Team-Building With True Colours

Are you or have you ever been on a committee, perhaps at work, or helping with a function or planning a family event? How can individuals with different needs, strengths, values, motivations and perspectives come together to accomplish a major goal in an effective and efficient manner? The answer just might be in understanding and appreciating and learning how to celebrate our differences. With knowledge of “True Colours Personalities” as a metaphor for the four different personality styles, you are better equipped to build a team based on utilizing the skills and natural talents of each person. Are you a supportive and caring Blue, a curious and analyzing Green, a responsible and controlling Gold or a spontaneous and promoting Orange?

Blues dream of the great event on a date where everyone can make it, and nobody will be left out. Blues will focus on assuring everyone feels included and will contribute many creative ideas. During the planning, they will assure everyone is heard from, nobody is cut off, and decisions are made by reaching a consensus. With their natural enthusiasm, they consider this is an awesome opportunity to bond as a team, to get out of the office, or the chance to get together with friends and their coworkers. Anything is possible as long as it is done together.

Golds want to get the job done first, then they can visit. They will ensure there is an agenda, everyone stays on track and on task. Plan the work and work the plan. They will divide the duties fairly and have regular progress reports and updates. They are serious about any project they have been asked to take on. People will depend on the quality of their work and they will assure that no details are left to chance. Besides, who else would think through the potential pitfalls, avoid overlapping responsibilities and worry that the location needs to be booked way in advance. Of course it will be fun, just not while there is work to do.

Oranges tend to start the work from the opposite end. They will make sure it’s fun and not lame and then care about the details later. Better yet, they will find someone in the group who enjoys the mundane, tedious, structural, and boring parts of the event. As great networkers who know everyone, they will be able to line up the best DJ or the coolest entertainment. Of course there has to be food, but don’t ask them to deal with a menu a year in advance. They will do what they have committed to, but not on someone else’s timeline.

Greens want others to come prepared and to discuss issues that really need to be discussed. They don’t want to re-hash anything in a meeting that could easily be accomplished in a quick e-mail update. When jobs are assigned, they value someone who can just go get it done. They will certainly not micro-manage anyone on the committee because they assume we are all competent adults. They prefer to start with the big picture, and are happy to use the format from last year and improve on that. In meetings, they are certainly more quiet, or quick to get to the point, and quite direct.

Working with others can be a motivating and rewarding experience, but it can also be an opportunity for stress and frustration. When we learn to respect and value the differences of personality styles, it can assist us in creating good team-work, facilitate cooperation and appreciation of each person’s contribution to the overall goal.

Karen Knorr is an educator and facilitator who resides in Errington with her husband and two boys.