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If You Do Really Well, You’re Going to Be Punished

July 12th, 2018

That sentence sure doesn’t sound right, and it isn’t what was said or meant. But it’s what the high Blue felt was being said to him. So often, for our different Colors, perception is reality and we hear things in very different ways. For Greens, it might be the question, “are you sure?” For Oranges, it’s telling them they “have to,” and Golds it might be asking for a progress report. For high Blue Steve, it was very similar:

Steve had an incredible month. By the 20th he had recruited nine people onto his team. For his office, ten was the record for a single month, a record he was clearly going to break. When Steve reached nine, his manager was thrilled, and certainly wanted to motivate Steve to keep going. So he told Steve when he reaches the record, he should be doing some of the office training the following month.

But that innocent, and seemingly motivational comment, wasn’t how this high Blue heard it. It was very scary to Steve. Standing up in front of the whole office and talking about it (bragging) was not going to happen. So Steve immediately stopped working for the rest of the month in order to avoid that situation at all costs. Steve’s manager saw it as a chance for him to get the limelight, while Steve “heard” he would be punished.

What happened? While the comment was genuinely meant to motivate and reward, it had the opposite effect on Steve, because he is an introvert high Blue! What would have motivated Steve, instead? What would have been a way to reach a high Blue? To communicate with him in ways he wanted? Would a high Blue view the following as a reward or punishment?

“Steve, you’re having an awesome month. When you reach our office record, I’m going to give you a $500 restaurant gift card. I want you to take this new group out for dinner, on me. They’re not just numbers, they’re part of your team, and I want your team to have the time to really get to know each other. I want to help you to make these awesome bonds happen! And when you feel like it, let me know, we’d be really blessed if you want to share some of your tools with others to help them to grow as well.”

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