A Newly Invented Green Word

February 28th, 2019

The third wow at this seminar was from the Green group. On their list of strengths was that they’re “thoughtful.”

OK, not to be rude, but that actual word should really belong on the list of Blue and Gold strengths, instead of Greens. Blues in almost every way, and Golds often by way of taking care of something before you ask, or a thank you note, text or email. Even if you send Golds a thank you note, lots of them wonder if it’s appropriate to send a thank you reply for the thank you…

Of course, Greens can be thoughtful, too. But it might have a very different meaning, or ways to express it…kind of like the January story that procrastination comes in four different meanings. When I asked the Greens to define it, they came up with: thinking everything through, exploring options before acting, and generally not being rash or hurried… I’m guessing that’s not part of the Webster’s definition of thoughtful!

So let’s come up with a new word that fits their explanation: How about we call it “thinkful?” THAT makes a whole lot more sense. Feel free to use it, but be careful if you text it, as auto-correct will change it to thankful….not that we shouldn’t be thankful for Greens actually being thinkful all the time!

Hate It Before Trying It?

February 28th, 2019

Before this same seminar, I was chatting with one of the senior managers. She gave me the heads up that one of her staff was complaining about “having” to attend the Colors session. She claimed she was ‘too busy…and have this to do…and still haven’t finished…yada yada yada…’ We both knew immediately that she’s Gold, but her manager had already made it clear that bailing wasn’t an option.

Most Golds (and a lot of Greens) judge that the Colors seminar can’t be worth their time. Yet most of them, when I know who they are and can watch them, start changing their attitude and even facial expression in the first hour to a noticeable degree – as was the case with this lady.

When I was back at their offices the next day, she almost ran to the front door to talk to me! Wow, that was so great…I made my husband read half the book last night right when I got home. And we have three kids and their Colors are…and then my husband and I talked about what we need to…

Most people don’t understand what I mean by that being a payday money can’t achieve! And breaking news for many Golds and Greens: Sometimes, some things, such as the Colors training may not seem like it’s an investment in your careers, but it is – and so much more. Sadly, it’s why I’ve only ever done four seminars for high school P.D. days versus tons of elementary schools. When around 70% of teachers and administrators are Golds they just can’t see how this could benefit them…and thus the permanent conflict of Gold teachers and vast numbers of Orange students continues…

Since this newsletter only goes to those of you who have attended, maybe it’s a bit of a reminder to stay out of your judgements until after you have the full picture and can decide if whatever any training, new technology, process change, or a host of other “unknown” things is worthwhile…

Stupid But True (and Sad)

February 28th, 2019

During the break of a seminar last month I started talking to a really nice Orange/Green guy that had just been hired by my client. When I asked where he last worked, he actually shared the story of where he last applied:

He had applied for a position with a management consulting firm. The company had him go through six different interviews with a wide range of people. By all accounts, everbody loved him, and wanted him to be hired. Then came the seventh and final interview with the CEO and a few senior managers, and that’s when this great candidate hit the wall. The CEO chose not to hire him because “you talk too fast.”

WHAT? Sure he does – as do most Oranges. That’s just their energy level and enthusiasm! I’m guessing that the CEO just didn’t understand an Orange – and (not really guessing) that that’s just not the culture of a (likely) Green and Gold management consulting firm. Their loss as this Orange/Green not only has the typical winning Orange attitude, but also the depth of experience and knowledge that Greens value.

My last comment to him was that it might be a blessing as I’d guess the firm isn’t doing that well. He looked kind of shocked in responding that, true, they’re not doing well…but how would I guess that?

Since vast numbers of Oranges are entrepreneurs, this company is missing a huge amount of business in not having and wanting anyone that actually ‘speaks the language’ of Oranges. Their loss – my client’s gain.

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.