Personality Dimensions® – It’s All About Communication

We were talking about the early days of working with Personality Dimensions® at the office earlier today – okay, I was talking, the others were listening; they’re all from the next generation – and it reminded me of one presentation that really stands out in my memory and that has helped shape Personality Dimensions® in some ways.

I had been invited to speak at a gathering of leaders for a youth organization. There were leaders from all over southern Ontario present, a hundred or so if memory serves, including from their headquarters. I’d been given an hour or two to do to an introduction to temperament theory/Personality Dimensions® and I included an emphasis on interpersonal communications.

The lovely ladies (it was all ladies present) who volunteered their time and talents to the youth in their units all seemed to be really interested and a lot of discussion took place. The room was, to my eye, largely a sea of blue, and I’m not just talking about the uniforms. Sitting at the front, clustered around one large table were the leaders from headquarters – a very Organized Gold group, with some Authentic Blue and one Inquiring Green. Everyone, regardless of their plaid, was there because they wanted to do the very best job that they could for the kids.

anna-earl-1679846-unsplashI did the presentation and it was well received so I started to pack up and prepare for my 4 hour drive home. It took me another 2 hours to get out the door! Foregoing the break that was planned immediately after my presentation, many of the ladies gathered around to help me – and to talk about how my presentation applied to them specifically. While some talked about their kids or spouses and how they now recognized why they didn’t always see eye to eye – the usual reaction people have after they’ve been introduced to Personality Dimensions® – many wanted to talk about the actual organization. It seems that there had been some problems between headquarters and many of the leaders. Some were actually in tears (in case you don’t know me, I’m a bright Inquiring Green; tears can be a bit of a challenge for me to deal with so to say I was surprised at this reaction to my presentation would be quite the understatement)!

It quickly became clear that changes were being made to the program at the top level but no one was actually explaining why. Keep in mind that many of the ladies had been volunteering for several years, often starting when their own child wanted to join and a new leader was needed to keep the group going and then staying on long afterwards to continue to give to the next groups. They were hurt and felt a bit resentful. Now they understood a bit more about the differences in communication styles for each colour; it wasn’t personal, and was never intended to be.

I got home a bit later than I’d planned to that evening but the whole event left quite an impression on me – obviously; it took place almost two decades ago and I’m telling you about it now. If we are able, as Personality Dimensions® facilitators, to give those who we have the opportunity to speak with a greater sense of self-respect and understanding for others and in the process allow them to see the differences in communication styles for each colour – and fill in any missing gaps – we will have done a great thing!

 

Yours, from the back office.

Denise

Denise Hughes is the Director and owner of Denise HeadshotCLSR Inc. and general editor of Personality Dimensions® materials and products. She just noticed the calendar and realized it is just past the 44th anniversary of her introduction to career and type and temperament materials. Those experiences and the expertise she gained through her years with the Guidance Centre, University of Toronto, and now with CLSR, continue to shape the direction that both CLSR and Personality Dimensions® take.

Personality Dimensions® Meet the Authors

Lynn DennisWhen I look back on my career I am often reminded how fortunate I’ve been to know so many great people. And it always amazes me how often the same people have shown up at various points throughout my working life (which, let’s face it, has been rather long so I guess the odds are in favour of this happening, but I still find it surprising). One such person is a colleague who, if I recall correctly, I connected with through a now-defunct professional association in the late ‘80’s or early ‘90’s. It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Lynn Dennis, co-author of PD for Youth Foundations Facilitators Guide.

Lynn Dennis was introduced to temperament theory in 1992 when she started working at the Etobicoke Career Centre with Carol Tumber. This knowledge and self-awareness has benefitted all aspects of her personal and working life.

Lynn continues to use Personality Dimensions® with career counselling clients, colleagues, friends and family.

In training, Lynn never shares her dominant colour. Rather, she wants everyone to think that she is “their colour” and therefore understands the integral parts of their temperament. It is always important that the workshops are delivered honouring all four temperaments … and that the workshops are well organized, delivered in a timely fashion, with lots of practical handouts.

Degrees:  B.P.H.E (University of Toronto), B.Ed. (University of Western Ontario), Ontario Teaching Certificate with Guidance and Physical Education Specialist, OCT (Ontario Colleges of Teacher), Certificate in Guiding Circles, Personality Dimensions Level III Master Trainer, and is qualified to administer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

 

Yours, from the back office …

Denise Hughes is the Director and owner of Denise HeadshotCLSR Inc. and general editor of Personality Dimensions® materials and products. She just noticed the calendar and realized it is just past the 44th anniversary of her introduction to career and type and temperament materials. Those experiences and the expertise she gained through her years with the Guidance Centre, University of Toronto, and now with CLSR, continue to shape the direction that both CLSR and Personality Dimensions® take.

Personality Dimensions® – Making a Difference

pexels-photo-264636.jpegEvery once in a while we get little reminders that what we do makes a difference in the lives of others. A while ago I had just such a reminder. It arrived at a time when I was wondering if the work that we do researching, developing and, ultimately, adding to the Personality Dimensions® system really did make an impact. Let me tell you a little story…

I was standing in line at the grocery store, reading the headlines of the tabloids and looking at the pictures of the cookies displayed on the cover of a couple magazines and noticed that the cashier was looking up at me every so often. My turn came and after I’d finished loading my purchases onto the belt the cashier said, “I know who you are … you’re the colours lady.” I hadn’t a clue who she was.

She told me that she was, after several years working at various jobs, going back to school to get her ECE diploma so she could work with young children. She concluded with, “… and don’t you think that’s perfect for someone who is Authentic Blue?” I agreed with her that it sounded like a great choice and she was really pleased. I still didn’t know who she was.

Finally, I told her that I was delighted she remembered her temperament/colour but I hadn’t done any training in a while so I couldn’t place her. It turned out that she had been a member of a group of high school students who prototyped the earliest Personality Dimensions® at School materials twelve years prior!

I don’t know if this young woman is now working with young children, or perhaps she’s moved on to something different. What I do know is that learning her Personality Dimensions® was a memorable experience for her and has played a role in shaping her choices. I also know that yes, what we do does make a difference. I hope that every Personality Dimensions® Facilitator knows and appreciates this responsibility, I know that I do.

Yours, from the back office…

Denise Hughes is the Director and owner of Denise HeadshotCLSR Inc. and general editor of Personality Dimensions® materials and products. She just noticed the calendar and realized it is just past the 44th anniversary of her introduction to career and type and temperament materials. Those experiences and the expertise she gained through her years with the Guidance Centre, University of Toronto, and now with CLSR, continue to shape the direction that both CLSR and Personality Dimensions® take.

Personality Dimensions® – Core, Developed, and Contextual Self

Core-Self-300x298
Image © Linda Berens

Every once in a while someone will ask if it’s possible to identify the colour preference of  children, or if their preference carries through to adulthood. We haven’t done specific research on this but it is accepted temperament theory that children are clear in their colour preference and that it develops as they mature – the Core Self becomes the Developed Self and Contextual Self (thanks to Linda Berens for these terrific identifiers). Well, I can’t speak for other people but I’d like to tell you a couple of stories from my own childhood that illustrate my first colour preference has certainly remained consistent.

 

I am the oldest child in my family. My Dad had a sliver grey ‘58 Pontiac sedan that he kept in top running condition. And I spent hours leaning over the side of the hood watching what he was doing and driving him crazy with questions about how everything worked. My kindergarten teacher even remarked to my parents at one time that she thought I could build the car myself. To this day I am still fascinated by how things work.

When I was 7 years old my Dad took my cousin and I to see the circus. That was a huge treat at the time (remember, that was over 55 years ago; circuses were a very big deal). I was fascinated by the whole thing –- the performances, the music, the animals – and all the special lighting effects and how the trapezes and draperies, etc., were raised and lowered. The next evening during dinner my Mother and Father were talking about the show and I was so surprised to hear my Dad say, “I don’t think Denise saw any of the show, she was so busy looking up, watching whatever was going on in the rafters.” I was stunned. Of course I had seen the show! But I’d also enjoyed figuring out how all the other things were working – eventually estimating, by the timing of the lights or the change in backdrop or draperies when something else was going to happen (it’s actually still quite clear in my mind). Fascinating stuff to a 7 year old, or, at least, a 7 year old Inquiring Green. My parents must have wondered what made me tick from time to time.

Now it’s your turn. I’d love to hear your stories about you as a child. Do you see yourself as representing your first colour preference/temperament as a child? I hope you will share some of  your “colourful” stories.

 

Onward and upward from the back office … Denise

Denise Hughes is the Director and owner of Denise HeadshotCareer/LifeSkills Resources Inc. and general editor of Personality Dimensions® materials and products. She just noticed the calendar and realized it is just past the 42nd anniversary of her introduction to career and type and temperament materials. Those experiences and the expertise she gained through her years with the Guidance Centre, University of Toronto, and now with CLSR, continue to shape the direction that both Career/LifeSkills Resources and Personality Dimensions® take.

Personality Dimensions® – Musings from the Back Office

teacher-and-studentA friend, and also, incidentally, a Personality Dimensions® Master Facilitator, recently told me about a book of short stories called “Hot Apple Cider with Cinnamon.” I found the title intriguing. It evoked great memories of being a student working summers and weekends at a local history museum as an historic interpreter. Autumn meant that hot apple cider, complete with cinnamon sticks, would be mulling over an open fire in one of buildings.

I like a good, weighty book, one that requires my attention for many hours – and I usually have two or three on the go at the same time. A collection of short stories, subtitled “Stories of Finding Love in Unexpected Places” would normally send me running in another direction. However, I am glad that I listened and ordered this particular book.

One story asks how many of us have struggled with our own unique design because of the lack of freedom to discover and express who we are?

This is the story of a teacher who had taken the time to observe and understand one uniquely gifted student and discovered a unique way to help him reach out and join the rest of the world.  The student in this story has autism. But the question applies to all of us from time to time.

As I thought about it I realized that as Personality Dimensions® facilitators we have the tools that enable us to understand those things that make each of us the unique person that we are and then be able to respectfully build communication bridges. That’s quite a gift.

Thanks, Cecile, for getting me to read this book.

 

Onward and upward from the back office … Denise

Denise Hughes is the Director and owner of Denise HeadshotCareer/LifeSkills Resources Inc. and general editor of Personality Dimensions® materials and products. She just noticed the calendar and realized it is just past the 41st anniversary of her introduction to career and type and temperament materials. Those experiences and the expertise she gained through her years with the Guidance Centre, University of Toronto, and now with CLSR, continue to shape the direction that both Career/LifeSkills Resources and Personality Dimensions® take.

Personality Dimensions® – Winning Workshop Strategies

Winning Workshop StrategiesI have been going through a number of the support materials for Personality Dimensions® lately. Many are, or will soon be, under revision and as they come up for revision you will also see that instead of being in traditional print editions that the latest editions will be produced on USB drives.

It’s been an interesting exercise and I’ve been reacquainting myself with many of the products. One that I am currently revisiting is Winning Workshop Strategies. This collection of exercises, strategies and techniques, and the accompanying actual group feedback information is powerful. The content makes a strong contribution to the Personality Dimensions® model and is tremendously valuable, especially if you are working with smaller groups. When we published Winning Workshop Strategies we intended it to be a natural extension of the basic materials covered in Building Blocks.

I’m just flipping through the appendices and seeing the notes in sections such as Team Building/Conflict Management (Strengths We Bring to a Team; Potential Team Work Weaknesses; Sources of Conflict; Preventions or Solutions); Conflict Resolution (Sources of Conflict; Behaviours/Responses; Needs/Solutions); Capitalizing On Differences (Getting Cooperation; Rewarding Performance); Lesser Known Qualities or Traits; and the Identifying the Person at Risk (Feeling Good; Feeling Bad) charts all  provide a wealth of great information for strengthening the development of your clients’ Personality Radar – and work toward greater understanding of and respect for everyone else. And I haven’t touched on all the other materials in this handy little resource.

If you’re looking for some great ideas for techniques and exercises for your Personality Dimensions® workshops I highly recommend that you take a look at Winning Workshop Strategies. In fact, I’m so enthusiastic about this book that I’ve authorized a special sale of it at $26.00 per copy* (plus taxes and shipping). The regular price is $40.00 so that’s a 35% discount – from now until September 15th, 2017, while quantities of the print edition last! Enjoy your summer!

Onward and upward from the back office … Denise

Denise Hughes is the Director and owner of Denise HeadshotCareer/LifeSkills Resources Inc. and general editor of Personality Dimensions® materials and products. She just noticed the calendar and realized it is just past the 41st anniversary of her introduction to career and type and temperament materials. Those experiences and the expertise she gained through her years with the Guidance Centre, University of Toronto, and now with CLSR, continue to shape the direction that both Career/LifeSkills Resources and Personality Dimensions® take.

*Please note, this offer is available for orders placed with Career/LifeSkills Resources Inc. in Canada only.  Pricing and offers may vary with local distributors.

Personality Dimensions – Musings from the Back Office

PD Quadrant smallI was watching television the other night, a courtroom drama, and my ears picked up as the lead actor stood up from behind a table, straightened her jacket and said, “With all due respect … .” Really?! What came next didn’t extend a whole lot of respect to anyone.

That got me thinking. It’s easy to laugh at others, belittle them or make them the butt of insensitive jokes or careless statements. And we can easily be worn down when we’re on the receiving end. For years now we have emphasized the importance of making a positive impact in each and every Personality Dimensions® workshop. As facilitators, this often means re-framing or rephrasing things that come up that might be hurtful to others, or, in other words, constitutes “colour bashing.”

For that very reason, one of the hardest projects under the Personality Dimensions umbrella that I have been involved with was working with Lynda McKim, and later with the team of reviewers, to develop the In Conflict cards. We needed to be sensitive to a myriad of things that might be unintentionally hurtful or harmful and yet, at the same time, make the cards as useful as possible.

I love it when I can laugh at myself – and with some of the stuff I get into it’s a good thing I came with a strong sense of humour – and that’s why I enjoy watching The Lighter Side of Talking in Colour: it always gives me a good chuckle or two.

It’s great to have permission to laugh at myself and with others as we enjoy learning about how others see us. Hope you’re having a day littered with little moments that you can look back at and, at the very least, smile when you think about them.

 

Denise Hughes is the Director and owner of Denise HeadshotCareer/LifeSkills Resources Inc. and general editor of Personality Dimensions® materials and products. She just noticed the calendar and realized it is just past the 41st anniversary of her introduction to career and type and temperament materials. Those experiences and the expertise she gained through her years with the Guidance Centre, University of Toronto, and now with CLSR, continue to shape the direction that both Career/LifeSkills Resources and Personality Dimensions® take.