Understanding Yourself and Others on the Board

Disputes often arise on boards because of different personality types. Recognising your own personality type and understanding others’, can help to develop a more effective team. An approach stemming from the seminal work of the famous Psychologist Carl Gustav Jung, around colour personality types, is used by Synergy Training. Training Director Shaun Adams explains:

First identify your core type:

We each have all these strengths, but will have one or two dominant energies or colours. But how do you use your strengths? And more importantly how do others ‘perceive’ the way you use them? Put these 4 colour ‘types’ in order.



Earth Green:

Cool Blue:

Fiery Red – Assertive, action and direction

Positive, Affirmative, Bold, Assertive, Competitive, Decisive, Strong-willed, Demanding and Task/Goal focussed

People with a strong preference for using their Fiery Red colour energy know what they want and have little difficulty articulating their conclusions. Typically they are concerned primarily with action. They deal quickly with the present situation and appear to have little concern for the past. Their responses are efficient, effective and focused. They know what they want and where they are going. They are impatient with delays.

They may show less concern for the feelings of others or for personal relationships. Others can see their actions as hard or critical because they limit the attention they pay to their relationships. They seek power and control over situations. People using their Fiery Red colour energy, are extroverted and have high energy. They are action oriented and always in motion. They are positive, reality-oriented and assertive. They are single minded as they focus on results and objectives. They may well approach others in a direct, authoritative manner, radiating a desire for assertiveness and control.

Your Opposite – Earth Green, this is the personality type you will have most difficulty communicating with, selling to, motivating and generally building relationships with. You may see this person as: Docile, Bland, Plodding, Stubborn and Reliant.

Sunshine Yellow – Articulated Vision and Inspiration

Cheerful, Uplifting, Spirited, Buoyant

Social, Dynamic, Demonstrative, Expressive and Creative

People with a high level of Sunshine Yellow energy may spend their efforts racing towards their dreams for the future. They build the possibilities of tomorrow. They will often move from one idea or activity to another, impatient to find the vision of the moment. Their behaviour can be fun and others get caught up in this. Because they focus their attention upon the future and often intuitive visions, they may be perceived by others as more imaginative and creative than the other colours.

They can become completely committed to an idea and then discard it within a few weeks if it loses its excitement. They may therefore appear to others as shallow, impractical and unrealistic at times of difficulty. Their optimism can mean that they will be prone to denial at times.

People with a strong Sunshine Yellow colour energy preference, are strongly extroverted, radiant and friendly. They are usually positive and concerned with good human relations. They enjoy the company of others and believe that life should be fun. They approach others in a persuasive, democratic manner, radiating a desire for sociability.

Your Opposite – Cool Blue, this is the personality type you will have most difficulty communicating with, selling to, motivating and generally building relationships with. You may see this person as: Stuffy, Indecisive, Suspicious, Cold and Reserved.

Earth Green – One to One Relationships & Support

Still, Tranquil, Calming, Soothing

Sharing, Patient, Amiable, Caring and Encouraging

People with a high level of Earth Green energy are often concerned with the feelings of and relationships with other people. Their concern for other people’s welfare can often lend personal warmth to a situation. They can be sensitive to the values implicit in people’s actions and can act as useful barometers to the ethical consistency of an organisation’s actions.

People with a strong preference for using their Earth Green energy can be slow or reluctant to modify their personal values despite the apparent logic of an argument or situation. They tend to avoid decisions that could involve violation of their values or risking the unknown.

People using Earth Green energy focus on values and depth in their relationships. They want others to be able to rely on them. They will defend what they value with quiet determination and persistence. They prefer democratic relationships that value the individual and are personal in style, radiating a desire for understanding.

Your Opposite – Fiery Red, this is the personality type you will have most difficulty communicating with, selling to, motivating and generally building relationships with. You may see this person as: Aggressive, Controlling, Overbearing, Intolerant and Impatient.

Cool Blue – Introverted Thinking & Reflection

Showing no bias, Objective, Detached

Cautious, Analytical, Precise, Questioning and Formal

People with a high level of Cool Blue energy tend to live their lives according to the principles, facts and logic they find in reality. They often like to analyse all the possibilities to ensure they will avoid making an illogical or ill-informed judgement. They are planners, organisers, administrators and academics, with the ability to work out tasks systematically from start to finish.

As a result of their thoroughness, people with a preference for using their Cool Blue energy are often reluctant to make or express decisions quickly. Facts, logic and principles can appear more important than personal friendships or personal gratification for these people. They may be seen as detached or even rather cold at times.

People with a lot of Cool Blue energy tend to be introverted and have a desire to know and understand the world around them. They like to think before they act and maintain a detached, objective standpoint. They value independence and intellect. They often prefer written communication in order to maintain clarity and precision, radiating a desire for analysis..

Your Opposite – Sunshine Yellow, this is the personality type you will have most difficulty communicating with, selling to, motivating and generally building relationships with. You may see this person as: Excitable, Frantic, Indiscreet, Over the Top and Hasty.

Psychologists tell us that 85% of our problems in life come from our interactions with others. By understanding your own style and that of others you have a fantastic opportunity to apply simple adapting and connecting strategies to build successful personal and team relationships, resulting in increased effectiveness at board and a personal level.

Attitude – The Power of Positive in the Workplace

o Did you know that 75% of employees are unhappy in their current job?
o Have you ever thought about how your attitude affects…
o Personality and work performance?
o Your employees, your customers, your relationships and your work environment?
o Workforce diversity, career success, and teamwork?
o Bottom-line results?

It all starts with attitude! A positive attitude is a priceless possession for personal fulfillment and career success. It is also an essential element for creating a positive workplace. It’s what really matters… When we think about the basics elements of human relationships, we think primarily about the attitude we each bring to relationships, whether they are personal or professional in nature. What is the first thing you remember about someone you meet? Chances are it’s their attitude!

Noted authors, Elwood Chapman and Wil McKnight say, “The attitude you bring with you everyday will significantly affect what you can see, what you can do, and how you feel about it.”
We all know what a positive attitude sounds like, but how can we define it?
Simply stated, Chapman and McKnight describe it as the way you look at things mentally, your mental focus on the world. It’s never static; it’s always in flux – the result of an on-going process that’s dynamic and sensitive to what’s going on.

Events, circumstances, and messages – both positive and negative – can affect your attitude. A positive attitude can be infectious! Let’s face it… no one can be positive all of the time! What we do know is that a positive attitude makes problem solving easier and the more you expect from a situation, the more success you will achieve (The High Expectancy Success Theory).

Nowhere is your positive attitude more appreciated by others than when you are at work. How does a positive attitude about diversity impact the world of business? A major change had taken place in recent years in the workforce: the generational and cultural mix of employees has become more diversified. The performance standards are the same, but the workforce mix is different. Business is complex and competitive – with comparable resources, including people. People with a positive attitude are looking up and forward and are more likely to work to higher standards of quality, safety, and productivity – individually and as a team. Working near a person with a positive attitude is an energizing experience; he/she can change the tone and morale of the department and make others feel more upbeat. Sometimes the reason people lack a positive attitude is simply that they don’t realize that they have a negative one!

A positive workplace is about the people and their positive outlook about their work and the organization that make the business thrive. The war for talent exists. Do we want to hire and retain people with positive or negative attitudes? The answer is obvious…Hire for attitude; the mechanics of the job can be taught. A company gets its edge from the attitude of its people – its leaders, its supervisors, front-line, back-office, entry-level and long-term employees. Employees want to feel valued and appreciated and will most likely be more engaged and stay with an organization, as a result. The higher the engagement levels, the more their attitude barometer rises. The higher the attitude barometer rises, the more business results improve.

Building and maintaining healthy, effective relationships in all directions – with people your work for, people you work with, and people who work for you – is a key to success. Business is a team sport, that’s a given. Nothing contributes more to the process of building effective work relationships than a positive attitude. More business successes are won on attitude than technical achievement. A supervisor who demonstrates and knows how to build a positive attitude can lead a departmental workforce with only average experience and skills to achieve high productivity and successful performance. It’s called “teamwork” and it happens often!

It’s important to remember that we all have a choice – to be either positive or negative in any situation – and we make those choices every day. By keeping our power and being aware of our own attitude and choices, we can protect ourselves from external circumstances and people’s negativity. Safeguard your attitude by solving personal conflicts quickly, taking the “high road” if someone behaves unreasonably or unfairly, insulating or distancing yourself from a person with whom you have a repeated conflict, focusing on the work and changing your traffic pattern to avoid people who pull your attitude down. Remember: Your attitude belongs to you and you alone!

Be open to new people, ideas and processes that create positive changes and improved bottom-line results. The business world consists of many people who are different from you. We’re dependent on each other to achieve common goals. We need to understand and work effectively with all the labor resources. Opportunities for us to learn about other generations, backgrounds and cultures broaden our perspective with new ideas, talents, and points of view – it all affects bottom-line results!
A word of caution – don’t go overboard by becoming a noisy cheerleader who spends more effort on projecting your attitude than nurturing it. Above all, don’t try to be someone you are not! Be who you are… Project the real thing! Be authentic!

Life is a learning journey and all we can do is to strive to do our best each day.
A wise person once said, “If you place more emphasis on keeping a positive attitude than on making money, you’ll be successful and the money will take care of itself.”
Be good to yourself, enjoy the ride and make a Positive Impact on your career and workplace with a positive attitude!

A Positive Workplace Means Business!

Do You Have a High Performing Team?

Why do some teams perform well and others struggle to meet their deliverables? It is clear when things are going well. However, when teams are struggling, it is not always clear where the problems are and how to remedy them. What follows is a checklist that you can use to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your teams. It breaks down how a team functions into its component parts. By completing this assessment you will be able to identify and focus on those areas that could use improvement. As you work with your teams you need to keep in mind these core concepts.

Team Truths: Every team at some stage will struggle with the dilemma that it is difficult to balance loyalty to the team goals and loyalty to our individual styles. Getting diversity of style/personality to work for the team rather than tearing it apart is essential for team success.

Team Dilemmas: In addition it is important to remember that multiple realities exist. To argue rights and wrongs drains energy from team goals.

We must respect the right to differ from one another. Disrespect leads to divisiveness.

Here is the check list that you can use to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your teams.

1. Clear Charter. The foundation of the team is that of clear and common goals, so that the team understands how success is going to be measured. These have to be well articulated and understood by all.

2. Commitment to Team Members and Team Goals. Understanding the team goals is not the same as buying into them. Everyone needs to commit to the goals. In addition, a common source of difficulties can arise when people are committed to the goals but dislike other team members. However diversity of style and personality are at the heart of successful teams as these differences foster creativity. Team building exercises can help individuals to appreciate diversity and to teach them how to work together cooperatively. Dislike can be replaced by respecting differences.

3. Meets Team Deliverables. Successful teams, meet their deliverables consistently. To accomplish this, communications must flow freely and in all directions. In meetings, decisions are made effectively and communication is productive.

4. Clear Roles and Responsibilities It is vital to have clear roles and role definition as well as clarity around the responsibilities that each role entails. Blurred responsibilities can lead to power struggles and conflict.

5. Competent Team Members. Competent team members need to be placed in the right position. At times a highly talented person can be ill placed which can throw off the team functioning. Consider both the competency and placement of each individual.

6. Ongoing Feedback and Evaluation. In order to ensure success, well functioning teams provide and encourage ongoing feedback in all directions. This allows for mid course evaluation and corrections as needed as well as encouragement for a job well done. Read more

7. Creative Problem Solving. Problems are a fact of life. The ability to problem solve effectively and creatively is what makes lemonade out of lemons.

8. Effective Conflict Resolution. Conflict can be among team members, with other departments, or other companies. Successful conflict resolution takes divisive energy and redirects it to positive ends. Read about our conflict resolution services.

9. Good Morale. Low turnover and longevity is a benchmark of good morale. A team that successfully values the individual as well as the team has the best likelihood of success.

10. Good Relationships. Your relationships with other internal groups are an independent barometer of your teams functioning. High performance teams are respected by the rest of the organization as they meet deliverables and work cohesively.

After completing this assessment you will be able to identify and focus on those areas that could use improvement. Understanding any problem is the first step to resolution. Please contact us if you would like to discuss how our team building and development services can help your teams become more productive.