Where do you fall on this color wheel? More importantly, how does knowing your color impact your success on the job or in a family?

Color Wheel

There are many personality assessments available – Myers Briggs, Strengths Finder, Enneagram. But I like the DISC color wheel – I find it simpler to understand, remember, and apply.

This tool, created by Target Training International, measures observable behavior: how you react to problems, people, pace, and procedures.

You may instinctively know your primary color, but taking the assessment gives you a host of other insights, including the mix of other colors that make you unique, a glimpse of how your behavior is perceived by others, and helpful hints for communicating with those who have a different style.

Your color is helpful because it is not fixed. It changes as you mature, but it can also change by choice. Therein lies the power of the wheel. Like a chameleon, you can choose to behave differently.

When you recognize the “color” of the person you are managing or working with, you can approach them in a manner that is effective and productive. Temporarily shift your style so it meshes well with theirs.

Once you learn how to communicate with a “blue” personality, you can use that style with all the blues you run into (who probably include your bookkeeper, accountant, and maybe your project manager).

The Secret that Gets You Heard

Here is a brief description of the 4 primary styles along with the secret to recognizing and communicating with each one:

Red: Dominant and intense, reds bring new ideas to the table and may be quick to implement concepts that are not fully formed. Focused more on tasks than people, reds engage in high-energy, spirited debates and will hear you best if you are clear, specific, and brief. Ask questions to help them think through the details and define their big picture ideas.

Yellow: Personable and trusting, the yellow is the engaging visionary on your team, but don’t expect them to handle the details. Easy to spot, yellows smile and speak with their hands. Be warm and friendly with your yellows, but make sure you follow up with specifics in writing.

Green: Intensely loyal and patient, greens are steady workers and terrific friends, but make sure you ask what they think. They will not burden you with opinions or emotions. Maximize their contribution by creating an environment where they feel safe and valued so you can hear their insightful feedback. To communicate with greens be gentle, friendly, and curious.

Blue: Detail oriented, critical and careful, blues ask hard questions to ensure the job is done right. They may tend toward perfectionism and can be socially withdrawn, but their work is high quality. To communicate with your blues, organize your thoughts in advance and stick to business.

By the way, if you’re wondering, I’m a mixture of yellow and blue, number 5 near the center of this color wheel.

What color are you?