What do these Colors mean anyway?
I recently had a person ask me if I could better explain what these four Colors are so that she could better understand how this whole system works and how to apply it to her life.
Most people, she said, just hear about “Red,” “Blue,” “White,” and “Yellow” and then a few behavioral qualities that describe what each type is like. She also wanted to know what the Colors themselves mean.
I thought this was such a great question! It’s at the heart of Dr. Hartman’s theory, and I probably too often assume that everybody understands it already.
So here’s my quick lesson on MOTIVES.
Whenever I deliver a Color Code workshop, there are a couple of points that I like to share right up front. They are:
- There is no Color that is better or worse than any other Color. (Period).
- Each Color brings wonderful strengths to the table and can be encumbered by terrible limitations.
- There is no “right” or “wrong” Color combination between people in a relationship.
In other words, any Color can work with any other Color in a professional setting, and any Color can be in a meaningful personal relationship with any other Color. Every relationship combination under the sun requires work. Every relationship combination has the potential to be wildly successful or absolutely devastating.
The key is understanding what makes people tick—what motivates them to do what they do.
From there, you can understand what to expect or not to expect, how to communicate, how to inspire, how to express love, how to grow, etc.
So what do the Colors “Red,” “Blue,” “White,” and “Yellow” mean, anyway?
It is important to realize that the Colors in and of themselves don’t mean anything at all. Just because I’m a Yellow, for example, doesn’t mean that I like the color yellow, or look good in the color yellow, etc. The Colors are just a simple metaphor to communicate a more complex meaning.
The key bit of information here is to remember what MOTIVATES each of the Colors. In other words, what is the driving force behind they way that they think, behave, and feel. We call this the “Driving Core Motive” or “DCM” for short. Here is a list of the DCMs by Color Code:
Reds are motivated by Power
Blues are motivated by Intimacy
Whites are motivated by Peace
Yellows are motivated by Fun
Let’s take a moment now, to define what each of these DCMs mean, because once you understand that, this idea of “Colors” and “Motives” and what to do with this information should be a lot more meaningful to you as you evaluate the various relationships in your life and ponder on what is working well and what requires improvement.
What does it mean to be motivated by Power, as a Red?
Sometimes people think about power in terms of control. While it’s true that Reds do like to be in control of their circumstances and are attracted to leadership opportunities, that’s not a very complete picture of what Power really means to Reds. To Reds, Power generally means that they desire the ability to move from “point A” to “point B”—and they want to do it in the most direct and efficient way possible.
I like to think about the Spanish and Portuguese translation for the word “power” as a verb. The translated word is “poder” which means, “To be able to do.” That, to me, is a very fitting description of what Power means to a Red. They want to be “productive and efficient” in my Red wife’s description.
Next, let’s consider what it means to be motivated by Intimacy, as a Blue.
Being motivated my Intimacy means that Blues like to connect with others on a deep and meaningful level. Just ask any Blue how they feel about people who are fake/superficial, and I guarantee you will get quite a strong reaction. They want nothing to do with those kinds of people, because Intimacy for a Blue is about truth, legitimacy, integrity, loyalty, and sincerity.
Another fun question to ask Blues is simply, “How many friends do you have?” It’s a simple enough question, but most Blues will immediately come to the conclusion that there is a real difference between friends and acquaintances, and they’ll process this on a very serious level. At the end of their contemplation, most Blues will tell you that they can count the number of their friends on one hand, because those are the people with whom they feel that real, intimate connection.
Incidentally, if you ask a Yellow the same question, they will probably quote you their Facebook stats. 😉
The next look we will take is at the Whites who are motivated by Peace.
When I ask people what they think Peace means to a White, they usually come up with a definition that centers around a general lack of conflict. While it is true that most Whites are not typically big fans of conflict, their definition of Peace runs deeper than that.
To a White, Peace is all about inner harmony and balance. They don’t like to have that equilibrium disrupted. That’s why they try to change the subject if you attempt to talk about something that makes them feel insecure. They don’t want to stir things up inside.
Think about how centered and consistent the Whites you know can be. They don’t get overly excited about things, and they don’t get really depressed about things either. They are consistent, even-tempered, and steady, because on the inside, they seek harmony and balance.
Last, but not least, we come to the Yellows in our discussion. Yellows are motivated by Fun.
Let’s talk about what that means, because most people misunderstand this about Yellows. Fun does not simply mean that Yellows are seeking endless frivolity and that they never take things seriously. (If that were true, I would NOT be writing this article, because to me writing is definitely not fun. Haha.). People incorrectly assume that Yellows don’t like structure, when in fact, they crave it. It only looks like they resist it because most Yellows don’t know how to create structure on their own.
Fun to a Yellow actually means “living in the moment.” It means that they enjoy the process of what they are doing far more than the end result. That’s why Yellows are generally so engaged and “present” when you are with them. They are focused on the here and now and nothing else. Carpe Diem or “seize the day” is a Yellow way of life.
In a work setting, Yellows simply find a way to enjoy whatever it is they are doing – no matter how mundane. They’ll focus on the camaraderie, the experiences they have, the social interaction their work provides, etc. They tend to think very optimistically, and if they can be positive and enjoy their work, they will find it easier to commit and excel in whatever it is that they are doing.
So there you have my brief, introductory lesson on the Colors themselves and on the DCMs that drive them. One last little lesson I’ll leave you with is this…
When you consider the four DCMs of Power, Intimacy, Peace, and Fun, please take note that none of these motives are positive… nor are they negative. Power, Intimacy, Peace, and Fun in and of themselves are all neutral. The APPLICATION of Power, Intimacy, Peace, and Fun is what makes them positive or negative.
I hope this overview on the four motive styles helps you better understand the people around you. All life is about relationships. There are no areas of life that are NOT impacted by relationships, so please study these patterns. Seek to understand motives and you will be far more effective in all areas of your life.
Very best of living,
Color Code International
Jeremy Daniel (Core Color: Yellow) has been working with the Color Code since 1998 in various capacities from training in the field personally with Dr. Taylor Hartman to designing customized corporate solutions and new training programs for various industries. To ask about Jeremy’s training or speaking services, please email and inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.