Earlier this week, Sweet Mustard organized its first Insights Discovery session. We didn’t really know what our day would be like, only that we had to fill in an online questionnaire about how we see ourselves as a person. But it soon became clear that we would be discussing how people approach situations in their own unique way, and how we can use those differences in a positive way to function even more awesome as a team. At least that’s my take-away from it.
The result of the questionnaire we filled in was pretty striking. We all received a more than 15 pages report about who we are, what we value and how we like to communicate. It almost feels like a manual of how to approach your colleague.
We reviewed the results by putting an exclamation mark next to the paragraphs which really hit home, and a question mark for parts we couldn’t fully identify with. The next 10 minutes, everyone was mostly scribbling exclamation marks. However, it wouldn’t be really handy to read and memorize all of that for everyone. And that’s where the colourwheel comes in.
The wheel has a vertical axis that splits introvert (left) from extravert (right) and a horizontal axis that splits thinking (top) from feeling (bottom). But it’s not about putting people in boxes. Maybe you spend your working day alone, focussed and doing analytical work, while you might want to spend your evening among friends, being loud and having fun. We all have a bit of every colour, it’s just that we choose to combine them in different ways and different amounts. Do you feel fine with your current pallette? Would you be happier by adding a different colour? Do you want to lower a colour so that you can approach someone better? It’s up to you.
The colours tell you a lot about yourself and why you react in certain ways in certain situations. They can even help you improve yourself by making you more aware of your own behaviour. But there’s more to it. A couple of games showed us how the colors can be a tool to make teamwork easier. For example, when a person with a lot of blue energy ends up in a very yellow-red environment with lots of extravert and creative people, collaboration might be harder. In situations like that, the wheel can be a reminder to tell ourselves that we see things differently and it can help us think about how to approach each other. We also tried seeing things from a different perspective in a small role-play, where we communicated by amplifying one of our less present colours and suppressing our most present colour.
It was a very interesting day in which we learned a lot about ourselves, about each other and about teamwork. We’ll definitely give our coloured lego blocks a place on our desks to stay aware of one anothers colours. And because lego, of course.