that one of these will be our natural home, whether that’s Fiery Red, Sunshine Yellow, Earth Green or Cool Blue energy. And each of these colour energies also has a preference for how they most like to learn.

Fiery Red learning

If you lead with Fiery Red energy, you are task focused, direct and determined, and you’ll want to know up-front why you should take time out of your busy week to focus on your own development.

What will get you going in a learning sense is seeing the solid impact of what you learn, being able to quickly apply the theory, and being able to access the relevant information right when you need it, with no waiting.

Sunshine Yellow learning

Sunshine Yellow energy is sociable, chatty, open and Extraverted. If this is your preference, you’ll be thrilled to take time out of the office to hang with your colleagues and dig deeper into what’s going on in your team.

Your enthusiasm for sharing might overpower the room a little, so make sure you leave having listened and learned. You’ll enjoy interactive learning; videos, activities and exercises that keep the learning alive later.

Earth Green learning

Earth Green energy is focused on what’s best for the people in the team. You’ll want to make sure that everyone in the room is comfortable with the conversations that are going on, and you probably won’t want to be forced to share your truths on the spot.

For you, having access to the learning later will help the lessons sink in, give you time to reflect quietly on your own personal journey, and do some follow-up learning at your own pace, in a place that’s most comfortable for you.

Cool Blue learning

Cool Blue energy needs to be won over by credibility, authority, and proven validity behind the lessons (so it’s just as well that we’ve got that in spades). You may feel sceptical to begin with, and will want to skip past the icebreakers to get to the meaty stuff.  But once the logic behind the learning is clear, you’ll just want to dig deep into the learning to maximise the time you’re spending.

You’ll be assuaged by having access to some of the learning up-front so that you can do your own research and think of some penetrating questions for the facilitator.

Knowing yourself is the best icebreaker

If you recognise that everyone is different, from the way they take their coffee to the way they prefer to learn, you’re already a step ahead before you even take a peek at our online evaluator.

If your personal preference is learning alone, you can recognise the barriers you start to put up when you hear the word ‘icebreaker’ and talk yourself down. Or if you recognise that your Extraversion can sometimes go into overdrive in a group setting, you may be able to let others share the limelight sometimes.  We’re all unique, with all of the opportunities and difficulties that might bring with it. That’s why our learning is designed to work for everyone.

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