Business Masquerades

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When we introduced our Discover Yourself personality assessment, we didn’t think too much about ‘what next’ for the recipient beyond picking up one of our our Free Guides or expressing interest in some training.

What actually happened was that they either did nothing or told us it was “spot on” or similar. That was hugely reassuring for us (although the questionnaire and the scoring system were established long before we turned them into the interactive questionnaire/report) but it didn’t move them forward very much.

The report gives a background to the meaning of the personality profile scores. But there’s a limit to what can be covered in a five-page document. The real value comes from learning what happens when different personality types interact.

Your own scores help you understand yourself. You can see quite clearly the behaviours you prefer to engage in. And you can learn how to recognise the behaviours of others. You are then armed with the ability to choose, quite forensically, from your behaviours those which will lead an interaction towards a satisfactory outcome.

This chart shows a summation of 21 very recent assessments. I will explain more below.

You’ll see five personality elements. In classical Transactional Analysis terminology, they are Critical (or Controlling) Parent, Nurturing Parent, Adult, Free Child and Adapted Child. Apart from Adult, each has a mix of positive and negative attributes. In extremely crude terms, CP is bossy, NP is caring, A is objective, FC is carefree and AC is inhibited.

The chart shows how we would prefer to distribute the fixed amount of behavioural energy at our disposal. The blue bars show the average of the 21 assessment scores while the green and red bars show the highest and lowest scores in the whole group.

We are all capable of changing that balance to suit circumstances. And, indeed, we do. When we go into a meeting for example, we might choose to remix our bossy, silly, caring, sober or snivelling behaviours. Maybe even moment by moment. It’s all in us as you can see from the chart.

Luis Suarez (see earlier post) looked at the average scores in the chart and noted that, “Meetings, whether face to face or virtual, shouldn’t suck as much as they do, or, at least, as much as these assessments reveal.” The average score reveals a reasonable behaviour balance which, if reflected in meetings, would suggest better outcomes than actually happen. Luis likens meeting behaviour to “putting on a mask” to suit the context of each meeting.

And he’s right but, with a little bit of training in observational skills together with an understanding of one’s own behavioural repertoire, the individual (whether a leader or a participant) can bring about healthy change in a meeting’s atmosphere and effectiveness.