Tuesday, March 5, 2013
What color is your personality?
I'm blue with a little gold thrown in. If you want to know what I'm talking about, read this latest story I did for Gannett/USA Today...
There's a reason you probably don't get along with some of your co-workers.
They're different from you.
And the boss likes it that way.
A boss who has employees who all think and act the same can find herself with a team that becomes fast friends but also one that doesn't generate many innovative ideas.
That's why she may put in place someone who is good with details, someone who is a brash, big-talking idea person and someone who is highly competitive. So, while you may not like someone who is brash because you're more conservative and introverted, that's something you'll have to learn to live with if you want to stay in your job.
Career expert Shoya Zichy says the sooner you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your colleagues, the sooner you will be able to work in harmony with them because you appreciate what they have to offer. At the same time, learning to promote and use what you have to offer will help you better mesh with your polar opposite at work and deliver the results a boss desires.
Zichy, author of Personality Power: Discover Your Unique Profile — and Unlock Your Potential for Breakthrough Success, (Amacom, $16.95), says that we all have a dominant personality profile, and even a backup style, that helps ensure we're in the right job for us. She categorizes them into colors: golds, reds, blues and greens.
• Golds. This takes in 46% of the population. Employees with these strengths are good at organizing people and processes and are goal-oriented.
Dentists and accountants fall into this category. Warren Buffett is considered a gold.
• Reds. These people are action oriented, spontaneous and focused on the now.
Work has to be fun, and they are great at seizing opportunities and making things happen. Zichy says Bill Clinton falls into this strength category that is typical of about 27% of the population.
• Blues. If you're theoretical, always driven to acquire knowledge and are good at dealing with complex systems, you are probably are a blue.Common professions include journalists. Hillary Clinton is considered a blue, as well as 10% of the population.
• Greens. Empathetic, creative and expressive, about 17% of the population falls into this strength group.
These employees are good at catalyzing others to their goals and communicate with eloquence. Those in advertising or human resources often fit this profile, as does ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer.
Zichy says her "Color Q" system is not intended to label people, and some will fit into more than one category.
She says she came up with the system after extensive evaluation of individuals and their strengths. She also takes into account whether a person is an introvert or extrovert when making recommendations on how to negotiate pay or deal with a boss.
If you're dealing with a "blue" colleague, it's best to limit chit-chat, stay professional and be brief and concise. It's a good idea to recognize the person's intellect and talk about the big picture, she says.
She also advises avoiding emotional appeals and using words like "feel" or "believe." It's better to ask what they think and appeal to their "sense of fairness and logic rather than diplomacy," she says. "Don't exaggerate or flatter."
To persuade a gold boss, demonstrate you're reliable and follow procedures. That means show up for a meeting on time and avoid any vague statements.
Zichy suggests using words like "proven," "traditional" and "respected."
Managers with "red" employees will get the best results by talking face to face since emails and memos don't engage them. They need stimulation, fun and independence but will thrive on a crisis, Zichy says.
"For 'reds,' timing is everything," Zichy says "Don't continue if they're distracted."
When determining your own color, Zichy says embrace it. Don't be shy about promoting your strengths to others, no matter the work culture or environment.
"If you work in a pretty crazy environment, you can say something about the fact that you're a good organizer and you're there to help keep them on track," she says. "Don't be afraid about stating your value."