At an individual level colour profiling is a powerful means of raising self-awareness and can help us to understand why we do what we do in certain circumstances.
- Why are some people able to push our buttons and immediately get our backs-up.
- Why we find certain tasks a real chore and put them off until they become critical.
- Why do we get on better with some people than others.
- Why do we become anxious or uncomfortable in certain social situations.
The Colour Profile breaks down personalities into four distinct types; ‘Fiery’ Red, ‘Cool’ Blue, ‘Sunshine’ Yellow and ‘Earth’ Green. Each of these colours have an array of strengths but are very different from each other in how they behave. They also have both positive and negative qualities.
On a good day…People with a dominant Red preference are likely to possess strengths which show them to be decisive, competitive, passionate, focused, forthright and determined. They are the people who will get things done.
On a bad day…However these strengths when pushed to the extreme, usually by stressful circumstances can become dysfunctional and they can be perceived as arrogant, impatient, controlling. inconsiderate, aggressive and dismissive.
On a good day…People with a Blue preference are quiet, factual, organised, logical, self-disciplined and reflective. They are the people who you can rely upon to do things properly.
On a bad day…Under pressure they can be perceived as cold, distant, pre-occupied, unbending, resistant and unenthusiastic.
On a good day…People with a Yellow preference are lively, animated, creative, persuasive, optimistic and engaging. They are the people with a contagious enthusiasm for anything asked of them.
On a bad day…When they go too far they can come across as self-promoting, showy, noisy, tactless, impulsive and indiscreet.
On a good day…People with a Green preference are loyal, trustworthy, empathetic, thoughtful, caring and supportive. These are the people who are always thinking of others.
On a bad day…The flip side however is that they can be perceived as submissive, indecisive, unforgiving, resentful, disapproving and stubborn.
It is easy to see how these personality types could clash when deciding what to do and how to do it. For example if you have a strong Green preference and your boss is a strong Red, there is real potential for disharmony as you look at the world through completely different lenses. The same is true of Blues and Yellows who often struggle to find common ground.
Once you understand your own preferences, you can soon identify opposite types and it is then a simple matter to identify changes in the way you express yourself which will ensure you get a better reception from the opposite type. For example when dealing with a strong Blue, stick to the agreed agenda and do not try to introduce anything new at the last minute. Reds do not appreciate time-wasters so be brief, be bright and be gone! Greens need to be asked their opinion and given time to prepare a considered response whereas Yellows become quickly bored with routine so appeal to their creativity before they start to yawn.
We all have these qualities in varying proportions but we normally rely heavily on one or two of them to get us through our daily lives both at home and at work. One of the major causes of stress is when we are operating ‘out of preference’ at work. When your daily work is not aligned to your strengths or interests, this is a sure recipe for restlessness, low job satisfaction and unhappiness. My first job was as a trainee Quantity Surveyor (for a week!) Had I realised at the time that I was a strong Yellow, I would have understood why I hated the spreadsheets and lists of numbers so much. I was ‘out of preference’ and should never have even applied for it.
A greater understanding of what makes us tick can help reduce stress, improve self-confidence, strengthen relationship and improve wellbeing. It’s never too late to be the person you could have been.