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Increasingly Interact’s clients are keen for staff to have a common reference point for talking about communication and behaviours. A popular one is the Insights Discovery model. Recently seven of Interact’s facilitators became accredited in Insights and one of them, Guy Fearon, introduces us to it below.

Insights Discovery is a model which, like many others we come across in the world of learning and development, is based on the theories of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. Jung was a prominent supporter of Sigmund Freud, but eventually fell out with him over a disagreement about how people are motivated. Deeply distressed by the separation, Jung turned his attention to studying why people differ, and how it is that two people can see the world in ways that are equally valid, but entirely different. For example, why is it that one person sees the glass as half full, and the other as half empty?

One example of his many ideas on the subject is the notion that some people are inherently more sociable than others, some more emotional; some more interested in the physical world and some more so in abstract concepts. The fact that this is now simply considered common sense is a mark of the deep influence Jung has had on our culture; psychological terms he coined such as ‘extroversion’ and ‘introversion’ have passed into everyday use and are widely understood.

Insights Discovery is a way of looking at individual differences through this lens, and it does so in a very user-friendly way. Using the system on several of our programmes, we have found that participants quickly and easily grasp the fundamentals of the different preferences Jung identified. This can have huge implications for how they resolve issues in the workplace and how they approach conversations. This kind of system raises people’s awareness of diversity in a way they possibly haven’t considered closely before. By that I mean the psychological diversity of how people ‘tick’, what is important to them, how they communicate, and most importantly how they like to be communicated with. 

Often we find people having ‘lightbulb’ moments in workshops, when aspects of their leadership challenges or team relationships suddenly come into focus in a new way. They realise that there are other ways of achieving their objectives, of presenting themselves to others, and that things aren’t quite as ‘stuck’ as they had thought. The thrust of what we do at Interact is, in my opinion, making sure that people leave our courses with more options than they had when they arrived, and Insights is a simple and powerful addition to the many methods we use to achieve this.

Guy Fearon