Be Colour ‘wise’ this Christmas!

colourwiseThere are multiple psychometric tools available: Belbin, SHL, Insights and Thomas International (which many of you will have heard of or have experience using) but one of the most effective tools we use is the Success Insights Colourwise Personality Profile. Here is our lighthearted take on what to expect from the different personalities (colours!) at Christmas!

Who is most likely to burn the turkey? Who will do a trial run of Christmas to ensure everything is right before the relatives turn up? Who won’t bother to decorate the house and who is most likely to give you the naffest of presents? Ever wondered how a work place tool can give you some of these critical answers as we head into the festive season?

For nearly two decades at Jaluch we have been using psychometric profiling with our clients … either DISC or Colourswise (red, yellow, blue and green), according to their preference. Often, we use profiling to enlighten managers at the start of a management development programme about how they come across to others, how they are perceived, what their natural communication and behavioural style etc is in the workplace. But we sometimes use it just as part of a team building day or during one to one coaching.

It’s fascinating to see the light bulbs go on and people start to work out why they naturally get on with Barny Bauble, but always seem to clash with Lara Lapland or why Tina Tinsel is the regular goody two shoes of the team whilst Ciara Carol is viewed as the endless harbinger of doom!

So, we thought this Christmas that we would extend the learning a little – what do the colours tell us about what you should you or should you not buy for your colleague in the Secret Santa this year? Or what might happen if Nico Noel organises the Christmas Party this year instead of Bahum Burgh who did the job last year. Let’s take a little Colour tour of Christmas…

Buying a secret Santa gift

Red: Quick decision makers, love new and unique products so don’t be surprised if you get a Christmassy novelty that is this year’s ‘hit’. But remember they are task focussed and like efficiency too so don’t be surprised if they’ve put least time effort in and your present is just a lucky outcome of an amazing bogoff deal they got when buying for their mum!  

Yellow: Quick decision makers who love showy products so you might find you get style over substance. They are also impulse buyers so you may get something a bit unexpected or unusual!  Yellows like to be liked, so they’ll probably get you something that will earn them a few ‘oh’s’ or ‘wow’s’ all of which generate a lovely fuzzy feeling this Christmas 😊

Green: Slow decision makers who tend to go for time tested traditional gifts. Moderately low risk takers so put your game face away as nothing too shocking will emerge from the wrapping paper! Being people focussed they will have thought about who they are buying for (if they know) so you can sure you aren’t just an after thought as they go about their Christmas preparations.  

Blue: Very slow buyers who tend to go with proven trusted products. Being task focussed your gift may be more functional than emotional but you can be sure that they will have kept within budget, taken time over the wrapping and followed any secret Santa rules about what can be bought and how it should be labelled!

Receiving a present

Red: Do they or don’t they like their present? Whichever way it goes, the red is likely to be direct and straight to the point with their thanks. They can also be status conscious so beware buying a present that they might consider undermines their status.

Yellow: With the yellow’s its often heart over mind so they are likely to be enthusiastic however they feel about the gift they have been given. And they will probably go out of their way to make sure the giver feels its valued. If it’s you who has given the present, remember that whilst they won’t say if they don’t like it, their expressive faces are often the clue to their feelings!

Green: When a green receives a present you will probably be none the wiser as to whether they love it or hate it. They won’t say what they are feeling and their face will not reveal their true feelings. However, the Greens won’t seek to offend and you should know that they value the relationship over honest feedback on the present.

Blue: Thanks from a blue will be brief and to the point. In seeking to do whatever it takes to avoid conflict they are most likely to internalise feelings, rather than say they don’t like it. Blues are usually pretty diplomatic, as well as being chickens! They may even choose to give thanks in writing rather than verbally if they know who their secret Santa buyer is.

Organising the Christmas Party

Red: When it comes to finding a venue your reds are likely to be innovative, challenging the status quo if you’ve repeatedly done the same thing at Christmas time. But they’re also competitive so you probably won’t be going where you went last year, you might have a few surprises to contend with and they will definitely be trying to go one up on whoever organised it last year or on the price you paid last year!

But beware a few of the red limitations…. they can overstep authority, they might not always listen to instructions or colleagues, they may be impatient with others who want to get involved and they may at times, be too task focussed, ignoring the people dimension of what they are organising.

Yellow: Yellows are likely to be enthusiastic and optimistic as they start to find your venue. Excitement and the heady power of being organiser and centre of the current universe may prevent them from some of the essential planning though! Check that they have got a handle on the details and the budget! Some yellows might take this opportunity to practice their creative problem solving skills and give you a party of a lifetime 😊

But beware a few yellow limitations… you might find they booked a venue on impulse without reading the small print. They can also rely too much on verbal communication so they might not have a written quote to ensure no arguments on the night about whether photos and alcohol were included in the price.

Green: Green’s tasked with organising your party are likely to play it safe, sticking with what is known and reluctant to try something new. On the upside that means that there won’t be any nasty surprises on the day and your party will come in on budget! They might though want to get group consensus before booking but if arguments arise they’re great at bringing together people with different opinions and patiently listening to everyone’s needs.

The Greens have a few limitations though… If you don’t like the venue or the arrangements they’ll probably take any criticisms personally but no doubt they will internalise their feelings so you may be none the wiser that they’re upset. Expressing their feelings is not their strong point. They also tend not to work so well with reds or yellows so to avoid frustration give your Xmas party project to greens and blues only.

Blue: When the blues are in charge you’ll find your party is properly organised, if a little low risk. They will deliver the project on time and within budget and if ever you ask to see it, there will be a clear plan of action that is followed to the letter and regularly reviewed. You’re in safe hands. The Blues will be mostly diplomatic in doing their job so you don’t need to worry about conflict and you can be assured that the blues will pay attention to the small details.

Limitations – A potential downside of using a blue as your party organiser may be that you find yourself in a state of paralysis brought on by over analysis. The blues can get bogged down in the details. If given free choice they will usually choose to work with people similar to them (other blues or even greens) rather than those who might bring in different ideas or energy.

At the Christmas Party

Red: Never back off from conflict is one of our red’s unwritten rules, so you might be advised to keep them apart and ensure that all heated debate is kept for the sobriety of the following day! And if you’re holding a drink or of a nervous disposition, give the reds a wide berth as there will be lots of hand movement, plenty invasion of personal space, and lots of big gestures as they step into the limelight. You won’t though have to organise their travel, they will be perfectly happy to make their own way to the venue in their own time and under their own steam. They will only join group travel arrangements if that appeals to their sense of efficiency!

Yellow: If an argument flares in the excitement of the event, the yellow will probably take a bathroom break or decide it’s time to prop up the bar. They certainly won’t be looking to get in the middle of any affray as that may affect their likeability rating and life’s for partying not fighting! But if you’ve lost your yellow, why not try the centre of the crowd or even behind the bar before hunting elsewhere? They usually won’t be far from the action and their enthusiastic hand gestures and exaggerated facial expressions might just help you pick them out!

Green: If things get a little heated between colleagues at the party your greens will probably not get involved, but equally won’t feel a need to walk away. Their expressionless faces though may mask a whole torrent of emotions! Who knows what’s going on as they watch the action unfold. No wild gestures from the Greens, however exciting your event, their body language will be measured and controlled! They’ll keep on eye on everyone though as the evening progresses, checking that people are properly fed and watered and have safe transport home. No traumas or disasters if the greens are on good form.

Blue: A wild party is most blues greatest nightmare. Not a fan of all the touchy feely stuff that goes on at parties they won’t be initiating any hugs or air kisses and they’re definitely not a fan of chaos and mayhem. If conflict occurs the blue will find a way to stay out of it, not taking sides, distancing themselves from the melee. If you’re juggling a plate and two glasses then standing next to a Blue is a safe bet, no expansive gestures, no unexpected movement and you can consider your personal space safe! Your blues will be on the lookout for H&S issues throughout the evening, keeping over excited colleagues in check and making sure that all is proceeding according to plan.

The day after the Christmas party

Red: Its back to work today. Heads down. Less chat, more focus please. What happened yesterday is in the past, today is a new day – unless of course I want to tell you about my successes and exploits at the party 😊

Yellow: So bouncing in still on cloud nine after the emotional highs of the previous day is the yellow. How is everyone feeling, who did what and who said what? I’d love to talk about it all day….do we really have to get back to work so soon?

Green: The Greens will be in on time with no visible hangover. Well masked if they do have one.  You can be sure that late last night or before they arrived this morning that they texted a few of their colleagues just to check they made it home okay and are feeling alright. Work as usual today.

Blue: It’s back to work so they will be in on time with their heads in gear and all discussion of who did what saved for after work or, in fact, we don’t actually want to talk about it at all! Focus! I’m on task and today is going to be another productive day.

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How we can help!

If you’ve found this an interesting read and would like to start the New Year with a feel good factor, Colourwise training can create some great team bonding and set everyone up for working happily and effectively together during what no doubt will be a challenging year in the UK business wise…

  • Team of 12? Pay for a day of training and 10 profiles and get 2 profiles free.
  • Team of 24? Pay for 2 days training and 20 profiles and we’ll give you a 10% discount on the training plus 4 free profiles.
  • Team of 36? Pay for 3 days training and 30 profiles and we’ll give you a 15% discount on the training plus 6 free profiles.

This might look and feel like fun but don’t underestimate the benefits to communication, management, resolution of conflict, working through change etc that profiling will bring to your team. It’s serious stuff dressed up as fun! Visit our colourwise training page or contact us for more information.

New bookings only. Valid until January 31st 2019.

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