Everyone’s style of work is different. Sometimes those differences can cause friction and the mission of the organization gets compromised.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

In fact, knowing how and why people work differently can improve office morale and efficiently.

The True Colors system was designed by Don Lowery in the 1970s to simplify personality profiles so that everyone could understand them.  Based on the Meyers-Briggs personality system ,True Colors puts the theory of Meyers-Briggs into four core colors: Gold, Green, Blue, and Orange. Each of us has a combination of these True Colors that make up our personality spectrum, usually with one of the styles being the most dominant.

Now it’s time to determine what your True Colors are.

BLUE

If this is your main color, the color personality test will tell you that you are an emotional person. You wear your heart on your sleeve. Caring about other people’s feelings is important to you, not hurting those feelings is also very important to you. If your feelings are hurt then you withdraw from the situation.

GREEN

You are a thinker. You want to know why things are they way they are. Learning is important to you.  If something doesn’t make sense to you then you tend to withdraw.

GOLD

The rule follower. Golds want to follow the rules at all costs. It does not really matter if the rules make sense or not, they are the rules and they should be followed. Golds tend to withdraw when people are not following the rules.

ORANGE

Adventurous. Oranges crave adventure, creativity and free thinking. They are most happy when they are doing something fun or creative. They withdraw when rules must be followed and creativity suffers as a result.

Once you have figured out your primary color figure out your secondary color. This will help understand why you might not fit in the primary color  fully. For instance, I’m a Green-Blue. So when I become emotional about something and that does not fit in my primary Green, I can relate that back to the fact that I’m a secondary Blue.

At my day job I was confronted with a situation where understanding everyone’s True Colors came in handy. There was a situation when a directive came down from on high — and it did not make sense. As a result, my fellow Greens and I started to withdraw from the situation. The Golds decided that they would follow the directive — because it was a directive and it was the new rule. My direct supervisor is a Gold and she supervises a couple of Greens. After the meeting, I discussed with my supervisor that I understood that she was a Gold and wanted to follow the rules without question. But I also told her that since she also supervises Greens, they need the rule to make sense — or we will withdraw. She has made strides ever since to improve her questioning of rules that don’t make sense and the Greens in the group have not withdrawn nearly as much. Without my understanding of personalities from utilizing a color personality test, I wouldn’t have been able to deal the same way with this situation.

Keep in mind that it is very important that everyone figures out their colors for themselves; we can assign colors to people but that does not mean that is what they actually are. Share your colors and let everyone know what is important to you.

Understanding your True Colors (and those of others) will improve the quality and speed of collaboration because instead of being frustrated with how others work you will better understand better why they work that way — and others will also understand why you work the way you do.  Friction will decrease and your company will be better for it.

So…what are your True Colors? Let me know the comments.

(Photo credit: Colored Keys via Shutterstock)

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