Blue Women vs. Gold or Green Men

September 2nd, 2014

Roger has been dating Elaine for some time now. Then, one evening when they’re driving home, a thought occurs to Elaine, and, without really thinking, she says it aloud: “Do you realize that we’ve been seeing each other for exactly six months?” There is silence in the car. To Elaine, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he’s been feeling confined by our relationship… And Roger is thinking gosh – six months…

And Elaine is thinking: Hey, I’m not so sure I want this kind of relationship, either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I’d have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going… I mean, where are we going? Are we heading toward a life together? And Roger is thinking: …so that means it was February, which was right after I had the car in the shop, which means… lemme check the odometer… Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil change now.

And Elaine is thinking: He’s upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe I’m reading this completely wrong. Maybe he wants more from our relationship, more intimacy, more commitment? Yes, I bet that’s it. That’s why he’s so reluctant to say anything about his feelings. He’s afraid of being rejected. And Roger is thinking: And I’m gonna have them look at the transmission again. I don’t care what those morons say it’s still not shifting right…

And Elaine is thinking: He’s angry. And I don’t blame him. I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I can’t help the way I feel. I’m just not sure. I never should have mentioned it. Now he probably feels cornered, like I’m being too aggressive and now he wants out…And Roger is thinking: They’ll probably say it’s only a 90-day warranty. That’s exactly what they’re gonna say…the scumballs…

And Elaine is thinking: Maybe I’m just too idealistic, waiting for a knight when I’m sitting right next to a perfectly good person, a person I truly do care about, a person who seems to truly care about me…a person who is in pain because of my self-centered, schoolgirl romantic fantasy.

“Roger,” Elaine says aloud. “What?” says a startled Roger. “Please don’t torture yourself like this,” her eyes beginning to brim with tears. “Maybe I should never have… Oh goodness, I feel so…” She breaks down, sobbing. “What?” asks Roger. “I’m such a fool,” Elaine sobs. “You think I’m a fool, don’t you?” Elaine asks. “No!” says Roger, glad to finally know the correct answer. “It’s just that… It’s that I… I need some time,” Elaine says.

There is a 15-second pause while Roger tries to come up with a safe response. Finally he comes up with one that he thinks might work. “Yes,” he says. Elaine, deeply moved, touches his hand. “Oh, Roger, do you really feel that way?” “What way?” asks Roger. “That way about time,” says Elaine. “Oh,” says Roger. “Yes.” Elaine turns to face him and gazes deeply into his eyes, causing him to become very nervous about what she might say next. At last she speaks. “Thank you, Roger,” she says. “Thank you?” says Roger.

Then he takes her home, and Elaine lies in bed and weeps until dawn, whereas when Roger gets back to his place, he opens a bag of Doritos and becomes deeply involved in a rerun of a tennis match between two Czechoslovakians he never heard of. A tiny voice in the far recesses of his mind tells him that something major was going on back there in the car, but he is pretty sure there is no way he would ever understand what, and so he figures it’s better if he doesn’t think about it again…

The next day, Elaine will call her closest friend to talk for hours. They will analyze everything that was said, going over it time and time again, exploring every word, expression, and gesture for nuances of meaning, considering every possible ramification. They will continue to discuss this subject, off and on, for weeks, never reaching any conclusions…

A Green Hiring Trick

September 2nd, 2014

“I wasn’t really looking for a new job right now, but I like to browse job ads once in awhile. I saw this one ad on-line for a Document Proofreader for a large engineering company. I thought it really strange, though, and quite hilarious that they would misspell the word “grammar” in the ad. They had spelled it “grammer.” So I emailed the ad and told them that it made me chuckle that they had misspelled the word, and then I jokingly (well, to myself, because I never thought that they’d respond) asked where I should send my resume.

Well, when I got home from work that evening, I had an email from the HR person telling me that she would like to interview me right away and to please, please send my resume. She said that that was not a mistake and that I was the first person in 18 responses to pick up and say something about the mistake!”

A similar approach came from a Gold executive assistant and her Green boss. After the Colors seminar when we had discussed the need for Green credibility she had to share with me that the first thing her boss asks her to do is to throw out all the resumes with spelling mistakes in them….

Mr. Clean Messes Up

September 2nd, 2014

I don’t actually know this person’s first name – it’s just the nickname I gave him. He works with a relative who started sharing Mr. Clean’s self-destruct actions within a month of being hired.

The second weekend of his contract Mr. Clean spent hours cleaning the work areas of all the permanent senior staff. He not only threw stuff out and rearranged everything, but also left them a note of how they ought to keep their work areas cleaner and neater. That was followed by a letter to his boss on how he has to deal with ‘messy pigs,’ and how his boss really ought to run the department better and more efficiently. Last week he put away all the tools and cleaned up…half way through the job…

His previous position was as a bar manager. But, as he shared with my relative, he was fired. To this day he still doesn’t understand why. Waitresses were totally disorganized and messy, and he had to spend all his time cleaning, organizing after them, and riding their a&* …

There are lots more stories as Mr. Clean continues to mess up and to self-destruct. Want to bet whether his contract will be renewed in a few months? I didn’t think so…
Your first Color is how you want the world to function. But you need to constantly remind yourself that others don’t share that view. Your strengths are those of your Color. But take them a bit too far in wanting to bring the world around to your way of life and you’ll be in real trouble on any team, as a leader, and in your relationship.

When you’re at Wendy’s you can’t order a Big Mac: What one specific thing in your first Colors are you trying to change in others? You may not see it, or even want to acknowledge it, but when you do, all your relationships will improve. Ask someone you trust: If they care enough to share (and know Colors), they’ll tell you. But care enough to ask and to want to know in the first place! (This is an extended section in the Advanced Colors seminar!)

Are You Single and Dating On-line?

July 10th, 2014

Since I’m single (but don’t deal with any on-line dating sites) the recent story in Macleans was certainly interesting. All four of our Colors have on-line dating profiles but deal with these sites for very different reasons (right, Gold & Green introverts?)

There are actually more than 1,500 different sites and almost 40 million people in North America use them. They range from free to more than $60 a month and it’s a $1.5 billion industry. But are people looking for love in all the wrong places? It’s the second most popular way to find a mate, but through a method where over 80% of people misrepresent their age, height, or weight… and who knows what else?

Is on-line dating kind of like the failure rate of diet plans of more than 90 percent, or a great way to meet people? Who knows – but the author of a recent book suggests a problem: Since there are lots of people on these sites, most people won’t put in the effort to build a relationship. After all, they can just contact the next person the next day.

So called second-generation dating sites claim to use all kinds of personality tests to predict compatibility. But are they looking to match people with like-minded personality types, or focusing on the old saying (that makes two-thirds of relationships) that opposites attract?

If you’re single, how to do you get from here to married – or at least a longer-term relationship? Have you done one of the on-line personality tests? If you’re Blue and on one of these sites, how on earth can it work when your biggest asset is your intuition about someone? That only works face to face! Do Oranges make the time for endless scrolling through profiles and a bunch of back and forth messages? Can Greens tell credibility or someone’s intellect on these sites? Can Greens get any sense of credibility from someone on a dating site? And how can Golds get any clue about someone’s trustworthiness, reliability, or traditional values? Click the comment button and care enough to share. Your name and e-mail will never show up. But do include your first Color!

Is There a Proper Way to Load a Dishwasher?

July 10th, 2014

Who knew? You did, unless you’re single. It’s something almost every partner in every relationships had to learn, to give in on, or to keep arguing about.

Vancouver marriage counselor David McKenzie also believes it can reveal some serious power issues. It may not start as a big deal, but then, we’re really skilled at sometimes making a big deal out of a small one.

A few years ago, the highlight of the movie Rachel Getting Married was a dishwasher loading contest between the father of the bridge and the groom. For much of the rest of us it’s something between a spatial puzzle and fixed routine. Never mind the question of what goes into the dishwasher and what should get washed by hand in the first place.

A few weeks ago I was invited to a friends’ house for dinner. Even when I started doing some of the dishes, I got a whispering yell (so her parents wouldn’t hear) of: What are you doing? That’s NOT how to do it! Ouch! But it did make me avoid helping to load the dishwasher, knowing a similar smack down was awaiting. While I did get an apology e mail the next day, the quantity of “lol’s” made me wonder – as did the odds of another invitation.

Are Greens the people who have developed the logical system of smallest to largest? Do they have a theory on whether utensils should go up or down? I do know a Green family member who refuses to rinse any dishes, no matter what. In his view, it defeats the purpose of a dishwasher. That does seem logical, doesn’t it?

Do Golds group their dishes? Is it important to also consider the ease of unloading the dishwasher? Is there a rule of how often the dishwasher gets run in the first place?

Do Oranges and Blues have a fixed routine, too? Is the Orange priority to get the most dishes packed into the dishwasher? I do know a Blue client who called me, very proudly, to share that she didn’t want to make her sister feel bad, and didn’t re-load the dishwasher “her way” until her sister had left.

For those who still need to learn the proper ways to load a dishwasher, or those who just want to argue with the author, there’s actually a blog called dishwasher 101:

Four Short Insights

July 10th, 2014

The Six Step Plan to Fix Your Life: Recently a Green client shared that she stops e mailing and texting people who “need their problems fixed” by 9 PM each night. When you’re fixing, you’re creating dependency, because the other person now needs to get back to you with the next challenge – next week. Greens and Golds frequently do confuse asking good questions with “fixing.” It won’t accomplish what they hope to. It’s kind of like the common Blue confusion between helping and enabling…

Using Colors: Hey George! I have done my Colors before, but never thought of using it as a tool for my business.…Thanks for the note. You HAVE to use it in your business, because you can’t possibly be successful without understanding people. You have to reach them BEFORE you can teach them. Think of Colors like four different languages. Those that speak your language/share your Color connect with you. Those other 70-80% can’t and don’t…

Since it’s vacation season: Watch the people on your team, because everybody is Gold the day before vacation: Focused, relaxed, on-task, delegating, coaching, finishing stuff, charged up, extra energy, sense of humor…

It’s not about feelings: My daughter is now 14 and a very dedicated student – still over a 4.0 GPA. She and a partner had a very big project for social studies and English combined. They researched our genealogy, studied immigration from the countries our family came from, wrote poems about the immigration experience, created a large immigration-type ship as a lift-the-flap with their original poetry under the flaps, as well as pictures with captions they wrote under the flaps. (More like an Usborne Lift-the-Flap experience than a two-year old flap book). It was a major project.

About a week before it was due, I asked the sweet little scholar how she was feeling about her project. “Mom, I don’t FEEL anything – it’s a PROJECT.” N.A.W.