By Lavern Nissley
Everyone has a personality. Some are outgoing; others are reserved. Some take risks easily; others are cautious. Some hate change and prefer routine; others love change and prefer variety.
If your personality could be represented by colors, what would you be? Red? Orange? Yellow? Green? Blue? Purple? A combination of colors? If you're curious and really want to be certain, well . . . you're probably a blue.
Personality is defined as "the complex of characteristics that distinguishes an individual or a nation or group." (Merriam-Webster). For centuries various theories have been advanced to explain human behaviors, including the ancient "Four Humors", or how much of four types of bodily fluids one has.
The four personality temperaments were Sanguine-blood, Phlegmatic-phlegm, Choleric-yellow bile and Melancholic-black bile. These correlate with the more contemporary DISC personality survey where D=Choleric, I=Sanguine, S=Phlegmatic and C=Melancholic.
So, enough on bodily fluids!
The Primary Colors Personality Tool by Dawn Billings is a fun, colorful and insight-filled approach to categorizing personalities into six color types. See her very interesting and engaging website. To determine one's color mix is easy. Simply rank order seven rows of six words and phrases each from 1 (least like you) to 6 (most like you), and then total the six columns. It takes about 7 minutes.
My good friend Scott Griffith is a purple-blue. Jeff Pinkleton is a very high orange. Keelsra Business Services employs a high number of greens. My wife, Ronda, is a purple-red; I am yellow-purple-green.
Why is a tool like "The Color Wheel" helpful? It helps us better understand ourselves and others, which is a building block of healthy relationships. When we can come to recognize our own "wiring" along with its relative strengths and pitfalls, we can interact with greater humility and even poke fun at ourselves. Doing so increases our Emotional Intelligence (EQ), which leads to greater business and relationship success.
We've been using Primary Colors in our Work Smart, Live Well (WSLW) workshops for businesses with very positive feedback and insights. Beginning this month, on Tuesday, September 25, we're hosting a monthly FREE 1 hour information meeting at our Encompass training room in Springfield. Participants will experience The Color Wheel, the first of 3 interactive, engaging modules from WSLW. Check it out.
Regardless of what personality tool you use, focus upon knowing your own mix as well as the mix of those you work with. You'll improve your emotional intelligence . . . and that's a good thing.
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.