Colors As Kids…Who Were You?

May 2nd, 2016

Orange: The troublemaker child who was constantly pushing the teacher’s boundaries to keep testing which rules could be bent…or the daredevil child who got themselves banned from most playground equipment by second grade…or the class clown who considered no stunt too dangerous if it earned them the temporary spotlight

Orange/Blue: The wildly imaginative child who had 15,000 answers to the question: What do you want to be when you grow up

Orange/Green: The child who ruled the playground through a mixture of intimidation and sophisticated political tactics

Orange/Gold: The schoolyard bully who genuinely thought he was doing everyone a favor by telling them what was wrong with them

Green: The reserved and quit child who occasionally blurted something out that was so intelligent that their parents and teachers were genuinely intimidated…or the spacey child who accidentally walked into things because they were busy wondering if Martians were capable of understanding human languages

Gold: The obedient child who took their chores and allowance more serious than many adults in their full-time jobs

Gold/Green: The child whose LEGO skills and attention to detail were only matched by full-time architects

Blue: Often the ‘old soul’ child who could act more like an adult than their parents…or the people-pleasing child who consistently put on a happy face at school, then came home and cried her eyes out over something someone said seven hours earlier

Blue/Gold: The sweet mannered child whom other parents secretly wished were their child… or the easy going child who avoided conflict and would go along with what made everyone else happy

Blue/Orange: The child who everyone described as their best friend


Tips for Dealing With Your High Green Boss

May 2nd, 2016


  • When they are giving you feedback, they are NOT criticizing you, they are giving you information. In the same manner, when they ask you questions on an idea, they are not always picking holes in your argument or thought process, but rather that they want to learn, too. There is a big difference.
  • Don’t ask a bunch of feedback questions. Am I on the right track? What do you think? Do you agree? Remember that they tend to be people of few words, so give them time and information and stop acting insecure or looking for instant feedback. They’ll let you know what’s on their mind – just don’t keep asking.
  • Be satisfied with short and to-the-point answers and conversations. If you’ve done Colors, you know they are people of few words, well chosen and direct. Why do so many people seem to ignore that knowledge when they’re actually talking to a high Green?
  • High Greens do not like to repeat themselves and can get stressed or snappy by explaining things over and over, or being asked the same question a number of times. When you ask fresh, new, challenging or thought-provoking questions, they’ll tend to have all the time in the world for you – just don’t ask the same stuff again that you ought to have caught onto by now.

Operate on the assumption you’re doing a great job and don’t look for too much external validation. Assume you’re doing a good job until you hear differently. Don’t assume that you must not be doing the right thing or the high Green would praise you – you’re thinking totally backwards. It’s just not their style. If you weren’t – you WOULD hear about it. Until then, stop looking for verbal affirmations and enjoy the fact that your high Green boss will give you a lot of freedom and independence. Your high Green boss is treating you the same way they want to be treated by their boss.

Oranges and Golds: Hurry Up!

May 2nd, 2016

One of the traits Golds and Oranges share is a strong impatience streak. Golds want “this” to be done, finished, answered, dealt with, or completed so they can get on with the next thing on their to-do list. Oranges are impatient with any delay or lineup, and want “this” to be done so they can go on to something else – anything else…

However, that impatience can also be trouble for both Colors, and in many situations, and with many people. In a lineup, Golds are stuck. After all, they can’t just leave, or whatever they’re lining up for will still be on the to-do list.

Oranges at least avoid lineups whenever possible. They’re the main reason billions of dollars worth of merchandise is left at cash registers every year, as Oranges bail. Unfortunately, most retailers don’t know what it takes to give effective customer service to both groups, or they’d make a whole lot more sales, and retain a ton more customers.

When impatience is internal, it’s often a drive to get something done, which can certainly be a motivator. When their impatience involves people, it’s a little more serious and has a measurable impact on others.

For EVERY Color: While I don’t often click links, this one was different. It was posted by a friend whose Pastor showed it in their church last recently. It’s four minutes, and well worth watching. It may get you (OK….me…) close to tears, but it’ll also make you a lot more cognizant of your impatience streak.

Relationships Aren’t Always “Opposites Attract…”

April 3rd, 2016

Hey George: I took your Colors workshop and I’m a strong Orange – like flaming Orange – like so Orange! I am seeing someone who is also a strong Orange.  What are the chances of two strong Oranges being compatible?  A.S.

Hey A.S.  What are the odds? What are the odds both of you want to be happy more than right? What are the odds you’ll invest the time in each other? What are the odds you WANT to work through the hard parts, the trials, misunderstandings, etc., in order to come out the other side with a stronger relationship, versus just quitting on each other (on the relationship) and moving on? What are the odds you’ll slow down on the “win at all cost” in arguments, etc. with each other? What are the odds you both want to communicate in meaningful ways without any of the “whatever” comments. and moving on to something (or someone) else?

You tell me those odds, and I’ll bet on you two being an awesome couple! Remember that all combinations of Colors in relationships, just as much as on your team, work. All of them have some stressors and natural commonalities. The question isn’t whether it “works,” but whether you WANT to make it work, because love really is colorblind.


Lessons From Your First Dead-End Job

April 3rd, 2016

Maclean’s magazine recently ran a story on what we can learn from our first jobs. Even without knowing the values and stresses of our Colors, for many of us, it was the first chance to stretch our comfort zone, or discover what we definitely did not want to do for a living. Hopefully, after our first job, we ended up doing what we love to do, and something that suits our primary Color:

A likely high Green psychologist learned humility as a cabana boy growing up, and shares that it taught him how to smile all day (in between reading Dostoevsky on his breaks.)

One high blue investment manager discovered his love of working with people from his first job as a grocery store clerk. “That’s what really made me get up in the morning.” Until that point, he was sure he’d be pursuing an academic career.

Another story comes from a former Magna International V.P., who learned his lessons of multi-tasking, and working under stress, from the restaurant business. He believes those talents, first gained as wait staff, very much translates to the corporate world, and helps him looks for people with that experience. He shares in the article that this is not something learned in an MBA program, but really is a lifetime lesson.

Quality Time Depends on the Color

April 3rd, 2016

Last week, I took a “non-Colors knowing” Blue buddy for coffee. As we were working our way through a long lineup, I noticed two Greens having coffee and muffins together. Both had a book out and were reading. When my buddy asked what I was looking at, I pointed the couple out to him. But his reaction was quite different than mine. He felt that it was weird and sad that they’d spend their morning coffee together, yet totally alone, and absorbed in their books! True, from his Blue perspective, that’s not how you spend quality time with someone.

In an episode of Big Bang Theory, Penny suggested Amy give Sheldon the silent treatment to show how mad she. But, as Amy pointed out: ‘That won’t work: I did that once for seven hours. Sheldon said it was the most magical night he’d spent with me.’

But I saw the couple through a totally different set of glasses. I saw a very content and happy look on their faces and they really seemed to be enjoying themselves. They were spending time together AND learning something at the same time, without a lot of small talk. In fact, as we were leaving, I noticed the man was showing her something in his book…the joy of learning and sharing (teaching).

Is that the way my Blue buddy wanted to spend the coffee time with me? Of course not! It’d be our first and last coffee together. But for two high Greens, THAT was some really good quality time.