Discover Yourself – Stress and Insights Discovery

When discussing personality types, it is important to remember that people will express their personality traits in different ways depending upon the environment that they are currently in. For example, Insights Discovery is based around personality assessment for a business environment, so it reflects people’s personality style at work more than when they are at home. A key psychological factor which can have a large influence on personality traits is stress: people will express different aspects of their personalities and will react in a more extreme way when they are stressed.

As work can frequently be stressful, it is helpful for managers to have an understanding of how different personality types react to stress, what those stressors are, and how managers can help to alleviate this stress. Today I’ll be sharing some thoughts on how stress affects each of the different Insights Discovery color energies.

Cool Blues and Stress

Cool blues are cautious and thoughtful, and they like to plan in advance. Therefore, they are stressed by situations where there is a lack of structure for them to work within, or where they are missing important information which they need to do their job. They hate to turn in work that is of low quality, so they do not like to be rushed and will be unhappy if they feel their work is not up to par. They also value efficiency and exactness, so they will feel frustrated by wasting time.

A manager can tell when a cool blue is stressed because they will nitpick over details and question the worth or efficiency of a process. They may become obstinate and dig in their heels if they feel they do not have the information that they need to complete a task. If they feel they are not getting the support they need, they can stop communicating and start making decisions without approval from higher ups. This stress can be managed by getting feedback from them along the course of a project, making sure they have the information that they need, and working with them to analyze inefficiencies in processes.

Earth Greens and Stress

Earth greens care most of all about fairness and positive interpersonal relationships, so they will feel stressed when they perceive there is unfair or impersonal treatment of themselves or others. They care deeply about their ethical values so asking them to bend the rules is another cause of stress for them. They also value a calm and supportive atmosphere so they may become stressed by loud environments, frequent interruptions, or feeling that they are under excessive time pressure.

When an earth green is feeling stressed they will tend to withdraw into themselves and become overly cautious. They may be personally hurt by the unfair treatment of someone else, even if it does not directly affect them, and this hurt can be expressed in a judgmental way. They may see themselves as the only one who cares about their values.

To manage a stressed earth green, a manager needs to take time to support them in person. There should be plenty of face-to-face contact, and the manger should reiterate that they understand the earth green reacts this way out of a sincere desire for fairness. Where necessary, a manager should be transparent and acknowledge that decisions are not always perfectly fair. But they should then convey that this needs to be kept in perspective – overall, management cares about being fair and takes steps to implement this value as much as possible.

Sunshine Yellows and Stress

Sunshine yellows are sociable and outgoing, so they become stressed and unhappy when they have no opportunities for personal interactions or for fun. While seeing co-workers joking around might seem like a waste of their time, these moments of joviality are essential for the job satisfaction of a sunshine yellow. They can also feel stressed by rigidity and a lack of flexibility, and they can become hurt by what they perceive as personal rejection from co-workers.

The warning signs of stress from a sunshine yellow are that they become overly emotional, even melodramatic. They may become opinionated and argumentative when they feel that they are being excluded from the group. To mitigate this, a manager should allow as much flexibility as possible so the sunshine yellow can prioritize and organize their own tasks. If they become overly fixated on a feeling of exclusion, a manger can re-direct their energies onto a new task which can be an effective distraction. Sunshine yellows highly value approval so they should be allowed to save face and maintain their reputation wherever possible.

Fiery Reds and Stress

Fiery reds care about action and decisiveness, so they are stressed by a lack of focus and a lack of control. Waffling, u-turns, and indecision are frustrating to them because they throw themselves fully into a project and they do not like having to readjust their goals. When a fiery red is stressed they will double down on their decisive and confident traits, and they can become aggressive, demanding, and overbearing. They can become snappy or rude to co-workers and they will be visibly impatient when they think a decision is taking too long.

To handle a stressed-out fiery red, a manager can take two different approaches. The first is to allow the fiery red to take control of the project or process, and trust that they will push forward until a decision is made. This is a good approach for an experienced and trusted fiery red. The alternative approach, if the manager is not confident in the fiery red’s ability to lead yet, is to get them to take time out away from the project. Now might be a good time to send them on a training course or to learn a process from another department. Or they could be directed to a different aspect of the project which requires immediate action, which will give them something to do while further decisions are being made.

To learn more about how personality assessments can benefit managers and employees, visit www.discoveryourself.com.

Does wearing a mask in the workplace mean you are “fake”?

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When you are the supervisor or the manager at your workplace, you are being counted on (and paid too) by your employer to effectively teach, manage, and develop the employees they hire. With the uniqueness of humans, no two employees will respond the same way to getting trained, managed, developed, or even disciplined.

Some supervisors and managers just supervise and manage only one way. Sometimes they don’t care and have that “it’s my way or the highway” attitude. Those managers run the risk of burning out after a few years on the job. And some supervisors and managers just don’t know how to manage any other way. These managers won’t burn out, but will only get average work quality from the employees they supervise and manage. Does wearing a “mask” in the workplace make you fake? No. In fact, this is a great way to communicate with different personalities, and to get above and excellent work from your employees.

What does it mean to wear a Mask?

A lot of people wear a mask in the real world and in the workplace for many different reasons. Wearing a mask typically, means that when the person is aware someone is watching them, they tend to wear a different colored mask and not act like their normal selves.

However, wearing a masking mask in our example, is close to the above. But, we are specifically speaking about strategically wearing a different color mask to communicate more effectively with employees who not all may be wired the same.

Looking at this from the Insights Discovery® Color Energies’ point of view

For example, let’s say that you have four employees who lead with either, Fiery Red, Cool Blue, Earth Green, or Sunshine Yellow. An effective supervisor or manager who has the ability of “full and total awareness” would have four different ways of approaching, speaking and communicating with all four of these different personality types. This supervisor or manager is wearing a mask, especially if they normally lead with another color while at home and another color when at work. A not so effective supervisor or manager would address all four employees in one way and most likely, NEVER would truly make a connection with these employees or get their best work.

So as you can see, people wear masks for many different reasons in life, good and bad. With respects to trying to communicate effectively in the workplace with today’s highly diverse workforces, wearing a mask to be more effective, and getting your employees’ best effort, is the a mask worth wearing.

Every organization needs a good mix of color energies and a few people who know how to wear a mask properly. If you’d like help in identifying this person (s) on your team, schedule me, Scott Schwefel, as your keynote speaker, I will come to your group and address the difference of personalities in a truthful, fun, and easy to understand way.  Follow me on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter to share my blogs with the color energies you work with!

You must let a person who leads with Sunshine Yellow SHINE!

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Do you know a person in your workplace that is just the life of the company parties, or just is full of life at work EVERYDAY? Well, they are not putting on an act to make you laugh, feel better, or anything like that. These people are wired this way, and some of them have been this way as far back as they can remember. If you still do not know exactly who this person is at your job, this might help. Is there a person there who is always naturally positive and always trying to encourage people to not lose their paths, and to keep pushing forward?

I bet you now know who this person is at your workplace. The Insights Discovery® Color Energies knows this person all too well. In fact, they have even given this personality type a name; Sunshine Yellow.

What are the classic signs of a person who leads with a Sunshine Yellow energy?

Since you have been reading all the blogs here on this site, you know there are four major colors to the Insights Discovery® Color Energies; Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow. It is normal for any given person to showcase personality characteristics of all four colors. In fact, if you were to do a Insights Discovery Profile Assessment, your final results would reflect properties of all four colors. However, each person still tends to lead with their predominant color. The more aware a person is of this trait they have, they better at it they can become.

For example, if a sunshine yellow personality was aware that they could make people who were, let’s say sad, laugh again as a result of being around them. This person, depending on how much sunshine yellow they possess, would be able to almost turn it on and off at will. This is a great power to possess, especially in a business setting.

The classic characteristics of the sunshine yellow personality are:

  • A person who is very sociable
  • Dynamic
  • Demonstrative
  • Enthusiastic
  • Persuasive

If you are NOT a person who leads with this color first, it would be very helpful for you to know how to deal with this personality type. When involved with a sunshine yellow person:

  • Show them enthusiasm– This is the way they will know you are listening to them. You also might have to make sure you look at them when they are speaking to you. Not because they were in the military and have a purple heart and demand this of everyone. It’s because most people who are sunshine yellow need the person whom they are speaking with to give them eye contact or they think that the person is not really listening to them.
  • Be friendly – If you are friendly to this person, they will bend over backward for you and could become a loyal co-worker and friend to you.
  • Be open and flexible– This person may have advice for you that they think is fun and exciting and they will be dying to tell it to you.
  • Get Involved– Getting involved is the easiest way to show this personality type that you do care.

Now that you know who this person is (it may be you), you can identify them in your head when you have an interaction with them and most importantly, you will know what to say, and how to act around them to get the desired results you are looking for out of them.

If you would like help identifying this person, 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 FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter to share my blogs with the color energies you work with!

 

 

Step outside of your box – Stop hiring yourself

Sunshine Yellow

Imagine yourself in the position of a hiring manager deciding between two potential new employees. One is obviously more qualified, but the other reminds you of yourself in the way they interact or even take a seat. You weigh the qualifications of both and assess which would be the most valuable addition to your team.

You might be surprised to hear that research shows that in this scenario the latter applicant is more likely to get the job. Studies have brought up the idea of a “cultural fit,” an unwritten category of the hiring phase in which an employer looks for someone who matches them on a socially desirable level. Sometimes even making the decision just based on who they can see themselves having a beer with! This does not necessarily lead to the wrong hires in every case, but it raises concern that a biased haze could be preventing a team from growing to its fullest potential.

We, as leaders, have a habit of building teams made of individuals who remind us of ourselves. That doesn’t seem like such a bad thing, especially if you’re constantly reminded of your hard work ethic, enthusiasm, and level-headed judgment. However, this mindset when applied to hiring insulates your group from gaining the insight and experience that can only be obtained through employing a diverse range of staff. Lacking the awareness that you are cloning current members of your team also robs you of gauging where your group excels—and where fine tuning needs to be done.

Getting down to it

For example, your current team may be proficient in achieving client satisfaction with completed projects, but lacks the organization required to meet deadlines. Gathering a group of similar individuals may mean your group consistently delivers good work, but aggravates your failure regarding promptness. This sequence of events would noticeably damage your credibility, and your business will suffer as an end result.

We can consider this problem in a more visual way. An emerging idea dedicated toward helping professionals build the most well-rounded team possible is the concept of “color energy.” Take a Sunshine Yellow type, for example, a real go-getter who invigorates the staff with visionary ideas and provides a fresh outlook on projects and assignments. A Sunshine Yellow, however, can fall prey to disorganization, a habit of jumping from project to project without giving each its due and closing on those with loose ends. You can mitigate the flaws of the well-intentioned Sunshine Yellow with a Cool Blue type who is more guarded against new visions but performs copious amounts of research on current projects. Fire Red personalities are hustlers, rarely short on confidence, but potentially on patience. Thankfully, we can count on Earth Green leaders to act as pillars of support for the group, providing guidance and mentorship—although they, too, may be a bit traditional in their ways.

Mixing creates the strongest teams

A balanced team is not a blinding yellow or endless blue, but rather a spectrum of vivid colors and personalities. As a hiring manager, your job is a two-step process. One: judge each applicant’s skill set and weaknesses objectively—as you normally would. Two: make an honest and critical analysis of your current team. Where do we have gaps and who can fill them? You may be inclined to recruit an individual with years of experience with analytics, but if your team already has a handful of those professionals, it may be best for you to hire the applicant with accounting experience. Similarly, you may consider yourself a Yellow Sunshine and be turned off by the sight of a deflating realist. But the success of your team may depend on the grounded Cool Blue who can keep them from flying too close to the sun.

This is not to say that hiring an employee who would be an ideal tennis partner is a bad idea. Your job as a responsible employer and business owner, however, is to put the interests of your team first. The work socials come after that.

To get assistance on how to hire a well-rounded team, contact me, Scott Schwefel of Insights, and get me on the schedule as the keynote speaker for your next team-building event.  To see what I’m up to and get notified of my new blog posts, follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  For a sneak peek of what you can expect for your next company event, find me on YouTube!