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Category Archives: Insights Discovery

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I’m a licensed practitioner of Insights Discovery. Insights is a science-based program, designed to help you become more familiar with your personal preferences, strengths, areas of opportunity, communication preferences, etc. In short, it helps you take a deeper dive into YOU, which, in turn, helps you to better connect with others.

When I guide teams through Insights Discovery, it always amazes me what people learn about each other and what bubbles up to the surface. Sometimes, a person will have a lightbulb moment and realize, for example, that they have been communicating in an ineffective way with someone for years. Maybe Person B prefers straightforward, to-the-point communication, and Person A has always tried to chat with them first before getting to the point. Maybe tension has arisen, and they both had no idea why. Insights can help pinpoint the source of that tension and guide people to take the first steps to alleviate it.

So…where do colors fit in?

Insights uses a simple color wheel to classify different personality types. In short, those with a “red energy” preference tend to be go-getters, results-oriented, and have little tolerance for dilly-dallying. Those who lead with yellow energy are social, enjoy working in teams, and do well with brainstorming sessions. Blue energy folks are driven by data and logic, and they tend to be on the introverted side. People who lead with green energy tend to be highly empathetic, quiet, and want to see everyone included on the team.

These are broad generalizations, of course, and Insights definitely recognizes that people are more complex than a single “color.” That’s why it’s said that an individual “leads with” a certain color. Someone might lead with yellow energy, for instance, but can also have a knack for data analysis (a blue energy trait) and are motivated to see their entire team succeed (a green energy trait).

Insights, in fact, claims that each of us has the capacity to embrace every color. Even if we are not natural “reds,” for instance, we can still whip up that confidence and embrace red energy. That’s because human beings are dynamic, and we have the capability to train ourselves to be more well-rounded.

Let’s not put limits on ourselves.

Instead, I challenge you to try embracing some of the characteristics that do not come naturally to you. If you think a little more self-confidence would serve you well right now, commit to working on that. If you think you could become a tad more social, commit to that. Best of luck on your color journey! Contact me if you’d like a little more guidance on Insights.


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Updated August, 2019

A Note From Margaret:

In the history of the UXL Blog (which has been active since 2011), this post is by far the most popular. That says a lot to me. For one, it means that people are interested in effective communication and developing a deeper understanding of their colleagues and co-workers. It also means that many people suspect that Insights® Discovery is a useful tool for digging in and approaching communication issues from a science-based, practical approach. 

If your team is struggling with communication (whether among team members, between bosses and staff, or with clients), I can help. As an Insights® Discovery Licensed Practitioner, I offer workshops and training to individuals and teams of any size, in any industry. I invite you to contact me today for more information.

Now, on with the post…

Do you ever wonder why a certain co-worker is so quiet? Or why another co-worker always wants to work in teams? Or why another won’t make a decision until everyone’s voice has been heard?

Assessment tests, such as Insights® Discovery, can unearth the mysteries behind your co-workers’ communication tendencies. Insights® is a science-based personality test designed to help you gain a better understanding of your own and others’ behaviors, tendencies, and perspectives. As an Insights® Licensed Practitioner, I have introduced many teams to Insights® and have witnessed improved communication, better leadership, and greater team cohesion and empathy.

One of the things I like best about Insights® is its approachable model, broken down into four main color energies (blue, red, yellow, and green). The idea behind the model is that everyone has the capacity to exhibit and embrace all four distinct personality types, but we all tend to lead with or prefer a certain personality type. Here is a brief overview of each color/personality type. Which one do you immediately identify with?


RED: Those who lead with red energy tend to be assertive, bold, and to-the-point. They are natural leaders and love to take charge and make quick decisions.

YELLOW: Yellows are bright, sunshiney, and social. They love working in teams, brainstorming ideas, and connecting with new people.

GREEN: People with a strong green tendency are typically empathetic and inclusive. Above all, they care about the happiness of their team members and want to make sure all voices are heard.

BLUE: Blues are data-driven, analytical, and contemplative. They like to mull over an issue and consider all angles before making a decision.

Now that you know a little bit about each color energy, let’s hone in on communication. Each group of people–reds, yellows, blues, and greens–has a different communication preference. The image below outlines how best to approach those who lead with a certain color energy:

Insights Discovery communication preferences
Yellow: Involve me.  Green: Show me you care.  Red: Be brief, be bright, be gone.  Blue: Give me details.

If you have a good hunch about someone’s leading color, take the time to stand in their shoes and consider how they might prefer to communicate. Should you be brief and bright with them (red)? Should you take the time to be social and ask about their family or weekend (yellow)? Should you ask about their emotional reaction toward a project (green)? Should you present them with a complete set of data and analysis (blue)?

This, of course, is just the tip of the Insights® Discovery iceberg. For more information on Insights®, or to find out how to acquire an assessment kit for your team, please contact me today.


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Image via

In a past blog post, I addressed diversity and how it goes beyond physical characteristics and also involves diversity of thought, behavior, and perspective. Today, I’d like to discuss how your diverse workplace can be a welcoming one. First, let’s define what a welcoming workplace looks like.

People in a welcoming workplace…

…feel a sense of belonging, are treated fairly, and have equal opportunities

…feel like they can be themselves and allow others to be themselves

…are fully engaged and part of a team

…remain authentic

The result of a welcoming workplace? Innovation, creative ideas, and fresh ways of looking at things. These are all things any organization wants, but how to achieve them? How can people with widely differing outlooks on life work together harmoniously and accomplish great things?

According to the principles I’ve learned from Insights® Discovery (a tool for understanding and developing unique personalities), inclusion really starts from the top. Company leadership needs to be fully invested in the idea of fostering a welcoming workplace before the rest of the team can truly adopt it.

The organization should consider these questions:

  • Does the leadership recognize the diversity of its team?
  • Do they know how to adapt and connect with all the people on their team?
  • Do they know what motivates certain people on their team? Do they know what derails them?
  • Are there open lines of communication in the office?
  • Are questions and concerns addressed or ignored?
  • Does the leadership make an effort to hear from everyone at the table?

Company leadership can facilitate an open, welcoming environment, but it takes the rest of the organization to keep it up on a day-to-day basis. That takes awareness and reflection. We should be asking ourselves questions from time to time like: “How does the work environment feel?” “How comfortable is it for me? For my co-workers?” “Does the minority have a voice in the office?” “Are we encouraged to raise questions or concerns?”

It takes time to build a welcoming environment, but the results are worth it. Each person has the ability to add unique value to the organization, so it’s important to create an environment where that value can come through.

If you’d like to delve into creating a welcoming workplace in more depth, I encourage you to contact me so we can discuss your organization’s needs. Thanks for reading!

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.
NOW LIVE: Check out Margaret’s NEW online Leadership Course.

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