Posts Tagged ‘Gold work’

Work a Lot or Workaholic?

May 2nd, 2011

Almost one-third of us confess to being workaholics, which is defined as someone whose involvement in work has become excessive to the point of disturbing their health, happiness, social functions, and interpersonal relationships.

A study by some PHD students in organizational industrial psychology at Wayne University actually went as far as to connect a number of personality traits associated with being a workaholic. OK, to short-cut that sentence: They are describing many Golds: Perfectionism and impatience, along with a tendency to get defensive, and having a hard time delegating or sharing their workload.

The study differentiated between someone who works a lot, or crosses the line. In their reasoning, a workaholic works because so much of their self-worth is tied to their work output, and not because they are necessarily passionate about their work itself. But then, work-life balance is generally hard for Golds and Blues to practice.

Golds have a hard time leaving work behind, while Blues have an even harder time leaving the people-issues at work, and finding an off switch to the constant question if they could have done more, should have done better, or what else they could have done to help.

The Globe & Mail also ran a story entitled: A Workaholic’s Worst Nightmare: Vacation. The story featured a lady who has now been forced to take weeks off at a time because she had accumulated so much overtime. It’s something she admitted to being quite worried about: What am I going to do for seven days? I’ve got to do something…. And that “something” is that she was considering a part-time job to fill in that break. Yikes!

When there is pushback from family, it’s time to get real, and at least acknowledge that things are heading in the wrong direction. For vacations, it helps to agree to a schedule of how often, and when, it’s ok to check e-mails, etc., to assure family members don’t feel abandoned, left out, or less than important. It also helps to have an action-type holiday where there’s constantly something to do (but NOT with a long to do list organized by each hour!!)

One-off projects aside, no employer worth working for will ask someone to become a workaholic. They know that productivity drops, and burnout is just around the corner. If you’re there already, or heading in that direction, get some help. It’s not a sign of weakness, it’s quite the opposite. Your faith and your family always come first, and if you don’t take care of yourself first, you can’t take care of others.


Is Multi-tasking A Bad Idea?

July 1st, 2009

No matter what your primary Color, are you more of an Orange multi-tasker, or a Gold “one thing at a time” person? Your answer will probably decide whether you love or hate (and disagree) with some of the recent research on the issue, summarized in a Montreal Gazette article:

Not many years ago, multi-tasking was hailed as a breakthrough in efficiency. Now, some are comparing it to attention deficit disorder – yikes! The human brain, the latest research shows, is just not capable of performing two or more tasks simultaneously with any degree of efficiency. It gets agitated and distracted. The business world once embraced multi-tasking as a solution to demanding schedules. But the bloom is off that rose: A British study published in 2005 found that workers who were “distracted by e-mail and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers.”

The study’s author, University of London psychologist Glenn Wilson, also said that constantly breaking away from tasks to respond to e-mail or text messages has essentially the same effect on alertness as missing a night’s sleep. But would that be a big deal to an Orange anyway?

But there is more: Experts believe that children might be at risk of under-achieving because of out-of-control multi-tasking. Jordan Graftman of the U.S. Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke said this to Atlantic magazine: “Children (who) are instant messaging while doing homework, playing games online, and watching TV, are not going to do well in the long run.” The story also quoted psychology professor Russell Poldrack that humans are “not built” to multi-task. “We’re really built to focus.”

Millions of Oranges will tell you that these findings are bullcrap, while Golds love the feedback that they are right in doing one thing at a time, doing it very well, and then moving on….

©George Boelcke, CCP

Are You On a Social Committee?

June 1st, 2009

Whether it is a social committee at work, helping with a function at church, or planning a family event, each Color has their unique reason for helping and focus on what to do, and how to do it:

Blues dream of the great event on a date where everyone can make it, and nobody will be left out. Blues will focus on assuring everyone feels included and will contribute a lot of creative ideas. During the planning, they will assure everyone is heard from, nobody is cut off, and decisions are made by reaching a consensus. With their natural enthusiasm, this is an awesome opportunity to bond as a team, to get out of the office, or the chance to get together with friends and their coworkers. We can do almost anything you want – as long as we do it together.

Golds want to get the job done first – then they can visit. Let’s make sure there is an agenda, and we stay on track and on task. Plan the work and work the plan. There needs to be a fair division of duties, benchmarks, and regular progress reports and updates. This is a serious project that they have been asked to take on. People will depend on the quality of their work and assuring that no details are left to chance. Besides, who else would think through the potential pitfalls, avoid overlapping responsibilities and worries that the location needs to be booked way in advance. Of course it will be fun – just not right now while there is work to do.

Oranges tend to start the work from the opposite end: Let’s make sure it’s fun and not lame, and then we can work on the details…later. Better yet, there must be someone in the group who enjoys the mundane, tedious, structural, and boring parts of the event. As great networkers who know everyone, they will be able to line up the super cool D.J., or the likes. Food? Yes, there needs to be food. But you want me to deal with a menu a year in advance? That’s just weird…Oranges on the committee will do what they have committed to, but not on someone else’s timeline.

Greens want others to come prepared, and to discuss issues that really need to be discussed. Everything else should just be a quick e-mail update, instead of needing to re-hash it all during a meeting. When jobs are assigned, they value someone who can just go get it done, and will certainly not micro-manage anyone on the committee. Hey, we’re all adults here! They prefer to start with the big picture, and are happy to use the template from last year, and improve on that. In meetings, they are certainly more quiet, or quick to get to the point, and quite direct. Want to discuss the color of the table cloths six months out? Are you nuts?

©George Boelcke, CCP

One Thing At a Time

September 1st, 2007

If high Orange are great at multi-tasking, Golds generally prefer to do one thing at a time, do it very well and then move on.

While Golds are the largest percentage in North America, they choose to fly below the radar and definitely don’t look for attention or the spotlight. So it’s hard to get some good stories, or real-life insights. But one high Gold who proudly proclaims her desire to single-task is author and TV personality Suze Orman. “I, more than anybody I’ve ever met, do not believe in multitasking. I think it’s the absolute ruination of the perfection of a project.” OK, could that be any clearer?

Orman is very proud of her ability to focus and to totally stick to her agenda and plan. “All I care about is what I do, and I do absolutely nothing else while I am doing it.” She won’t answer the phone when she is writing and has a cell phone that is never powered on, to assure only she controls telephone calls. While Orman doesn’t have a staff or assistant, when she hires people to work on a project, she insists on that same total focus from them.

She tells Time Magazine her logic behind that: “I’m not saying they can’t multitask, just not on my time. The people who multitask, I think, do everything to mediocrity at best.” Ouch – OK, perhaps that shows her Gold/Green judgmental tendencies and right or wrong mindset, as much as her preferences.

But maybe Orman does have a point when she claims: “I think you have to stop thinking you are at everyone else’s beck and call.”