Managing with true colors

Personality and Leadership

Let’s ponder Your personality and 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 the sand on the sea.  Some tips are generic, while others are more specific. But, I think the best perspectives consider temperament research.

Your temperament has lots of implications for your management style. Steven Stosny, Ph.D.   asserts one’s temperament has many “dimensions that greatly influence tastes, preferences, choices, and decision-making.” That’s a big chunk of who you are!

Clearly, you can see why it also dramatically affects how you manage(or interact) with people and how they relate to you. It impacts your preferences, the ways you process information, and even, to some degree, how you define peak performance.

I have an example.

Imagine you’re an Orange Manager who enjoys the excitement of frequent change, activity, and risks.

On your team is a rather reserved Gold staff person. You are a little put off by her need for routine and so much structure. You could easily label her rigid, un-creative, or uptight if you didn’t know better. 

Likewise, she could view you as an impulsive “flake” blessed with a corner office. It’s all about perceptions. These perceptions are interconnected [to some degree] with your temperaments or color.

No one is really “wrong” or “bad.”

If you’ve ever experienced one of my True Colors workshops in Kansas City, you know my mantra: “Not right, not wrong…just different”. Neither the Orange manager nor the Gold staffer, in my example, is necessarily wrong; they each have different ways of viewing productivity and ways of work.

If we understand this, we can figure out ways to work together harmoniously and respectfully.

Recently, I conducted my “True Leadership” training for a group of managers at a mid-size bank. Some of the discussions were rich and interesting; they inspired me to write this blog post [and a few others] on management by temperament.

Again, temperament plays a massive role in defining everything, especially success. So, in the coming months, I will spotlight each temperament and its implications for management.

Let’s begin with the Blue Manager. Remember, the Blue temperament is among the most relational of temperaments. It views the world through a lens of harmony and authenticity.

Does it sound like you are a Blue Manager? Maybe you report to a Blue Manager? If so, let me know what you think about the following ideas.

One of your chief strengths…

As a member of the “Blue” temperament, you are a champ at interacting! Building connections with others comes super easily to you. As I say in my workshops, Blues can make friends with a tree.

Possible Weakness: Being overly sensitive. Fact it. Some people will just be mean, rude, and just plain jerky. Don’t immediately take it personally. Assess the situation thoroughly before you internalize someone else’s issue.

A Few Warnings…

Be careful your staff doesn’t misunderstand your patience and generous spirit for weakness.

Another consideration is friendship. Be careful to establish clear boundaries so your staff doesn’t mistake your free-flowing management style as friendship or your flexibility as indecision. You probably like almost everyone on your team, but that does not make you friends. It simply makes you friendly.

There is a difference.

Remember, friendship and management don’t mix in most settings and can lead to jealousy, disharmony, and even legal action. Keep it professional – boundaries intact.

With that being clear, don’t be afraid to make those tough decisions that may hurt feelings. As a leader, you’re going to say “no” sometimes.  That’s part of the responsibility you carry as a manager. No matter how much you wish it to be, everyone cannot win all the time. Don’t take it personally.

Blue Values: You’re a master communicator. It comes naturally to you. You’re the real deal. That’s why authenticity is so important to you. You don’t like a phony and can spot one in record time.

Also, you’re always trying to improve as a professional and as a human being. This is why you’re the consummate coach. You want your team – and each member – to be the best they can be. That is why self-improvement is one of your primary values.

What causes you stress: tension, office “politics,” and unfairness drive you absolutely crazy. Again, you’re an empathetic person. You thrive in harmony and have little to do with faking relationships to get ahead. You hate it when others do it too.

I’ll end with a few things Blues may enjoy about their work (regardless of the field): helping others, expressing creativity, and being part of a functional and respectful team.

I’m so glad the world is full of Blue people.  They make life’s yuckiness more manageable.

What do you think?

  • The Blue Leadership Style
    Does your personality lead with your heart?  Do you often dream of a better world? I mean, really ponder the concept on a regular basis? If so, this could indicate you have the Blue leadership style. If you are a Blue manager, this means your intuition is the key indicator of how you manage situations.…
  • The Orange Leadership Style
    Before I touch on the Orange leadership style, let me explain what I’m talking about here. The Orange temperament is one of four personality types in the True Colors spectrum. The True Colors™ personality system is composed of four distinct colors—Orange, Gold, Blue, and Green—which represent different sets of personality traits. By understanding your True…
  • A Gold Temperament Manager
    Let’s explore how the  Gold Temperament manages teams and leads others. Your personality influences much of your work – including leading a team. Play up your natural talents and skills to “bring yourself to work” for the benefit of your team. Wait!  If you are unsure what I’m talking about with True Colors, click here.…
  • Personality and Leadership
    Let’s ponder Your personality and 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…

“Temperament Clashes in Relationships”
Why can’t you be more like me?

Posted Nov 05, 2010

What I’m doing as
a personality trainer:

Leveraging the four personality styles to help you when working with different personalities in the workplace.  I also often discuss how business personalities affect how you approach work and manage work personalities. I also answer the question” “how does personality influence communication at work?” Your temperament plays a role in everything. I love talking about it and exploring exactly how!