There’s been a recurring theme over the last couple weeks. Whenever a group of CCPR students get together, they will inevitably discuss people’s colours. Their True Colours. They will judge. They will scheme. They will discuss. All based on an assessment that places people into four boxes. There’s narcissistic orange, control freak green, sensitive blue, and reliable gold. Everyone’s personality contains all four colours, in varying degrees.
Like a Cosmo quiz, you know there are answers less desirable than others. Ultimately, there are positive and negative traits for every colour.
This short assessment led to Doug Bolger’s Communicate Naturally® workshop at Centennial College last month, where we sat in our primary colour groupings.
Ever since that day, something strange has been happening. My CCPR colleagues are talking in colours. Catching themselves categorizing and judging others based on stereotypical traits. I’m not sure this is healthy. However, it is interesting. The basic idea behind personality profiling is that it helps people work together to get things done by understanding each other. Everyone has a different way of learning, expressing themselves, and working together with others. Understanding the different ways people approach a project is key to effective communications and career success.
- True Colours is a personality assessment tool created by Don Lowry in 1979 that has been popular in some form or another ever since. Doug started his career with the True Colours workshop in the early ’90s, and has since launched iLearn2, which features a similar workshop called Communicate Naturally®. He’s been in the business for over 24 years.
- All workshops are tailored to the company at hand, focusing on participant engagement and strategies that are easily applied to their learning environment.
- For our workshop, greens are efficient teachers and business owners, golds are managerial and organized, blues are good mediators, and oranges are big personalities.
- Educators will tell you it’s best to work with one person from every colour grouping.
- Doug is a loud, expressive man. He often shouts and jokes around to get the classroom’s energy up, which puts people at ease. I admire his enthusiasm and joie de vivre. His lively presentation style makes me think about ways in which I could develop my own facilitation skills.
- He supplies pictures, movie clips and exercises to support the colour theories.
- These exercises engage the entire class, both physically and mentally.
- All the exercises are fun, though a simple listening exercise stands out to me most. As an orange personality type who is prone to impulsivity, this assessment makes me mindful of increasing my listening skills.
- Above all: Doug is an excellent motivational speaker. He wants us to know that a lot of existing people in the workforce are paralyzed by change. Solution: actively seek out the change.
- As a communicator in the public relations industry, an eclectic set of skills are required to effectively navigate the workforce. These skills include effective planning, analysis, teamwork, writing simply and specifically, media relations training and evaluation.
Play nice. Listen. Cooperate. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Challenge yourself. Work efficiently with others to build relationships and reach your career goals. Everyone is plaid.
Since that fateful day
- When forming a group, my class members will note everyone’s colour. It helps us keep in mind that we may approach the topic using different tactics. If one colour is predominant, we analyze and may rethink our approach.
- I have noticed that the greens often take charge of a discussion. I’d like to be more green. To communicate best with a predominantly green personality, I need to fully explore a topic rationally while building upon their ideas, with lots of room for debate and discussion.
- One class member applied the colours to a house party: orange is in the kitchen conversing and enjoying themselves, greens are in the back room strategizing and gaming, blues are in the living room listening to music. There aren’t many golds in our group.
- Jenzten Brown held a contest for our event management class to guess his colour. Surprisingly, nobody guessed his primary colour, blue. Lesson: Jenzten is an anomaly. Keep an open mind.
- I learned that I need to expand the way I approach a project in order to connect with a wide range of people. Though my strengths include keeping an open mind and valuing everyone’s unique ideas, I need to understand that approach and expression differs for everyone. Throwing all ideas on the table at once can be overwhelming for some. Taking a step back to organize my approach and keep my emotions in check will be useful in my communications career and beyond. Keeping the four colours in mind is a simple way of remembering to attack a problem from all angles.
- Though I’m not convinced that the colours assessment is the most vital tool for project management, it’s a fun place to start thinking about teamwork.
Evelyn’s colour scheme: Orange, Green, Gold, Blue.
Are you interested in learning your colours? Why do you think this could be helpful? Comment and let me know!