Are you a fiery red or a cool blue?

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What does self-awareness really mean? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Do personality tests help in improving self-awareness? 

Increasing our self-awareness

Whether it be understanding our mental health, developing our emotional intelligence or exploring all the things that make us unique; self-awareness is crucial to how we experience our lives. In understanding ourselves better, the more we feel that things are under our control, reducing anxiety and giving us a greater ability to adapt to life’s changes and regulate our emotions. 

What is self-awareness?

According to psychologists Shelley Duval and Robert Wicklund Self-awareness is the ability to focus on yourself and how your actions, thoughts, or emotions do or don’t align with your internal standards. If you’re highly self-aware, you can objectively evaluate yourself, manage your emotions, align your behaviour with your values, and understand correctly how others perceive you.”

Those who are highly self-aware, can interpret their feelings, thoughts and actions objectively. Decision making becomes easier and confidence grows, so as a result, we communicate with clarity and intention. Equally, people who are aware of how others see them are more likely to be empathetic to different perspectives which in turn, helps build better relationships.On the contrary, a lack of self-awareness can expose us to doubt and negative emotions, causing us to underestimate and limit ourselves. 

How to improve self-awareness?

Self-assessment or introspection is the first step to initiate a positive change towards self-awareness. Personality profiling is used by organisations across the world to help individuals understand themselves better; a good personality test will reveal our natural preferences, emotional triggers and patterns of which we may have little or no awareness. 

Insights Discovery

Insights Discovery is a psychometric tool, based on Jungian psychology, which uses a four-colour model to highlight key personality preferences and associated behaviours.At Broadsword, it is our tool of choice and we have found it is a great way to increase self-awareness and awareness of others, understanding more about the motivations behind our thoughts, individual strengths and weaknesses, communication style and approach to problems. 

The foundational theory of Insights Discovery starts with Carl Yung’s three preference sets: Introvert v Extrovert, Thinking v Feeling, and Sensation v Intuition. The four colour energies of the Insights Discovery model: Fiery Red, Sunshine Yellow, Earth Green, and Cool Blue as well as identifying the eight psychological types: Director, Motivator, Inspirer, Helper,Supporter, Observer, and Reformer. 

The process starts with an online evaluation from which, a personal profile is generated.Profiles outline your unique colour mix” representing certain personality preferences and associated behaviours. 

Insights Discovery and Broadsword

Last year, all members of Broadsword’s Event Team completed a personal profile, with follow up individual coaching sessions and a group workshop, which opened up discussions around team dynamics, relationships, communication, conflict and decision making. It was a rewarding and bonding process, leveraging diversity and giving individuals a voice, whilst allowing everyone to have a better understanding of the drivers, motivators and demotivators of their colleagues and how our behaviour may affect those around us. 

In particular, we really liked the way Insights Discovery deals with introversion and extraversion which focuses on where you get your energy from – independent time for yourself or by spending time with a group, rather than the stereotyped quiet and shy’ and loud’ personas. The tool has also really helped with leadership, ensuring managers understand the unique differences across their teams and adapt their style accordingly.

Knowing your personality and having good self-awareness is a superpower at work, improving communication, decision-making and ultimately performance.

For Broadsword, this activity has enabled respectful, productive and positive working relationships and an overall appreciation of the diversity within our organisation.