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How Your Color Should Approach the New Year

January 2nd, 2017

Happy New Year! For your Color, there are definitely some things you should consider for this coming year:

Blues: Let go of the guilt of not being perfect, and the constant wondering if you’ve done enough. You have – you’ve done your best, and that’s perfect enough. And while you’re letting go: Forgive others (as well as yourself) AND forget. You don’t need more of an explanation than that, do you? Make this a year you’ll take better care of yourself, before you take care of everyone else. Choose to not make that seem selfish, or make you feel guilty. You love self-development, and this is the big one for you! That’ll help make it a year of inner peace, giving from a full (rather than empty) cup, and lessen the need for a lot of the comfort food when chocolate becomes your best friend…

Greens: Even the most introverted people do need to get out of the house or their office more often – make this the year. Make a little more time for the people in your life. Appreciate their gifts, and tell them that you value and appreciate them – don’t just think it – that doesn’t help. Spend some of your thinking time on what behaviors can have a negative impact on people and resolve to change them, and start with being more cognizant of your Green face.

Oranges: You live in a world of ideas and action. When you feel stagnant, stop a minute and think of all the things you DO have happening as they’d make other Colors dizzy. As you’re charging head first into the New Year with 50 ideas and all the changes you want to see, remember that others don’t function at your speed. It can all happen, but not at the speed of Orange. Then decide if having a little more patience (even just counting to 10) is worth it, in order to make it happen. Lastly, perhaps you can take a few days to wrap up some of the dozens of things you have on the go. It’ll give you the “room” to start new ideas and projects if you set a deadline for yourself to get x number of “last year things” that are semi-dead, half done, or almost done, out of your hair.

Golds: OK, take a deep breath and get into the moment more often. You’re constantly thinking about the next whatever and thus spend very little time in the “now.” Think back on everything, every day, that you DO accomplish, instead of the negativity of what still needs to be done. You’re extremely hard working, but be aware of some of the negative habits that impact your life around others. One would be to learn to not reply “yes, but…” to almost every new idea or change? Could you (that should read: would you, because you certainly can…) learn to love every new idea for at least a minute? And if that seems possible, could you also test-drive asking for help the odd time before you burn out or become stressed? YOU love to help others, why not remember that the other three Colors also love to help for their own Color reasons. News flash: It’s not a sign of weakness.

Cultivating a Respectful Work Environment

January 2nd, 2017

A senior manager in the Federal civil service was kind enough to give me an interesting report recently. It’s a review on how to cultivate a respectful work environment. It’s very well sourced and powerful information for any company and team. Here are some of the highlights:

Disrespectful behavior is “disturbingly common” in the workplace. While everyone is familiar with the issue of harassment, incivility and disrespectful behaviors are just as destructive. They’ve become more commonplace, and can undermine and erode the culture of a team as well. Part of the reason is that they may be much more frequent, taken less serious, perceived as ‘normal,’ or thought of as acceptable conduct. Or is that just being hyper-sensitive? That’s for you to decide.

What’s included in that definition? Demeaning remarks, taking credit for someone else’s work or ideas, questioning someone’s judgment, taking behind people’s back, not turning off cell phone, or maybe doubting someone’s motives, judgments, or intention. Beyond that, the report suggested more negative behaviors of blaming versus taking responsibility, texting during meetings, hiding behind emails, forgetting the basics of please and thank you, or talking down to someone.

94% of people responded that they’ve been on the receiving end of many of these. What’s worse is that most don’t differentiate between the “offender” and their company. They see their employer as a willing accomplice. And that impacts performance when two-thirds admit it declines when exposed to these behaviors. 25% of people even admit they take it out on clients or customers! If these truly are, or should be, thought of as a problem, there’s a measurable impact when they don’t happen.

So-called “respectful teams” have 26% more energy, and are 30% more likely to be enthusiastic. 36% say their job satisfaction increases and 44% are more engaged and committed to their company.

The report specifically discusses the downside to emails and the risk for miscommunication. To translate that into Colors: The large group of Blues can more easily interpret a benign message in a negative light. Yup – nothing replaces face to face conversations. In broader terms, the motives of different Colors can be interpreted very differently. The downside is that sometimes perception can be reality.

Employees look to their leaders and managers to set the tone and to get their sense and direction of “how things work around here.” Or in the words of Russian novelist Leo Tostoy: “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one things of changing himself.”

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Colors quiz answers: Blue – Gold – Green – Orange

Hubby May Not Be Green

January 2nd, 2017

Quite often during the Colors seminar, a Blue lady shares with me that her husband is a high Green. Makes sense, as opposites attract, but not so quick in this case. When I asked her a few casual conversational questions, the answers were kind of unusual:

So hubby must be happy that he gets this night alone at home? No, not really…

He doesn’t want any alone time? No, he wants to be around people all the time…

Do you phone him during the day and he wouldn’t rather you text him? No, he wants me to call him all the time…

But he doesn’t usually talk much, does he? No, he does…

At that point I gave up. Those are four broad Green values and hubby seems to fit none of them. Or does he? Your behaviors are not your Colors, but some broad strengths and preferences tend to be present in most people of each Color. Perhaps her husband’s non-Green behaviors apply only to his relationship with his Blue wife. That would be awesome, because every relationship at work or at home, with your kids, or managing staff, is “let’s make a deal” in honoring someone of another Color and their “language.”