Helping Yellows Overcome Their Limitations

Today, we want to help Yellows recognize some of those limitations and point out ways they can try to overcome them so they can be healthy, or in other words, so they can live primarily within their strengths and not their limitations.

We all adore Yellows, and they have amazing strengths, but they’re not exempt from limitations, just like the other colors. Today, we want to help Yellows recognize some of those limitations and point out ways they can try to overcome them so they can be healthy, or in other words, so they can live primarily within their strengths and not their limitations. Yellows, bear with us for just a moment while we point out some things that may be painful for you to hear!

Yellows can be self-centered

Like we said, we adore you, but other people enjoy attention sometimes too. Yellows can be self-centered, which is frustrating for their loved ones. Although your friends and family members surely find you entertaining and lovable, they probably want to get a word in too. They would appreciate if you asked about their life and let the focus be on them sometimes. Next time you’re in a social situation, try to ask other people what they want to do or what’s going on with their life. Try to be more aware of how you might be focusing too much on number one and shift your focus. It might be unnatural for you to do, but it’ll be worth it!

Yellows can be interrupters

We know Blues can be long-winded, Reds can be more than ready to prove their point and Whites may not say much, but no one likes to be interrupted, regardless of how you are feeling about the conversation. We realize you probably don’t mean to interrupt, but recognizing it as a habit may help you be more aware of how often you do it. Next time you feel inclined to interrupt someone in the middle of their story or comment, physically bite your tongue (not hard, though!). While you surely have something fun or important to say, it can wait until your friend or family member is done talking.

Yellows can be impulsive

While your spontaneity can be fun, your impulsiveness may cause you great regret. Being impulsive can lead you into debt, bad relationships or dangerous situations. Next time you feel yourself on the brink of making an impulsive decision, tell yourself you are going to give it one night’s sleep. If you’re wanting to buy a house and are feeling the pressure of putting an offer down right away, step back and ask yourself if you need more time to think about it. If you can afford more time, give yourself a day to think on it, even if you feel pretty sure you’re going to say yes. This may help alleviate regret down the road.

Yellows can be afraid to face facts

You are happy and optimistic, which is wonderful, but if a negative or difficult situation comes along, you tend to be afraid of facing the facts. This may cause you to procrastinate being upfront with someone or to let yourself live in denial. We don’t want you to cause yourself hurt and we also don’t want you to be wishy-washy with other people. Although it may be a challenge, try facing facts head on, even when they are difficult. You don’t have to spend too much time thinking about them if it’s overwhelming at first, but allow yourself to at least confront them and give them the immediate attention they require.

Once you start to overcome these limitations, we think you’ll find there’s even more to love about you. Others will appreciate it, too! Yellows, thanks for being so much fun—now try to take on a bit of a challenge!

—The Color Code Team

Letting Go of Control — A Blue’s Story

I’m a recovering controlling Blue, and I still want my ultimate motive — intimacy. To achieve it, I have to meet and love people where they are at — as they are — motivated by what they are.

I learned I am a Blue personality before I took the test on a dating site where I met my wife. In an attempt to help people find someone compatible (or maybe it was just a great way to start a conversation), the dating site had the Color Code test. This was my first introduction to the Color Code and began my journey, where I have discovered three (actually many more) things about being a Blue.

1. I’m Motivated by Intimacy

I learned I am a Blue before I even took the test. I only had to read the description, “motivated by intimacy” to know that was me. I want to know people. I hate the “How’s the weather?” type conversation. I want to know who you really are. I really am motivated by this. It affects how I approach conflict. I find it interesting I can speak more truth to someone I know well but will avoid conflict with strangers (i.e. waiters at a restaurant), because I don’t know them yet. Consequently, I’m that guy that still tips after a horrible experience, because I want to get to know you first — on good terms — before we talk about any poor experience. It’s backwards to everybody else I have met!

2. I Tend to Be Controlling

Then I read that Blues are controlling. What? Not me. I am not controlling. I love people. The last thing I would ever do is try to control someone, right? Then it hit me. When someone withdraws or I see them connecting better with other friends, a mild form of panic (OK, jealousy) flares up within. All my energy and thoughts rush (more like a flood) to, “What can I do to gain their deeper friendship?” Wait — I’m on the verge of trying to control them! Yuck. I don’t like that about myself, and I’m embarrassed at the extent I have taken in the past to coerce someone to gain their “friendship.”  What helped me loosen my grip was recognizing that other people are motivated, just like I am, but by other forces — power, peace, fun. In recognizing a Yellow’s fun is as dear to him or her as intimacy is to me helped me lift those expectations off other people.

3. My Control Kills Intimacy

They feel like a project, not a person.

Intimacy is to know someone deeply. Sometimes other people mean more to me than I do them. That was a hard reality to swallow. What has given me comfort is a wise scripture that says, “…in humility value others above yourselves…” (Philippians 2:3, New International Version). That has served me well. I have put it into practice by seeing my motivation for intimacy as something I can offer — without expecting it back from others. I am there for them, but I understand they may not need it to the same degree. This allows me to see it not as rejection but as simply not needed for them. If I sold a certain medicine, I would only expect those who needed it to purchase it. While I feel everybody *should* be driven by intimacy, I override it, reminding myself it is not necessarily what the doctor ordered for them.


The test confirmed it — I am a Blue. I also married a Blue. It is a great fit. We laugh at our tendencies and our idiosyncrasies. We go to counseling, because we know we have limitations. We want to love others beyond our limitations.

Knowing someone’s motive has allowed me to let go of the jealousy and the urge to coerce (OK, control) them to be who I thought I needed them to be. I’m a recovering controlling Blue, and I still want my ultimate motive — intimacy. To achieve it, I have to meet and love people where they are at — as they are — motivated by what they are.

Mark SteenbargerMark Steenbarger is the founder of and a performer with Point of View Comedy, an interactive improv troupe that takes their fun, high-energy experience to teach the Color Code to free others from misunderstanding one another’s motives. He can be reached at

Using the Color Code to Improve My Relationship With My Mother-in-Law

In-law relationships can be brutal, awkward and oppositional. This is no mystery. What is intriguing is that even though these relationships can be so tricky, there isn’t a lot of protocol on how to navigate these choppy waters.

As a true Yellow, I’ve enjoyed a great many relationships throughout my life. Connections are easy. Long-term commitment is harder. Perhaps that is why I’ve had so little conflict in my interactions with others. I find it easy to get along with most people and easy to walk away from those I don’t. It takes a lot to offend me, and when I get offended, I forgive without a thought. So imagine my surprise when I found myself with a full-fledged enemy — my mother-in-law.

I’m almost embarrassed to admit that my first and only adversary was a figure so cliché. We find ourselves in frequent disagreement. Feelings are often hurt and pride tends to get the better of us. In-law relationships can be brutal, awkward and oppositional. This is no mystery. What is intriguing is that even though these relationships can be so tricky, there isn’t a lot of protocol on how to navigate these choppy waters.

Enter the Color Code.

I grew up with the Color Code as an integral part of my family culture, but unfortunately only payed it the minimal amount of required attention (yes, hello, I’m a Yellow). When I was a young teen, my grandfather administered the test during a family gathering after he’d discovered the many merits of understanding and maneuvering interpersonal relationships. It was fun and enlightening. We laughed at how spot-on the colors were, and going forward we’d attribute actions to their primary and secondary colors. Someone would get a promotion at work, and my grandpa would proclaim, “That’s because he has a lot of Red in him,” or someone would get their feelings hurt, and my aunt would shake her head and say, “It’s tough being so Blue.”

After my husband and I were married, we spent a long road trip becoming reacquainted with the Color Code, and we found it simultaneously enlightening and helpful for our relationship. After talking about how interesting it was, we decided it would be fun to administer the test at our next family gathering.

Imagine my surprise when the end result was rife with tension and suspicion. Not from my Yellow brother-in-law, who proudly high-fived me because we’re both self-centered, obnoxious, overly dramatic and totally awesome. Not from my White father-in-law, who nodded and feigned interest in what was happening around him. But from my Blue mother-in-law, who was absolutely convinced we were using the test as some sort of setup that would expose all her weaknesses and insecurities. Oh boy. To this day, years later, the Color Code is a subject I dare not broach with her. To be honest, I was surprised she was a Blue. My wonderful mother is a Blue. My dear husband is a Blue. And my sweet daughter is a Blue. The most rewarding and enriching relationships I have come from compassionate, sincere, loyal and generous Blues. I suppose I was so shocked because I’d never been on the receiving end of the Blue wrath.

Even though the activity wasn’t the family fun I assumed it would be, I have been able to use it to my advantage to help increase my understanding of her and to do my part in keeping the peace in a relationship filled with tension.

It’s not me, it’s you (and sometimes a little bit me): I don’t blame my mother-in-law for our relationship, but I have come to understand that much of it is beyond my control. My husband (also a Blue) was an extremely loyal and devoted son who never wanted to disappoint his parents, especially his mom. She’d shower him with Blue expectations and his Blue perfectionism would spur him to action. Often, she’d use Blue guilt, and he’d feel every ounce of it. He was known as “The Golden Child,” because he was such a compliant kid. So imagine her surprise and sense of betrayal when he grew up and got married and his sense of devotion naturally shifted to his wife. She’s expressed her hurt to me, saying that he’s changed, and it’s all because of me. I can’t take all the credit for his change, but I can’t deny my influence, either. When I start feeling down about our relationship, I have to remind myself that her reaction to me stems from feelings of loss and rejection. Sometimes just recognizing this can help me feel more compassionate towards her, rather than resentful.

Showing respect: Though I don’t always agree with her, I have found it’s important to convey my thoughts and feelings in a very respectful manner, recognizing her position in my life. Blues need to feel understood, and I know it goes a long way to listen to what she has to say and accept her point of view. My nature won’t allow me to be walked over — Red is my secondary color — but I’ve learned to react with deference to opposing opinions.

Thank you very much: Recognition and appreciation goes a long way with her. I’ve learned that a simple thank you doesn’t go as far as a thank you note, a shout out on social media or sky writing. Okay, I haven’t tried the sky writing yet, but I’m not above a grand gesture.

After you: When it comes to interactions, I allow her to lead. I take cues from her when it comes to conversation and sense of humor. I always want to appear well-mannered and appropriate (sometimes my poor Yellow self can’t take it, and I make mistakes). I know I’ve gone too far when I see murder behind her eyes.

While I know our relationship is far from perfect, and I don’t expect the future to hold a lot of warm, fuzzy interactions, I have seen improvements over the years. She gives me a wider berth to be who I am, and appreciating and accepting both her strengths and limitations has allowed me to feel comfortable, if not confident in our relationship.

I’m grateful the Color Code has helped me navigate through this and many other relationships. I’m also grateful for the relationships I enjoy with people from all the colors on the spectrum who teach me how to lean into my strengths and are patient with me in my many limitations. Being aware of my own color allows me to utilize my strengths, work out my limitations and accept myself and others for who we are. How has the Color Code helped you in difficult relationships? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Melissa TurneyMelissa Turney graduated from the University of Nevada Las Vegas with a bachelor’s degree in education. She is the mother of four amazing children. Melissa is a core Yellow with Red secondary. 

Quick-Start Guide to Becoming a Better Leader

Everybody is different, and by taking 10 minutes out of your day to create your own strategic playbook for the individuals you lead, your influence will be both purposeful and effective.

There are numerous ways to increase your effectiveness as a leader. You could work on improving your own efficiency. You could learn how to think more strategically. You could work on developing specific emotional intelligence talents. You could get more time management training, etc., etc.

But, in reality, does anything really matter more than your success in helping the people you lead to grow, collaborate and achieve on a higher level?

If that’s true, one of the best ways to “move the needle” in your own leadership efforts can be to simply have a personalized plan for the individuals you work with.

That’s why I’ve put together this easy-to-follow Quick-Start Guide.

I would start by identifying three (or so) people you manage. Choose people with whom you’d like to help create meaningful change. (Start small and grow from there.)

Next, make the following notes about each individual:

1. List their Color Code core color. (The secondary color is also nice to know if you have that information.) This will be a good reminder for you about their particular style and perspective. It will help remind you about where they are coming from and why they do what they do. If you don’t know their core color … um … why not? You can take the online assessment for free, after all. Better yet, get a free Team Builder account so you can keep all of your employees’ results on a dashboard in front of you.


2. List their current challenges. Think through the type of improvements they need to make, skills they need to develop, habits they need to form, behavioral changes that will be important to their success, etc.


3. Identify actions that you will commit to taking (being a 100% responsibility-minded leader) that will help them overcome their challenges. Some people may require coaching of various sorts. Others may need to have a difficult conversation with you. Still, others may need you to take a few steps back and show a little more trust. (You get the idea.)


4. Read through the list of the Color Code needs and wants for their core color, (and, if possible, secondary color) and identify specific areas that you should focus on in your interactions with them. For example, you might realize that Whites need to have space, and because that’s not particularly important to you, you don’t tend to give that space. (Remember, this is about what’s important to THEM … not you.) If you don’t have a list of all of the Color Code needs and wants, I suggest you purchase a pack of our Color Code Cards. It’s the best $12 you’ll ever invest in your own leadership success.


5. Next, make a list of the “dos” and “don’ts” of their color that you should be mindful of in your interactions. Again … Color Code Cards! Everything is listed there in a quick-reference format.


Just think about the power of having a small, succinct and well-thought-through list of specific strategies that you can use with the individuals you lead.

Everybody is different, and by taking 10 minutes out of your day to create your own strategic playbook for the individuals you lead, your influence will be both purposeful and effective.

Onward and upward!

Jeremy DanielJeremy Daniel is the vice president of training for Color Code. He leads our Trainer Certification Program and has been teaching the Color Code and delivering motive-based applications to clients internationally since 1998.

Tips for Reds on How to Get Along with Blues

In this post, we give Reds advice on how to use their strengths to get along with Blues better.

If there are any Reds out there who haven’t been frustrated with a Blue at some point or another, we would be shocked. Reds and Blues are very different personalities. Reds are insensitive, while Blues are too sensitive. Reds want to get the job done and Blues want to get the job done perfectly. Blues go on about their feelings and Reds get to the point. Get the picture?

Reds, we know it can be frustrating for you to maintain and/or foster relationships with Blues, but odds are there are several Blues in your life you want to maintain your relationship with. So instead of getting fed up with the process, listen closely. We’re here to provide you with tips on how to use your strengths to get along with Blues better. We’ll make this short and snappy so you can get on with your productive day!

1. Use your leadership skills to help them attain quality.

Blues want to attain quality, and they are creative individuals. If you’re a Red parent, give your Blue child a job that will allow them to express their creativity and attain quality while also helping you out. Since you’re about getting the job done quickly and they’re about getting the job done perfectly, give them a job that doesn’t have a tight timeline, such as preparing the family Mother’s Day Gift a month in advance.

2. Let your confidence help them feel secure.

Reds, you are naturally confident people, which is a great trait. Now let your confidence in yourself translate to confidence in others, and it will go a long way. Blues want to have security, which means if you’re in a relationship with a Blue, they are going to want to feel secure in that relationship. Verbally mention your confidence in your relationship and in them as a partner. Let them know you believe in the two of you working out.

3. Be assertive about letting them reveal their insecurities.

As strange as it may seem to you, Blues want to reveal their insecurities. Since you are naturally assertive, this can work for both of you. Whether they are your romantic partner, your employee or your friend, be assertive about addressing problems in your relationship. This way, Blues have the chance to express their inadequacies in or worries about the relationship and you can view it as a productive way of moving forward in the relationship and getting past anything that would inhibit productivity.


We told you we’d make it short. Reds, as hard as it may be to get along with Blues sometimes, you both are so great and would benefit from one another. Follow these tips, and we think you’ll find your relationships will improve. Let us know how it goes!


—The Color Code Team

A Time Management Tip for Blues

Here, we give Blue personalities a time management tip that should make their life and others’ lives easier.

Time Management Tip for Blues

Blues, we want your goal for today to be to let go! Do you find yourself regularly piling too much on your own and/or others’ plates? Then please see above! When you go to make your to-do list tomorrow, allow yourself to leave a few items unchecked without beating yourself up. When you ask your kids to get a job done, don’t yell at them for not doing it according to your unrealistic standards. Ask yourself on any given day if your expectations are too high, and if they are, take it down a notch! We promise your life will be easier! 🙂

— The Color Code Team


The Difference a White Personality Can Make

In this post, the author shares the kind acts her stepmother-in-law, a White personality, showed toward her after a devastating miscarriage.

I’m incredibly grateful for the White personality. Whites have many great strengths, but I think my favorite is how kind they are. A great example of White kindness is my husband’s stepmom. She and I have developed a great friendship over the last few years, and I have benefitted significantly from her kindness.

Last fall, I suffered a miscarriage. It was my first pregnancy and was incredibly devastating and traumatic. The grief that followed that experience has been paralyzing at times, and as a Blue, my emotions are sometimes more than I can handle. Despite the hardship of this challenge, I will never forget the service offered to me by many loved ones, including my White stepmother-in-law.

Not only did she offer words of love and kindness after the initial shock, she made dinner for me and spent time with me the night before I decided to go back to work. She was content to talk with me or to let silence sit between us. She offered a listening ear for months after that. She’s sent me multiple thoughtful emails and has helped me feel validated. What meant the most to me, though, was when she sent me a card just days before my baby’s due date. It’s easy to offer someone love and kindness right after a tragedy, but less common to remember days that might be hard for that person later on. I was incredibly touched that she thought about my baby’s due date, especially because it happens to be her birthday. Instead of focusing solely on her own special day, she reached out at a time I needed it most to let me know she was thinking of me.

We all need kind Whites in our lives, and I think we need to stop and appreciate their efforts of kindness more often. Have any Whites in your life showed incredible kindness at a time you needed it most? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Editor’s note: Due to the sensitive nature of this post, the author would like to remain anonymous.

How to cater to a Yellow’s needs

Today, we are going to identify the needs of the Yellow personality and educate those who know Yellows (it should be all of us!) on what they can do to meet those Yellow needs.

Wouldn’t it feel great if our significant others, parents, kids, friends and/or coworkers met the needs that come with our personality? Each personality type comes with its own set of needs, but no one will know how to meet the needs of their loved ones if they don’t know what their needs are. Today, we are going to identify the needs of the Yellow personality and educate those who know Yellows (it should be all of us!) on what they can do to meet those Yellow needs. Ready? Let’s go!

Yellows need to look good socially.

Yellows are sociable and charismatic. If it seems like your Yellow friends are trying to be the center of attention too much or if they have a lot of surface level buddies, it doesn’t mean they’re trying to take anything away from you or their friendship with you. They are simply meeting one of their needs. Instead of feeling like you need to compete for the limelight, let them have it. Don’t feel insecure in your friendship with them if it seems like they have more friends than you do. Just recognize they need that social approval and you have nothing to worry about if your friendship has merit. To help meet their need, help them look good socially. Brag about them to your friends when they’re around!

Yellows need to be noticed.

Don’t ignore them! If you’ve got Yellow friends, be sure to call them up if you haven’t talked in awhile or seek them out at parties. If you’re married to a Yellow, make sure you’re paying undivided attention to them when you spend time together. If you’re parenting a Yellow, pay one-on-one attention to them when you can. Get the idea? Even if your relationship with them feels high maintenance at times, remember, if you notice them, they will feel loved.


Yellows need to be praised.

You don’t need to treat them like celebrities or anything, but you do need to give them compliments. Take note of their talents and compliment them on whatever they may be. Again, brag about them to your friends when they’re around or simply express how great you think they are. Laugh at their jokes and stories, you’ll make them feel great!

Yellows need to receive approval from the masses.

Again, let them have the limelight. If they’re telling a story to a group of people or acting on stage, they are in their element. These are the people who enjoy an audience, and they care what people think! To help them meet their need, encourage them to tell a funny story and invite people to listen. Additionally, you can encourage them to audition for a play or tell them about a local spoken word event.


If you’re cheering for your Yellow friends to feel happy and fulfilled, don’t just read this article and move on. Make a note of all of their needs and consciously try to help fulfill them on a regular basis! Yellows, does this list of needs make a lot of sense to you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


— The Color Code Team