My focus with Color Code has always been in the work and team-setting. In every Color Code workshop or keynote speech I deliver, I share what each color brings to the team. Everyone expects it when I say that “Red brings action,” “Blue brings the heart and quality,” “Yellow brings creativity and optimism,” but there is often a moment of surprise when I say, “The White type is your best friend.”
Your best friend is that person who has your back. They are the rare person in your life who will protect you from yourself. With that definition of “best friend,” the White personality type is the one best equipped to protect you from yourself if you’re one of the other colors. Although you may have to encourage them to step up and speak more often to get this benefit. Let’s walk through each one…
Reds – The Red can often get in its own way by taking action too quickly. They might begin taking action before finding out if others are ready. They are notorious for taking action prior to acquiring all necessary information. When this happens, Blues get frustrated that the Reds are “taking over,” and Yellows will often just follow along with the Red because they like the quick pace. It’s the healthy White personality type who has the potential of calmly reaching out to the Red, asking them to slow down and then with a logical approach, explain the need for a different course. It’s the logic that’s the key for the Red. Plus the Red rarely feels threatened by the White, they know the White doesn’t want to be in charge.
Blues – The Blue type is most prone to fall into the “what if” cycle where they get caught up in asking “what if this goes wrong” and “what if that goes wrong.” The problem here, is that the Blue will often focus only on what might go wrong. When this happens, the Red type just gets annoyed and desperately wants to just say something to the effect of “quit your whining and get to work!” The Yellow also gets annoyed with the “what if” cycle and jumps ship. It’s the White who is most naturally suited to reaching the Blue type. The healthy White type will offer the Blue a rational response to each of the “what ifs” and then add potential positive outcomes as well. It is the balanced, rational analysis that makes the difference for the Blue.
Yellows – The Yellow type is prone to follow the bright, shiny object at work. What I mean by this, is that they are most likely to focus on what’s in front of them, and what interrupts them as opposed to what’s important. They don’t naturally have the discipline to analyze before acting, which often results in Yellows doing a lot of work, without actually being effectively productive. When this happens, Reds get frustrated and want to say to the Yellow “quit wasting time and being stupid, that’s not important.” Blues will get frustrated and just worry about how the Yellow is “ruining everything and now it’s a disaster.” Yellows will get demoralized by both the Red and Blue here. It is the White type who is once again most naturally suited to bridging the gap. The White type is able to begin a conversation with the Yellow (and here’s the key) without judgment and without anger, help the Yellow focus on the most important, and then make a plan.
It should be stated that charactered Reds, Blues, and Yellows will probably have all learned to do this on their own, and that charactered Reds, Blues, and Yellows also have the ability to reach out to each other; but this piece explains how the White type can be there for them when they’re struggling. It’s about how their natural behaviors are most suited to mitigating the weaknesses of the other colors.
If you’re a Red, Blue, or Yellow, look around at your work team. Find the White personality type and encourage them to speak up. Make it a habit to ask for their perspective. This could be a real difference-maker for your work teams.
About the author:
Derek R. Pangelinan is 31% Red, 27% Blue, 27% Yellow, and 15% White. He has been a public speaker for more than 25 years and has spent the last 19 years in the retail industry, the majority of that time in leadership and leadership development. In his leadership development role, Derek spent countess hours speaking in front of others as a facilitator and a speaker on the topics of leadership development, trust, accountability, workplace engagement, customer service, and many other topics. In this same role, he trained many other leaders to be better speakers. Derek has used Color Code as an integral part of his trainings for well over a decade. For more info, check out: Derek Rey Consulting, LLC