Monthly Archives: May 2014

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2014-05-22 20.18.06

Have you ever done an MBTI or Myers Brigg’s Type Indicator test to figure out your communication style? I haven’t. And by the sounds of it, that’s ok.

Last night we held a small Lumina workshop, which is a development from MBTI which works differently, assessing us as people that are changeable and wear different hats in different situations. We were there to learn more about communication styles and to learn how to read others.

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As some 22 people piled into the Thomson Reuter’s boardroom (thanks for the lend!), I was interested in seeing us huddle together with our colleagues and friends –  there were only two other WMN staff alongside me, with a majority of TR guests, followed by those from Turner.

Having already answered the questionnaire (so that Lumina could give us our profiles at the end of the session) I was aware of a few behavioural aspects: Do I take charge in a group? Do I like to bring others around to my point of view? Upon meeting Donna from Lumina, I quickly said that I was aware when answering, that my responses for work-based situations were different than those for family, friend or social interactions.

When it came time to sit and start the session, guess who was there saying “no, don’t sit on the side and it’s ok if you didn’t do your questionnaire, please sit in the middle so we have a nice audience”? Me, of course! Hey, I was there for work, I’m a WMN staff member. And I knew that we wouldn’t not be sitting still for too long. But I also noticed how in these situations, we do herd together.

The session, which took us through personality ‘areas’ (not types, because it can all be blurry), which you can see partially in the image below. It’s broken into:

Yellow – Social, imaginative, spontaneous

Green – Intimate, collaborative, empathetic

Blue – Observing, Evidence-based, Reliable

Red – Purposeful, Competitive, Takes charge

But note the blurring colours inbetween, too.

Lumina

And did you know that we make our first judgement of a person – all non-verbally, this fast?

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(But don’t worry, we make a more lasting, detailed judgement within 30 minutes).

We started our activities with three cards each from each suit (one of the four colours) and we then met people to trade out those cards which held statements that we felt didn’t apply to us. The statements varied from things like “In a group I prefer to listen first” to “Others see me as a rebel” (that one resonated with us WMN ladies).

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We also did group work to come to understand the potential character attributes and style of each ‘colour’ to see if we could understand what kind of personality each colour represented. Then, we looked at ourselves and decided what order rating we would give each colour, in describing ourselves. Again, I laughed as Event Manager, Sheli, and I came out with the same – we have similar day jobs too.

The next task was to move around the room, try to talk to at least five people who would then decide what colour order I was, as I did the same for them. My first meeting was interesting, I got talking – and before I knew it, Donna came along and told us to hurry on as we needed to meet more people. What did that mean about us? I quipped.

I was interested to see that I had been rated exactly the same by the four people I met (am I one dimensional? My brother once said I was, but only because I was given three of the same Marmite cook book for my birthday one year. I’m not one dimensional. I just really, really like Marmite). More so, I was interested to see that actually, I think those appraisals were right and it was slightly different than what I had first guessed for myself.

But to be clear, we all take on different aspects in different situations, so we’re all a bit of each colour and our profiles provided by Lumina break down into the underlying persona, the every day persona and the overextended persona. Lumina also recognise that these types have negative aspects – for instance,  someone who’s tough could be too blunt for others, or aggressive. Or you could become isolated if others see you as a rebel.

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Towards the end of the session (which Lumina kindly reduced to only 1.5 hours) Rachael took us through the ‘Spark Mandala’ and asked a few to take steps forward, when the question asked applied to them. We did one set for Introverted personalities (by starting from the opposite side of the wheel, printed on the mat) and another for extroverted personalities. Again, I laughed – and announced – that the two most extroverted personalities on that group were both from WMN.

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It’s easy to see that Lumina has a rounded view of how people are and behave – and that it’s helpful both on a personal and professional level to have an understanding of your style. After all, as a ‘yellow’ person I would say that life is all about those relationships, work might mean professional relationships, some of which crossover to personal, but really, our interactions with each other, with strangers, friends, family, colleagues, loved ones and even those we don’t like so much really makes up the colour of life.

To learn more about Lumina, visit these sites:

Illuminate Training

Lumina Learning

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