The Power of Simplicity

Recently, I was on a phone call with a Color Code client. He is the training director for a large corporation that currently has over 200,000 employees. He told the story about being in a meeting with high-level employees from a company his employer was acquiring, when one of the HR people asked him “Why Color Code?” He thought about it for a minute, and then he asked her what her results were on Myers-Briggs. Even though it was the personality assessment she currently used, all she could say was, “I don’t remember, but I think it starts with an I. He responded, “That’s why we use Color Code.”

One of the most powerful tools in the Color Code arsenal is simplicity. What good is a powerful tool if you don’t know how to use it?

Putting Color Code into action isn’t just about you and your personality. Sure, you can learn what makes you tick and make changes—build on your strengths and try to eliminate your limitations—but the real power comes into play when you use it to build relationships.

Studies have shown that people with a high level of interpersonal skills are far more likely to succeed than those with a high IQ. Learning more about the people around you—and respecting their needs and wants will go a long way in building your interpersonal skills.

Applying these skills in a work setting will not only make you more successful, but will profit the company for whom you work.

Consider this:

Quarterly reviews are due and the manager of sales for a national marketing firm is completing her data. The manager has scheduled meetings with members of her staff who have fallen below projected numbers needed for the third quarter. It isn’t a task she looks forward to, but a problem that must be addressed. Here are some of examples of how a manager with strong interpersonal skills would approach this task.

Reds | The manager has to approach an under-performing Red employee with direct communication. Reds do not require any form of sugar coating. This manager will briefly state the facts and give the supporting data to show that the Red employee needs to improve. Reds do not respond well to being embarrassed, so she will make sure they have complete privacy. Operating in their limitations, Reds can be very argumentative. The frustration or venting of a Red is rarely intended to be personal. She should simply listen, then repeat the facts firmly and redirect the conversation toward possible solutions. An overly emotional response to a confrontational Red only serves to diminish his or her respect for you. If the response is not logical, then Reds tend to fall into another limitation of believing they are right.

Blues | The manager of an under-performing Blue must strive for a balanced approach. Blues can be sensitive, emotional and self-critical. In the meeting, the manager should be direct and clear about the need for improvement. In doing so, show care, concern and support for the Blue and invite him or her to share how they feel about the situation and raise any issues that are of concern. Ask the Blue how you can best support his or her efforts to improve and sincerely acknowledge your appreciation for all the good he or she contributes to the team.

Whites | In the meeting with a White, the manager should use logic and provide clear information for what is needed going into the next quarter. Do not expect much, if any, emotion to be displayed by Whites. They tend to be reserved and do not reflect their feelings readily in their body language. It is easy to mistake White passivity for apathy or a lack of understanding. That, in turn, leads some to become more strident or harsh in an effort to elicit a response from the White. Beware of coming on too strong; allow the White to come up with a plan for improvement. He or she will need time to devise the plan so it makes sense to arrange a follow up meeting.

Yellows |  When approaching Yellows about a fault or failing on their part, do not be too critical or serious. That is not to say that the manager in this situation should not be clear about the improvement he or she needs to see from this Yellow employee. But the tone should be a combination of optimism and challenge. The optimism factor comes in understanding that Yellows are particularly responsive to praise. Before describing the failure or shortcoming, be sure and acknowledge the good you see in their work or, alternatively, in them as a person. Yellows naturally have high self-esteem so they consider those comments to be validation of how they already see themselves. Yellows can often be motivated to overcome a myriad of limitations to please the person who sincerely thinks they are great.

As you can see, we have four very different ways to respond to the same problem.

Some managers might think, “Hey, I’m the manager. I’ll respond how I see fit, and too bad if they don’t like it”. From that attitude will come unhappy employees, poor moral, and a negative affect on the bottom line.

So, here’s the challenge. Learn about yourself and others, then put this tool to the test, and watch how powerful it really is.

Simple. CC



Picture 1Teresa Glenn has been working with the Color Code since 2006, where her main focus is product development. She has been in the publishing and product development field for over 20 years. Teresa is a core Red with a strong Yellow secondary.











Ask the Expert

Which Color Has the Most Difficult Time Overcoming Its Limitations?

My favorite course to teach here at Color Code International is our Trainer Certification Course. The program is available to people who want to really study and understand the Color Code so that they can then teach our workshops.

During one of my most recent classes, the following question was asked, “Jeremy, which Color has the most difficult time overcoming its limitations?”

Curious as to what the trainer-in-training was thinking, I asked what he thought the answer was, and a wonderful debate ensued.

He said, “I think Reds have the hardest time overcoming their limitations.”

“Why is that?” I asked.

“Because they don’t necessarily view their limitations as a bad thing, first of all. They view being bossy, demanding, or overly-aggressive as being good qualities. Plus, sometimes, I think that they are so in love with their own ideas and ways, and can be so incredibly arrogant that they are going to struggle with owning up to areas where they are deficient.”

Another trainer jumped in at that point and said that she disagreed and thought that Whites have the hardest time overcoming limitations. Her reasoning was that Whites can be so content with what they have and are so accepting of themselves and their circumstances that they might not feel the need to change. Further, she added that Whites might lack the internal motivation and/or decisiveness to make change happen.

Then someone else jumped into the debate and said that she felt that “obviously” the Yellows are the ones who have the hardest time overcoming their limitations. Her viewpoint was that they are too uncommitted and flighty to make change happen. She also stated that Yellows, she felt, were so undisciplined and too distracted that they will naturally struggle with developing character and overcoming their limitations.

“So that just leaves the Blues,” I said. “Does that mean that they have the easiest time overcoming their limitations?”

Another trainer entered the conversation and expressed his thoughts that Blues actually might be the ones who struggle the most. His idea was that because Blues can be so emotionally controlling and tend to see things as “absolutely right” or “absolutely wrong”, they can get stuck in feeling so justified with the way that they are and the way that they view things that it would be difficult for them to change.

So where does this debate lead us?

The truth is that there is not a Color that has a more difficult time overcoming its limitations than others. They all struggle, but they struggle differently.

It’s just as difficult for a Red to let go of their arrogance and insecurities as it is for a White to develop a sense of urgency/motivation and find the desire to seek out a higher standard of life. It’s equally as difficult for a Yellow to commit to being disciplined and learn how to follow through as it is for a Blue to let go of their rigidity, self-righteousness, and desire to control others.

In short, while there is the seed of greatness within all of us, at the same time, we must understand that we are our own worst enemy.

We must all learn to get over ourselves and get out of our own way before we can truly reach our ultimate potential.

Can you learn to accept and value yourself enough to get out of your own way to greatness? Of course you can!

Onward and upward!

Very best of living,

Jeremy Daniel
Training Director
Color Code International

P.S. – If you would like more information on our Trainer Certification Program, please visit the following link:


JeremyDanielJeremy 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