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® on TV: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

It’s been a while, so I figured it’s time for another installment of PD on TV!  Like thousands of other people, I cut the cord on my cable a while ago, so I am not as up-to-date on what’s been on the air recently. Either way, as someone who lives and breathes Personality Dimensions®, my Personality Radar is always on – trying to get a read on people.

Fresh Prince
Photo credit: IMDB.com

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was an instant hit when it first came out and launched the acting career of Will Smith. It had humour, drama, and some unforgettable dance moves! It was a staple for me when I was in high school back in the 90’s. Watching the reruns every day after school held me over until the new episodes came out.

After looking way back to my teenage years, and talking with a few friends, here’s my take on some of characters from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

 

 

will smith
Photo credit: IMDB.com

Will – Extraverted Resourceful Orange

 

The quick-witted rebellious Will Smith (character, not the actor) is best described as an Extroverted Resourceful Orange. Will is the life of a party, and needs to be around people to stay energised. He is quick on his feet, acts well under pressure, and can talk himself out of any situation… except for that one time. He has a natural instinct for opportunity and needs the freedom to go after it. “So you’re telling me to disobey Uncle Phil’s orders, ah-well won’t be the first time… PSSH possy out.”

 

 

Uncle Phil2
Photo credit: IMDB.com

Uncle Phil – Introverted Organized Gold

 

The dependable family man Phillip Banks (AKA Uncle Phil) is always at odds with Will. As an Introverted Organized Gold, he values his personal downtime and routine. As a lawyer, and later a judge, he respects authority and process. At the same time, family is one of the most important things to him. He worked hard to get where he is so his kids could have more opportunities and he accepted Will into the family as one of his own. Uncle Phil has helped Will out of a bind on more than one occasion, and supported him through difficult/confusing times with his own father.

 

Aunt Viv
Photo credit: IMDB.com

Aunt Vivian – Extraverted Authentic Blue

Vivian Banks’ (AKA Aunt Viv) nature can be summed up by Uncle Phil: “Oh please, Vivian. You’d believe the boy if he said he was a famous rapper and his album had just gone platinum!” As an Extraverted Authentic Blue she is a great motivator and recognises the talents of people around her. Relationships and people are important to her; it was at her insistence that Will came to stay with them after he had troubles in Philadelphia.  Aunt Viv likes maintaining harmony, so she gets to be the peacemaker between Uncle Phil, Carlton, and Will.  She was heavily involved with the human rights movement in her youth, and is the one person in the house that accepts Jazz for who he is.

 

Carleton Banks
Photo credit: IMDB.com

Carlton – Extraverted Organized Gold/Inquiring Green

Carlton, much like his cousin, is also the life of a party… but in different ways. He is completely energized by having people around, and has been known to break into dance when his self-esteem is high. He is highly rational, strategic, accountable, respectful, trusting, and loyal like most Extraverted Organized Golds/Inquiring Greens. His logical approach and strong sense of justice make Carlton often side with his father in arguments with Will.  Sometimes he lets his practicality get in the way; once saying “Dad, don’t do anything stupid! You haven’t updated your will yet.” When it comes down to it, he deeply cares for his family, and will do anything to protect him. Despite their many differences, Carlton sees and treats Will as a brother.

 

Ashley Banks
Photo credit: IMDB.com

Ashley – Extraverted Resourceful Orange

Ashley Banks starts off in the series as the quiet, reserved younger sister, not at all looking like an Extraverted Resourceful Orange; but comes into her core personality with the help of her older cousin Will.  He recognizes that she isn’t happy with the overly structured and methodically planned, quiet life that her parents chose for her, albeit with good intentions.  She is happiest and energized by being around people. From the time she skipped out on practicing classical music to listen to Will’s Walkman, to when she dropped out of private school and enrolled in a public high school, it’s clear that Ashley needs to make her own decisions to be successful in life.  She takes calculated risks like pursuing her music career, and moving across the country to study the arts.

 

geoffrey butler
Photo credit: IMDB.com

Geoffrey – Introverted Resourceful Orange/Inquiring Green

Geoffrey Butler threw me a curveball. While at work he comes across as an Introverted Inquiring Green – methodical, logical, and quality conscious. His retorts are quick, but well thought out and clever. When you look at his past, you see a very different side of him that appears Introverted Resourceful Orange. He shows his adaptability, desire for change and variety through his past professions; Oxford graduate, Olympic runner, butler to Led Zeppelin, Greco-Roman wrestler, and sparring partner to Chuck Norris. This could be a case of a strongly developed contextual self because of his chosen career, while still hanging on to his core self. Regardless of which colour preference he is drawing from, he needs his personal time to recharge. At the end of the day he returns to his room to recharge with his own interests.

So, do you remember watching The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? Do you think my Personality Rader was tuned-in correctly? What about some of the others like Hillary, Jazz, and the second Aunt Viv? Leave your comments below and let me know what you think.

By: Brad Whitehorn

 

Brad

Brad Whitehorn – BA, CCDP is the Sales & Marketing Coordinator at CLSR Inc.  He was thrown into the career development field headfirst after completing a Communications degree in 2005, and hasn’t looked back!  Since then, Brad has worked on the development, implementation and certification for various career and personality assessments (including Personality Dimensions®), making sure that Career Development Practitioners get the right tools to best serve their clients

Personality Dimensions® – More isn’t always better

PD-PictureWhile I have had the chance to meet with lots of great people at conferences, workshops, and networking events, my role at CLSR is very much behind the scenes. If you call our office, and I pick up the phone, it’s usually because the customer service team is busy with other clients; we really try our hardest to not let calls go to voicemail.  In today’s world of AI and automation, it’s kind of nice to connect with an actual human from time to time. Since I don’t often have the opportunity talk to clients and find out what’s going on in their individual worlds, I need to talk to our customer service team to know what’s up.  Really they’re great people and they’ve got interesting things to share as long as they’ve had their morning coffee.

One of the questions that keeps coming up has to do with the number of Personality Dimensions® Cards that should be used in an introductory workshop. In addition to the Picture Cards there are Life Values, In Communications, At Work, In Conflict, Relationships, and In Communications Cards. All of these cards were developed to be used in specific contexts, and for the most part shouldn’t all be used at the same time.  There are some guidelines about this in the manual, but as a general rule of thumb, more isn’t always better. From my personal experience I like to recommend the Picture, Life Values, and In Communications cards if you’re leading an introductory workshop; the one in Building Blocks.  If you’re working with one of the Toolkits, or any other kind of applications then you can add in the appropriate cards.

Personality Dimensions® Online through CLSRassessments.com has really taken off over the past few years with more and more trainers making the switch all the time. If you’ve ever tried it, you’ll know why; it frees up a bunch of time when you have face-to-face time with your clients, and it lets you know their personality preferences before you start your training. It’s very tempting to click the checkboxes beside each of the cards when you’re sending your clients the invitation to take the assessment; why not, it doesn’t cost any extra. But in reality you might be doing your clients a disservice and missing out on an opportunity for yourself in the future.

PD-RelationshipsSelecting all of the Personality Dimensions® Cards means your clients will have to spend more time focusing on the assessment, and we all know what is happening to attention spans these days. It doesn’t make the assessment any more or less valid. In fact Personality Dimensions® was validated using the Life Values in combination with two other cards.  When your clients get to see their results and see blanks on their score sheet, someone will inevitably ask why. That’s your chance as an entrepreneur to sell them on an application session, and let them know that they will get a chance to experience those, when you come back. Isn’t it great to turn a question into an opportunity?

When you come across things you’re not sure about with Personality Dimensions® reach out to us, we’re always happy to have a chat.

 

Brad

Brad Whitehorn – BA, CCDP is the Sales & Marketing Coordinator at CLSR Inc.  He was thrown in to the career development field headfirst after completing a Communications degree in 2005, and hasn’t looked back!  Since then, Brad has worked on the development, implementation and certification for various career and personality assessments (including Personality Dimensions®), making sure that Career Development Practitioners get the right tools to best serve their clients

Personality Dimensions® – “oh my goodness, this is why you do this during a meeting,”

“The first 10 minutes of the Personality Dimensions® workshop helped me understand some things about you that I haven’t understood for the last two years.”

 “Oh my goodness, this is why you do this when we are in the middle of our meetings.”

 “I now understand how we are different, but we are different because we are unique.”

I have been facilitating Personality Dimensions® workshops for the last 11 years in the private and public sectors as well as youth-based organizations and in the education system. The above statements came up just recently in a workshop I lead at my workplace. My favorite is the second one; in it my manager at the time had a breakthrough moment about our relationship. During meetings I would typically stop and ask questions and this would always confuse my manager. He wondered why I was asking questions because, in his mind, there wasn’t a need for questions. Once it was clear that we were different colours, and what that meant, he understood this trait of mine.

Let me also describe to you the circumstances of the first and the third quotes. The first quote highlighted how another workshop participant connected with their peers. There was always conflict as that individual just couldn’t understand how someone that they had been working with for the past two years could be so fundamentally different from them. When the assessments were completed, and they realized that one individual was a Resourceful Orange and the rest of their peers were Organized Golds, a lot of light was shed on how the team was structured and some of the conflict that had arisen because of how each colour would complete their task.

Personality Dimensions® helps us understand who we are and how to celebrate our uniqueness’s by showcasing our strengths and providing an understanding for where there are opportunities for growth. As I mentioned earlier, I have used Personality Dimensions® in youth-based organizations, within the education system, and in the public and private sectors. Out of those areas, the greatest impact was on the private sector. There the need for immediate return on investment (ROI) is top of mind. If the companies that I provided the training for had not seen that immediate ROI, the program would have quickly been discontinued. Rather, after the initial 3 hour workshops (the self-assessments were completed online before the workshop) there were multiple applications workshops to help support everyone from management to front-line employees develop practices that would best serve their customers – and increase sales.

As a result of the “oh my goodness, this is why you do this during a meeting,” realization, meetings are now structured quite a bit differently. Rather than just being a download of information, the “why?” question is addressed either beforehand or early in the meeting. This has built stronger relationships within the company, meetings have greater impact and objectives are more readily achieved. And all of this was a result of the work we did with Personality Dimensions®. Now an effort is made to ensure that all four colours are represented at each meeting, with the recognition that this represents not only the employee-employer relationship but the customer experience as well

Personality Dimensions® has helped me shape how I have worked with others because I can understand who they are and how to celebrate their uniqueness within the workshops.  I truly believe you can have the same experience.

 

drew fockler professionalDrew Fockler is the Founder of Cross Canada Corporate Services where he is a Corporate Trainer & Consultant. Drew supports all levels of leadership within an organization to grow their leadership and HR skills.  He is a Level II Personality Dimensions® Facilitator, Certified Life Coach, received awards for his contributions towards the LGBT community and Toastmasters Leadership for British Columbia in 2017.

Drew holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts & Science, a Master’s Degree in Education and is in his final year of study to complete a Doctorate of Education from Western University.

Drew is also running Personality Dimensions® Level I Certification classes across Canada in 2019.  Visit http://www.personalitydimensions.com/training-dates to see when he’s going to be in your city.

Personality Dimensions® – PD on PD

pexels-photo-1059120.jpegI have been thinking a lot about professional development lately… I can’t help it, I’m up to my eyeballs in it being enrolled in two courses, and going to the Perspectives Conference on June 11th -12th.  As professionals, consultants, and trainers we are often so focused on the professional development needs of our clients, and overlook what we can be doing for ourselves, and our coworkers, using the skills and materials that we already have at hand.  How many of you have set some time aside to do a Personality Dimensions® Awareness or Application session with your colleagues?  Not only does it help build a better understanding of ourselves, but help understand the motivations and behaviours of clients too.  Also, don’t forget that attendance in a Personality Dimensions Workshop counts towards CEUs for a number of organizations, including CCDP (Certified Career Development Practitioner) re-certification across Canada.

With staff constantly reporting higher caseloads, and the pressures of home increasing, consider facilitating a Personality Dimensions® Work-Life Balance workshop with your colleagues, where they will:

  • Identify how each of the four colours perceives
  • Identify unique ways others prioritize roles and responsibilities
  • Learn strategies and techniques to ensure a level of balance that is personally “just right”
  • Recognize different ways people act and react when they are struggling to find balance in their lives.

Not only will this help the attitudes and productivity in the workplace, but this knowledge can be taken home and shared with partners, family, and others who are important.

Of course part of achieving a solid work/life balance includes having a cohesive work team. To help this along, consider a Personality Dimensions® Team Building workshop.  Your colleagues will:

  • Identify their personal styles and preferred methods of communication
  • Recognize and appreciate the diverse styles of colleagues
  • Learn strategies for adjusting communication to be heard by others
  • Minimize destructive conflict while maximizing understanding and open communication
  • Recognize behaviours that indicate that a team member is stressed or struggling
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the individual contributions to the team and how collaborations can make the team’s results greater than the sum of individual contributions

Work teams that have a better understanding of each other just makes for a more pleasant workplace.  Understanding why people act the way they do, makes us less likely to take things personally, and see things from a different perspective.  Not only does this help us in the workplace, but in all areas of life as well.

Let us know in the comments below if you have run a Personality Dimensions® workshop for your colleagues.  How did it work out?  Were there any great “ah ha” moments?  What kinds of professional development are you and your staff engaging in?

BradBrad Whitehorn, BA is the Sales & Marketing Coordinator at Career/LifeSkills Resources Inc.  He was thrown in to the career development field headfirst after completing a Communications degree in 2005, and hasn’t looked back!  Since then, Brad has worked on the development, implementation and certification for various career and personality assessments (including Personality Dimensions®), making sure that Career Development Practitioners get the right tools to best serve their clients.

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® – The School Bell Rings and The Kids are Off!

cls-4225501September starts off with a bang as parents juggle school schedules, organized programs and finding valuable family time – not to mention dealing with how each of their offspring react to these changes. And often the parents we meet have no idea how helpful it can be to understand their kid’s temperament at this crucial time of the year.

To help parents, we have listened to kids’ conversations, observed kids over the years and even asked our own panel of students (a.k.a. our grandchildren) how they approach September. Here’s hoping this will help!

Our Resourceful Oranges may be feeling the crunch ––  they realize the freedom of summer holidays is over. Fall routines kick in fast and may serve to make these usually high energy Resourceful Orange kids feel stifled. They sometimes risk breaking the rules that seem so difficult to follow and a little overwhelming to our adventurers, although they may tell their parents they were simply bending the rules a little! Their spontaneous, in-the-moment way of acting can be very infectious and other kids may join in the fun, so making new friends, while continuing to hang out with old friends, comes as second nature to these children. They will tell you how great a class is when it includes group work, entertaining activities, little sitting in one place and lots of hands-on “doing.” Keeping these energetic Resourceful Oranges active after school can be a handful for some parents, who have told us that the secret is to get them involved in sports, drama, or music once the school day is done, and if there is a competition involved, all the better for these kids who want to win!

Who loves to learn? Inquiring Greens of course!! However, they can be their own worse enemy when it comes to submitting school work that they deem to be imperfect. This is especially true if it’s in a subject that they have an intense interest in and they think that their work could be better if only they had more time. Appearing incompetent stresses them out, yet so does feeling unchallenged by the work. While they may at first seem very serious to other kids, these Inquiring Greens may have a wry sense of humour and can often make others laugh with their witty remarks, albeit sometimes not without a little sarcasm thrown in for good measure.  An appealing class setting for these logical, objective kids includes one that meets their high expectations, especially the teacher! Being allowed to work independently, and on materials of their own choosing, excites these kids, although group work with classmates who can discuss the issues intelligently can be inspirational too. After school activities for these kids often includes exploring ideas and subjects of interest to them, perhaps alone, or with a small circle of close friends who enjoy the same things.

What about our Organized Golds? Getting back to routines, schedules and feeling a part of the school community makes them happy! They may be a little apprehensive though, if it means attending a new school and having to make new friends this year.  These kids usually respect their teachers, especially if there is a set of rules for them to follow and everyone is treated fairly. Their idea of a wonderful classroom experience will also include a teacher who not only is in control of the class but also provides clear directions to follow so that the Organized Golds can get their work done quickly and efficiently. They generally enjoy working in groups, if all members stay on task and complete their portions according to the rules. Organized Golds often create a pro-and-con list to logically and objectively make decisions. Once they do so, they may then create a list and set priorities to get everything done efficiently and on time, if not early. After school activities for the competitive Organized Golds may include team sports or school bands and they like coming home to their own neat, tidy room.

Finally, our Authentic Blues look forward to meeting up with their friends once again and catching up with everyone about their summer. They will worry about being put into a different class than their friends and certainly will not like any kind of conflict in the classroom, often choosing to uphold the underdog in any stand off.  They may in fact help mediate any issues just to “keep the peace.” The one thing they don’t particularly enjoy is competition; they don’t understand the necessity of winners and losers. What makes these artistic, non-conformists happiest in a classroom? First, they appreciate a teacher who is personable, inclusive and caring; secondly, a comfortable, warm, inviting, attractive environment where they can work in groups and socialize. If allowed to use their imagination and creativity they will work hard for their teacher and for their grades. These are the kids who don’t just look at the mark on the report card, but hang on every word the teachers say about them and their work. For the Authentic Blues after school activities must include people they enjoy being around; it may not be so much about what they do, but who is with them.

 

Kate&WayneKate and Wayne, authors of Great Parenting Skills for Navigating your Kid’s Personality are partners in life who enjoy collaborating on professional projects like writing books and running workshops! Kate Jones, B.A. (Psychology/English), M.Ed. is an accomplished speaker, facilitator, coach, and author, specializing in temperament, and now, in positivity.  She worked both in the educational and human resources sectors before launching her own business over a decade ago.  Wayne Jones, M.Ed. is an experienced educator, having taught students from kindergarten through secondary school, as well as adult education.  He has been a classroom teacher, department head, Principal, and a faculty advisor with Nipissing University. They can be reached through their website http://skills4people.com/

 

Special Bonus

As a bonus to the Personality Dimensions® In Action blog readers and subscribers, Career/LifeSkills Resources Inc. is offering a 25% discount off the retail price of Great Parenting Skills for Navigating your Kid’s Personality until the end of September. Buy one for yourself, or give one as a gift to friends with kids! Use coupon code “backtoschool” when checking out at www.clsr.ca or call 1-877-680-0200 to place your order today!