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 Master Trainers

I didn’t meet Larry Konyu until Personality Dimensions® was well and truly launched and when I did he radiated his Inquiring Green preference. Since that time Larry’s considerable experiences have honed his understanding of Personality Dimensions® and it has been wonderful to see him grow and truly embrace all of the colours. Larry is one of those quiet resource people who I know I can count on to think about and respond to any questions or thoughts that I may need to bounce off someone with his background and if he suggests something that needs doing I know to pay attention; Larry does not speak without first reasoning through the process himself. It is my pleasure to consider him a colleague and a friend. Onward and upward ~ Denise

 

Here, in his own words …

L_Konyu6“It is an honour indeed to be a Level III Personality Dimensions® Master Trainer. Certifying others in Personality Dimensions® and facilitating introductory workshops have been one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences of my life.

A brief history:

After graduating from the University of Western Ontario with a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Mathematics, I worked for 10 years as a systems analyst and programmer with companies like Canada Life, Hudson’s Bay and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. This gave me some valuable insight into the issues facing organizations today.

However I have always had a penchant for teaching. I spent the next two and a half decades teaching computer studies. Supervisory roles included being Chair of Computer Studies at Centennial College and Associate Dean, at Humber College in the School of Information Technology and Accounting.

These educational roles, and, no doubt, my Inquiring Green preference, led me to study the art of education at The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, which put me in touch with the latest in educational research. These courses helped me to understand the way people learn.

After retiring from a career in post-secondary education, I became certified in Personality Dimensions® and delivered hundreds of workshops to both business and education with a PD flavor.

I also use the Personality Dimensions® tool to provide bereavement support as a facilitator with Bereaved Families of Ontario – Toronto. This experience required me to use all of my Authentic Blue; something I was not used to and, for many reasons, reluctant to access.

In addition, my volunteer work provided the opportunity to Chair the Education committee for the Rainbow Health Network. I helped develop and deliver Diversity Training workshops to various groups in the medical establishment to heighten the awareness of LGBTQ issues.

Upon reflection, it is so interesting that Personality Dimensions® has not only provided me with a renewed career direction but it has been personally enlightening at the same time.  I see myself and others in such a different way. I feel truly complete as a person and much happier as a result.  Personality Dimensions® stresses that Inquiring Greens tend to be the most skeptical of the temperaments. But I am here to tell you that I am hooked. In my earlier life as an Inquiring Green with second colour Organized Gold I expected others to achieve my exacting standards and goals. Now, I truly understand the excellence that others bring and can relax. What a relief!!!”

—-

An avid runner, Larry and has completed several marathons and half marathons. He runs about 10 races a year. He is the co-author of Differentiated Instruction: Personality Dimensions® and Learning Styles and is currently working on developing “A Taste of Colour” introduction to Personality Dimensions® for keynote speakers and “The impact of second colour on first.”

Degrees: B.Sc., (Mathematics and Computer Science), M.Ed. (Measurement, Evaluation and Computer Applications) and Certifications/Qualifications: Fellow Life Management Institute; Certified fitness instructor; Grief facilitator and Trainer: Bereaved Families of Ontario.

Larry can be reached at lkonyu@rogers.com or through his website www.kondor.ca.

Personality Dimensions® – The Colour of Your Team

team-blackboardHave you ever wondered why your co-workers seem so strange?  Why is that one person’s desk is neat as a pin, yet her co-workers is a total mess?  One co-worker likes to work on projects alone, while another cannot stay in his cubicle for more than 10 minutes – often ‘popping in’ to get your opinion on something.  We all have people in our lives who push our hot buttons – we often ask ourselves – why can’t they just Be Like Me?

The language of temperament helps us to understand the ‘why’ of our co-workers’ weird and wonderful behaviours. Temperament, and in particular the Personality Dimensions® model, gives us a common language to speak in the workplace, which helps us predict such things as how people learn, lead others, socialize, manage their work and overall relate to one another.  Personality Dimensions® gives us a common language to help us understand ourselves, value the gifts that others bring to work, and in general if used positively – can expand and enhance our ability to communicate more effectively.

In the workplace, Personality Dimensions® can be used in a number of different applications, such as; team building, communication, leadership and coaching.  As a former team leader with 35 direct reports, I used Personality Dimensions® to support my employees in their development plans, and to customize coaching plans for them.  Having this common understanding between team leader and employee gives you a reference point to start any conversation.  Is it a magic bullet? No! It’s a tool for busy managers to use to help you be more effective and to ‘manoeuvre’ around the people mine fields.  Also, knowing your own work and communication style can help you to adapt and adopt different styles to be more successful in your daily interactions.

What do the Four Personality Dimensions® look like at work?

Authentic Blues – can be recognized by their open communication style, they are natural catalysts – ‘people people’. They will facilitate team cohesiveness and can be very sensitive to conflict or criticism of self or others. Blues may take things too personally and suffer stress as a result.  What to look for…  A desk full of Self Development Quotes; casual and open.

Inquiring Greens can be recognized as the logical thinkers who ask a lot of questions, they need to be seen as confident and competent by self and others.  They are future thinkers and may get a bad rap for ‘raining on the parade’.  What to look for… A desk with lots of books for research, models; it may look like a mad scientist lives there.

Organized Golds – can be recognized as being the punctual, dependable, reliable employee.  They have a strong sense of what’s right or wrong – they will uphold organizational rules and procedures.  Some can see them as resistant to change.  They just need to know the ‘why’.  What to look for… The name says it all… An organized and neat desk – everything in its place – even the family photos.

Resourceful Oranges – can be recognized by their independence and ability to multitask and troubleshoot a crisis.  They will be looking for the next challenge, and get quickly bored if there is not one, they may even create one to compete with themselves and others.  They can be blunt, and may say what they see.  Freedom and independence in work is critical to the Orange.  What to look for… Desk? What desk?

Add to this mix the element of Introversion/Extraversion, and this adds another layer of complexity to human behaviour at work. Extraverts take their energy from outer stimulation, Introverts from Inner stimulation.  Extraverts may get into trouble by speaking too much at meetings or by blurting out an idea before it has been formulated – it’s how they think (out loud).  Introverts may get into trouble by not speaking enough, getting a bad rap for holding back ideas or information.  They are often just not ready to let go of the idea, or may think they have expressed it and have not.

All of us as leaders have blind spots about our own behaviour – we can all get tripped up with human dynamics.  Wouldn’t it be great if you had one tool that could give you a ‘Coles notes’ insight into the behaviour of others and yourself? Personality Dimensions® can do this.

Managers and team leaders must often lead employees through some difficult changes; it may be office closures, downsizing, staff cuts or just new directions and policies.  Even the stress of performance reviews can be minimized, if you are aware of the employee’s personality style.

I remember the first performance review I ever delivered; the employee was a Gold/Blue. (Let’s call her Donna) I had been warned by her former managers that Donna was difficult and would probably cry if given any criticism.  Donna also had a reputation with staff as being a bit impatient, yet she really knew her stuff and when tackling a problem, she worked the problem until solved.  I went in with a plan to praise her for the great job she had done on a project we worked on together, praising her for her great organizational and tactical abilities.  We did talk about her tendency to be impatient with some and came up with a plan to deal with this (really this was about Donna being interrupted while working on a problem).  Donna did cry at the end of her performance review, but his time for good reason – she said that for the first time ever, she felt someone ‘got her’.  Donna became one of the most productive, motivated and engaged employees on my team.

This stuff works!  Imagine a team of employees who feel/think that they can bring their whole selves to work, that their innate talents and skills be honoured?  It’s a workplace that everyone aspires to, yet for most it is still elusive.  Personality Dimensions® cannot solve every human relations issue, but it can help teams understand each other, promote diversity and co-operation and minimize stressful workplace issues.  Personality Dimensions® can be used for coaching, team dynamics, leadership, customer service, sales and personal development.

 

Irene-AndersonIrene Anderson – CTACC, has brought Personality Dimensions® programs to many teams and individuals. Irene has shared her expertise through consulting, training, speaking and in print.  With her combination of coaching and results-driven facilitating, she has helped executives, managers and entrepreneurs to better success in business and career. Irene has also shared her unique talents with not-for-profit groups, as a volunteer, facilitator and speaker. Irene’s style of facilitation is results oriented, with a focus directly on the client, using a unique Self Discovery process, and a commitment to ensure that all personalities are honoured. Irene is truly dedicated to the success of her clients, and as a career coach has a unique knack for uncovering the talents and strengths of the client, and moving them toward that ‘AHA’ moment when they really begin to embrace who they are meant to be.  http://ireneandersoncoaching.com/