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Posts Tagged ‘on time’

On TV: Newlywed, Nearly Dead

June 1st, 2009

While this show on Slice TV appears to be off the air, one of the episodes was a great insight into an Orange/Gold relationship. The host, Gary Direnfeld, a social worker and marriage expert, was attempting to help Erin and David. High Gold Erin believed she was living with a “snoring, cheap, man-pig.” Her Orange husband David thought his wife was “military bossy and controlling.” OK, thanks for being direct…I think…

While an understanding of Colors would have given this couple the tools to understand each other in the big picture of their relationship, host Gary Direnfeld did do a great job of getting to some of the specific issues in their marriage.

Erin was certainly concerned about being on time, and frequently in David’s face with her: “hurry up – we’re going to be late.” And the “we only have four minutes before we have to leave!” It was not hard to tell that this in your face approach literally had David slowing down even more. When the couple finally did leave the house, her stress and frustration were already through the roof, and became more noticeable with slow traffic, or any delays.

One of their stops was at a furniture store to look for a new dining room set. It seemed that Erin had shopped around already, and wanted to buy one. But David’s response was: “We’re not buying anything today. Maybe at the dollar store…” No, Oranges aren’t cheap (but they are always funny). It wasn’t about money at all. It was about the chance to “get even,” and a way to get some payback. It was way less about being cheap, and way more about control.

How often do we take control and want to get even, because we know all the ways to “get them before they get us?” Yes, relationships are built on the little things, and this was not helping. Yet, in the talk with Direnfeld, she was in total denial about any accountability on her part. With David, he went further, in attempting to explain that spending money can also be seen as an investment in the relationship. An investment so there will still be a marriage. But David was not buying any of that.

Direnfeld was more successful with Erin in teaching her to actually count to 10 before getting judgmental, or blowing up. When one of the assignments was to go out to a fancy and expensive restaurants, Erin actually had to do the 10 count four times before leaving (sort of on time), but did have a much softer tone of voice after all that counting.

When the bill arrived at the end of the meal, however, David looked like he was going to be sick over the $238 tab, while Erin was beaming, and thrilled with their date-night. OK, there is a ways to go here… But it was a start to some understanding. Says Erin: “Even though David is a snoring, cheap man-pig, I love him, and married him because he makes me laugh.”

Sometimes it really is worthwhile to stop and think of the ways your partner may behave that are not generally part of his or her Colors. Then ask yourself why your partner is doing it…

©George Boelcke, CCP www.vantageseminars.com

Honoring Your Friends

April 1st, 2009

Orange friends: Be active with them and don’t slow them down. Be spontaneous, fun and not a drag. Stay optimistic and upbeat in conversations. Don’t ask them to do a lot of planning and details, but stay flexible and ready to spring into action. Recognize that they’re constantly busy and will not always stay on track.

Blue friends: Be receptive to longer conversations and share your feelings and thoughts. Praise their imagination and creativity and be aware they wear their heart on their sleeve. Actively listen to them without fixing, as they listen to you, spend quality time one-on-one with them and stay supportive.

Green friends: Be mindful of their need for independence and desire to think things through and consider all options. Be aware of their natural curiosity about life and give them things that challenge their problem-solving abilities. Respect their inventions and ideas and remember that they look for credibility and prefer much of their communication by e-mail.

Gold friends: Remember to stay on time and on track. Be dependable and loyal and make sure to be extra organized and efficient. Do what you say and return things you borrow promptly. Be aware that they have a close and small circle of friends, a definite line between work and personal life, and a strong sense of privacy. Keep conversations with them focused and to the point.

Four Short Insights

June 1st, 2008

I recently ran into a super high Orange buddy that I only get to see about once a year or so. I was standing at the back of a ballroom listening in on a seminar when she saw me on her way out the door. She had her phone out, gave me a quick hug, and asked if I’d be “right here” for a few more minutes until she got back? 45 minutes later – she wasn’t… How would your Color react? When I saw her next, she asked, very innocently, why I hadn’t waited? She absolutely didn’t recall the time-frame of getting side-tracked for 45 minutes!

My graphic design guy is as competent as he is Green. I recently needed to get my business card logo tweaked and sent him an e-mail to see what he could do when he had a chance. I didn’t hear back from him for weeks until I realized my mistake: Greens will always have a preference for first working on something intricate, challenging, original, interesting or complex. My small logo work was never going to make the list until I give him a deadline to get it done.

Twice in a month I ran into a high Blue staff member of a client. Both times it certainly seemed to me that she wasn’t being herself. Two e-mails later, the person finally e-mailed back and shared that two close friends had recently passed away. That was after a couple of “everything’s fine.” With Blues, you need to hear what they’re not saying! While Blues want to be heard and not fixed, it is OK to e-mail back some feedback that other Colors likely shouldn’t immediately do when you are meeting them in person.

A new Home Depot ad does a really great job of targeting high Golds: The TV ad has a man with a very conservative haircut shopping at Home Depot for his basement renovations. His line: “I’m not very good, but I want it done perfect.” The end of the ad shows his finished basement with huge clock above his fireplace and a framed flag on the wall. The quote, flag, clock and haircut might be staged, but they’re huge clues to a high Gold. If you know someone with a big clock in the kitchen or family room that isn’t high Gold, let me know – it’d be rare…

Or the new slogan they’ve used in a number of commercials: “My to-do list is now a done list.”

The two Sides of Micromanaging

February 1st, 2008

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On almost every list of Gold stresses are the issues of being told what to do, too much supervision or not enough trust to get the job done. All of these are different ways of expressing their strong dislike of others who micromanage Golds. Yet when they’re asked to put themselves in the roll of a manager, they grudgingly admit this trait is something they’re likely to do to others. Why? Well, often Golds don’t trust others to do the same quality job that they would do. While it’s more complex, Golds generally live in a world of businesses where they seldom feel service is up to par, promises are kept and advertising slogans aren’t ever based on real experiences.

A number of years ago, I contracted with a car dealer to turn-around their almost non-existent finance department. While I loved a challenge, I also realized immediately that the high Gold owner and I would clash – hence a contract for only 60 days (I know Colors – he didn’t and still doesn’t). The reason he needed help was obvious. The dealership was unable to get financing approved for over 40% of their written deals!

No financing meant no sale, which meant no profit – simple as that. In my first month, this was down to two non financeable on more than 60 sales. 22 more vehicles were sold at a profit of $1,300 and over $1,100 of finance income. That translated to over $50,000 in extra profit for the month! Yet meeting after meeting continued to harp on the fact that the dealer insisted on hourly updates, that I still refused to attach eight hanging folder basket things on the wall, that the finance offices really shouldn’t be painted and that an additional file cabinet wasn’t necessary. Needless to say, day 60 couldn’t come soon enough.

Is this an isolated example and too extreme or far-fetched? No way! I get the chance to talk to thousands of people a year and you’d be stunned how often these Gold stresses lead to turnover. In this case, it sure didn’t make much sense to choose “his way” over a proven half-million dollars in profits a year.

Yet I wonder how often we force other Colors to do things exactly the way we want them to? I wonder how much energy we spend training people to do things “our” way instead of just training them on the tools, resources and ways to get it done? Does it matter exactly how they do it, as long as it gets done on-time and accurate? Is it about the journey or the destination?

That question always makes me wonder how many companies have huge and needless turnover that can easily be prevented with a three-hour Colors seminar and a half hour of reading the work chapter in the Colorful Personalities book. But then – you don’t know what you don’t know – and if we always do what we’ve always done – we’ll always get what we’ve always gotten. That’s why I so value your referrals for companies and conferences you feel deserve to know the power of Colors.

The Colors of Santa?

December 1st, 2007

His Green plans all year round, creates efficiencies and makes sure to learn from last year, since there’s no room for error when you’re working one long night where everything is on the line and HAS to go perfectly.

His Gold makes a list, OK many lists, checks them twice (at least) and plans the most efficient route. Plus, Santa is NEVER late, sick or misses a year. THAT is not an option – ever.

His Blue LOVES kids and everyone. He always has time to really listen to them and makes sure each of them feels included and gets to experience the special feeling of Christmas. Santa just wishes he could see the faces of kids when they do get to open that special present…

His Orange is hugely positive. He’s always laughing (HO HO HO!) and is very flexible, since kids have been known to change their minds about the fifty gifts they really really have to have this year. And Santa’s not really that strict with the naughty or nice thing, if the truth were known…who can remember stuff from February…oh – and his high Orange is very generous!

Gold Stories

July 1st, 2007

Below are a few excerpts from e-mails I’ve received from high Golds. If that’s not your first Color, it’s a great quiz to see if you can understand what their stresses or frustrations are from these, and how serious some of these are for the largest group in the country!

  • I hate surprises. When my friends organized a surprise party for me I didn’t even show up!
  • The worst day of my life was when my fiancée proposed to me during our weekend run. My hair was a mess, I was in my running clothes and it wasn’t at all the way it was supposed to be for me.
  • The guy next to me has THE messiest work station. It’s a huge distraction for me just to look over there all the time!
  • My family told me they’d celebrate my birthday next Saturday. But my birthday is Thursday! That’s just wrong. Don’t they care enough about me to get the RIGHT day?
  • In my job I just won’t deal with people who are late for their appointment. It’s just a big red flag of unreliability right off the bat.
  • I’ll never volunteer for a project at work if I don’t have the time or freedom to do it properly. It’d just be setting me up as a loser.
  • Again we’re changing some procedures in our office. Doesn’t anyone care about doing it right the first time, or sticking with a decision. They have no idea how frustrating this is! I can’t ignore it because I’d be breaking the rules and I can’t get fully into it as I’m just wasting my time when it gets changed around again