Why You Should Stand Up In Meetings

April 14th, 2015

From Richard Branson’s website – spoken like a true Orange!
I’ve never been a fan of long meetings cramped up in offices. The aversion probably comes from countless stressful nights spent in boardrooms in the early days of Virgin, convincing the bank not to shut us down.

Living up to my love of screwing business as usual, I like to take a different approach to meetings. One of my favorite tricks is to conduct most of my meetings standing up. I find it to be a much quicker way of getting down to business, making a decision and sealing the deal. When given the opportunity I often like to take things a step further – literally, with a walking meeting. I sometimes even set myself a personal challenge of trying to come up with a plan of attack in the time it takes to walk around the block… five minutes, go!

A lot of time is wasted in meetings. Agendas get forgotten, topics go amiss, and people get distracted. While some circumstances call for workshops and more elaborate presentations, it’s very rare that a meeting on a single topic should need to last more than 5-10 minutes. If you stand up, you’ll find that decisions get made pretty quickly, and no one nods off! Plus it’s a great way to fit in a bit of exercise and stay focused on a busy day.

Another positive about meetings outside the boardroom is a lack of fancy tools, and instead an emphasis on real communication. If anybody ever puts the words they’re about to tell me up onto a screen, I’m tempted to walk out. Pictures yes, but PowerPoint presentations absolutely no!

Why Can’t My Blue Help?

April 13th, 2015

At least once every few months, a Blue lady emails me very hurt that someone she cares about seems to have shut down and shut her out. Her Blue wants to help heal the hurt and to be there for the other person.

Sorry – there’s very little they can do. Blues believe if someone cares about them, that person would want to talk it through, to have a shoulder to lean on, someone to talk it through with, and to be there for them. But guys, Colors aside, want to do something about it, and not talk it through. That would generally make them feel worse and not better and just build their frustration level. That really hurts a Blue person when they seem to get shut out. The constant thought that, if he cared about me, he’d talk it through with me, makes things worse and not better.
IF you’re a Blue in a relationship with an out of esteem other Color (see the Colorful Personalities book chapter) you need to make a decision: Put your life on hold or move on. If and/or when he has dealt with his problem, he may be back (depending on his Color). But, if so, it won’t be tomorrow afternoon – so you need to be prepared to wait it out on his schedule and not yours. He knows you’re there for him if he needs to talk…but he won’t.

That’s not only very difficult for a Blue to understand, but also to do. However, if you’ve been in that situation, you know that the more you push, the more resistance you’ll get, and the more distance comes between you and him. You need to stop hoping that he’ll turn into a Blue ‘wanna talk it all through’ person.

A Wikipedia & 60 Minutes Omission

April 13th, 2015

Two weeks ago, 60 Minutes ran a feature on Wikipedia. But these days, like everyone else, there wasn’t any mention of the first founding partner (along with Jimmy Wales) of the site! Greens always look for credibility and not the fame. But their contribution should never just be written out of history! Here’s the section on Sanger from the Colorful Personalities book:

Anyone with Internet access is familiar with Wikipedia, the huge on-line, free content encyclopedia. The idea was formed in 2001 by two friends as a site where everyone in the world could contribute articles, features and information in an open and unrestricted forum.

One of the original founders of Wikipedia was Larry Sanger. But within a year, Sanger left the company because he no longer believed in the credibility of Wikipedia when he started to question the accuracy and integrity of many entries and contributions. He walked away after disagreements with his partner as to who should be allowed to contribute to the site, even before it became the giant it is today. It was never about money, fame or success. It is always about credibility and doing it right.

In the words of Sanger himself: “Wikipedia began as a good-natured anarchy, a sort of Rousseauian state of digital nature. I always took Wikipedia’s anarchy to be provisional and purely for purposes of determining what the best rules and the nature of its authority should be. What I, and other Wikipedians, failed to realize is that our initial anarchy would be taken by the next wave of contributors as the very essence of the project – how Wikipedia was “meant” to be.”

What did the Green Sanger do? He developed a better and more credible site and launched citizendium.org. This site has firm editorial rules and mandatory disclosure of the real names of its editors, whereas Wikipedia allows anyone with a fictitious user name to contribute untraceable content.

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.