Taking Advantage of a Blue?

January 29th, 2019

A few months ago, Donna (not her real name) sent me a “venting” e-mail. As a high Blue she was really hurt as she felt totally used and abused by some people in her office. I’m proud of her that she actually gave some feedback to her boss, but like a typical Blue, she was not going to confront the actual people who were causing the problem. After all, Blues believe in “peace at all cost,” at any price… It takes a lot to get a Blue to make a scene or to stand up to the bullies or users.

Donna works with a number of high Oranges who were complaining that: “I don’t do stuff for them, like wipe their nose and kiss their feet.” I felt pretty sad that they’d say untrue things and they’ve ratted me out pretty badly.” The only thing Donna did do was to skip an office party they were having because “I don’t want to hang around people who stab me in the back for no reason.” (Yet who was punishing whom by her not attending?)

Instead, I e-mailed her back a note of what she should have said. It made her feel better, even though she didn’t – of course.

Dear Orange friends:

I’m sorry that you believe I don’t do enough for you. I know that you hate paperwork and all the little details that have to be done, because they’re not going away, but you want someone, anyone to do them for you. But here, just like at home – you’re accountable for your own actions and work.

I’m Blue. My DNA includes always wondering if I do enough to start with. I do! But it’s not helpful when you push that button, oblivious to my Colors, and inaccurate to start with. But I’m also learning the difference between helping and enabling, and you’re asking for enabling and babysitting.

You already know that I’m always here for you and so love being part of the team and doing what I can, when I can, within reason. It’s a huge self esteem builder for me to be helpful, whether it’s part of my job, or I choose to chip in and help way above and beyond what I should do. But this quickly turns to a nightmare when you become unreasonable and simply avoid what you need to do in order to become more successful.

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Colors Quotes answer key: Gold – Orange – Green – Blue

It Seemed Like a Good Idea…

January 29th, 2019

George: I had to share this story with you as it was so obvious to see the Colors of our team in action. Each of our branches was asked to do a poster to celebrate our company merger. We wanted ours to be a “family” theme with finger paint. No, none of the Gold or Green staff were in on that creative decision.

Then I thought: Even better – lets all put our hand prints on the poster, in the color of our highest Color! I wish you could have seen the faces of the staff when I told them what we were doing!

Green: I haven’t put my hand in paint since I was two, and I’m not going to start again now. (Oh, but yes you are…) Their look of horror and hate said it all.

Gold: I’ll put my hand in the paint, then wipe off all the excess right away. And could you tell me which space is mine, and specifically where you want me to put it? Oh, I don’t think I can fit my hand into that spot without touching someone else’s – that won’t be very neat…oh boy…what to do… Of course, then ten minutes of cleaning up.

Blue: This is so touching… hands all over the place, all different, but all together. How beautiful and fun – makes me feel like a kid again. Oh look, my hand is touching that Gold hand. How beautiful and symbolic… This is awesome!

Orange: You want me to what? OK, hurry up. I’ll slap my hand through this paint for a while…whoops, who is cleaning up all that paint on the table? Oh well, someone will…and the drips from the table to the poster…never mind… Then: SLAP – right in the middle of the poster with the hand spread wide and droplets of paint splattering all over everyone else’s print…oh, whatever…gotta go…

So the poster is done. We Blues think it’s beautiful and symbolic. The Greens won’t look at it. The Golds are really upset that the Oranges splattered on it and made a mess. If it didn’t make their hands dirty, they’d really prefer to do it again – a lot neater, and with them in charge! And the Oranges? Well, they haven’t given it a thought since it was done. It was fun – but so yesterday.  (D.N. reprinted)

The Gold Life With a Blue

January 29th, 2019

This is a cute post I saw from a Gold wife that’s worth sharing:


Made cupcakes last night. There’s only me, Blue husband and our son. So I packed up half of the batch to put in the freezer. As I’m standing with the freezer door open:

Husband: You know, if you left those on the counter, I’d probably pick at them until they’re gone…

Me: Closes freezer door and put them on the counter

Husband: ..although you and Sam would probably enjoy them more if you saved them for later…

Me: Reopens freezer

Husband: (he takes a bite of cupcake) Man! These are so good and would make a nice late night treat later!


Husband: Oh…I hadn’t really thought about it.

Me: Throws cupcakes in the freezer and walk away grumpily

Husband: What are you mad at me for?

Talk about a great and really frequent work and relationship example of Colors mis-communication! Golds want specific instructions, yes or no answers and closure on whatever the situation or decision. Blues aren’t very direct and just think out loud and throw out alternatives. Let’s talk it through – let’s think about our options – it doesn’t need to come off the to-decide list in the next 30 seconds…how can we accommodate everybody and make this (whatever this is) into a win-win for everybody.


The 4 Colors of Procrastination

January 6th, 2019

For as long as there have been things to do, people have found ways to not do them. But is it always procrastination or avoidance, or re-arranged priorities, or more thinking time to make it better?

At a recent seminar, a lady definitely thought her husband was procrastinating buying a new soap dispenser for their camper. It was on her to-do list, but hubby had been researching for three months. I’m thinking she wanted it off her list and hubby was tired of buying one every year that never lasted. Since it was the middle of winter, they really didn’t need one until spring. So, to me, it wasn’t procrastination, it was still research time.

The daughter of a friend was working on her thesis but hadn’t put a word on paper for months! Mom was getting pretty stressed for her, but didn’t consider that her Green daughter was likely spending every waking moment alone thinking about it in way more detail than an outline.

My Gold, when I’m writing a new book, has a fixed how-to-do-that way: 6 AM on the deck with my laptop. Don’t move until noon, and get at least x number of pages on paper – period. After about an hour, when I’m stuck, I start watching my cat play in the yard… Another hour and I HAVE to go for a walk and get a coffee…All the while I’m beating myself up that I’m not keeping my word. Yet, that half hour coffee trip is great thinking time when I come up with great ideas. As soon as I get back, I can write a number of pages because of it. (Us Golds need to put it on paper…Greens can formulate a lot more in their head…) That wouldn’t and shouldn’t apply to doing laundry or cleaning the house – that’s just “don’t want to do it” procrastination in my more black or white view.

Oranges will readily admit they’ll put something off that’s just too boring or tedious. Oh sure. They’ll get it done, but not until they absolutely have to. Until then, they’ll prioritize working on things that are a lot more challenging, rewarding, and enjoyable. I wish there was a way to track how many things on their Outlook get cut (from today) and pasted into “some other time” down the road. But putting something off and still getting it done by a fixed deadline isn’t really procrastination, is it? While I guess that depends on which Color is doing the judging, isn’t that just re-arranging priorities that are really none of anyone else’s business?

The core values for Blues are people and relationships. When others remember that, it makes perfect sense that they’ll change/delay/procrastinate anything else to make their friends, family, or people at work a priority! Instead of judging that, shouldn’t every other Colors be really grateful that they do? If not Blues, who else would come to our rescue, step in and help us, or just be there to listen? Seems pretty great to me! The one area where they will procrastinate as long as possible (and then some) is anything negative, or needing to deal with conflict. It’s a people issue, but it’s going to be very painful, so “if I just avoid it for another hour, day, until Monday…” maybe it’ll go away…. (Breaking news: It won’t…)

We tend to think of procrastination as anything we put off. Psychologists, however, have a more strict definition in that it needs to actually cause us harm, or problems, before it’s “officially” procrastination.

Different Colors, different ways, and very different reason for putting something off for another time – and VERY different judgments of us by other Colors! That’s why things will always go horribly wrong when we don’t understand each other.

When A Relationship Ends

January 6th, 2019

Hi George: Could you send me some (short Orange) notes about rejection in relationships? J

OK, J. here you go. You just need to remember it should read “often, commonly, usually, etc.,” and under that kind of stress (if it was more than just a two-date relationship) we often go into our second Color to deal with it!

Golds often make lifetime decisions based on one incident like getting in trouble at work, using their discretion and then getting in trouble over it, or the end of a relationshp. It can be super hard for them to work up the nerve to “risk” putting themselves in that situation again.

Greens are also hit very hard (but you won’t see it on their face or demeanor). It can send them “underground” for an extended period of time to process, re-live, and analyze all the “why” and “what happened.”

Blues take everything to heart. It may be a legitimate reason for the rejection, but they can blow it out of proportion and generalize it to feel that “nobody cares about me” – the frequent times when their only friend is comfort food to stuff their feelings. Or they immediately jump into another relationship in order to have somebody – anybody…

Maybe Oranges handle it best: So be it, move on, their loss… As Oranges tend to live in the here and now, they’re capable of blocking it out by the end of the week, and just get back on the horse again… But does that quick “over and done” leave them any lessons for next time? Can it sometimes be “get them before they get me?”

The Silent Treatment?

January 6th, 2019

A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment.

Suddenly the man realized that the next day he would need his wife to wake him at 5:00 AM for an early
morning business flight. Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper, “Please wake me at 5:00 AM.” He left it where he knew she would find it.

The next morning the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 AM and he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn’t wakened him when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed.
The paper said, “It is 5:00 AM. Wake up!!”

Greens might be the ‘best’ at startiing the silent treatment, but their other-Color partner can also think of ways to get even…

It’s also wise for the non-Green partner to avoid being the instigator of the silent treatment. To paraphrase an exchange from the Big Bang Theory: You get even with him, Amy! Give Sheldon the silent treatment! No! I did that once. He told me it was the most magical eight hours he’s ever spent with me.