Adaptability is a key benefit of Facet5; it is just as useful in a corporate setting as for personal development, as Danish Facet5 practitioner John Langford has discovered in his years of using it. John originally started working with Facet5 as a coaching, team-building and recruitment tool. He had been in search of a science-based, strength-related profile specially designed for coaching; in Facet5, he discovered a whole package of great tools for working with both individual and groups, aiding team-building and optimising recruitment processes. John found that the theoretical frame for Facet5 corresponds well as a base for working from a positive psychology approach; and is also well suited to his coaching in mindfulness and personal development alongside a Buddhist mindset.

Thanks to its flexibility and range of applications, John continues to use Facet5 in a number of ways with his clients. John’s use of Facet5 outside the workplace had become so effective, he organised a ten-day retreat to fully explore the possibilities with a group of private clients, reflecting on western and Buddhist approaches. We wanted to find out more about the retreat, and how John used Facet5 to help people in their journey towards self-acceptance and personal growth.

Who was the course designed for?

The ten-day retreat, based in Dharamsala, India, was open to any individuals wishing to develop their own self-awareness and coping mechanisms for issues in either their private or working life. There were ten spaces available and the participants had no previous knowledge of each other. SpotLight is ideal for talent development and embeds easily into any foundation self-awareness and leadership programme, making it ideal in this scenario. It is particularly effective for large groups such as this one, and it provides the framework for individual coaching.

What was the format and process?

The retreat consisted of a carefully planned mix of data-based workshops, using the information gathered from questionnaires, surveys and the retreat programme itself to look at personal experiences through emotions, thoughts and actions. The schedule included meditations, discussions on chosen topics, yoga, visits and sessions with Buddhist masters, among other things.

By focusing on self-awareness…each participant was better able to address his or own personal objectives and challenges.

Each participant was required to state the issues they wished to explore during the retreat in their applications. The reported issues included dealing with relationships in both private and working life, decision-making, coming to terms with past actions or events, increasing focus on important things, and how to avoid getting caught up by their emotions.

Before the course began, each person completed the Facet5 personality questionnaire, along with a survey about the daily challenges they experience. Data was then collected, and continued to be collected over the ten days of the retreat from the workshops and activities, to help each individual to achieve their personal objectives.

About the experience

The course began at Copenhagen airport, where the group met and was introduced for the first time. Each was assigned the same task: explore what emotions and thoughts arise during the travel to the first night’s accommodation, in Amritsar, India. Were they experiencing stress? Anxiety? Were their emotions negative or positive? How did they interact and respond to one another? How did they navigate the challenges of unfamiliar people, surroundings and experiences? The journey to and from the retreat was deliberately part of the experience, and a necessary stage in developing a responsive mindset.

On arrival at the retreat centre, the Facet5 profiles were presented as part of the first workshop. The participants were introduced to the principles and theory of Facet5, and from that were asked to guess their own profiles. They were all amazed by the accuracy, and very excited by the links between the various topics covered in the report.

For some, it was the first time they had been given such insight into their own preferences and behaviours, and they could immediately relate to the summaries. The Facet5 framework was therefore an essential part of the retreat, acting as a key to help each person better understand themselves through the data provided.

Throughout the week, SpotLight was also used to support the coaching process, challenging the participants to work to their full potential but also to address their frustrations. There are definite similarities between Tibetan Buddhism and the positive psychological framework of Facet5: the idea being that we are all capable of reaching our full potential. In Tibetan Buddhism, enlightenment comes to the person who is able to look at the truth behind the appearance of things, and be freed from negativity by not being caught up in mental disturbance. In this instance, the “negativity” related to the frustrations and personal challenges identified in the Facet5 and SpotLight reports.

It’s universal appeal lies in the underlying truths it uncovers: it explores and explains the building blocks of personality that make each person unique.

What was the outcome?

All ten of the participants found the retreat to be a rewarding and enlightening experience. They were all extremely pleased to have been able to relate to the reports throughout the course, and were very impressed by the accuracy and accessibility of Facet5. Several said they would be recommending Facet5 to their own organisations for professional and personal development, and many commented that although they had encountered other personality profiling tools in the past, Facet5 was definitely superior, and outclassed any others they had used before.

By focusing on self-awareness, and understanding the underlying personality traits which define our responses, preferences and behaviours, each participant was better able to address his or her own personal objectives and challenges. The thorough exploration of interactions with others, and how these are affected by our personalities, helped them to address the issues they had been experiencing in relationships both within and outside the workplace, and they all felt better able to address the frustrations and challenges in their lives.

The retreat was so successful, John is currently planning a series of future retreats which will continue to use Facet5 to help people understand themselves and their behaviours.

What is Facet5 so effective?

Facet5 provides a framework which allows people to explore and strengthen their own unique characteristics. It is presented positively, and its accuracy is reassuring and allows people to relate to the findings very quickly. John always uses Facet5 to focus on positives, showing people how they can work to develop coping strategies and overcome challenges through their own natural strengths. In this way, people can find their own solutions and have greater faith and confidence in their ongoing ability to continue coping and fulfilling their potential longer term.

Although Facet5 has been specifically designed for use in the work place, its universal appeal lies in the underlying truths it uncovers: it explores and explains the building blocks of personality that make each person unique, and helps to show how those elements affect response, behaviour and personal interactions. In providing clarity, insight and self-awareness, it helps people to communicate better, understand others, and develop the behaviours which lead to realising potential. In this way, Facet5 is just as relevant for promoting mindfulness and personal development as it is for professional and organisational transformation.

The process helped to increase communication skills, particularly in providing a framework to question without judgement and address areas of risk, frustration and development without negativity or confrontation. Though increasing the understanding of self and others, it helped the participants to better recognise, leverage and manage their own unique styles.

About John Langford

John has been a Facet5 practitioner for the last six years, using it both with business clients for team-building, professional development and recruitment, and with private clients for personal development and mindfulness. He has worked as both a pre-school teacher and a psychotherapist using cognitive therapy techniques. He has a Masters degree in Public Policy (social science), a Bachelors degree in Communication and in Organisational Psychology, and is a qualified NLP Coach. His Facet5 family is Developer.

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