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Monthly ArchiveApril 2016

Gold Temperament Manager

A Gold Temperament Manager

Are you ready to learn about the manager with the Gold Temperament? Wait!  If you not sure what in the world I’m talking about with True Colors, click here.

Did you catch my previous blog post about the easy-going, peaceful Blue temperament and it’s implications on leadership? If not, check it out here!

Now, let’s talk Gold.

You have lots of strengths!

If you attended my most recent training in Kansas City, you learned Golds use task lists to manage multiple demands on their time. They like having a good “handle” on their duties and responsibilities and never want to be a slacker.

Is that you? If so, people value your ability to get things accomplished and your many  to-do lists may be a tool you help you get all done.

Team building training consultant in Kansas city

What is True Colors?

Have you wondered: What is True Colors?

Simply put, True Colors is an excellent great take on temperament research.  You’ll find it to be very similar to Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®), but  It associates color with temperaments.

True Colors consultant in Overland Park, Kansas

Discussing the Green Temperament at a Kansas City True Colors workshop!

I’ll tell you, temperament research has been a HUGE factor in how I build and maintain relationships. It has given terrific insight into others’ needs and taught me how to meet them. Far too often, we enter interpersonal encounters with a “what’s in it for me” mentality. It’s not because we are “bad” people; it has more to do with our primal nature. Have you noticed how children must be taught to share and be considerate of others? It’s because it is primal to think of oneself first. Just because it’s primal, doesn’t mean we should not mature past it.

If they want it to, True Colors(tm) can help people advance past selfish motivations and one-sided conversations. It takes intention and motivation, but if one wants to, this tool can help.

I received my certification in this research years ago. Since then, it’s become part of my life, really. It empowers me to communicate my needs in ways people can receive it. The certification process was intense. It lasted several days. The facilitators were a married couple – both with Ph.Ds.

I like Myers-Briggs, DISC and a few other bodies of data, but True Colors(tm) is my absolute favorite. It is the only module people actually “get” and remember. I can be walking through the grocery store and hear someone say “Hey, I remember you! I’m a Green!!!”

Also, my post-training assessments confirm people love learning about it and are even excited to incorporate the info into other parts of their lives.

While Myers and Briggs and DISC are great tools, I think they are too abstract. To be clear, I’m certified in both.

People cannot associate those other modules with any emotions. We remember and internalize what corresponds to our emotions. Generically speaking, colors, in themselves, are so much a part of our culture and psyche, we even choose certain ones to communicate sentiments (i.e. “true blue”, “good as gold”, etc). and to boost our moods! We respond to colors. It’s difficult to respond to letters or abstract words.

Another benefit to workgroups is the way I facilitate my training modules. I synthesize a variety trainings (of which I am certified) into my True Colors workshops. Fusing data renders a richer, deeper learning experience and a fresh look at temperament research. True Colors(tm) has been around for quite a while; I am happy to add elements to refresh it a bit.

Now is a good time to explain some of the color jargon I typically use on my blog and in my real life.

Blue – When I say “Blue”, I’m referring to the temperament that tends to be warm and relationship-oriented. These people find joy in authenticity, harmony and peaceful environments. Think about it: the color blue is calming; just as an ocean is calming. Blues are reassuring people and usually embrace tranquility.

Gold – Gold people are structured, organized and typically enjoy the “tried and true” elements of life. Gold is a durable earth element and mineral. It lasts and lasts. You can always count on a Gold to finish and complete any projects they take on.

Green – the Green temperament is logical, cognitive and often analytical. Green is the color of life and growth. It represents renewal just as this temperament is always seeking new challenges and fresh ways to innovate.

Orange – these are the fun-seekers (and fun-bringers) of the world. They are often very energetic and enjoy frequent change. Electric. Invigoration. That’s the color Orange. I need not say more.

As I share in my trainings, these descriptions are not boxes in which we all neatly fit. We’re too complex to fit into any boxes! That’s why I select words like “often” and “usually”to describe temperaments in my workshops.

Instead of imposing limitations,  think of True Colors(tm) as an emotional “peep hole”  into the needs, strengths and comfort-levels of others. It helps us socially navigate, respect boundaries and just get along better with others.

Click To Tweet

I love this research and I hope I adequately conveyed my passion for it in this blog post. I tell you, having a clear understanding of these colors help me forge meaningful relationships with people I meet.

Now, you have an idea of what I’m talking about when I reference “colors”. Do you have a favorite temperament research? I’d love to know!

Kansas City Training Consultant


Difference between team-building and team cohesion

Difference between team-building and team cohesion

#teambuilding #teamcohesion #managers

When I’m contracted to facilitate True Colors™ team-building workshops, I often ask the client to explain their goals for the training. This information helps me customize my content to meet their needs.  It also helps me understand their overall expectations of the training.

More often than not, their response to my question is “team-building” or some will say “team cohesion”.

It prompted me to ponder: is there a difference between team building and team cohesion?  The one word answer: YES!

I’ll explain both, but first let’s discuss team-building. We’ll touch on cohesion later.

What is team-building?

Team-building is a process, not an activity. In fact, it’s the systematic process
of unifying a group around a specific goal. Etienne Wenger might describe this goal as a “domain”.

The team-building process guides and propels a group into a place of closeness, mutual understanding and trust. In essence, team-building is like forging healthy relationships. Forging them requires each of the above mentioned. Each minimizes the interpersonal barriers that can impede workplace productivity.

Why bother?

I’m glad you asked! The answer is simple. A team that works well together performs at a higher level of efficiency than one struggling with constant conflict, mistrust and a lot of silly bickering.


Bess needs the report Jeff generates monthly. She emails him to request it. Jeff perceives Bess as a snob and as incredibly bossy. He’s a little “put off” by her cold, stiff email.

“That’s just how she is”, he thinks to himself: “in the break room she’s gets her coffee like she’s on a mission from God and barely returns a cordial ‘Good morning’”. Jeff doesn’t understand her and is not going to let her treat him like some grunt. He closes her email and decides to send the report when he gets good and ready. “I have feelings and I deserve respect”, he thinks.

Meanwhile, Bess sees Jeff as an incessant talker. She may think: People are always at his desk…talking…when they should be working. He’s always smiling and bringing donuts no one asks for. “He’s just doing that to make friends.” Workplace friendships are unprofessional” she thinks to herself. Bess is committed to being productive and marking off as many tasks as she can from her list. “I was hired to do a job, and I’m going to do it”.  Two totally different perspectives.

These two have a productivity barrier and leadership possibly doesn’t even know it. If they do know, they likely have no idea how to fix it anyway. But, if these two attended one of my True Colors workshops in Kansas City, they would discover that Bess is likely a Gold and Jeff is probably a Blue. They would explore the strengths of these contrasted temperaments and likely have a big laugh about how one initially viewed the other.

Wondering what I’m talking about?

What team-building does…

During effective team-building experiences, a group explores the motivations, personalities, weaknesses, values, triggers and needs of other team members. In other words, they learn how to “handle” one another in ways that leverage team strengths and enable everyone to work well together.

That’s why I’m not a big fan of consultants that swoop into workplaces; do a litany of games and label them “team-building”. Adventure activities and games are great to do AFTER you’ve layed a research-based foundation like True Colors(tm).

No, team-building is not static. No team remains at a level of closeness without maintenance. Click To Tweet

I also don’t think team-building is a one and done type activity. Common everyday situations can cause a high functioning team to plummet to a bunch of disconnected strangers. Here are a few ways this can happen:

* new team members arrive and interpersonal dynamics shift

* organizational/departmental changes (i.e. new managers, re-structuring, etc.)

*societal issues that affect the company, community or even the nation (i.e. a company scandal in the news, national catastrophes and even an election year can create divisions).

Depending on the type of organization you are, these scenarios can throw a monkey wrench into your team dynamic.

I especially saw this happen in a youth organization years ago. A newly elected US president created immense tension among a nonprofit team living and working thousands of miles away. The new president’s agenda was education in school settings. With this emphasis on education, youth-serving agencies knew funding streams would be impacted. Tension and worry invaded the nonprofit staff. Colleagues began snapping at one another. Mistrust surfaced as some team members assumed others were preparing to “jump ship”. It was ugly. Imagine that. A team dynamic in the heartland was demolished as a result of a new president in Washington DC.

Note: it’s happening again. This post is several years old!

Anyhoo, if the team dynamic is altered, a new team-building process must start afresh before irreparable damage is done and the team [is] permanently impacted. This needn’t [always] include an outside consultant. You can likely find other ways to build team identity. If not, contact me for technical assistance.

Let’s talk about team cohesion now.

The team-building process explores, unveils and enlightens team members. In it’s best contexts, team-building is the direct result of intentional plans, exercises and/or experiences.

Team-cohesion are the bonds, trust and connection that results from the above mentioned plans, exercises and experiences.

Team cohesion is a “closeness” rooted in understanding and acceptance. It influences interactions, reduces conflicts and cultivates a sense of belonging and a sort of membership to the work group, department or organization. But, here’s the kicker: team cohesion doesn’t last unmanaged. Like a cheap lipstick, it’s temporary. Without regular upkeep, it burns out and fades away.  Team-cohesion requires maintenance.

Click To Tweet

Remember my earlier example about the imaginary coworkersBess and Jeff? Say the same scenario happened, but a week before, they attended my True Colors sessions in Kansas City.

Likely, Bess would customize her email in a way that meets Jeff’s need to relate to his colleagues. She might begin the email with a warm “Good morning” or “Hi Jeff, are you having a good day?” Then, she would make her request.

Similarly, Jeff, knowing Bess’ need to get things done quickly, would interpret her email with a bit more empathy. He may read her original email and think to himself, “Oh boy, she’s ready to cross something from her list and may be a little stressed. I’ll get this report to her quickly so she can mark it off.”

See, a little bit of insight goes a long way.

So, in short:

Team-building – the process of bringing everyone together. (The journey)

Team cohesion – the state of being that enables individuals to feel positively connected to other team members, organizational goals and purposes. (The destination)

Make sense? If so, share!

Your Personality and Your Leadership Style

Your Personality and Your Leadership Style

Let’s ponder Your Personality and Your Leadership Style.

Managing people can be tricky. No, it is tricky.  There are hurdles, challenges and a multitude of tests.  If you ever Google terms like “being a good manager” or “tips for managers”, hundreds of results surface. Some are good.  Others are worthy of an instant click on the noble “back” arrow. I hope you don’t do that here. 🙂   But, “Your Personality and Your Leadership Style” seemed a perfect title for this blog post.

The theories on management are as numerous as sand on the sea.  Some tips are generic, while others are more specific. But, I think the best perspectives consider temperament research.

Training Kansas City Youth to be successful

Training Kansas City Youth for Success

I’m a better “aunt” than “mom” …when it comes to other people’s kids, that is.

Allow me to offer some context.

Training Kansas City Youth is my skill; ongoing opportunities and supports are not.

Over the years, I have developed a great reputation for  delivering engaging, effective and fun True Colors training in Kansas City.

I’ve trained the gamete – young, old and everything in between.

But, I recognized a long time ago that I am better with adults than I am

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