As many of you know, I teach a high school entrepreneurship class so one student recently asked me, “ What was your biggest management mistake?” Well, it didn’t take me long to answer that when I was a young manager, I held the philosophy that it was “my way or the highway.” Unfortunately, not all of my co-workers and subordinates appreciated that management style and it probably hindered our success as a team.
Then, in my forties, I learned about True Colors® which is a model for understanding yourself and others based on your personality temperament. These four temperaments (each identified as a color – orange, blue, gold and green) have been studied and used since Hippocrates and although everyone has a mixture of all four colors manifested in their personality, usually one of the colors is most dominant. Identifying my own personality preference and the personalities of others using True Colors provided me with insights into my co-workers’ different motivations, actions and communication styles.
Now, I consciously change the way I present a message based on the preferences of those I am speaking to. I also make sure to integrate facts, figures, agendas, pictures and fun into all presentations, so every personality type will receive the message in the way they like to receive it. The golden rule of “Treat others how you would like to be treated” has been replaced by the platinum rule, “treat others how they would like to be treated.”
Don Lowry, creator of True Colors states, “Successful people know who they are and what their True Colors are... when you know what your core values and needs are and feel good about them, you can perform at your highest potential in every area of life. And when you share a working, mutual understanding of others’ core values and needs, you have the basis to communicate, motivate, and achieve common goals with utmost dignity, efficacy, and mutual respect.”
I wish I learned that lesson at twenty instead of forty. That is why I am so passionate about teaching it to others. If you have 2 1⁄2 hours to spare on Wednesday, October 28th from 1-3:30 pm, sign up for our “Improving Leadership, Teamwork & Managing Conflict Using True Colors” course at the Lifespan Center. You can find more information about this on the Dau Consulting Training page.