How To Increase Employee Engagement Using Your Color Code Results

Learn one easy trick to increase employee engagement using your Color Code results.

“Employee engagement has a direct effect on productivity, so it’s important for managers to understand the factors that help build engagement and the barriers that stifle it.”
-David Sharpley

No manager needs to be told that the difference between a disengaged workforce and an engaged workforce means the difference between a company that outperforms its competitors and one that fails to grow…

In fact, a recent Gallup study shows that employees who have bad relationships with their manager can be up to a staggering 70% disengaged! That means that if you are paying an employee $50K per year, and they are engaged for only 30% of the time, you are paying them a whopping $35K per year to sleep, post on social media how much they hate their job, or worse, spread the discontent to their peers.

With strong leadership, managers have it in their power to create an environment where employees can feel a sense of belonging, contribution, and overall self-worth—thus engaged. Or they can create an atmosphere where an employees feel unappreciated, undervalued, and disliked—thus disengaged.

Unfortunately, the same Gallup study reveals that only three out of ten managers have the NATURAL talent to become a leader. The other seven managers must LEARN to lead by developing interpersonal skills.

So with that in mind, today we wanted to give anyone who may feel they fall in with those seven one easy thing they can do by using their limitations chart in their Color Code Personality Assessment to help them gain a little more ground in the area of interpersonal skills. Ready? Let’s dive right in!

STEP 1: Go to your Color Code results and you will see a table like this:

While the strengths you possess are critical leadership qualities, let’s focus on the limitations. As you will see, based on your answers you were provided with a list of your natural limitations…those of your core color, and the limitations from the other three colors as well.

Believe it or not, your natural limitations are much easier for people to accept than those in the other colors because it is incongruent for a Red to have the Blue limitation of being overly sensitive or the White limitation of being silently stubborn as shown in the chart above.

STEP 2: Post your limitations chart on the door of your office or pass it out to your team. Then ask each of your employees/team members to circle the limitations they would like most to see you shed. Ask them to be totally honest and anonymous.

STEP 3: Once everyone has participated, take some time to go over your chart and make an action plan on how you can address the most commonly circled limitations with 100% Responsibility in mind. You’ll most likely discover some hard truths about yourself as a manager that you weren’t aware of. Don’t worry, that is normal. Many times we don’t “see” ourselves as clearly as we think we do which is why tools such as personality assessments and enlisting the honest help of others in “180” exercises such as this can be so helpful in our growth.

STEP 4: Don’t forget to follow up every 6 months with the same exercise and see how you’ve done! Then, go after more limitations and reward yourself with something nice or fun when you succeed. And, when you don’t find success quickly or easily, realize that addressing some of our bigger limitations takes time and effort. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just take a deep breath or maybe a walk and then try again with a different approach tomorrow. The trick is to keep working at it with truthful intent.

And that’s it! Easier said than done of course but we hope you find this exercise helpful or, even better, it will inspire you with something else you could try in your quest for self-awareness and/or employee engagement!

Until next time,

The Color Code Team


Turning Life’s Lemons into Margaritas! — A Bit of “Yellow” Perspective to Brighten Your Day

An excellent guest post by one of our Certified Independent Color Code Trainers on using a “Yellow” perspective to turn life’s lemons into margaritas…

by Maria Lesetz, Happiness Coach & Motivational Speaker

“Ariel” is a woman who works at my local super market. She has quite the bubbly personality and always makes a point to say hello to me every time she sees me.  She yells out “Hey New York!” and blows me a kiss. She is a hoot!

The other day I commented on her tan and asked her where she went. (You don’t get that type of tan in Oregon at this time of year!) She told me she went to Hawaii for her vacation but then proceeded to tell me what happened to her before she left for her trip. Her pocketbook was stolen. All her credit cards and checkbook were in there. She felt violated, duped and a bit mad at herself because it happened right under her nose. She left her pocketbook under her seat at a local pub for a brief second while she turned her head to look at something.

She had seen a guy with a backpack earlier, but didn’t think much of it. It was that same guy who snatched her bag while she wasn’t looking.

That’s one of those life events that can be categorized as a “lemon” – leaves a sour taste and turns that smile into a puckering facial expression where you just want to let out a scream of frustration and say “ARGHHH”!

We all have life experiences that could be categorized as “lemons”. Some more sour than others. But it is what we make of those “lemons” and how we respond to them that determines how our future life will unfold and how happy we are during even the most trying times.

Sure, Ariel was frustrated that her pocketbook was stolen right before her trip to Hawaii, but she also chose to embrace the attitude of “it is what it is”, ranted a bit, had a few choice words for the person who did it (infusing her sassy and yet bubbly personality into the way she responded), and moved on from there. She called the authorities and had them handle the situation.

She did NOT declare that her vacation was ruined because of this unfortunate occurrence. She did NOT freak out assuming that all her credit cards were already charged up to their maximum limit. She just trusted that they would catch this guy and that all would be well.

As you have probably guessed by now, Ariel is definitely a YELLOW in the Color Code. She was able to let it go easily, embracing a positive attitude that he would be caught and that she will still have a fabulous & fun vacation, whether they caught him or not.

Obviously each color personality would have a different way of responding to this situation, which would definitely impact the outcome! However, today I want to focus on how things played out for this particular YELLOW and, share with you a helpful “Yellow” analogy on approaching negative situations. So here we go.

They ended up finding the thief at the local Walmart with her credit card in his hand … busted! And she got her pocketbook back. Yes, she was a bit inconvenienced by having to contact her bank and credit card companies, but she infused her sassy personality into a difficult situation with a light-hearted energy and it all turned out ok.

She enjoyed her Hawaii vacation and came back with a great big smile on her face.

Do you think her vacation would have turned out differently if she responded in a more negative way to that event?   Sure it would have. Do you think that the way she responded played a role in whether the guy was caught or not and how quickly he was caught? Of course it did.

Our thoughts and feelings create our reality.
The energy you put out comes back to you and is always a match.

I prefer the analogy of turning life’s lemons into margaritas over the common phrase of “lemons into lemonade” because sometimes in life’s difficult situations, you just don’t have access to that extreme “sweet” side. You can’t immediately reach for pure joy when you are in the thick of a negative event. But you always have access to a whole array of emotions that could lead you on the path to feeling “relief”, where you can just chill out, relax and trust that it will all work out.

So how do you turn life’s lemons into a Margarita?

Release how you feel – let it all out. Have a hissy fit if you have to. Throw a pity party. Make that “pucker” face like you would after that first sip of a Margarita. But then, choose to move on (and the quicker you move on, the better).  Any action step you take that leads you to feeling some relief will start turning the situation around for the better.

  • Learn to chill out and take a “sip” of “ALL IS WELL”, even in the face of adversity. The attitude you bring to the situation will impact the outcome. So you might as well make it an attitude that feels good on the inside.
  • Tell yourself “it is what it is”. You can’t change what just happened, but you sure can change the course of what happens next.
  • Relax into the knowing that the Universe has your back. You’ve got this. Situations have a way of working themselves out. Can you see how much lighter that would feel if you really embraced that belief?

Whether you drink or not, “Margaritas” have a connotation of happy, fun, letting loose, relaxing with friends, a fiesta – a celebration of sorts. I see them as a “sassy” drink – one that makes you pucker initially, but as one of my friends told me, starts going down smooth.

Use this as an analogy on how to respond to life’s lemons. Let yourself feel your initial response, let it out, chill out and then just “make peace with what is”, knowing that if you believe it will turn around for the better … it will. You’ve got the power to choose how your respond to what life throws your way. Leverage that power and your mind, body and soul will thank you!


Maria Lesetz wants to live in a world where people focus more on what IS working in their lives vs. complaining about what is NOT working. She wants people to realize their power to choose happiness and then, for each individual to spread that positive energy to each and every person they meet. (Yes, of course she is a YELLOW in the Color Code!)

As an Executive Success Coach, Happiness Consultant, Certified Life Coach for Physicians & now a Certified Independent Color Code Trainer, she has been featured on Fox News Oregon, a variety of Health and Wellness radio shows, Connextion Magazine, Physician Family Media and many online Law of Attraction communities, where she has taught classes on leveraging the power of the mind/body connection!

When she is not coaching, writing and speaking, you can find her exercising on her Lovin’ Life walking path, taking cross country road trips, vacationing in Vegas & eating her favorite dark chocolate & Unsweetened Pure Leaf Lipton Iced Tea!

Learn more about Maria – and check out her latest “Finding Happiness Through Adversity” resources – at

Ask The Expert: Fair Treatment vs. Equal Treatment – What’s best for my team?

In this article, Color Code expert Jeremy Daniel discusses the difference between fair and equal treatment among employees and which is better for your team.


I recently had an opportunity to help out a friend of mine with some Color Code advice, and chances are, our conversation will likely be helpful to you as well. For the purposes of this article, I’ll refer to my friend as “Jack”.

Jack is an entrepreneur and is currently building a technology consulting firm. He has about 30 employees who come from all walks of life with different skill sets, backgrounds, and past life experiences. In order for his team to work well with each other, there has to be a strong sense of trust, and Jack is always working purposefully to cultivate a positive culture within the organization.

He is aware that if negativity remains unchecked, it can grow like a cancer that will eventually cause the team to fail. He’s seen that happen before (and you likely have, too).

Jack and I were discussing a specific issue that some of his team members were bristling over. One of Jack’s employees is a Yellow, and he’s a highly valuable member of the team. We’ll call him “Steve”. Steve does great work. Clients love, him, and he is highly productive, creative, and solutions-oriented.

The problem is that Steve requires a lot of flexibility and freedom in his life, which is quite common for Yellows. As a result, he works odd/inconsistent hours. Sometimes he works 70 hours a week, and other weeks, he works 25. If a buddy calls him for golf, he might not get into work until noon. (You get the idea).

Jack isn’t bothered by Steve’s schedule. He’s thrilled with the work that he produces. When I asked him about it, in fact, he said, “As long as he produces at a high level, I couldn’t care less about the schedule he keeps”.

However, others do…

Other employees have mentioned that it isn’t fair that that Steve be given the leeway that he has when they are there from 9 to 5 every day.

At that point, I felt it was important to make an important distinction between the concepts of “fair” and “equal”. While some people use these terms interchangeably, they actually have very different definitions.

What most people mean, when they cry out, “That’s not fair!”, would probably be more correctly stated as “That’s not equal!”

Equal means, “Exactly alike”. “Fair” means that you treat people as individuals with differing needs, but that you the way that you do it is just.

If employees at the firm were paid equally, regardless of their job responsibilities or the value that they produced for the company, would that arrangement be fair?

Of course not!

From a management prospective, “equal” treatment is a lot easier than “fair” treatment. You could decide to set the rules and expect everybody to fall in line with the structure you have created. If they don’t, there are known consequences.

That approach is pretty black and white; however, it’s difficult to make the occasional exception when you really need to and still treat people “equally”. That’s where you start to cross the line into trying to be more fair than equal.

The “fair” approach is a little more difficult to manage, because you need to know people’s circumstances, how to set up individual boundaries, and establish performance expectations. However, it may be a better way to get the very best from your team. For this to work, though, there has to be a certain level of respect and maturity within the group.

At Color Code, we believe that all life is about relationships, and that to make the most of your individual relationships, you have to understand how people are different one from another. If you interact with all people equally, you will miss several opportunities to connect. If you understand individual needs, wants, Motives, etc., you can adapt to each relationship so that you can make the most of it.

There are pros and cons to being fair and being equal. You have to decide which is best for your style and your team, and you may walk the line between both of those approaches from time to time.

I just think it really helps to understand the distinction, to purposefully choose your approach, and to be aware of the advantages and challenges inherent in both styles.

…By the way, Jack taught his team about the differences, and explained his desire to treat people fairly. They got the message, and the bristling has gone away. 😉

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.