Discover more from Disco Dialogues
Building authenticity through self-awareness
Q: How well do you know yourself?
When we decided to collaborate on a new creative project (Disco Dialogues) last year, we thought it would be interesting to learn a little more about each other. Though we have been friends for over twenty years and family for almost as long, it had been a while since we had worked together. Along with brainstorming discussions on what we wanted to create, we also shared some assessments on our personality and working styles. This was helpful in setting expectations about why we were embarking on this project together and learning what each of us wanted to get out of the process.
In addition to sharing existing assessments that we had already taken at work in the past, we also decided to take a couple of new ones to see how we had evolved over the years. Author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” So it was important for us to learn more about each other and gain new insights on ourselves.
We spend the most amount of time with our own selves and in many ways that is the most important relationship we have. One value shared by both of us is our continued interest in personal growth which includes understanding ourselves better. We have both been curious about our motivations, thoughts and actions. And who isn't a sucker for “personality tests”?
Here are some assessments that we have found insightful in getting to know ourselves and also helpful in getting to understand others.
So many of us are living in a moment where we are re-examining the way we work and live, taking an honest look at how our work has been making us feel, even before this recent period of relentless disruption. If you are grappling with this, we recommend the Sparketype assessment and accompanying book Sparked. It describes how we all have a unique imprint or impulse for work that fills us with meaning, energy, purpose, and makes us feel like we're doing what we were put on the planet to do. This imprint is our Sparketype®, which is a fun way of saying it’s the archetype for work that “sparks” you. Once you discover yours, it's like you're seeing yourself more clearly, and you feel empowered to finally understand how to find work that truly lights you up.
We were amazed when we discovered ours - it was so accurate, revealing layers of ourselves. Learning about each other’s types helped us figure out how to play to our strengths when starting our collaboration on Disco Dialogues. Kinnari’s “Maker” Sparketype helped bring the vision for Disco Dialogues to life and Mitali leveraged her “Advisor” Sparketype to bring insights from her coaching and mentoring conversations.
This self-assessment is a tool in the field of positive psychology that assesses an individual's character strengths. These are the positive parts of our personality that makes us feel authentic and engaged. We each possess all 24 character strengths in different degrees, giving us a unique profile. This assessment provided us with a distinct lens into the attributes of our persona and helped us figure out how to motivate each other.
The Insights System is built around the model of personality, first identified by the Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung. Using Jung's typology, the Insights Discovery profile offers a framework for self-understanding and enables individuals to develop effective strategies for interaction. The profile provides a broad understanding of your work style including strengths and approaches to activities, relationships and decisions. Each person brings a unique set of gifts, attributes and expectations to the environment in which they operate which are important to identify.
We have both organized off-sites at work centered around the Insights assessment and our teams have derived a lot of value from it. This is useful for gaining a deeper understanding of your team members' working styles. Interestingly, when we have done this within a team it has helped surface judgements people have about each other which led to a productive dialogue.
Clifton Strengths (paid)
The Gallup StrengthsFinder model (now CliftonStrengths) says: It’s better to spend time developing your strengths than your weaknesses. With that in mind, this tool enables you to get an awareness and understanding of your natural talents. We have used this within a team setting to understand each other’s strengths and leadership styles. After taking the test, we discussed the talents each individual brings to the team, how blindspots could be a consequence of our strengths and the difference in how our strengths were perceived across different cultures.
Some other ones that we have also looked into include - PrinciplesYou by Ray Dalio (it is a long assessment - so put aside at least 30 mins to complete this) and the Enneagram of Personality which we haven't taken yet but are quite intrigued by.
Have you found any tools that have been of invaluable assistance on your path to self-knowledge?
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