Social, practical and memorable personality insights

Social, practical and memorable personality insights



By Pete Read, CEO & Founder

The Persona thinking framework

Persona’s personality insights concept is based on large scale behavioural science research1, and developed with input from students, school inspectors, headteachers, and social & emotional learning experts.

It provides young people with a ‘thinking framework’ they can use to develop skillsets, cultivate more successful relationships and achieve positive outcomes in different situations, by learning to adapt their communication and behaviour.

Persona personality styles framework

Crucially, the framework is social, practical and memorable, making it easily internalised as well as useful for young people in the life challenges they face:

Social: Not only does it empower students to think about their own mix of personality styles, it also allows them to invite others to consider how they come across to them. That in turn leads to reciprocal invitations.

Practical: While highlighting the strengths of each Persona style, it also points out things to be mindful of, and growth areas to bear in mind. For example someone with a Sociable main style who loves building relationships – a positive characteristic – may also fear having disagreements, which could hold them back2.

Memorable: Persona uses inherently memorable adjectives to describe each of the four styles: Animated, Decisive, Rational and Sociable. They are easily internalised and quickly become part of the student lexicon. These are supported by 76 more adjectives which together paint an easily understandable picture of each style, including positive, neutral and growth characteristics.

The Persona personality styles

Persona styles characters

Decisive: Determined, independent and driving; may be impatient and controlling under pressure.

Rational: Thorough, inquiring and analytical; may be indecisive and inflexible under pressure.

Animated: Assertive, enthusiastic and expressive; may be unrealistic and shouty under pressure.

Sociable: Supportive, dependable and amiable; may be late and compliant under pressure.

Of course, none of these styles is any better or worse than the others. In fact everyone has a unique mix of styles – their Persona. This may be more focused or more balanced, and will change over time, especially when we are young.

Using personality insights to develop life skills

Developing an understanding of their own mix of personality styles, and other people’s, using the Persona framework, helps young people to improve the life skills that can influence the success of their relationships, as well as their success in a wide range of life challenges, from group work, to interviews, to preparing for exams, to work experience.

The six Persona skillsets:

1. Being realistic
2. Communication
3. Open-mindedness
4. Problem solving
5. Resilience
6. Self-control

The Persona framework helps to develop these skillsets, improve relationships and outcomes, which in turn boosts wellbeing.

Free access for schools and colleges

If you would like your students to discover social, practical and memorable personality insights, and harness those insights to develop life skills and boost wellbeing and employability, Persona Education offers free access to its Persona Life Skills web app, in which students can start to use the Persona thinking framework.


1 David Merrill and Roger Reid

2 Peter Urs Bender

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