Lumina Learning CEO and Founder Dr Stewart Desson embraces the complexity of people’s personalities to help companies improve performance. In an interview with Insigniam Quarterly magazine, he discusses how Lumina Learning’s novel approach to psychometric testing embraces the complexity of people. By doing so, it helps individuals, teams, and organisations improve performance and drive remarkable results.
What are the differences between traditional approaches to assessing personalities and Lumina Learning’s approach?
There are two big theories in psychology: typing and traits. Through my own research and that of a lot of other people, I’ve concluded very clearly that types actually do not exist. Most of us are a bit Introverted and a bit Extraverted. A data-based approach to Introversion and Extraversion suggests the scale is normally distributed and people are not types.
We’ve brought in the idea that you can be opposites; you don’t have to be one or the other. We’ve also brought in the idea that we re-create our personalities in the moment in every new conversation. People shift on an everyday basis. Our assessments allow for that and allow people to be different in different contexts. We look at the dynamic of personality.
I’m really on a passionate mission to say, “Let’s not label people, let’s not limit people, let’s look at them as who they really are. Let’s encourage people to be the contradictions that they are and have these different, opposite qualities in them.” I can be quite critical and logical, but I can also be quite compassionate. That creates some inner tension in me. It’s not always easy, but that’s part of my leadership style, and that’s what makes me who I am. Let’s measure and embrace that complexity.
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