What Exactly Is Procrastination?

March 4th, 2015

Quite frequently, all four Colors list procrastination on their list of stresses. But, like a lot of other words, it has a very different definition for each Color.

The typical simple definition is to put something off for…later, or whenever. If you choose to put off something until the very last day, you may be standing in a lineup for three hours, instead of the five minutes it would have taken last week. But that’s a choice – your choice – and totally takes away your right to complain about the insane lineup and waste of time. Going at the last minute was a choice. You just need to remember that not making a choice is still a choice!

Procrastination beyond an agreed-to deadline is a problem. Others relied on you, you gave your word, and now it’s fair that other Colors are stressed when you dropped the ball.

But is it procrastination when Greens aren’t making a decision? That often depends on what you want: A quick answer so you don’t label it as procrastination, or the right decision? Greens aren’t really procrastinating – they’re still researching and thinking. That’s quite different from what others think is happening. After they pull the trigger they sure don’t have a problem sticking with a decision and not waffling.

Golds are probably the least likely to procrastinate. It’s on the to-do list, so it needs to get done. Whether it’s unpleasant, a crappy task, or whatever – just do it. But maybe they should delay things every once in a while. When they’re stressed, tired, or in a bad mood, those aren’t the times to deal with something involving people, or anything that’ll take a long time. Better to put it off until tomorrow when they’re in a better state than to stubbornly plow ahead, just because it’s next on the to-do list.

The Orange impatience hates it when others delay them. But they don’t consider it an issue to put something off for a while. They’re always multi-tasking and finishing this one thing will get done…just not right now. Is it procrastinating when the deadline hasn’t come, or is it just working on different priorities? Missing a deadline is procrastinating, but to Oranges, anything up to that point is just re-arranging priorities.

There’s also a difference between procrastination and indecisive. I would suggest that indecisive comes in two forms:
‘People indecisive’ is when someone is not comfortable making a decision because of a fear that they’ll offend someone (hello Blues?). Where do you want to go for lunch? No, were do you want to go?

‘Solo indecisive’ is just someone who can’t make up their mind without anyone else around. It drives me crazy when someone comes into a mostly empty restaurant and walks (or has the hostess walk them) through the entire place because they can’t decide where to sit.

He’s Not Very Sensitive or Emotional

March 4th, 2015

That was the comment from a Blue lady about her husband. It’s a common complaint, and applies at work, just as much as it does in relationships, but:

Your husband is Orange/Green/Gold/Blue, while you’re all Blue – all the time.
He is sensitive and emotional – he just doesn’t express it. If you had written that, I would have agreed with you.

Remember that our first Color is how we want the world to function. So, your Blue believes that emotions and sensitivity should be expressed. But you married an opposite partly because he keeps you grounded and isn’t so emotional.

He’s Orange. Cracking a joke lightens up the mood, is meant to get you laughing and out of your sensitivity, and then he’ll move on. Oranges are winners and most often believe that emotions are a sign of weakness. Even if he “gets past that,” his second Color is Green. Greens live though logic and have a filter that blocks out emotional words and behaviors and ‘translates’ them to actionable plans, lessons learned, and ways to teach the other person.

After those two Colors it’s a Gold to-do list. Let’s not talk about it, lets do something about it. We can be sad about it after, but right now there’s a job to be done. That’s three ‘road blocks’ to getting to sensitivity and emotional reactions. The odds of getting over all three are small.

Not to mention that you’re all Blue, so when you get over sensitive or emotional, it’ll subconsciously make is ‘pendulum’ go the other way to be even less Blue…

No, You’re Not Late – You’re Rude & Selfish

March 4th, 2015

Yikes! That’s pretty direct…The headline comes from a story by Greg Savage, the founder of Firebrand and four hugely successful staffing businesses. The link to his full article is below, but here are some of his points that most frustrated Golds certainly share:

-It’s not about ‘fashionable’ or ‘generational.’ It’s about basic manners and respect.

A 9 AM meeting, for some people, means the general vicinity. Like 9:30…People drift in at 9:10 or 9:20. They smile at the waiting group, totally unconcerned others have been there since 8:55, prepared and ready to start. 10 people kept waiting for 20 minutes by some selfish brat is actually 20 minutes x 10, which is three hours wasted! By you! How much has that cost the business? Can I send you an invoice?

For dinner I was meeting two couples. I arrived at two minutes to eight for an 8 PM reservation. At 8:20 I was on my second glass of wine. At 8:30 I got a text saying ‘on the way.’ We were seated at 8:45!! There was not even an attempted excuse from either couple who seemed oblivious that I may have got there at the agreed time!

It’s not that we lead ‘busy lives.’ That’s a given…we all do. It’s a copout to use that as an excuse. Some people no longer even pretend that your time is as important as theirs. And technology makes it worse. It seems a text or email that they’re late somehow means they’re no longer late. Rubbish! They’re rude and inconsiderate.

Am I ever late? Sure, sometimes. That’s inevitable even with the best intentions I’m taking about people who are routinely late… in fact – never on time. I consider serial lateness a character flaw which I take into account when promoting, hiring, and who to count on as real friends. It’s THAT important.


Putting the “I” Back Into Teamwork

January 8th, 2015

A recent story in Fortune magazine was entitled Teamwork! Secrets of Greatness. It started by suggesting all those posters and definitions of team players get dumped and that there is an “I” in teamwork.

The article argued that teamwork is an individual skill, implies a shared responsibility and that we cannot ever control the behavior of others, but only our own. Or in the words of Robert Frost: “Men work together, whether they work together or apart.”

But just putting together a number of people certainly doesn’t make a team. The best sports example is probably the 2004 U.S. Olympic basketball team, which consisted of huge NBA stars with tens of millions of income who lost to the “no-name” team from Lithuania. Yet the 1980 U.S. hockey team beat the Soviets against all odds with players assembled by coach Herb Brooks that nobody had ever heard of. The movie Miracle has some great lessons on building teams, which started when the coaching staff refused to take the best college players. Said Brooks: “I’m not looking for the best players – I’m looking for the right players.”

Any team, social or safety committee, or even department (if the numbers are large enough) should include the special skills of every Color. We have very different strengths and contributions that others don’t share. If you want the group, meeting, fundraiser, or whatever to be a successful, it takes all four of our Colors! That’ll include the solo stars that get going, the team builders who assure everyone is included and on the same page. It’ll need the air traffic controllers that keep track of everybody and everything, and the people who actually think ahead before jumping or committing.

On our team:
Orange supplies the energy
Gold supplies the practicality
Blue provides the heart
Green provides the quality

Gold Behaviors or Gold First Color?

January 8th, 2015

65% of North Americans aren’t first Color Gold. Yet, somehow they still manage to get stuff done on time, pay their bills, organize their stuff, and show up on time and prepared. I know that’s hard to believe at times for the 35% of people who are Gold…and spend a lot of time and energy trying to convert the rest of the world…

But everybody is a little Gold…in many ways…in many situations. It may be by necessity, the influence of their parents, their career, the choice to be careful with their money, or whatever the reason or particular areas of their life. Some Gold behaviors manifest themselves in every person. I don’t know if the people below are first Color Gold – I don’t know enough about them. But they sure have some Gold tendencies:
Paul McCartney has always been very frugal with his money. According to his daughter he insisted she attend an in-state college because of the much lower tuition cost.

Kourtney Kardashian is a coupon addict. She takes her entire binder of coupons along whenever she goes shopping.

Vince Kartheiser (Mad Men) and his fiancé, Gilmore Girls’ Alexis Bledel still choose to live in a tiny one bedroom apartment.

After winning over $2 million in the Ontario lottery, the winner shared “I went over to Niagara Falls, NY. I got a gallon of milk for a buck! That, for me, was exiting! I grabbed five or six of them.”

Jennifer Lawrence, long after having been paid $10 million to star in Hunger Games II shared that “…most of the time I end up staying at the Days Inn…” And she recently confessed that she found it hard to pay $400 for a shirt, and that her father yelled at her for wasting that kind of money.

Prince William and Kate Middleton actually do their own grocery shopping and Middleton steadfastly refuses to use a stylist.

George Clooney didn’t bargain shop for his recent $1.8 million wedding, but fellow actors Dax Shephard & Kristen Bell spent $142 for a courthouse wedding.

Do Blues Have a Problem?

January 8th, 2015

There’s an old insurance industry slogan that’s also used in a powerful way by the Choices seminar (choicesseminars.com) that I keep talking about during the Colors seminars: Be Do Have – Be prepared to Do what it takes to Have what you want. We’ll leave the challenges the other three Colors have of not being prepared to do what it takes for another time…

For Blues, it can often be the ‘have’ part that isn’t working in their life. In the last few months, three Blues have shared that their relationships are dysfunctional, or quite one-sided, to put it mildly. They’re currently settling for ‘crumbs’ as one described it. They open their hearts, commit to the relationship way before a reasonable test drive, and jump in immediately, based on their intuition. Often logic would dictate to wait until he (since most Blues are women…) gets his crap together, gets a job, gets his old girlfriend out of his life, and dozens more examples… They’ll have the relationship, but is it worth having?

Blues are prepared to do what it takes to be included, to be liked, cared about, and often to be in a relationship. But are they often working on the wrong “Be Do?” Shouldn’t Blues start backwards with a clear definition of what “have” looks like? All that BE and Do just to have leftovers? How about changing the saying around for Blues: Be prepared to NOT do what it takes, until you define what it really is that you want to have and deserve.