Are We Protecting Or Hurting?

March 4th, 2017

Former high Orange NFL player James Harrison recently refused to let his two sons accept participation trophies from their school. “While I am very proud of my boys…these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy. I’m sorry I’m not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned, and I’m not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best…cause sometimes our best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better…not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut you up and keep you happy.” But:

A number of school districts have decided to no longer fail kids, but rather call a non-passing grade “deferred success.”

In parts of Britain, kindergarten teachers are instructed to avoid the word “no.”

As well, one major soccer association (for kids under age 11) no longer keeps scores. Their logic is that the game is about skills, fair play, and sportsmanship, and not making winners or losers.

Swerve magazine asked: By overprotecting our children, are we putting them at even greater risk? Is it really possible to build empathy and help when everyone is equal? Is not keeping score, or failing a test, a way to motivate and improve, or point to a reason to work harder and do better? Can the results of these policies not potentially create a false sense of reality that’ll be shattered really quickly in the real world of adults?

Oranges thrive and grow through competition, games, and winning. They value anything where they have a chance to be the star, to perform, and to become the (recognized) best. They have no problem losing, because it makes them work harder and become more skilled to do better (win) next time.

For Gold kids, it’s valuable when they can quantify things. Just participating without concrete measurements and yardsticks doesn’t allow for that, and makes it very difficult to feel successful. Greens deal in facts and logic – as kids just as much as adults. They played poorly or didn’t study hard enough? That’s fine – now they have measurable and factual feedback to do better next time, and to learn from it.

For kids of all ages and Colors, do remember that the benefit of competition is less about the win and loss, and way more about improvement, learning, and challenges.


Tips for Dealing with Your High Green Boss

March 4th, 2017

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. And you should really read the Colors at Work book for chapters on how to deal with any Color boss and how to email people of different Colors!!

Deal Breakers in Relationships

March 4th, 2017

In relationships, opposites attract. About two-thirds of relationships are with an opposite Color. If that’s you, there are some deal breakers that you should avoid. If you’re already in one of those relationships, do remember some of these and back off in order to grow your relationship. Plus, you can change just a few words here, and this also applies to your coworkers, or managing others! It’s the same thing at work where people join companies, but quit their manager! Gee…I wonder why Colors is so important…

With Orange: Do not take away their freedom. They have big visions, dreams and ideas and won’t discard them for anyone. They’re very flexible and accommodating – there’s more than one way to get things done, but don’t hold them back or tell them it can’t be done. Gold and Green actually show that they care by pointing out the boundaries, flaws, or why something won’t work. But that’s not what Oranges are hearing!

Restricting their socializing and friends: People, networking, and friends come first with Oranges. That won’t change much to accommodate their partner. They have a large group of friends and socializing, networking, or whatever, will take up a lot of their evenings. A partner who wants to cut this group down to manageable size or limit their evenings out won’t last very long. Oranges will make a quick choice…and it’s an easy choice.

With Green: Don’t be closed-minded. They’ve very open minded and nothings gets them to back off quicker than someone stuck in tunnel vision who won’t consider any alternate point of view. They need a partner who can keep up with their continuously shifting range of thoughts, ideas and emotions. In the words of Winona Ryder: “I think too much. I think ahead. I think behind. I think sideways. I think it all. If it exists, I’ve thought about it!”

Unable to trust their partner: Greens are very careful in investing their emotions – or even letting someone “in.” They’re not looking for the partner of the month, but someone they can trust to be in it for the long term. (Their core need for credibility). If they sense that the person isn’t invested, they won’t continue to waste their time and energy.

With Blue: Make them feel needed. Blues live to help others. It’s a big self-esteem builder for them that makes them thrive and grow in a relationship. If they don’t feel someone is letting them in or sharing their inner feelings, it can feel like they are without a purpose and can quickly choke off the romance in a relationship.

Insensitivity: Blues need to feel comfortable in a relationship. They need to be able to open up and share their deep feelings. That takes a partner who will listen unconditionally and without wanting to fix. Arrogance, negativity, or judgmental partners will quickly be tuned out.

With Gold: Inconsistencies drive Golds crazy. They look for a partner who is loyal and committed in any…in every…situation. Whether it’s convenient or not, whether it take the extra time or effort, consistency is critical to Golds. Anyone who won’t abide by this deal breaker will be hard to trust…and that’s another critical value to a Gold in a long-term relationship.

Disregarding their strong value system: Golds have a core set of values that aren’t negotiable, or subject to change. Their partner has to know the five or six core values that a Gold will not negotiate about or abandon – period. Some issue (probably more than that…) are black and white – right and wrong, and at the core of what makes a Gold.

How Each Color Can Show Affection

February 2nd, 2017

In broad terms, Blues show their affection by attempting to fully understanding someone on a deeper level. They’re great listeners and observe people in an effort to find what makes them happy. They value showing affection though small gifts, cooking, or other small ways. Blues will always give their undivided attention and create an open line of communication, free of judgment. They also value sharing part of themselves with people they care about that not everyone gets to see. In the eyes of Blues, sharing themselves with someone equates to showing how much they care.

Blue/Golds tend to also show their affection by tending to someone’s needs. They’ll try to make sure that the other person is happy and that their stress is minimized. That might be through cooking or cleaning for them, or other ways that take on someone’s worries and make them their own. Putting the needs of someone else ahead of their own, is a frequent way to show that they truly care.

Blue/Greens want to assure the other person feels listened to and understood. They value quality time without distractions. Often they may not openly verbalize it, but show it in creating a space for someone in their life. While they don’t generally allow many people into their inner circle, when they do, it’s a significant way of showing they care. This rare Color combination can frequently also be better at expressing their own feelings in writing, instead of verbally.

Blue/Oranges often express their affection in playful and physical ways. They tend to be more open in showing the affection to most people which can make it challenging to know when they care deeply about someone. They can try very hard to give someone their full attention, which can be a challenge for their typical multi-tasking behaviors. They tend to miss people a great deal when they’re not around, and expressing that fact is a significant way of showing they truly care. You’ll also notice that they can become very excited when they are talking about those they do care about.

Greens show affection by focusing on understanding their loved ones fully. They often attempt to find the ways to accomplish your goals. Helping you to grow and better yourself is a powerful way for Greens to show their affection. If they don’t care, they wouldn’t waste their time and energy in helping someone. Greens can invest a lot in helping someone become a stronger person and find logical ways to help them.

Green/Golds will attempt to discover how to help the people they care about. They will look for logical solutions and efficient ways to solve them. They can take care of the practical needs of others and make sure the people they care about have an organized like and a game plan. When the really care, they’ll become someone’s best advocate and defend them no matter what. While they may push the person to achieve their best, they will also hold them accountable, and stand up against others wanting to hurt the people they care about.

Green/Oranges can show they care in a gentle teasing way. Their playful teasing is a big sign that they care. They’ll assure that it doesn’t go too far, because the person does matter to them. While they aren’t likely to be openly affectionate, they do express how they feel to the people who are close to them. As long as it doesn’t become public knowledge, they can verbalize their feelings in private. Others will get the benefit of their practical and logical problem solving approach with a sense of humor and urgency. They’ll also give the people they care fo a lot of space to be themselves and accept them for who they really are.

Golds tend to show their affection by assuring others are organized and have a plan. They’ll help get their lives on a solid track and help with specific steps to solve their problems. Their primary way of showing how much they care is to assure the practical needs of their loved ones are taken care of. They aren’t very emotionally expressive people, but will spend a lot of time and energy knowing what their loves ones like and value. They are incredibly loyal and protect the people they care about at all cost.

Golds tend to be very private people. When they make time for someone, or share personal information by ‘letting someone in,’ they express (non-verbally) two of the most significant ways of showing their affection.

Gold/Oranges often show affection by assuring that the practical needs of those they care about are met. While they can be a little impatient, they value providing a safe environment and will be willing to show more affection, often in physical ways. While they’re also not very verbally emotional, they are not adverse to hugs and other warm behaviors. Because they tend to be more outgoing, they will always include the people they care about in their social circle as a strong expression of their affection.

Gold/Blues frequently use physical touch as a sign of affection. They also value gift giving as a way to express their affection. They’ll spend the time to discover what others like and value and take the time and money to find them as gifts. Their alone time with someone is reserved for the most special people, as is allowing them into their private world.

Oranges can often use gifts as a way of showing how much they care. Something real and tangible shows the other person their affection. They enjoy having fun and are eternally positive, which can certainly become contagious. That means they’ll consistently get those they care about to look at the positives and will spend their time and energy motivating and encouraging those they care about. When they care about someone, they will also be their best cheerleader, and on-the-spot problem solver. For Oranges, it’s go big or go home, and they’ll often go over the top to express their affection.

Orange/Greens also show their affection in playful and direct ways. But they also want the person to do better and to be better. While they may have tons of friends, only people they really care about will get to be with them during their (infrequent) time to recharge. Sure, they have a ton of friends, but maybe two or three people know the real Orange person. Helping those they care about comes in practical hands-on, right now ways with a sense of urgency and great humor. But it also comes in a second way through logical problem solving and finding the lasting solutions that will help those who they care about live richer and more fulfilled life.  Adapted from MBTI post by Personality Growth


Would You Rather Have $56 or $46,000?

February 2nd, 2017

On the surface that seems like a no-brainer question, right? You’ll take the $46,000. Well, you’d be amazed how many businesses would rather have the $56:

A few years ago, a California client needed a copy of my Colors book in a hurry. Her Orange son’s teacher was starting to talk ADD, and she needed her to understand Orange kids, instead of “medical condition.”  I contacted my distributor before 6:00 AM to get the book sent rush, and would pay the courier charge.

When their statement arrived, there was an additional $56 charge for their “internal rush” process. What? That wasn’t disclosed anywhere. While the account rep was really sympathetic, the response was “there’s nothing I can do.” Two e-mails to the sales manager with no response, and a letter to the general manager was also ignored. Nice!

For Golds, being” ripped off” is a big issue for a Color which is so loyal, and it’s something they won’t forgive or forget in business dealings. Not to mention that Golds are the largest group of clients for every business (36% of the population).

Of course, no Color likes to be taken advantage of. However, most Golds and Greens will also never do business with that company again. Since then, I have spent over $46,000 in book printing…with a different company. While Golds really don’t like change, the perception or reality of feeling ripped-off is a sure-fire way to get them to move.

Unfortunately, losing a ton of business is way more common than any business realizes. But then, no matter what your first Color, you can attest to that:

With Blues – not taking the five minutes to get to know them before jumping into business.

With Greens – bluffing, lying, or incorrect and inconsistent information.

With Oranges – not having a fast-forward way to accommodate them without a lot of hurdles or excessive paperwork.

Choose Your Color

February 2nd, 2017

Your primary Color isn’t about to change anytime soon…or ever. But your behaviors can change all the time, depending on your circumstances, stress level, meeting, when you’re with a friend, your child, partner, parent, or coworker. Note that the key word here is “can.”

Don’t let your primary (first) Color take away the freedom to be the other three. It’ll make you a more well-rounded person! You’re always free to choose the Color of your behaviors. Just don’t ever say: I’m (this Color) so you have to… or that means I can’t…need you to…or whatever excuse you may have for staying stuck in the comfort zone of your primary Color. Here are the most common ones for each Color:

I’m Blue so you should be nice to me. No, I have to criticize you for something that went wrong yesterday. YOU need to differentiate between me not liking this specific thing versus not liking you.

I’m Orange, so I was late. No, you multi-tasked too much and are rude in having five people waiting to start a meeting.

I’m Green so I’m always sarcastic. No, you don’t have to be. You need to be aware that it’s not funny to lots of other people, especially when it’s a put-down sarcastic comment.

I’m Gold so it has to be done this way. No, there are lots of ways to get from here to ‘done.’  Your way is your way, but it’s not the only way, nor the way others can and do get there successfully.

Care enough to grow your knowledge and use of Colors:

-What’s your biggest excuse in hiding inside your first Color? If you can’t think of it, ask some friends or coworkers to be honest with you.

-Find a way to have your team do the Colors Advanced seminar

-Read the Colors at Work section about the dark side of your primary Color