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Discover Your True Colors for Effortless Collaboration

Discover Your True Colors for Effortless Collaboration

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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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    Last Updated on March 29, 2021

    5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

    5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

    When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

    What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

    The Dream Type Of Manager

    My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

    I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

    My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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    “Okay…”

    That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

    I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

    The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

    The Bully

    My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

    However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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    The Invisible Boss

    This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

    It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

    The Micro Manager

    The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

    Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

    The Over Promoted Boss

    The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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    You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

    The Credit Stealer

    The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

    Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

    3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

    Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

    1. Keep evidence

    Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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    Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

    Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

    2. Hold regular meetings

    Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

    3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

    Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

    However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

    Good luck!

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