Practitioner Spotlight 01 features Anish Hindocha from Jigsaw Change Consulting – a newly qualified Lumina Spark Practitioner who recently went independent as a consultant facilitator and coach after an extensive career in Change Management for major banking & financial service providers. Anish values people at the centre of change, before processes, creating impactful cultural transformation across interventions both short and long. #LuminaPractitionerSpotlight
My thoughts today
When I first thought about writing this article, I figured the audience would be newbie Practitioners like myself. And then when I thought about it some more, I like to think it might be relevant to experienced Practitioners too. Sometimes when we have done a thing for a while, it might help to recognise some of the methods we might forget or take for granted. Whichever camp you sit in, I hope this article holds some value for you.
A little about me
I’m a Chemistry graduate and have worked in Change Management for over 20 years in large corporates – mostly financial services. I went the way of independent working in September 2019. If you are curious about psychometric profiling but are put off because you don’t think you have the related credentials than read on. I have an interest but no formal experience within occupational psychology. And whilst I have trained many people within corporates as part of my role, I have never worked in an L&D (Learning & Development) department.
Route to qualifying
I qualified as a Lumina Spark Practitioner on 28th October 2020. I decided to take the qualification because a client had enquired about doing “some sort of personality profiling”. If I’ve learned anything since going solo, it is to say yes more often than you say no, and also there will be time to worry about figuring out how to do something later on. Later on in this case, only meant four weeks. I got onto a virtual training course on 7th October with Lumina and set about the task of learning with a zeal I haven’t seen in myself since I threw myself into learning Spanish ten years ago. I literally became the human equivalent of a sponge. I absorbed whatever I could read, podcasts, and more. I attended lectures, cold called other experts to grab fifteen minutes of their time for advice. And generally thought about little else. It served me pretty well.
Having a new toy as powerful as Lumina Spark is exciting. I am also acutely aware that a little knowledge can be dangerous. Embracing the fear (something I’ve gotten increasingly used to), I started to book in my first portrait reviews. As I write here in mid-December, I’ll have completed twenty, enough I think to allow me to write a few lessons I have learned as a newbie Practitioner. So, here goes…
Prepare, prepare, prepare. But there is such a thing as preparing too much. My colleagues used to joke when I was in corporate that I used to over-prepare. My preparation for a workshop would be meticulous. I’d photograph the room, work out how I wanted the exercises to go. Have flipcharts ready with Blu-tak on the back ready to pin up, have marker pens tested to see if they had ink. I left pretty much nothing to chance. The reason I do this, of course is because I’m a bag of nerves. Preparation is the prop I use to keep me steady. And I find it essential when I am tackling anything new. It was the same with preparing for my initial reviews. I stopped short of stalking my candidates on LinkedIn. But I decided that I would write a five-page word document to have by my side to guide me through it. The set-up, letting them know about confidentiality, what the review would entail. It turned out to be overkill.
Let the candidate lead the conversation. My first two profile reviews had me going through their profile page by page and my conversations lacked a certain depth. It was too scripted. Questions were too superficial. I’d ask them whether they agreed with the word cloud. They would say yes. I would then move to the next page and go through the Inner Spark section. I was getting fairly bored. And I’m sure they weren’t getting much out of it either. I really didn’t want it to sound rehearsed, and it wasn’t the reason I went into the course in the first place. Time to quickly shift gears.
Ask other Practitioners. I was introduced to Lumina by a scholar and a gentleman who has quite a following due to his intelligent and often times humorous take on personality – Nikita Mikhailov. He kindly offered to help me. In an instant he had turned to the detailed view of the 3 personas. And started to draw connections and reveal insights about a candidate I could barely keep up with. I was amazed at the depth that could be extracted through doing this properly. And that was a moment of truth for me, and I didn’t look back. The team at Lumina Learning have also set up a global Practitioner Group on LinkedIn for discussion with other Practitioners which is a great way to connect and learn. Oh, and of course there’s their long standing monthly global Practitioner calls too. These calls seem like a great way to understand the latest product updates, get practical guidance on coaching, workshops and interventions of all sorts, and to see how Lumina Learning products, services and support are being used across the world with various Practitioners and senior Lumina Learning team members featuring on guest speaker slots.
Don’t ignore the 3 personas. Start with the 3 personas (Underlying, Everyday and Overextended). That page is a gift. Through thinking of how a candidate dials up or down a particular quality such as ‘Accommodating’, and amp up its psychological equivalent ‘Tough’, I was allowed to get far better insights. I started to look at extreme 95% and above scores and started to ask why. I invited reflection on those, and by the 8th conversation started to probe their own view of self. It was becoming less robotic, and way more enjoyable. The video below shows the three personas in action (skip to time stamp at 12:28 in the video below for an example!).
Leave your assumptions at the door. I was still making assumptions about the person before they arrived on the call. And I’m learning to let go of those pre-conceived ideas. People come as they are. And I’m often surprised. I had someone 99% on ‘tough ”competitive ‘AND ‘takes charge’, and they were one of the friendliest, most easy-going candidates I’ve had. You just don’t know what’s going to turn up, so leave your ill-informed assumptions and suspicions at the door. The portrait is simply a mirror to the questions they answered.
Lumina support is fantastic. It’s a global learning company with a local feel. The response I got from the London office is always warm, honest, flexible, and personal. I have received support a number of times. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and speak to a real person. There’s the Lumina Knowledge Base for instant FAQ support and the new Resource Library, accessible from your Lumina Account, for downloadable resources for workshops, coaching and marketing. The global team recently began doing regular online Practitioner Drop In sessions too for training support and feedback – I’m looking forward to connecting with more of the Lumina Learning team and taking advantage of these support features.
Explore Spark Coach. One of the complaints coming from organisations is “What do I do once my team member has done the psychometric?”. Does it just sit in the drawer? Enter Spark Coach – one
of the newest members of the Lumina family. It’s the new virtual feature of Lumina’s flagship Lumina Spark. I used it for the first time with a live client. The filtered view of amplifications, hidden treasures and Overextended behaviours works really well. The transition from insight into action is easy enough. I found the format easy to navigate and it allows for some powerful coaching conversations to flow naturally. The goal setting section needs an export to PDF function, so candidates can download their goals into something portable and shareable. I hope to integrate Spark Coach into my practice as a standard. I’m that convinced of its utility.
My advice to anyone thinking about going through the training is get some real-world practice in as quickly as you can. Even if it’s friends and relatives, those early reviews will be beneficial in scoping out how you have a conversation. There’s actually a feature called Lumina Gift for sharing Lumina Spark with friends and family. If you’re a Practitioner on Lumina’s premium or enterprise subscription then it’s well worth using this for practice. But do consider that Lumina Gift it is a much shortened version of the standard Lumina Spark portrait, so whilst makes a great introduction for practicing, you’ll still need to get to grips with the full Lumina Spark portrait soon after to unleash the real potential.
I hope this article has been of use to new and experienced Practitioners. And if you’re thinking about choosing a psychometric profiling tool, then Lumina ought to be in your shortlist (I have used others) but the depth, accuracy and usefulness of Lumina Spark is phenomenal. I’m glad I made the jump. My thanks to my trainers Jeannie and Mireille. And to Dan Seale and Jane Armytage for their fantastic support over the last two months.
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