Discover Yourself – Interacting With Our Opposite Types

Personality assessments are useful not only for participants to understand themselves better, but also to understand the other people around them. Interacting with people with very different views and priorities can be challenging, but Insights Discovery can suggest ways for people who are opposite types to work together more smoothly and effectively.

Fiery Red Interacting with Earth Green

Fiery reds are action driven, confident, and focused on their goals. Their opposite type are earth greens, who are calm, supportive, and ethical. A fiery red can see earth greens as docile, inactive, resistant, or stubborn. The methodical, careful progress of the earth green can feel frustrating and plodding to the active fiery red type.

To get the most from interactions with earth greens and to avoid losing their temper, fiery reds should practice patience and try to hold back from jumping in to every task head first. There can be great value in pausing to think an idea through before getting caught up in the action, and earth green can help to provide this balance.

A skill that earth greens can offer to fiery reds is the ability to see other’s points of view and to foster consensus. While a fiery red would likely try to resolve a dispute between members by imposing a rule or view onto the whole team, an earth green will try to find a compromise where everyone is happy and where every member of the team feels respected.

As fiery reds are often natural leaders, they motivate and push their team to achieve more. But they also benefit greatly from having an earth green as a fellow manager who can soothe team members and support them when they are stressed. Fiery reds should learn to see the value in this more caring, empathetic approach and learn when to deploy an earth green to smooth over difficult social situations.

Earth Green Interacting with Fiery Red

The patient and caring earth greens can find the forward and assertive fiery red type to be aggressive, controlling, and overbearing. The tendency of fiery reds to take charge and to push others towards goals can chafe the earth green who wants everyone to feel respected and understood. It will help earth greens to remember that democratic relationships are indeed important, but sometimes it is necessary for someone to lead decisively.

If an earth green feels like they or others are being steamrolled by the fiery red, then they can try raising these concerns outside of a high-pressure group meeting situation. A fiery red will be much more receptive if the earth green can voice their issues in terms of impediments to action as opposed to personal feelings.

An earth green can benefit from the push that a fiery red provides, as this can prevent them from overthinking and compel them to action. Also, there may be situations where it is not possible for everyone to be happy, and a fiery red will push for an acceptable solution where an earth green can be paralyzed by indecision.

Sunshine Yellow Interacting with Cool Blue

Sunshine yellows are sociable, creative, and love to dream about the future. Their opposite type is cool blues, who are methodical, analytical, and precise. Sunshine yellows can perceive cool blues to be cold and reserved, and find it strange that they are more focused on rules or data than on people. To a highly people-focused sunshine yellow, it may be almost inconceivable that anyone would not think primarily in terms of social interactions. Therefore, when interacting with cool blues, it can help sunshine yellows to remember that focusing on data over interpersonal relations does not mean a lack of care for other people – rather, cool blues want to be fair to all people, and they express that care in a data-driven way.

A cool blue can make a strong partnership with a sunshine yellow. The sunshine yellow person can imagine great concepts for the future and raise enthusiasm for the project among other people, while the cool blue can come up with the realistic ways to achieve those concepts in the real world. The pragmatism of a cool blue can be an essential reality check on the dreamy nature of a sunshine yellow, as long as the sunshine yellow doesn’t take this pragmatism personally. They should remember that when a cool blue expresses skepticism about an idea, they are not trying to be negative – they are searching for a way that the idea can realistically be achieved.

Cool Blue Interacting with Sunshine Yellow

Conversely, when analytical and logical cool blues have to interact with excitable and dynamic sunshine yellows, they can find them to be hasty and imprudent, or even disorganized and a “head in the clouds” type. It will help cool blues to remember that, unlike themselves who tend to think through an idea carefully before voicing it, other personality types like to think out loud in a discursive manner.

Just because someone says something that is not totally logical or they share an idea which is not fully thought through, it does not mean that the person is silly or vacuous. They should understand that people use discussion as part of their thinking process and try not to judge excited sunshine yellows when they take an idea and run with it.

A sunshine yellow can help a cool blue in tasks like drumming up support for a project. For example, if a cool blue finds a way to make a system more efficient, then they may push for their new system to be adopted and be surprised when they are met with a lukewarm reception. To the cool blue, if the new system is more logical then obviously everyone should support it. But a sunshine yellow knows that they need to sell people on the new system with enthusiasm and a sense of fun, which can be far more persuasive than logic. A cool blue who comes up with a concept and a sunshine yellow who gets everyone on board with the concept can make a great team.

To learn more about Insights Discovery and how it can help colleagues understand themselves and each other, visit www.discoveryourself.com.

Discover Yourself – Managing the Color Energies

Understanding the different personality types of a team is important for managers not only so that they can build an effective team, but also so that they can gain insights into how to manage each person. Today I’ll be discussing tips and techniques for managing each of the color energies in the Insights Discovery system.

Managing Cool Blues

People who are cool blue in temperament are thoughtful and like to plan out events and activities in advance. Typically, they will be organized and know their processes very well, following instructions exactly. But one challenge in managing them is they are not the most adaptable of people; they need to be given time to consider and process new information and ideas. If a new concept or model is introduced to a cool blue, they may not be particularly enthusiastic about the change straight away. This does not mean that they are rejecting the change or that they will be unable to cope with it, but they may require a few days to adapt to the new mindset required of them.

One practical tip on managing cool blues is to give them a heads up (wherever possible) of new issues that may arise in the future. A manager who can let their cool blue team members know in advance that changes will be forthcoming – for example, that this year an annual process will be changing, or that brainstorming sessions will be moving from regular small meetings to occasional large meetings – will find that the cool blue person has planned and anticipated the change and is more ready for it. This gives two advantages: firstly, the blue person will be able to contribute useful ideas as they have had time to consider and aren’t being forced to respond off the cuff, and secondly, they will be more positive about adapting to change when they know to expect it.

Managing Earth Greens

Earth green people are driven by their values, which often focus around sharing, harmony, and fairness. This means that in order for a manager to win the loyalty of an earth green person, they must explicitly demonstrate their even-handedness and explain their reasoning. For example, if a manger is planning to end a contract with a vendor and to move to another vendor, it would be wise to let the earth green members of their team know about why they are making this change. Even when it is not strictly required for the green person to know about the reasoning to perform their job, they will be more supportive and enthusiastic if they see that their manager has good reasons for making this choice.

This is because earth green people care deeply about personal relationships with co-workers. If the green person perceives their organization as being capricious or opaque about their motives, they will not trust them and will not perform well. And this interest is not self-centered: a green can perceive a colleague being treated badly by a manager to be as damaging as if it were happening to them. To build the best relationship with an earth green, a manager should be as fair as possible and be transparent about that fairness.

Managing Sunshine Yellows

The highly sociable sunshine yellow type is passionate, enthusiastic, and has a strong vision of the future. If a manager wants to sell their team on a new concept or process, then getting the sunshine yellow members of the team on board is key. These people will then cheerlead for the idea and get everyone else in the team to accept and embrace the new concept too. If a person who can drum up energy and get everyone involved is required, then the sunshine yellow is the type to turn to.

However, sunshine yellow types can be distractible and disorganized. When managing such a person, it is important to clearly lay out the essential requirements of a task and not let the person focus only on the “fun” parts of a job. Also, sunshine yellows can have a tendency to overwhelm other less outgoing team members, especially if there are a high proportion of yellows on a team and their visions are closely aligned. In this case, encourage sunshine yellows to pull back sometimes to allow space for others to express their ideas.

Managing Fiery Reds

Fiery reds are active and hands-on, and they like to find the most efficient way of performing their tasks. This means that they can be very adaptable and amenable to change, as long as their manager can demonstrate to them how the new system will create a better outcome than the old system. Unlike cool blues, fiery reds are not interested in considering every small change in depth – they would rather learn by doing and are focused on the present moment rather than ruminating about the past or future. If a fiery red needs to learn a new skill, it is best to hand them the tools and let them puzzle through the challenge for themselves rather than trying to teach them everything in advance.

One useful but occasionally frustrating aspect of managing a fiery red is their pragmatism. They are not the type to be swept up by great oratory or to embrace an idea because it sounds new and exciting. Instead, they want to see a clear and realistic vision with concrete steps outlined that will achieve that vision. When trying to motivate a fiery red, do not focus on abstract concepts or too much big picture talk – instead, give them grounded, actionable steps which they can follow to achieve the desired goal.

This is just scratching the surface of the ways that psychometric testing can help managers interact with and motivate their team. For more information on this topic, visit www.discoveryourself.com.

Communicating with the Four Color Personalities

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Communicating with other people is sometimes the most frustrating part of our day. Hollywood loves a good misunderstanding, which may explain the wealth of comedic films and romantic comedies that get pumped out every year. Misunderstandings can happen between people who are complete strangers and between individuals who know each other very well; all this boils down to a lack of communication and a lack of active listening.

Learning how to adapt, communicate and interact with others is something we work on our entire lives. When you begin to dive into understanding your personality type more, you’ll unconsciously begin to notice certain character traits in other people as well. Spotting these strong character traits can help you along the way to more effective communication and cooperation with people of different personality types that you see every day.

Intentional interaction

When you are familiar with the four color personalities system, you can begin to categorize the people around you into their specific personality type as well as yourself. Knowing what your personality type gives you a baseline for understanding how you will interact and react with people who have a different or opposite personality type from you. You may even realize that interacting with someone of your same character type is the most frustrating!

The flip side of positive interactions with other people is knowing what behaviors aren’t going to be good for either of you. Try to play to the strengths of the other person; for instance, a Sunshine Yellow personality is looking to involve people in the work they are doing. They will respond well to people who display a bit of a competitive spirit and who are passionate about the project at hand, but won’t be as happy working with people who are slow paced or hesitant about moving forward.

Playing to strengths

A Fiery Red personality wants to get things done now and has little patience for co-workers who need to be told what to do. Fiery Red personalities need direct interactions and strong opinions, as well as a straightforward approach to the conversation or project. Earth Green personalities will find a Fiery Red approach to be overwhelming, and seek to foster a harmonious and encouraging setting in which peoples’ voices can be heard.

Finally, a Cool Blue personality will interact the best with someone who understands that they want to do it right the first time around. Spontaneity doesn’t always work with Cool Blues, who appreciate a controlled and deliberate approach.

Jung opened up an entirely new world with his discoveries, and discoveries into the psychology of personality and the self are still being made today. Insights Discovery is based squarely on Jung’s theories, and as such is an invaluable tool in helping people understand themselves and others. Schedule me, Scott Schwefel, as your keynote speaker, and I will come to your group and address the differences in personalities in a truthful, fun, and easy-to-understand way. Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to share my blogs with the color energies you work with!

The History of the Four Personalities

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The four personality types exemplified by the four colors have existed for centuries. Before they were called Fiery Red, Earth Green, Cool Blue, and Sunshine Yellow they were known as humors. The four humors dictated the four most common temperaments that people displayed. Hippocrates was the first to inspire the idea of humors, which were called sanguine, choleric, melancholic, and phlegmatic.

Carl Jung used the idea of the four humors to influence his discoveries about the intricacies of human behavior. His thoughts involved the four personalities as well as the idea of the conscious and unconscious minds, where the four personality types lived. Jung personified this split between the conscious and unconscious as representing the ‘other,’ or ‘dark’ part of our personality.

Between the dark and the light

Jung didn’t intend the dark side to mean the less desirable parts of our personalities, but rather the unconscious aspects of the four types. This shadowy portion of the human character includes all of feeling and a portion of the sensing and intuition. Thinking, he claimed, was an entirely conscious act, so it is considered to be ‘in the light.’ The shadow and light portions of our personalities are inseparable from one another.

Understanding how the shadow and light parts of us work together is essential when attempting to understand the effects of our characters on our families, our work, and on all the other aspects of our lives. Taking thoughts, beliefs, and habits from the dark side into the light can help us understand why we are the way we are and how we can best interact with the world around us knowing what we know about ourselves.

The darkness always mixes with the light, and some aspects of the four personality types will be in the shadow while others are in the light. Hippocrates never went further than his theory of humors to explain the inner motivations of human behavior, but Jung certainly built upon this early perspective in his work.

Interactions with the four personalities

Interactions between the conscious and unconscious minds are incredibly important in influencing how we think and behave. Our strengths, or the personality type we exemplify the most, is going to be conscious most of the time- that is, we are aware of how we think, act, and react in certain situations. However, thinking about the other personality types can help an individual to understand that they can use each of these personality types and their strengths in everyday situations when it is beneficial to do so.

Jung opened up an entirely new world with his discoveries, and discoveries into the psychology of personality and the self are still being made today. Insights Discovery is based squarely on Jung’s theories, and as such is an invaluable tool in helping people understand themselves and others.  If you would like further help in identifying yourself or others as part of the four color personalities, schedule me, Scott Schwefel, as your keynote speaker. I will come to your group and address the differences in personalities in a truthful, fun, and easy-to-understand way. Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to share my blogs with the color energies you work with!

Analytical Observation: The Benefits of People Watching

observer

Many of us enjoy people watching- we like to see how people live, how they interact, and how they deal with everyday situations. The same factors that make people watching so intriguing to many of us can also make office environments that much more interesting as well. Observers, or the Cool Blue thinkers, rely on better than average observational skills and discipline to get things done both in their personal and professional lives.

Observers are very rational. They rely on facts and logic to make sense of the world and to make sense of the tasks they are given in the workplace. They depend on consistency and offer deep insights into the characteristics and behavior of the people around them.

The strengths of Observers

Observers are:

  • Precise
  • Cautious
  • Conscientious

They are also:

  • Worriers
  • Slow to act
  • Avoidant

Observers are observant of themselves and the people around them. They are good at discerning other peoples’ motivations and strengths, in addition to their weaknesses. Observers have a tendency to hire individuals who are also observers, which isn’t always beneficial. Observers are critical to a fault and, although they may be correct, often miss answer because they are afraid to be wrong. Observers are very fact oriented, but may hesitate to express their feelings or thoughts as an employee or if they are in a leadership position.

Working with an Observer

Working with an Observer as a coworker or as your boss can come with its benefits and challenges. Observers are independent and often prefer to work on their own, but create functional and interpersonal work environments. Observers are logical and seek to influence others using facts and proof, which may make them come across as uncaring or impersonal at times. However, they value others’ opinions and are typically very engaging in the workplace.

Observers, like many of us, feel pressured when they are rushed. They crave consistency and will return that consistency to their employees and coworkers when given the chance. Observers resist change, but can be brought around to the idea of new changes based on logical reasoning. When they feel like they don’t have a handle on a situation they can worry, but it is rarely about their jobs or reputation. Observers worry about how others will see them, what they are being judged on, and how they are perceived by those they respect the most.

Working with Observers is an exercise in patience and logic. Observers are stretched by social interactions and must remember that a lot can be learned when they put themselves in relevant social situations.

If you would like further help in identifying yourself or someone you know who may be an observer, schedule me, Scott Schwefel, as your keynote speaker. I will come to your group and address the differences in personalities in a truthful, fun, and easy-to-understand way. Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to share my blogs with the color energies you work with!