Some thoughts on Insights Discovery®


Insights are generally considered a good thing, and discovering something is usually a good thing too – unless, for example, that something is mouse droppings in the pantry or the first signs of a receding hairline. Insights Discovery® is a psychometric profiling tool of immense power. It helps people to discover things about their own personality preferences and when used in a group, or team setting, it offers valuable insights into how different personalities might work more effectively together.

My own company, Searchlight, has first-hand experience of the practical benefits associated with participating in an Insights Discovery® team effectiveness workshop and we can attest to the tool’s robustness, uncanny accuracy, accessibility and ease of use. So convinced have we been that we are happy to offer Insights Discovery® workshops to our clients. We have a number of Insights Discovery® licensed practitioners on our team and the workshops they run have been very well received. I believe it’s a genuinely useful tool. But the purpose of this article is not to sing the praises of a service we offer, but to explain a bit about Insights Discovery® and how it works.

Insights Discovery® is loosely based on the work of the highly influential Swiss psychologist Carl Jung (1875-1961), one of the founders of modern psychology. Although it is probably one of the most accessible personality profiling tools on the market, it is underpinned by a highly complex and robust methodology. Its credentials are confirmed by the fact that the Insights Discovery® system has been registered with the British Psychological Society and their testing centre (PTC). As a result of their rigorous testing Insights Discovery® carries the PTC mark.

Insights Discovery® uses a colour-based approach that, in my view, is much easier to follow and identify with than the sixteen four-letter types used by longer-established personality profiling tools. In our experience users find it much simpler to relate to being told that their dominant preference is ‘cool blue’, for example, than that they are an INTP or an ISTP type. Similarly, Insights Discovery® uses a far more accessible ‘colour wheel’ approach, rather than a complex grid.

Simple it may be in outline, but once you get stuck in it can generate some fairly subtle, but nonetheless powerful, insights.

But, to take a step back, how exactly does Insights Discovery® attempt to interpret personality preferences? At its most basic level, Insights Discovery describes four colour energies: Fiery Red, Sunshine Yellow, Earth Green and Cool Blue. In very simple terms, Cool Blue is associated with qualities like precision, deliberation and discernment, Fiery Red with competitiveness, determination and strong will, Sunshine Yellow with enthusiasm, energy and sociability, and Earth Green with sharing, nurturing and patience. But there’s a lot more to it than that.

It’s always important for anyone working with Insights Discovery® to stress that the idea is not to divide people crudely between four colour-based categories. In practice we have  all four colour ‘energies’ in our make-up which influence our response to situations and our interactions with other people. Insights Discovery® simply seeks to identify the relative dominance of each colour energy in a particular individual. Simple it may be in outline, but once you get stuck in it can generate some fairly subtle, but nonetheless powerful, insights.

Identifying this balance of colours and energies in different people can go a long way to improving communication in the workplace and assisting in developing or enhancing effective working relationships. Understanding our own colour preference can help us understand how to draw on our strengths and to compensate for potential weaknesses (each colour has negative as well as positive traits associated with it).

By understanding more about what makes your employees tick, you can often gain valuable insights into how to get them working more effectively and cohesively and how to provide the most appropriate encouragement and motivation either collectively, or individually.

People who have been on an Insights Discovery® workshop have cited benefits such as gaining a better understanding of how they come across to fellow workers, helping them push themselves outside their normal comfort zones, and improved relationships with colleagues having come to understand them better. The reason Insights Discovery® works so well for most people is the simple, approachable and unthreatening way it uses colours to visualise what might otherwise seem quite complex theoretical ideas.

We find participants very quickly grasp the concept and are up and running almost straightaway. On that basis, if you haven’t already looked into Insights Discovery®, I would warmly recommend you do so.


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SEARCHLIGHT INSURANCE TRAINING - Arranging training and consultancy for the Financial Services industry - Setting up and developing a new insurance company - Leading an asset finance company - Non-Executive director Specialties: - A versatile and innovative professional executive with proven track record - Experienced non-executive director - Experienced in takeovers and mergers - Liveryman at the Worshipful Company of Insurers - Chartered Insurer

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