at Work

July 4th, 2011

Colors At Work

“Our company is really a team. This is the ultimate team sport. (You need) a culture that allows that, where learning is encouraged.” John Rice CEO of GE Infrastructure – Ranked as the #1 Most Admired Company by Fortune Magazine

No matter what someone’s job description or title, the main challenge for any firm is to have their staff work in harmony towards common goals, with everyone contributing in their unique ways towards achieving that. As if simply operating a company is not intricate enough! Each person certainly has different values and motivators in their job. The approach of any company towards teamwork, the manner of cooperation, socializing, management styles and overall ways employees are treated play a part for different primary Colors.

“Thank you for such a wonderful experience of your workshop. I was quite impressed and an enjoying the different level of connection amongst our personnel.”
Dr. Y.T

On top of that is the balancing of various motivators, needs and personality styles, job descriptions, politics and numerous other intangibles involved in managing any staff. Some of the basic questions each primary Color tends to ask themselves – even if they aren’t verbalized can be:


  • Will you trust me to do the job, let me control my agenda and don’t ride me?
  • Am I going to have a sense of belonging here?
  • Do you recognize staff for their contributions in fair and tangible ways?
  • Will I have clear & consistent instructions, expectations, rules and time-lines?


  • Does the company listen to me and my needs?
  • Will I have assistance for conflict and problem solving?
  • Is the boss someone who listens well and respects my feelings and those of others?
  • Do I get to use my people skills with clients or staff or is the day all task-oriented?


  • Am I allowed sufficient independent work time?
  • How much of the day is re-active or pro-active?
  • Are procedures logical or bogged down with ‘stupid’ rules and set in stone?
  • Can I help teach others and keep learning, growing and asking questions?


  • Do I know ‘what’s in it for me’?
  • Are there enough challenges, problems to solve and variety?
  • Is it a ‘fun’ environment? Can I move around?
  • How hung up are you on rules and fixed procedures?
  • If I can handle 6 things at once, is there teamwork to help me ‘finish’?

Individuals always have the choice of where they work or in the choice of their specific job. Few, however have the choice of whom they work with. One of the keys to working as an actual team is often described in terms of awareness and acceptance.

Awareness starts with understanding everyone’s differences, unique characteristics, values, motivations, and sense of humor, ways of learning and contributions to the team. Not to mention individual styles in how they actually do their job and so many other factors.

Acceptance is definitely the harder part of the equation. People tend to fight, or get their back up, over differences in others they work with. Most people are quite sure that others would fit in much better if they ‘just worked like me.’ If opposites tend to attract in relationships, that is not the case at work.

Colors, time and again, is one of the best methods, or tools, to achieve understanding and teamwork. It is the difference in personality types that creates stress and confrontation.

Teamwork and unity come about when there is genuine appreciation for personality differences. It is the understanding of these differences that make any group work well together. Some contribute their ability to deal well with customers, while others excel at problem solving and managing of a crisis. Some team members are very detail oriented or can perhaps look at the big picture, while another group contributes in large ways through their great sense of humor and high energy.

Colors seminars teach staff members to value and appreciate differences in personalities. “Thank you very much for inviting me to your seminar. I thought it was very valuable. I find myself using it always now, especially as I deal with others very much different than me. It helps me figure out how they think, feel and function much better.”
Pastor C.B.

Individual employees, no matter how talented they are, become no match for any competition when they stand alone. It takes an effort of the entire team to stay united and strong. That doesn’t mean everyone has to share the same values or outlook. Different opinions, just like having different job functions is not a detriment to the team, but quite healthy.

“Learning Colors is making a huge difference in the awareness of myself and those around me. It’s having measurable results in my life.”
Trenton M.

Sometimes it’s easy to spot the employers that truly do practice inclusion of all personality types. These companies have learned that the true definition of a team includes all four Colors. Similar to a jigsaw puzzle, it isn’t a team until all the pieces are in place.

“Your seminars are playing a significant part in shaping our corporate culture, understanding, teamwork, and member services. Everyday we keep getting feedback and success stories – from the Board of Directors to our branch personnel. All of our almost 700 staff now have these powerful tools to utilize everyday and in so many situations. We look forward to working with you for a very long time to come, George.”
Glenda Rouleau, Vice President Human Resources

It’s not always about money. Many of the most successful companies more than make up for it through the work environment they create for their staff. The first lesson for many employers starts with the understanding that the way they treat their staff is directly related to how they will turn around and treat customers.

Someone who should know is Lloyd Wirshba of American Express Company. His firm is consistently recognized as one of the most desirable companies in North America to work for. It is his view that employers need to foster an environment that really cares about their staff. In return, staff will actually care about their clients, profitability and the growth of the company they work for. Meeting those challenges and doing it well pays off through productivity growth, increased profits, reducing turnover and happy customers. Everyone is familiar with the profiled stories of the companies that do it well. They are often written about in magazine articles and books such as “The Best Companies To Work For”.

In the very challenged airline industry, two companies stand head and shoulders above the rest in terms of service, customer ratings, profitability and employee satisfaction. One is consistently Southwest Airlines, the other is Westjet Airlines with headquarters in Calgary. If loving your job and having fun is not their actual motto, it is certainly the modus operandi. The first place that becomes obvious is in their career advertisements: “Westjet is looking for fun, hardworking and team oriented people just like you to join our team. If you’re looking for a unique opportunity to work for Canada’s most revolutionary airline, then grab your boarding pass and climb aboard! We hire the best, then empower our people – and the results are magic!” With profit sharing, extensive opportunities to multi-task in a variety of jobs and a high energy, fun and continuously creative environment, small wonder Westjet has become so successful in a short period of time. Yes, even airlines have their fair share of Gold and Green managers in head office, and the same huge percentage of Gold pilots as others. However, front and center at the counters, flight attendants, gate staff, and other points of interaction with customers are large numbers of high Orange personalities and it works very well.

Colors seminars create the discovery of everyone’s unique strengths, stresses and contributions to the company. It develops practical and lasting tools for teamwork, cooperation and understanding. “The effect around here of your workshop has been truly amazing. We are talking and laughing much more as a result of last Thursday.”
Paula B.

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