Bring Insights Discovery to life with MTa experiential activities

Part of our series on bringing theories to life with experiential learning. Read the rest here.

With more than 9 million profiles generated and over 12,000 practitioners, it’s easy to see that Insights Discovery is in high demand.

If you’re a facilitator looking to get more from the tool, this post is for you. We’ll show you the best experiential learning activities for bringing Insights Discover colour profiles to life.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Readers who are familiar with Insights Discovery can skip to a breakdown of the results, or to the best MTa activities to build on them.

What is Insights Discovery?

Insights Discovery is a psychometric tool that maps a person’s strengths and competencies across four areas, each signified by a colour. These colour labels are a useful way to conceptualise a person’s behaviours and communication style, to develop self and collective awareness, and to provide a safe framework in which to discuss individual differences.

Insights Discovery positions itself at the beginning of the self-discovery journey. It’s designed to develop a person’s understanding of themselves and others, with the view to strengthening communication, improving workplace relationships, and yielding better performance as a result.

One of the main strengths of Insights Discovery is its ability to instil a common language that people can use to overcome challenges and conflict. This is based around four colours – fiery red, sunshine yellow, earth green and cool blue –  across which a person’s strengths are mapped.

Discovery Insights colour profiles
A summary of the four colours


Each colour comprises a range of traits:

  • Fiery Red: positive traits include competitive, demanding, determined, strong-willed, powerful / traits that can manifest under pressure include aggressive, domineering, intolerant, controlling, inflexible.
  • Sunshine Yellow: positive traits include sociable, dynamic, demonstrative, enthusiastic, persuasive / traits that can manifest under pressure include excitable, frantic, indiscreet, flamboyant, hasty
  • Earth Green: positive traits include caring, encouraging, sharing, patient, relaxed / traits that can manifest under pressure include bland, plodding, reliant, stubborn, compliant
  • Cool Blue: positive traits include cautious, precise, deliberate, questioning, formal / traits that can manifest under pressure include stuffy, indecisive, suspicious, cold, reserved

When they complete Insights Discovery, a participant is given a profile which includes:

  • Their strengths, weaknesses and value to the team
  • Their management style: – how they like to manage and be managed
  • Their communication style
  • Their sales effectiveness
  • Insights into their ideal working environment

The goal is not to remain static, but rather to change over time as you develop according to the areas highlighted in your profile that do not align with the requirements of your role, your sense of self, or your career objectives.

What your Insights Discovery results mean

On completion of Insights Discovery you’ll get a set of graphs that looks like this:

Discovery Insights results example

The Conscious persona indicates how you perceive yourself, and how you might generally try to act. The Less Conscious persona indicates how others perceive you, and is a good indicator of how you might act under pressure, or in situations where your subconscious is more likely to dictate responses. 

The middle graph – Preference Flow – shows the difference between the two. So in the example above, the person makes a conscious effort to be more “green” (i.e. caring, patient) and, to a lesser extent, more “red” (i.e. determined, competitive). 

Taking Insights Discovery further

As we’ve mentioned, Insights Discovery is great for refining a person’s understanding of themselves and others, but by itself it offers little opportunity to build on this understanding.

Completing Insights Discovery gives you a label and a position within the model, and from this point you’re invited to consider strategies to change your behaviour, or to interact with people based on their behaviour. 

While this is useful, closing the gap between your current position and your desired outcomes requires work.

Using MTa materials to bring Insights Discovery to life

All MTa kits contain experiential learning activities designed to simulate situations that might arise in the workplace, where participants’ behaviours can be observed, considered, and discussed in a controlled environment, free of the pressures and consequences you’d find in the real world.  . 

For individuals who’ve just received their colour profile, this controlled environment is an invaluable way to attach colours to real behaviours and outcomes, and to practise discussing these with the common language Insights Discovery encourages.

Below you’ll find four MTa activities that work particularly well alongside Insights Discovery

Rectangle, from MTa Team Kit

Discovery Insights rectangle

This activity creates an environment where many team roles are encouraged, and where individual characteristics are likely to be accentuated. 

The presence of a blindfold amplifies qualities like assertiveness and listening, associated with red and green profiles respectively. And because it’s up to the team to set their own objectives and targets, differences in approach to working are identified.

As many different working styles are valid in the activity, lots of ideas make their way to the table for discussion and reflection.

Rectangle also lends itself very well to video review: a fantastic tool to use with Insights Discovery results, as participants can see themselves manifesting specific behaviours that align with their profile and discuss these with the group.

Sorting Shapes, from MTa Insights

Discovery Insights sorting shapes

Sorting Shapes shares similarities with Rectangle, in that participants can’t see while they’re completing the task, leading to accentuated personal characteristics. 

This activity is ideal for facilitators looking for something on a smaller scale, for sessions where space is at a premium, as Sorting Shapes can take place on a single tabletop. 

Video review also works well for this activity.

Seeing Red, from MTa Insights

Discovery Insights seeing red

Seeing Red is a slightly more advanced version of Sorting Shapes, ideal for groups working at a higher level. The basic premise is the same – sort shapes under a tablecloth – but the overarching criteria are more strict.

These tightened parameters create an environment with more pressure, where the less conscious persona is more likely to make an appearance. Using video review to demonstrate this transition, and to invite discussion using the common language of Insights Discovery, should lead to some engaging and insightful conversation.

The Rig, from MTa Mini

Discovery Insights the rig

The Rig creates an environment where multiple roles can function, and participants usually fall into roles which suit and illustrate their natural style: ideal for demonstrating how colour profiles manifest in the real world.

Complexity leads to high enough levels of challenge that behaviour changes under stress can be identified. This complexity arises from factors like competing priorities, a profit motive, and deliberate ambiguity in the rules: all things that participants will encounter in the workplace. Exploring these challenges in a safe environment allows for constructive dialogue and thoughtful reflection.

Let us help you 

With over 100 activities across 11 kits, you can use MTa materials to achieve any learning outcome you can think of. If you want to help teams build on their Insights Discovery results, or if you need help meeting any other learning objectives, get in touch with our experiential learning experts and we’ll be happy to help you find the right activity for your needs.