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Discover Yourself – Stress and Insights Discovery

When discussing personality types, it is important to remember that people will express their personality traits in different ways depending upon the environment that they are currently in. For example, Insights Discovery is based around personality assessment for a business environment, so it reflects people’s personality style at work more than when they are at home. A key psychological factor which can have a large influence on personality traits is stress: people will express different aspects of their personalities and will react in a more extreme way when they are stressed.

As work can frequently be stressful, it is helpful for managers to have an understanding of how different personality types react to stress, what those stressors are, and how managers can help to alleviate this stress. Today I’ll be sharing some thoughts on how stress affects each of the different Insights Discovery color energies.

Cool Blues and Stress

Cool blues are cautious and thoughtful, and they like to plan in advance. Therefore, they are stressed by situations where there is a lack of structure for them to work within, or where they are missing important information which they need to do their job. They hate to turn in work that is of low quality, so they do not like to be rushed and will be unhappy if they feel their work is not up to par. They also value efficiency and exactness, so they will feel frustrated by wasting time.

A manager can tell when a cool blue is stressed because they will nitpick over details and question the worth or efficiency of a process. They may become obstinate and dig in their heels if they feel they do not have the information that they need to complete a task. If they feel they are not getting the support they need, they can stop communicating and start making decisions without approval from higher ups. This stress can be managed by getting feedback from them along the course of a project, making sure they have the information that they need, and working with them to analyze inefficiencies in processes.

Earth Greens and Stress

Earth greens care most of all about fairness and positive interpersonal relationships, so they will feel stressed when they perceive there is unfair or impersonal treatment of themselves or others. They care deeply about their ethical values so asking them to bend the rules is another cause of stress for them. They also value a calm and supportive atmosphere so they may become stressed by loud environments, frequent interruptions, or feeling that they are under excessive time pressure.

When an earth green is feeling stressed they will tend to withdraw into themselves and become overly cautious. They may be personally hurt by the unfair treatment of someone else, even if it does not directly affect them, and this hurt can be expressed in a judgmental way. They may see themselves as the only one who cares about their values.

To manage a stressed earth green, a manager needs to take time to support them in person. There should be plenty of face-to-face contact, and the manger should reiterate that they understand the earth green reacts this way out of a sincere desire for fairness. Where necessary, a manager should be transparent and acknowledge that decisions are not always perfectly fair. But they should then convey that this needs to be kept in perspective – overall, management cares about being fair and takes steps to implement this value as much as possible.

Sunshine Yellows and Stress

Sunshine yellows are sociable and outgoing, so they become stressed and unhappy when they have no opportunities for personal interactions or for fun. While seeing co-workers joking around might seem like a waste of their time, these moments of joviality are essential for the job satisfaction of a sunshine yellow. They can also feel stressed by rigidity and a lack of flexibility, and they can become hurt by what they perceive as personal rejection from co-workers.

The warning signs of stress from a sunshine yellow are that they become overly emotional, even melodramatic. They may become opinionated and argumentative when they feel that they are being excluded from the group. To mitigate this, a manager should allow as much flexibility as possible so the sunshine yellow can prioritize and organize their own tasks. If they become overly fixated on a feeling of exclusion, a manger can re-direct their energies onto a new task which can be an effective distraction. Sunshine yellows highly value approval so they should be allowed to save face and maintain their reputation wherever possible.

Fiery Reds and Stress

Fiery reds care about action and decisiveness, so they are stressed by a lack of focus and a lack of control. Waffling, u-turns, and indecision are frustrating to them because they throw themselves fully into a project and they do not like having to readjust their goals. When a fiery red is stressed they will double down on their decisive and confident traits, and they can become aggressive, demanding, and overbearing. They can become snappy or rude to co-workers and they will be visibly impatient when they think a decision is taking too long.

To handle a stressed-out fiery red, a manager can take two different approaches. The first is to allow the fiery red to take control of the project or process, and trust that they will push forward until a decision is made. This is a good approach for an experienced and trusted fiery red. The alternative approach, if the manager is not confident in the fiery red’s ability to lead yet, is to get them to take time out away from the project. Now might be a good time to send them on a training course or to learn a process from another department. Or they could be directed to a different aspect of the project which requires immediate action, which will give them something to do while further decisions are being made.

To learn more about how personality assessments can benefit managers and employees, visit www.discoveryourself.com.

Discover Yourself – Interacting With Our Opposite Types

Personality assessments are useful not only for participants to understand themselves better, but also to understand the other people around them. Interacting with people with very different views and priorities can be challenging, but Insights Discovery can suggest ways for people who are opposite types to work together more smoothly and effectively.

Fiery Red Interacting with Earth Green

Fiery reds are action driven, confident, and focused on their goals. Their opposite type are earth greens, who are calm, supportive, and ethical. A fiery red can see earth greens as docile, inactive, resistant, or stubborn. The methodical, careful progress of the earth green can feel frustrating and plodding to the active fiery red type.

To get the most from interactions with earth greens and to avoid losing their temper, fiery reds should practice patience and try to hold back from jumping in to every task head first. There can be great value in pausing to think an idea through before getting caught up in the action, and earth green can help to provide this balance.

A skill that earth greens can offer to fiery reds is the ability to see other’s points of view and to foster consensus. While a fiery red would likely try to resolve a dispute between members by imposing a rule or view onto the whole team, an earth green will try to find a compromise where everyone is happy and where every member of the team feels respected.

As fiery reds are often natural leaders, they motivate and push their team to achieve more. But they also benefit greatly from having an earth green as a fellow manager who can soothe team members and support them when they are stressed. Fiery reds should learn to see the value in this more caring, empathetic approach and learn when to deploy an earth green to smooth over difficult social situations.

Earth Green Interacting with Fiery Red

The patient and caring earth greens can find the forward and assertive fiery red type to be aggressive, controlling, and overbearing. The tendency of fiery reds to take charge and to push others towards goals can chafe the earth green who wants everyone to feel respected and understood. It will help earth greens to remember that democratic relationships are indeed important, but sometimes it is necessary for someone to lead decisively.

If an earth green feels like they or others are being steamrolled by the fiery red, then they can try raising these concerns outside of a high-pressure group meeting situation. A fiery red will be much more receptive if the earth green can voice their issues in terms of impediments to action as opposed to personal feelings.

An earth green can benefit from the push that a fiery red provides, as this can prevent them from overthinking and compel them to action. Also, there may be situations where it is not possible for everyone to be happy, and a fiery red will push for an acceptable solution where an earth green can be paralyzed by indecision.

Sunshine Yellow Interacting with Cool Blue

Sunshine yellows are sociable, creative, and love to dream about the future. Their opposite type is cool blues, who are methodical, analytical, and precise. Sunshine yellows can perceive cool blues to be cold and reserved, and find it strange that they are more focused on rules or data than on people. To a highly people-focused sunshine yellow, it may be almost inconceivable that anyone would not think primarily in terms of social interactions. Therefore, when interacting with cool blues, it can help sunshine yellows to remember that focusing on data over interpersonal relations does not mean a lack of care for other people – rather, cool blues want to be fair to all people, and they express that care in a data-driven way.

A cool blue can make a strong partnership with a sunshine yellow. The sunshine yellow person can imagine great concepts for the future and raise enthusiasm for the project among other people, while the cool blue can come up with the realistic ways to achieve those concepts in the real world. The pragmatism of a cool blue can be an essential reality check on the dreamy nature of a sunshine yellow, as long as the sunshine yellow doesn’t take this pragmatism personally. They should remember that when a cool blue expresses skepticism about an idea, they are not trying to be negative – they are searching for a way that the idea can realistically be achieved.

Cool Blue Interacting with Sunshine Yellow

Conversely, when analytical and logical cool blues have to interact with excitable and dynamic sunshine yellows, they can find them to be hasty and imprudent, or even disorganized and a “head in the clouds” type. It will help cool blues to remember that, unlike themselves who tend to think through an idea carefully before voicing it, other personality types like to think out loud in a discursive manner.

Just because someone says something that is not totally logical or they share an idea which is not fully thought through, it does not mean that the person is silly or vacuous. They should understand that people use discussion as part of their thinking process and try not to judge excited sunshine yellows when they take an idea and run with it.

A sunshine yellow can help a cool blue in tasks like drumming up support for a project. For example, if a cool blue finds a way to make a system more efficient, then they may push for their new system to be adopted and be surprised when they are met with a lukewarm reception. To the cool blue, if the new system is more logical then obviously everyone should support it. But a sunshine yellow knows that they need to sell people on the new system with enthusiasm and a sense of fun, which can be far more persuasive than logic. A cool blue who comes up with a concept and a sunshine yellow who gets everyone on board with the concept can make a great team.

To learn more about Insights Discovery and how it can help colleagues understand themselves and each other, visit www.discoveryourself.com.

Discover Yourself – Managing the Color Energies

Understanding the different personality types of a team is important for managers not only so that they can build an effective team, but also so that they can gain insights into how to manage each person. Today I’ll be discussing tips and techniques for managing each of the color energies in the Insights Discovery system.

Managing Cool Blues

People who are cool blue in temperament are thoughtful and like to plan out events and activities in advance. Typically, they will be organized and know their processes very well, following instructions exactly. But one challenge in managing them is they are not the most adaptable of people; they need to be given time to consider and process new information and ideas. If a new concept or model is introduced to a cool blue, they may not be particularly enthusiastic about the change straight away. This does not mean that they are rejecting the change or that they will be unable to cope with it, but they may require a few days to adapt to the new mindset required of them.

One practical tip on managing cool blues is to give them a heads up (wherever possible) of new issues that may arise in the future. A manager who can let their cool blue team members know in advance that changes will be forthcoming – for example, that this year an annual process will be changing, or that brainstorming sessions will be moving from regular small meetings to occasional large meetings – will find that the cool blue person has planned and anticipated the change and is more ready for it. This gives two advantages: firstly, the blue person will be able to contribute useful ideas as they have had time to consider and aren’t being forced to respond off the cuff, and secondly, they will be more positive about adapting to change when they know to expect it.

Managing Earth Greens

Earth green people are driven by their values, which often focus around sharing, harmony, and fairness. This means that in order for a manager to win the loyalty of an earth green person, they must explicitly demonstrate their even-handedness and explain their reasoning. For example, if a manger is planning to end a contract with a vendor and to move to another vendor, it would be wise to let the earth green members of their team know about why they are making this change. Even when it is not strictly required for the green person to know about the reasoning to perform their job, they will be more supportive and enthusiastic if they see that their manager has good reasons for making this choice.

This is because earth green people care deeply about personal relationships with co-workers. If the green person perceives their organization as being capricious or opaque about their motives, they will not trust them and will not perform well. And this interest is not self-centered: a green can perceive a colleague being treated badly by a manager to be as damaging as if it were happening to them. To build the best relationship with an earth green, a manager should be as fair as possible and be transparent about that fairness.

Managing Sunshine Yellows

The highly sociable sunshine yellow type is passionate, enthusiastic, and has a strong vision of the future. If a manager wants to sell their team on a new concept or process, then getting the sunshine yellow members of the team on board is key. These people will then cheerlead for the idea and get everyone else in the team to accept and embrace the new concept too. If a person who can drum up energy and get everyone involved is required, then the sunshine yellow is the type to turn to.

However, sunshine yellow types can be distractible and disorganized. When managing such a person, it is important to clearly lay out the essential requirements of a task and not let the person focus only on the “fun” parts of a job. Also, sunshine yellows can have a tendency to overwhelm other less outgoing team members, especially if there are a high proportion of yellows on a team and their visions are closely aligned. In this case, encourage sunshine yellows to pull back sometimes to allow space for others to express their ideas.

Managing Fiery Reds

Fiery reds are active and hands-on, and they like to find the most efficient way of performing their tasks. This means that they can be very adaptable and amenable to change, as long as their manager can demonstrate to them how the new system will create a better outcome than the old system. Unlike cool blues, fiery reds are not interested in considering every small change in depth – they would rather learn by doing and are focused on the present moment rather than ruminating about the past or future. If a fiery red needs to learn a new skill, it is best to hand them the tools and let them puzzle through the challenge for themselves rather than trying to teach them everything in advance.

One useful but occasionally frustrating aspect of managing a fiery red is their pragmatism. They are not the type to be swept up by great oratory or to embrace an idea because it sounds new and exciting. Instead, they want to see a clear and realistic vision with concrete steps outlined that will achieve that vision. When trying to motivate a fiery red, do not focus on abstract concepts or too much big picture talk – instead, give them grounded, actionable steps which they can follow to achieve the desired goal.

This is just scratching the surface of the ways that psychometric testing can help managers interact with and motivate their team. For more information on this topic, visit www.discoveryourself.com.

Communicating with the Four Color Personalities

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Communicating with other people is sometimes the most frustrating part of our day. Hollywood loves a good misunderstanding, which may explain the wealth of comedic films and romantic comedies that get pumped out every year. Misunderstandings can happen between people who are complete strangers and between individuals who know each other very well; all this boils down to a lack of communication and a lack of active listening.

Learning how to adapt, communicate and interact with others is something we work on our entire lives. When you begin to dive into understanding your personality type more, you’ll unconsciously begin to notice certain character traits in other people as well. Spotting these strong character traits can help you along the way to more effective communication and cooperation with people of different personality types that you see every day.

Intentional interaction

When you are familiar with the four color personalities system, you can begin to categorize the people around you into their specific personality type as well as yourself. Knowing what your personality type gives you a baseline for understanding how you will interact and react with people who have a different or opposite personality type from you. You may even realize that interacting with someone of your same character type is the most frustrating!

The flip side of positive interactions with other people is knowing what behaviors aren’t going to be good for either of you. Try to play to the strengths of the other person; for instance, a Sunshine Yellow personality is looking to involve people in the work they are doing. They will respond well to people who display a bit of a competitive spirit and who are passionate about the project at hand, but won’t be as happy working with people who are slow paced or hesitant about moving forward.

Playing to strengths

A Fiery Red personality wants to get things done now and has little patience for co-workers who need to be told what to do. Fiery Red personalities need direct interactions and strong opinions, as well as a straightforward approach to the conversation or project. Earth Green personalities will find a Fiery Red approach to be overwhelming, and seek to foster a harmonious and encouraging setting in which peoples’ voices can be heard.

Finally, a Cool Blue personality will interact the best with someone who understands that they want to do it right the first time around. Spontaneity doesn’t always work with Cool Blues, who appreciate a controlled and deliberate approach.

Jung opened up an entirely new world with his discoveries, and discoveries into the psychology of personality and the self are still being made today. Insights Discovery is based squarely on Jung’s theories, and as such is an invaluable tool in helping people understand themselves and others. Schedule me, Scott Schwefel, as your keynote speaker, and I will come to your group and address the differences in personalities in a truthful, fun, and easy-to-understand way. Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to share my blogs with the color energies you work with!

The History of the Four Personalities

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The four personality types exemplified by the four colors have existed for centuries. Before they were called Fiery Red, Earth Green, Cool Blue, and Sunshine Yellow they were known as humors. The four humors dictated the four most common temperaments that people displayed. Hippocrates was the first to inspire the idea of humors, which were called sanguine, choleric, melancholic, and phlegmatic.

Carl Jung used the idea of the four humors to influence his discoveries about the intricacies of human behavior. His thoughts involved the four personalities as well as the idea of the conscious and unconscious minds, where the four personality types lived. Jung personified this split between the conscious and unconscious as representing the ‘other,’ or ‘dark’ part of our personality.

Between the dark and the light

Jung didn’t intend the dark side to mean the less desirable parts of our personalities, but rather the unconscious aspects of the four types. This shadowy portion of the human character includes all of feeling and a portion of the sensing and intuition. Thinking, he claimed, was an entirely conscious act, so it is considered to be ‘in the light.’ The shadow and light portions of our personalities are inseparable from one another.

Understanding how the shadow and light parts of us work together is essential when attempting to understand the effects of our characters on our families, our work, and on all the other aspects of our lives. Taking thoughts, beliefs, and habits from the dark side into the light can help us understand why we are the way we are and how we can best interact with the world around us knowing what we know about ourselves.

The darkness always mixes with the light, and some aspects of the four personality types will be in the shadow while others are in the light. Hippocrates never went further than his theory of humors to explain the inner motivations of human behavior, but Jung certainly built upon this early perspective in his work.

Interactions with the four personalities

Interactions between the conscious and unconscious minds are incredibly important in influencing how we think and behave. Our strengths, or the personality type we exemplify the most, is going to be conscious most of the time- that is, we are aware of how we think, act, and react in certain situations. However, thinking about the other personality types can help an individual to understand that they can use each of these personality types and their strengths in everyday situations when it is beneficial to do so.

Jung opened up an entirely new world with his discoveries, and discoveries into the psychology of personality and the self are still being made today. Insights Discovery is based squarely on Jung’s theories, and as such is an invaluable tool in helping people understand themselves and others.  If you would like further help in identifying yourself or others as part of the four color personalities, schedule me, Scott Schwefel, as your keynote speaker. I will come to your group and address the differences in personalities in a truthful, fun, and easy-to-understand way. Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to share my blogs with the color energies you work with!

Analytical Observation: The Benefits of People Watching

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Many of us enjoy people watching- we like to see how people live, how they interact, and how they deal with everyday situations. The same factors that make people watching so intriguing to many of us can also make office environments that much more interesting as well. Observers, or the Cool Blue thinkers, rely on better than average observational skills and discipline to get things done both in their personal and professional lives.

Observers are very rational. They rely on facts and logic to make sense of the world and to make sense of the tasks they are given in the workplace. They depend on consistency and offer deep insights into the characteristics and behavior of the people around them.

The strengths of Observers

Observers are:

  • Precise
  • Cautious
  • Conscientious

They are also:

  • Worriers
  • Slow to act
  • Avoidant

Observers are observant of themselves and the people around them. They are good at discerning other peoples’ motivations and strengths, in addition to their weaknesses. Observers have a tendency to hire individuals who are also observers, which isn’t always beneficial. Observers are critical to a fault and, although they may be correct, often miss answer because they are afraid to be wrong. Observers are very fact oriented, but may hesitate to express their feelings or thoughts as an employee or if they are in a leadership position.

Working with an Observer

Working with an Observer as a coworker or as your boss can come with its benefits and challenges. Observers are independent and often prefer to work on their own, but create functional and interpersonal work environments. Observers are logical and seek to influence others using facts and proof, which may make them come across as uncaring or impersonal at times. However, they value others’ opinions and are typically very engaging in the workplace.

Observers, like many of us, feel pressured when they are rushed. They crave consistency and will return that consistency to their employees and coworkers when given the chance. Observers resist change, but can be brought around to the idea of new changes based on logical reasoning. When they feel like they don’t have a handle on a situation they can worry, but it is rarely about their jobs or reputation. Observers worry about how others will see them, what they are being judged on, and how they are perceived by those they respect the most.

Working with Observers is an exercise in patience and logic. Observers are stretched by social interactions and must remember that a lot can be learned when they put themselves in relevant social situations.

If you would like further help in identifying yourself or someone you know who may be an observer, schedule me, Scott Schwefel, as your keynote speaker. I will come to your group and address the differences in personalities in a truthful, fun, and easy-to-understand way. Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to share my blogs with the color energies you work with!

Does wearing a mask in the workplace mean you are “fake”?

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When you are the supervisor or the manager at your workplace, you are being counted on (and paid too) by your employer to effectively teach, manage, and develop the employees they hire. With the uniqueness of humans, no two employees will respond the same way to getting trained, managed, developed, or even disciplined.

Some supervisors and managers just supervise and manage only one way. Sometimes they don’t care and have that “it’s my way or the highway” attitude. Those managers run the risk of burning out after a few years on the job. And some supervisors and managers just don’t know how to manage any other way. These managers won’t burn out, but will only get average work quality from the employees they supervise and manage. Does wearing a “mask” in the workplace make you fake? No. In fact, this is a great way to communicate with different personalities, and to get above and excellent work from your employees.

What does it mean to wear a Mask?

A lot of people wear a mask in the real world and in the workplace for many different reasons. Wearing a mask typically, means that when the person is aware someone is watching them, they tend to wear a different colored mask and not act like their normal selves.

However, wearing a masking mask in our example, is close to the above. But, we are specifically speaking about strategically wearing a different color mask to communicate more effectively with employees who not all may be wired the same.

Looking at this from the Insights Discovery® Color Energies’ point of view

For example, let’s say that you have four employees who lead with either, Fiery Red, Cool Blue, Earth Green, or Sunshine Yellow. An effective supervisor or manager who has the ability of “full and total awareness” would have four different ways of approaching, speaking and communicating with all four of these different personality types. This supervisor or manager is wearing a mask, especially if they normally lead with another color while at home and another color when at work. A not so effective supervisor or manager would address all four employees in one way and most likely, NEVER would truly make a connection with these employees or get their best work.

So as you can see, people wear masks for many different reasons in life, good and bad. With respects to trying to communicate effectively in the workplace with today’s highly diverse workforces, wearing a mask to be more effective, and getting your employees’ best effort, is the a mask worth wearing.

Every organization needs a good mix of color energies and a few people who know how to wear a mask properly. If you’d like help in identifying this person (s) on your team, schedule me, Scott Schwefel, as your keynote speaker, I will come to your group and address the difference of personalities in a truthful, fun, and easy to understand way.  Follow me on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter to share my blogs with the color energies you work with!

The Cool Blue Energy – As cool as the other side of the pillow

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Documentation, preparation and just being precise in corporate America has never been more important. Good organizational practices are key in teaching new employees the way your company does things, complying with regulatory bodies such as the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other Federal governing bodies. Good documentation practices can also keep you and your company out of the courtrooms and with your money still intact. No one knows this better than the Insights Discovery® Color Energy: Cool Blue.
This Is What I Mean
As a case in point, while at the office, have you ever called someone in the office to get an explanation, or to ask a question of any kind of importance, only to have the phone go right to voicemail, but 60 seconds later, you receive a “ping” (a notification of an instant message alert) from that same person? Doesn’t that drive you crazy sometimes? Well, truth be told, this person is strategically trying to either:
1. Avoid speaking with you altogether
2. Really busy and simply was just on another line
3. Was not by their phone
4. Is an Insights Discovery® Color Energy: Cool Blue

What Are The Characteristics Of An Insights Discovery® Color Energy Cool Blue Personality?
Insights Discovery does personality assessment profiles for businesses across the world similar to a Myers-Briggs personality assessment, but more in depth. When a person takes a profile assessment, their results will be sprinkled over the four Insights Discovery® Color Energies with one of the four colors, Fiery Red, Sunshine Yellow, Earth Green and Cool Blue, leading the way.
A person who leads with Cool Blue in the phone vs ping scenarios from up above is most likely choosing to ping over call, not because they don’t want to speak with you (which actually could be one of the reasons as people who lead with this color tend to be introverted), but because they want their reply, or your reply to be documented to cover their tails in the event something down the road goes wrong. They now would have a paper trail to clear their name and/or avoid not being prepared for any given business situation.
The Classic Characteristics Of A Person Leading With Cool Blue
A person in your office who leads with this color will have a hard time not displaying to you and other co-workers that they are very formal and are usually very conservative. These people will also display that:
• They are an introvert
• They are very thorough
• Want to be correct by being prepared
• Are cautious
• Precise
• Deliberate
• Questioning
• Formal
Fears Of The Cool Blue Personality
A co-worker, or even a boss for that matter, leading with Cool Blue is very cool as they will make your team very organized, prepared, accurate and ready for just about whatever business issue that shows its ugly face. However, this person is not superman or superwoman, they too have fears. Some of the fears this person will do everything they can to avoid are:
• Not being prepared for a big meeting
• General embarrassment
• Having to move and process very fast, as sometimes speeding up means more mistakes

When a person leading with a Cool Blue energy is on your team, they will be systematic, and the process will be very important to them. If you would like further help in identifying this person, schedule me, Scott Schwefel, as your keynote speaker. I will come to your group and address the differences in personalities in a truthful, fun, and easy-to-understand way. Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to share my blogs with the color energies you work with!