Personality Types

One way to help people understand their personalities and the personalities of others is to use psychometric assessments which sort people into different personality types. Today we’re going to dive into the basics of one assessment that’s often used in a business context to help managers and co-workers understand each other better: The Insights Discovery system.

Insights Discovery is based on the work of psychologist Carl Jung, and sorts people into four colors, then eight personality types and ultimately into one of 72 unique wheel positions. Let’s talk about each of these distinctions so you can understand more about the Insights Discovery System, and how it can dramatically improve communication.

The Four Colors: Approach and Goals

The four colors used in Insights are cool blue, earth green, sunshine yellow, and fiery red. Each of these colors represents two key related pieces of information: the individual’s outlook on life and the way in which they make decisions. This also impacts the way in which a person is perceived by others.

Cool blue is displayed by someone who is very exacting, who wants everything they do to be to a high standard, who is cautious and thoughtful. They are deliberate in their actions and work within a formal structure. In a group they strive for understanding, and they can be perceived by others as thoughtful and analytical but sometimes distant and unemotional.

Earth green is displayed by someone who is caring and encouraging and who values stability and supporting others. They are happy to share with others and are patient when teaching a new skill. Their ultimate goal is harmony and in a group they foster consensus. They are seen by others as agreeable and relaxed but can also be seen as  mild and docile.

Sunshine yellow is displayed by a person who is fun and loves interacting with others. They value socializing and they are enthusiastic around others, particularly when demonstrating a skill. When working in a group, they desire recognition. They are dynamic and spontaneous, which can lead others to see them as disorganized.

Fiery red is displayed by someone who is action driven, and who is certain and confident. They enjoy a challenge and are often competitive and determined to succeed. This determination means that their goal is achievement and overcoming challenges, however, their single-minded focus can sometimes lead others to see them as impatient.

From Four Colors to Eight Types

Of course, no person is entirely described by one of the colors above: We are all a mix of different traits that we will display differently based on our environment and mood. And, a person can be a mix of different color categories too. From this comes the idea of eight personality types, where in addition to types based on the four colors, there are four more types which represent a blend of two colors.

These eight types map onto the work of Jung, who defined personality as four aspects (sensation, intuition, thinking, and feeling) along one axis (extroversion versus introversion).

The Eight Types: Style and Qualities

The eight types of Jung can be related to the four colors to understand both what a person’s motivation is and how they work in groups, plus understand their underlying personality type. The types are as follows:

Director (fiery red)
Extraverted Thinking
A director is a person who is focused primarily on results. Their biggest priority is to get the most important task they have done to a high standard and on time, and they are not afraid to make big decisions and to implement those decisions assertively. These qualities make them excellent leaders, but they need to be careful so they don’t come across as pushy or impatient.

Motivator (fiery red and sunshine yellow)
Extraverted Intuition
The motivator has the same drive to get results as the director, but this is tempered by an emphasis on positive thinking and a sense of fun. This person has high levels of enthusiasm and can get a group motivated to take on a task or to overcome a challenge. Their ability to enthuse people into implementing plans makes them well suited to roles where they inspire their staff to achieve their goals.

Inspirer (sunshine yellow)
Extraverted Feeling
The inspirer’s greatest strength is their people skills, as they enjoy being around others and have a good understanding of how to motivate and inspire them. But they are not just cheerleaders – they are creative types who can find people-oriented solutions to problems that other people might not think of. Their skill at persuasion can make them good sales people as well as creative team members.

Helper (sunshine yellow and earth green)
Introverted Intuition with Extraverted Sensing
The helper has the sociable aspects of the inspirer but also a more grounded, caring aspect. Instead of wild creativity they have a more solid, supportive, practical approach. They enjoy helping others most of all, and they are willing to be flexible and to see others’ points of view. Their skill at sharing ideas make them excellent mediators as they are good at helping a group to build consensus.

Supporter (earth green)
Introverted Feeling
The supporter is someone who prefers to stay out of the spotlight and to facilitate the work of the group. They are excellent listeners and can empathize with others, so they make good counselors. They are highly loyal to their team, and they like to work supporting others and group rather than just driving results on their own.

Coordinator (earth green and cool blue)
Introverted Sensing
The coordinator is highly organized and puts an emphasis on planning and time management. They have a practical approach to what can be achieved and what steps will be required to implement a plan. They make excellent administrative staff and project managers.

Observer (cool blue)
Introverted Thinking
The observer is detail oriented and cares about everything being correct and defined to a high standard. They are strong at analysis and at meeting rules or guidelines, making them well suited to testing or compliance roles, and really any role that required analytical, practical thought. Often a great fit for legal, financial and technological pursuits.

Reformer (cool blue and fiery red)
Extraverted Sensing with Introverted Intuition

The reformer wants both high standards and strong results, which makes them extremely determined. They have a strength in monitoring performance and discipline, making them well suited to roles where decisions might need to be made based upon logic and data, rather than people and relationships.

If this initial overview has piqued your interest and you want to know more about Jung’s personality types, check back soon as that will be the subject of our next post.  You can also learn more at www.scottstedtalk.com, or www.discoveryourself.com