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Creating Successful Leaders

Category Archives: Insights Discovery

If you’ve been following my blog or are familiar with my business, you’ll know that I am a licensed practitioner of Insights Discovery. Insights is a science-based program that is meant to develop self-awareness and improve interpersonal relationships and communication.

Unlike many other assessment programs, Insights uses simple, approachable language to discuss prominent traits in individuals. The Insights color wheel is divided into four colors (red, yellow, green, and blue), each other describing the characteristics of a specific personality type. For example, those who lead with red energy tend to prefer direct communication and rapid action. Those who lead with blue energy tend to be more analytical and like to mull over all options before proceeding.

If you’re not familiar with Insights, you might be thinking, “Wait a minute! That seems like an oversimplification of someone’s personality. Can we all really be reduced to four different personality types?!”

You’re absolutely right.

It’s impossible to fit all people into four neat boxes. That’s why Insights Discovery emphasizes the fact that people’s personalities are multi-colored, and most of us can tap into all the colors on the Insights color wheel. Those who are mostly “red” have the ability to tamp down their natural impulsiveness and embrace their analytical “blue side.” Those who are mostly “blue” can tap into their “inner red” and make snap decisions in a pinch.

Not only that, we might fluctuate from day to day. Those with “sunny yellow” personalities might have days when they’re feeling less social and more introverted. It’s normal and natural to have a dynamic personality that changes from time to time.

That’s why Insights uses the term “leads with” to describe someone’s tendencies. Someone who “leads with” yellow energy is often extroverted, social, and enjoys working with teams, but they may also have a strong blue side that compels them to be analytical as well.

Humans are dynamic. We can adapt to certain groups and settings. That doesn’t mean we’re disingenuous; it simply means that specific situations require us to behave in certain ways. Understanding the Insights color wheel and our ability to embrace other colors is empowering. We’re not stuck in a personality rut—we can grow, adapt, and change when we need to. Not only that, we can actively work on developing other colors of our personality if we feel one or more are lacking. For instance, someone who leads with red energy can attempt to build their empathy and patience by tapping into their inner green energy.

Which colors are prominent in your personality? Which traits would you like to develop? The Insights Discovery color wheel can help! Get in touch if you’d like to learn more.

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. 
CHECK OUT MARGARET’S ONLINE LEADERSHIP COURSE. 

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If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I frequently refer to Insights Discovery. For those who haven’t seen my posts about Insights, here’s a quick summary: It’s a science-based program that is meant to improve team dynamics, leadership, communication, and more through gaining personal insights and building self-awareness. (For more, read this blog post about Insights). One key factor of the Insights program is leadership.

Leadership is closely tied to Insights Discovery because the best leaders are those who have a strong understanding of themselves and their leadership tendencies. These are the leaders who also understand their team and how to communicate and inspire them. To cultivate this type of leader, Insights has designed a proprietary Transformational Leadership program.

What is a transformational leader?

To me, a transformational leader is someone who is both motivating and empowering. This a leader who has their team’s back and will stand up for them. A transformational leader believes in communication, clarity, and transparency. They believe in people over profit.

Perhaps Bernard Bass and Ronald Riggio, authors of Transformational Leadership, said it best: “Transformational leaders help followers grow and develop into leaders by responding to individual followers’ needs by empowering them and by aligning the objectives and goals of the individual followers, the leader, the group, and the larger organization.”

Great leadership, however, is not always about inspiration and rallying the team. It can also involve engaging in tough (but necessary) conversations, creating an accountability system, or sticking to firm standards. When it comes to tough conversations, Insights has developed a model called the D4 Model to guide leaders through both appreciative (“Here is what’s going right”) and developmental (“Here’s what needs to improve) feedback. By leaning on basic Insights principles, the D4 Model helps leaders deliver empathetic, specific, and urgent feedback.

In my experience, successful organizations are carried by effective leaders. These leaders are passionate and visionary, and yet down to earth. Above all, they care. How could transformational leadership improve your organization and help you achieve your goals?

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. 
CHECK OUT MARGARET’S ONLINE LEADERSHIP COURSE. 

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“Use what talents you possess – the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”

Henry van Dyke

Allow me to make a bold statement: You are talented. If you don’t believe me, you’re being far too critical of yourself and I encourage you to step back, think about your myriad accomplishments, and rework your definition of “talent.”

Step One: Take a Step Back

When you’re “in the weeds” in your professional or personal life, it’s easy to lose sight of your talents. They become hidden under piles of routine work and everyday tasks. They are placed on the backburner of your mind.

That’s why it’s helpful to step away from your day-to-day tasks every once in a while and consider what you’ve achieved. If you are having trouble pinpointing your talents, enlist the help of others or consider taking an assessment test. (As an LP of Insights Discovery, I recommend that one!)

Step Two: Consider Your Accomplishments

When thinking about your talents, cast a wide net. Think about what you’ve achieved in both your personal life and career. Consider what you’re good at, whether these things come naturally or have taken a good deal of effort to achieve. For example:

Have you organized a multi-family Thanksgiving dinner with multiple courses and activities? That’s a talent!

Do you have a knack for interpreting data? That’s a talent!

Are you adept at leading team meetings? Writing reports? Recognizing strengths in others? Talent, talent, and talent.

Just because something comes naturally to you, doesn’t mean it does for everyone. It’s just that you’ve mastered a skill and take your expertise for granted. It’s time to recognize that you DO have skillsets that others might not. You DO have talent.

Looking for a job change? Or, hoping to accelerate your current career? Check out the career resources (both FREE and paid) on my website!

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. 
CHECK OUT MARGARET’S ONLINE LEADERSHIP COURSE. 

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