HR Needs Fewer Blues?

May 6th, 2019

OK, that’s about the dumbest thing I’ve heard in years. It’s one (of many) fields where people skills, intuituion, a second chance, coaching, looking for the good, helping people, and vast numbers of other soft skills matter so much. Apparently…not so much in the new world of HR.

This started when I was listening to a People VP from a Fortune 500 company being interviewed  on a new book he had just published. Yup, apparently, the ‘new’ HR is, or needs to be, or will be, much more about data and analytics. When he was asked a question about the need for people skills, his exact response was “that WAS great…”

HR is a great career for every Color. The Golds and Greens often gravitate to the tech part and payroll. The Oranges are often found in the training area, while the Blues are the front-line recruiters, people who do the interviewing, coaching, etc. But, in my humble opinion, and working with HR departments for over 17 years, it’d be a big mistake to diminish the massive (but often unmeasurable) contribution of Blues.

The bigger the company, the less senior management already listens to Blues. I can list you a fair number of Boards of Directors, and senior leadership teams, where there may be one (or two at most) Blues. They add the people perspective that (us) Golds and Greens don’t immediately take into consideration in making decisions. But at some point, that Blue director, senior leader, or board member just gets too worn out fighting ‘City Hall’ in always being the discenting opinion and leaves….Sad but true…

Social Media and Colors

May 6th, 2019

While it can seem that the entire planet is on social media, you might be able to get a pretty good feel for someone’s Colors by what they post, like, or comment on.

But for this story, I’ll let you figure out what Colors might be posting (or not posting) what content on your Facebook page:

-Posts at least two check-ins a day…some at hotels or resorts where there’s no chance they’re actually staying at, because the room-rate would roughly equal their annual income…

-Re-posts a lot of sarcastic pictures that capture their frustration with general manking without having to say it outright.

-Gets tagged in a lot of drunk unicycling photos that give their relatives anxiety.

-Invites you to play Candy Crush several times a day despite the fact you haven’t seen them IRL (in real life) for years.

-Profile picture is a professional headshot…just in case potential employers are looking.

-Faithfully ‘likes’ any status you post without any interactions because they have your back.

-Takes & posts more selfies in a day than you’ve ever taken in your entire life.

-Enthusiastically changes their relationship status/location/career path every two or three months and somehow gets hundreds of likes from it every time.

-Posts a lot of statuses along the lines of ‘ugh so done with this,’ in hopes you’ll ask them what they’re so done with…

-Argues with Blue’s humanitarian posts, just for the heck of it…

-Hasn’t posted anything for a year, but you suspect that they are always watching because there’ll be an occasional ‘like’…

Green-Gold: Doing to Done Conflict

May 6th, 2019

After a Colors seminar a few months ago, a Gold lady shared a big fight she had with her Green partner. Their chicken coop needed to be fixed for the winter. Both decided that last June and agreed to have it done the end of August. That completion date, with a more than reasonable deadline, now went on her to-do list. For her Green partner…not so much…

This wasn’t exactly a job that required a lot of problem solving or thinking. It was just a bunch of labor…so guess how high that would be on the priority list of a Green that looks for complex and intricate work that requires some brain power, versus the use of a hammer for two days? Yup – by mid September the work hadn’t started and winter wasn’t going to wait. Hence the fight when he “hadn’t gotten around to it.”

It’s a really common source of arguments in relationships with a Green partner. But why make it into a fight? My suggestion was (and always is) to agree to a reasonable deadline because the work does have to be done. The week before, give your partner the heads up that the following week you’re going to start calling contractors for quotes.

This lady shared that she couldn’t (wouldn’t) do that as it’d be an even bigger fight. Why? Her Green partner agreed to a deadline and it was way past that time. He could delay the fixing, but couldn’t delay the arrival of winter! He clearly chose (yes – chose) not to make this a priority. That’s perfectly acceptable but it needed to get done. If there was another argument it would only be once. After that, her Green partner would realize that his Gold wife expected him to honor his word. We teach others how to treat us…

Not Your Typical Internet Firm and Huge Lessons For Every Color

March 29th, 2019

Basecamp is a software company for client service businesses. But this is not your typical Green software company culture. Just read their mission statement: “Have fun, do exceptional work, build the best product in the business, experiment, pay attention to details, treat people right, tell the truth, have a positive impact on the world around us, give back, and keep learning.”

Wow. This definitely seems to be a company for all Colors! It gets even better, with lessons for all of us from CEO Jason Fried in a recent podcast interview (on Recode Decode with Kara Swisher) taking about his new book: It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work.

We work all day, but we’re actually in meetings all day. You might work eight hours a day, but at most, you have a few 15 minute blocks to actually focus on something. If you don’t have a full eight hours where you control your day, something’s wrong. We don’t have meetings and others don’t get to book your time! They can call you to schedule a meeting, but they can’t see or access your time. It should be hard to get someone’s time! You can’t do great work when you don’t even own your own time. Companies all claim that time is money. But they don’t leave money laying around on the table but they let everyone take everyone else’s time. It’s valuable. You should ask and make your case and not just be able to grab it.

The expectation of immediate responses is a totally broken system. Everyone is trained to make everything “now.” There’s no emergency and there’s no hurry – it’s fake and it’s just a cultural thing.

There are far too many inter-dependancies in companies and departments. Teams should be three people max. When they’re pretty independent you won’t have to wait around for others to do their part. In our company we have JOMO. The Joy Of Missing Out. Focus on your work – you don’t need to be involved in a million other things… Tech fertilizes that and it grows into a horrible monster that grinds real achievement to a halt.

Sometimes best practices are worst practices. Everyone seems to want to adapt that concept from another company without having any idea of how they implemented it or make it work. “They” do it this way, so we need to change things around to implement that…in a herd mentality. If you’re a company of 10 people, you’re going to adopt to what Apple does? They have 20,000 people!

Oranges and Golds: Hurry Up!

March 29th, 2019

Amongst many others, 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 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.

A Restaurant Chain Staffed By Blues?

March 29th, 2019

Danny Meyer is the restaurant mogul behind such chains as Shake Shack and Union Square Café.

In an incredibly cut-throat business, Meyer has survived and thrived where others have failed. His concept is ‘enlightened hospitality,’ and revolves around respect and relationships.

It starts with hiring naturally empathetic people, what he calls ‘givers’ which creates a culture that sets his restaurants apart from the competition. Sure, the menu and décor matter, but for his company it all starts with replicating his staffing approach and culture in each new restaurant or chain.

“When he looks at you, he sees you. He’s not playing the role of executive…he’s a hugger. He trusts his gut (intuition) and his gut is always working.”  Pete Wells, the New York Times food critic claims that “another restaurant might try to impress diners by suggesting an esoteric sweet wine…the servers at (Meyer’s restaurants) don’t want you to be impressed. They want you to be happy.”

Meyers started in the business with a dream of simply creating an atmosphere which would make the customer feel comfortable to ask the servers anything, and for people to walk in without a reservation to still feel welcome and special. He was sure he could teach people that he liked to become the restaurant professional he wanted. His basic premise was that he could teach a nice person to open a bottle of wine, but couldn’t teach a person who knows how to open a bottle of wine to be nice.

The 51% rule describes his personality-type hiring principle that Meyers conceived by instinct. Potential hires are awarded a ‘hospitality quotient’ score that’s based on traits such as optimism, warmth, and empathy (hello Blues?). 51% of the weighting is given to those factors and 49% to technical skills. “there’s extra percentage points on the emotional side that can’t be taught!” explains culture & learning director Susan Reilly Salgado. “Union Hospitality hires for THAT.”