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.

Red:
Competitive
Demanding
Decisive
Driven
Strong-willed
Purposeful

Yellow:
Persuasive
Expressive
Enthusiastic
Dyncamic
Demonstrative

Earth Green:
Caring
Sharing
Patient
Amiable
Relaxed
Reliable

Cool Blue:
Precise
Cautious
Questioning
Detailed
Analytical
Observing

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.