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    We transform the way people work together



    Unlocking employee talent using Insights Discovery

    Today, success hinges on the ability to influence people to achieve common goals and purposes. This power to influence is strongly weighted in the theory of Emotional Intelligence; the new power of competence. Such power is based on the person, not their position.

    Emotional intelligence is a form of social intelligence. Daniel Goleman, the man who brought EQ into the business world in 1990, argued that it was EQ that guaranteed business success, not cognitive intelligence. High levels of EQ unlocks individuals’ ability to monitor the feelings and emotions of themselves and others, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide their thinking and action.

    What do we mean by talent?

    It’s natural to employ the best of the best and give your high performers your time and resources in a bid to secure success. Right?

    In many organisations, the highest value is placed on star employees who outperform others. And yet, this isn’t what drives the most high-achieving teams, it’s what DESTROYS them. In her talk (below) business leader Margaret Heffernan tells us the story of the evolutionary biologist William Muir who studied chickens to observe productivity. As well as observing a control flock for six generations, Muir also formed a second group by selecting the individually most productive ‘superchickens’ of a generation to create a ‘superflock’, repeating the process for another six generations, keeping only the most productive each time. 

    After six generations again, the control group were doing perfectly fine and even exceeding their rate of egg production. The second, carefully selected group had all but pecked each other to death. Three superchickens remained. The individually productive chickens had only achieved their success by supressing the productivity of the rest.

    For the past 50 years the majority of businesses have followed the ‘superchicken’ model, thinking that success is born from picking and backing the brightest stars and forgetting the rest when, actually, the opposite is true. It is social cohesion that leads over time to great results. From on-site vegetable gardens to ‘fika’, (the Swedish coffee-break), switched-on companies are proactively making space and time for their people to get to know each other and experience a bit of collective restoration. Cohesion and collaboration trump competitiveness time and again and, as Heffernan so succinctly states, the world is slowly realising that “Companies don’t have ideas. Only people do.


    How does Insights Discovery help to identify talent?

    Insights Discovery is not a test of competence but of self-awareness, a critical component of EQ.

    As we mentioned in our last blog, further to the GDPR legislation that came into force in 2018, The Colour Works does not advocate the use of psychometric profiling in direct recruitment settings, and talent management is another environment where it is a bad idea.

    Prior to the legislation coming into force, recruiting businesses were quite often keen to use the colour model to identify the ‘kind of person’ they needed for the job, and it was a common occurrence that our facilitators, as trusted advisors, had to dissuade a client from doing so. Each person is a mixture of all four energies, and it is in the blend, the awareness and the ability to adapt where necessary that you find your star players. Pigeon-holing, ‘diagnosing’ and making suppositions about an individual’s colour blend are huge don’t’s when it comes to using Discovery to open up better conversations.

    Discovery helps to identify talent by testing self-awareness, the key player of EQ. Research shows emotional intelligence and social intelligence accounts for more than 85% of ‘star performance’ in top leaders (Daniel Goleman and Hay Group), and more generally links to a significant performance advantage across the board.

    Measuring and developing emotional intelligence for better results

    1. Knowledge – bring your whole team up to the same level of understanding of the basic psychology of self and social awareness. The Colour Works first workshop with a client is an experiential and eye-opening session of real realisation of the impact we can have on others, and vice versa.
    2. Practise – encourage (or better, necessitate) your team to engage in discussions about their own behaviour. Our subsequent workshops span a wide variety of learning modules but each deepens the learning and refreshes the importance of maintaining momentum through practice and effective communication. Introducing behavioural elements into appraisals means that your company culture recognises and honours the strength of the people and the people skills behind the business.
    3. Measure – ROI ROI ROI. It’s a hot topic in a money-driven world. See for yourself just how positively collective self-awareness can boost performance by using The Colour Works’ TPI tool to benchmark and measure team performance.
    4. 360 – The Colour Works has two 360° feedback solutions. Insights Discovery Full Circle assessment perfectly complements the Discovery Personal Profile, representing a natural next step on the journey of self-awareness and extends the understanding and perception of self to include an insight into the perception that up to 12 others, (peers, managers, reports, customers, suppliers), have of our preferences, providing a fresh and rich perspective into personal approach, style and impact. Our Leadership 360 has been created from over 15 years of research and leadership development interventions and explores key enables required by leaders of today such as personal values, resilience, wellbeing and the psychology of human behaviour, all of which are reported through eight key leadership attributes.


    By investing in your employees you are unleashing star performers. Connected-ness and helpfulness, rather than the notion of ‘best’ and out-performing, builds the way for improved productivity. Groups that understand each other work better together.

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