Orange Politicians

November 17th, 2014

I have to confess that I am a political junkie, but I detest “political talk” where almost nobody seems to be able to say something in one sentence, or can ever gives a yes or no answer. It drives me nuts when answers have absolutely no correlation to the question that was asked, or I hear a five-minute weasel-type answer.

It’s not about their politics, but that’s why I love to cheer for Orange politicians. If nothing else, Oranges are direct, to the point, and tell it like it is, without taking themselves too seriously. Sort of… You see, they still have to get elected, and that is often a challenge for Oranges, if they stay true to who they really are.

Two Oranges politicians that definitely manage to do it are the former Alberta Premier Ralph Klein, and current U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (as well as former President Clinton). On Meet The Press, Vice President Biden recently shared that he received a call from his son before the show, and his son told him: “Keep it short, Dad.” And after his interview, one of the political commentators called him: “just not a script guy.”

That is a great way to describe Oranges in all careers, and part of their real value. Yes, the White House staff always worries whenever Vice President Biden is near a microphone, but to me, it’s worth it. Or in the words of the Mindy McCready song: “This is me – take it or leave it. What you see is what you get.”

I hope we can (but won’t) get more of them into public life for so many reasons.
Besides, I bet more people prefer a politician who seems “real,” instead of scripted, sounding like a robot, or never going off message.

A Few Christmas Season Insights

November 17th, 2014

Golds: The 12 days of Christmas are NOT: planning, worrying, baking, cleaning, wrapping, etc. They’re about enjoying the season. Find some Blue friends and they’ll re-teach you the real meaning of the season. Or your Orange buddies who know that it’s the 12 days of parties!

Your Orange partner: As you know, they’ll likely go shopping on the 22nd or 23rd of December since they live for right now. If you (likely) don’t want a giftcard, give them a specific list of what you want. Include the name and address of the store with the description and the store’s stock number! That way they just have to find someone to pull them and pay. It’s a win-win: You’ll get what you want and it’ll be Orange-friendly shopping.

Buying for Greens: Sorry, you don’t know the ‘perfect’ presents that Greens really want, and have been thinking about and researching for months. If you search the newsletter archive for “Green kids” or “Green presents” you’ll find a lot of previous stories. Greens are the only Color that’s actually quite OK with giftcards. It’ll allow THEM to find the perfect present. When in doubt: Ask them – they’re fine with that and it’ll prevent presents that are way off track.

Blues love presents that come from the heart, and are specifically for them. That does not include kitchen presents – sorry. They’ll smile and thank you – but you’re way off the mark. If a present can be used by the whole family, it misses the mark. Sure, your Blue partner may want a new blender, but that isn’t a present from the heart.

How Do You Hire?

November 17th, 2014

A few months ago, a local newspaper organized a huge job fair. In total there were about 80 companies who set up booths at a trade center looking to talk to and recruit potential employees. From the financial services fields to health care, transportation to the restaurant industry and retail careers, everybody was there.

The huge newspaper ad had a headline promoting benefits, signing bonuses and great pay.

To see some of these companies in action (none of them were my clients), I wanted to go through the job fair to see if I could overhear some of the interview techniques to attract new employees.

To put it mildly, it was awful. All those potential employees and I didn’t hear a single pitch or conversation that was targeted to the person. It was exclusively promoting the pay, training, and promotional potential. Remember when we talked about Colors being akin to learning to speak four different languages? The very different languages of our Colors? THAT is connecting with people in ways they understand and value. Time and time again I watched obviously high Oranges and Blues just smile, take some written material they weren’t going to read and move on.

Talking about pay alone is not how to attract talented people that fit into a company, the culture, and who will want to stay. After all, pay is not the number one, two or three reasons people choose their career. Even if it is, since there aren’t unlimited raises, learning their values and what they look for in a careers is often better than a raise. (See the work chapter in the Colorful Personalities book).

Are Golds Really “Tight” With Money?

October 13th, 2014

That’s often what other Colors tend to think about Golds. But I’d argue that it’s more perception than reality and very much depends on the situation. Golds want to keep some of the money they earn for savings. They tend to worry about the future much more than their Orange friends, who live more in the moment. To do that, they need to live on less than they earn – stands to reason.

Yes, Gold want a deal and definitely don’t want to overpay for something. When it comes to clothes, they’ll tend to avoid the fashion-of-the-season, in favor of quality clothes that can be worn for a few years. Even buying a vehicle, large numbers of Golds will buy a one or two-year old where the 30% depreciation isn’t something they have to absorb…and then drive their vehicles for a long time.

It’s often a conflict between quality and price and many times their second Color makes that decision. Where Golds can really get their back up is when they perceive their being “ripped off.” If they were quoted one price and then charged another, they’re not going to give in. If something they purchased turns out to be bad quality, they’ll fight to get a refund or exchange. In banking, it’s best to have a flat monthly service charge package with one fee for everything. But if this or that is extra, and this or that isn’t included, and that gets surcharged, they’ll go crazy…just before changing financial institutions.

On the other extreme, Golds are incredibly generous, too. If someone needs help, Golds will step up – no questions asked. It’ll be with their time, talents, volunteer efforts, just as much as their money. But they won’t talk about it, and you’ll never know, as a sermon from Rev. Dr. Ken Klaus describes so well:

This man (our church treasurer) treated every penny spent by the congregation as if it were his own. And he ran his own farm most frugally. He walked around church turning off lights, he turned down thermostats, he made sure not too may paper plates or napkins were being wasted at congregational pot lucks.
No expenditure was too small to escape his scrutiny. No requisition so insignificant it was not questioned, which is why, to many staff, he appeared to be the reincarnation of Dicken’s Ebernezer Scrooge, but only worse.
To many he seemed that way – but not to me. You see, as Pastor of that congregation, I knew some confidential information they didn’t. What I knew as this: Every year, at the end of the year, when our church was running in the red, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars, a check with the treasurer’s name on it would show up and wipe out the congregations’ debt.

But there’s more. I also knew that, when a family was unable to pay for their child’s tuition at our parochial school, his check would be placed on my desk the next day and that child’s account would be paid in full. All of this was, of course, done most secretively. And, although that treasurer made sure that every nickel of the Lord’s money bought a dime’s worth of reward, his heart never let the Lord’s work go undone. Generosity was the quintessence of that man.

Green Alert: Problems All Sarcastic People Will Understand

October 13th, 2014

1. Your sense of humor could be described as an “acquired taste.”
2. Since your default is sarcasm, you have a hard time turning it off when others need you to.
3. Tough love has always been your thing, but no one else seems to like it.
4. It takes a LOT to get you excited.
5. When you meet someone who isn’t sarcastic, or doesn’t understand sarcasm, it kind of feels like talking to a baby.
6. You’ve had to say the words, “I’m just kidding,” at least once a week…ok, way more often than that…
7. In fact, you’ve learned the hard way that ending thoughts with “just kidding!” is probably the safest thing to do.
8. When you meet someone and you instantly hate them, you have a super hard time hiding it.
9. It’s gotten to a point where you mock others openly without even realizing you’re doing it.
10. People can wonder if you have an “attitude problem,” but those people clearly suck.
11. Your way of dealing with emotions is through sarcasm, which can sometimes work and other times…not so much.
12. You have a hard time with compliments (giving and getting) in general.
13. People immediately know how you feel about something, whether you want them to or not.
14. Sometimes you worry that you’re the only one who thinks you’re funny…
15. But actually, the real problem is that you’re the funniest person in the whole room.

Adapted from a story by Erin Larosa

Oranges Rejoice!

October 13th, 2014

Hurray! Another piece of technology to make your life easier has now become affordable. Until now, there hasn’t been any help in finding stuff that you lose. OK, not lose…misplace… It’s one of the biggest stresses for Oranges because you have to stop multi-tasking and start to retrace your steps and a frequent ‘running late’ will now become running very late..

Want to spend $25 to make that pain go away? Stickr Track (available at is a coin sized GPS chip that can be attached to anything and everything small enough to potentially lose. The device can then be located or tracked on your smartphone. Stick it on the collar of your cat, the binder with the latest report, your keychain, or anything else that you need to find in a hurry….or should never lose or be without… When you’ve managed to pass on the ugly detail work of the report, stick it on the next one. Or, if you can find the report and not your phone, the Stickr also works the other way in locating that.

It’s another reason to thank Greens for all the inventions to make your crazy life a little easier.
Or perhaps others can get their Orange coworkers to carry it around. Since the last place you find an Orange is at their desk, this could be a big help in tracking THEM down, too…