At the beginning of the school year, I need to get to know my new students and athletes. It’s crucial for me to understand their personalities because I want to be the most effective instructor and mentor for them. Also, I want them to be self-aware, know how they operate, and understand the aspects of their personality that they most favor. Finally, I want all of us to function as a team to establish a productive learning environment. In this post, I present a possible solution to this need.
A few years ago I discovered a web and mobile app called the Personality Diversity Indicator. The PDI application is free to use and can be accessed on a mobile or desktop device. You can start the Personality Diversity Indicator by clicking this link. You can download the app for IOS here, and you can download the app for Android here.
The app provides a series of questions that each feature four words. The person must choose the word that they think they are most like, and then select the word that they feel is least like them. There are thirty-five questions in all. The assessment takes about five to ten minutes to complete.
The app provides a full report based on the response provided. There are four categories (Red – Doer, Yellow – Socializer, Green – Thinker and Blue – Relator). Every personality has a mix of all four E-Colors. However, usually, one or two E-Colors are prominent over the others. The two highest E-Colors are a person’s primary colors. For example, an individual who is red/yellow predominantly is a Doer/Socializer. This person tends to be practical, strong-willed, talkative and people oriented. As a basis for comparison, a person who is a blue/green would be analytical, persistent orderly, supportive and dependable.
I tend to find that students/athletes that have red as a primary E-Color tend to be more talkative during class or team discussions when answering questions. A student who has a blue E-Color is usually relatively quiet.
When the students receive their results, I ask them to put stickers on their lab notebooks with their two primary E-Colors. By providing the means to display colors, it helps the other students see which colors predominate in the person with whom they are working. When you have that knowledge, it provides a frame of reference for everyone that helps with lab work or other collaborative efforts. It’s also helpful when two students have the same colors and now have a common ground that they both share.
The information that I acquire because of the PDI app also aids me as the instructor in the classroom adjust my teaching style to suit the students.
For example, if I have a class that has a majority of students who have blue as a primary color it will require more thought about my approach to achieve a higher level of interaction in the classroom. Also, there is a comfort for those primarily blue students who are reluctant to speak up that there are others in the room that may also be nervous about contributing. On the flip side, the red personality color students are aware that they may be dominating the conversation and should allow the blues the chance to take a risk and answer a question.
In my Chemistry lab, we are often conducting experiments, and I use the results from E-Colors to set lab partners. I’ve been doing this for three years now, and I have seen many productive collaborative relationships built between students with different primary colors.
You might be wondering what my E-Colors are. I am a Relating Thinker (Green/Blue). I think that in my role as coach and educator, it is essential to know what my strengths and development areas are. My E-Colors identify me as someone who likes to be prepared, enjoys talking about the details with other people. However, I am overly concerned with making mistakes, and that can cause me to be indecisive at times. Additionally, I can be too judgemental at times. It is wise for me to stop to think before I judge someone who has different ideas and approaches in life. Also, I need to work on taking action and be more assertive when I have the opportunity to make suggestions.
Additionally, there is an online training course where you can learn more about using the PDI and how to apply what you learn through that process to your own life. You can access that training course by clicking here with a discount code applied. I am enrolled in the class, and I’ll be writing future posts on all of the things I learn in the course and how to leverage those in my respective roles of husband, father, teacher and coach.
In conclusion, my understanding of personality colors continues to grow, and I am always looking for more ways to leverage this knowledge. This concept could be used in many team environments such as athletic or inclusivity groups. You can discover your E-Colors by visiting this link. When you understand your athletes, and they know you, a better learning environment results.
I hope that this post has provided food for thought for future self-understanding and relationship building in your classroom, office or sports team. If you take the PDI, please leave a comment below to share your E-Colors. I’d love to hear from you!