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Creating Successful Leaders

We spend so much time in our own heads, and wrapped up in our own thoughts, we tend to forget that others think differently than we do. They might have different perspectives, different trigger points, or process information in a different way. These differences could stem from our backgrounds, experiences, personalities, world views—any number of factors that shape our thoughts.

It is important to A) acknowledge these differences and B) embrace them!

As a Licensed Practitioner of Insights Discovery (read more about Insights in this post), I am very familiar with diversity of thought. Some people thrive on data and logic. They prefer to collect all the information they possibly can before making a decision (or even speaking up). In Insights Discovery language, these individuals lead with “blue energy.”

Others are creative idea generators. They like to throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks (so to speak!). They enjoy talking out their thoughts and bouncing ideas off others. Generally, these people lead with “yellow energy.”

Additionally, a team might be comprised of “green energy” folks, who tend to be the most inclusive and empathetic of the four color energies. Their thinking often revolves around the greater good and how best to help people.

Then, there’s “red energy.” These individuals are action-oriented, so their thought process might go like this: “How can we get the best people on this project ASAP, and start delivering results?”

All these examples are, of course, generalizations (and I am very much glossing over what it means to lead with blue, yellow, green, and red energy), but the point I’m trying to illustrate is that people think, react, and process information in different ways. And that’s a good thing!

Can you imagine if everyone on your team was yellow energy-oriented and only enjoyed creative brainstorming? Maybe some of the ideas would bear fruit, but, without any data to back up the ideas, it’s difficult to know. On the other hand, data is absolutely critical for informing decisions, but data alone doesn’t create innovative solutions. You need a blend of both creativity and data.

So, when you’re making decisions on who to include on your team, take diversity of thought into consideration. Make an effort to include those who have different backgrounds and perspectives, diverse approaches, and various ways of looking at information or generating ideas. One way to identify thought diversity in your workplace is to utilize a science-based assessment program such as StrengthsFinder, DiSC, or (of course!) Insights Discovery.

If you’d like to learn more, send me a note.

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY (AND DEEPER DISCOVERY) LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 

HER NEW EBOOK IS CALLED A QUICK GUIDE TO COURAGE.

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