Friday, January 18, 2008

My True Colors Shining Through or "The Moody Blue vs. Orange Power"

Last week at work we spent the day in a "True Colors" workshop. "True Colors" is a personality profiling system which assigns a specific color to four distinct personality types: free-wheeling orange, structured gold, logical green, and sensitive blue. The idea is to determine which color is your primary color, which your secondary, etc. and to utilize that knowledge in how you deal with others in both your personal and professional life. Just reading the descriptions on their website beforehand, I guessed that my "True Colors" color scheme would be Blue Green Gold Orange; sure enough, when I did the super-quick and easy assessment -- based mainly on a "which grouping of words best describes you" questionnaire -- that's how I came out. Well, to be honest, I came out with Blue 24 (highest possible score), Orange 6 (lowest possible score), and Green and Gold tied at 15 apiece, but as the workshop went on it became clearer and clearer that it was the overly-analytical, skeptical Green that ruled me more than the structured, detail-oriented Gold.

After we had determined our colors, I started leafing through a hand-out the lady leading the seminar had created with some broad descriptions of the colors. It was scary just how accurate the Blue description was for me: "Want to be genuine caring, and understanding. Relationship oriented . . .may have their feelings hurt easily and take comments personally . . .tend to use more abstract words in their speech . . . want [friends} with whom they can share their deepest feelings . . . belong to groups for the opportunities to make friends and form new relationships . . ." Yeah, it was the "feelings hurt" and "take comments personally" things that really set of the "That's me!" alarms, but a lot of stuff in there clicked. And, the stuff that didn't could be easily explained by my overly-sensitive Blue being tempered by my secondary color, Green, which was described thusly: "Seek knowledge . . .Want to have a rationale for everything . . . Skeptical . . . think through every detail before making a decision . . ." So, overly emotional with a tendency to over-analyze the actions of all around them; that's me to a tee!

The seminar leader pointed out that some of the colors are generally diametrically opposed, and those whose two highest colors fall into this category are usually much more prone to stress, anxiety, etc. Three guesses as to whether Blue and Green fit into this category . . .

Another thing we were cautioned about was that people who ranked high in whichever color was our lowest would be a "point of stress" in our daily lives. My lowest color was Orange, which is described as "Action oriented . . .Generally excited . . . Absorbed in the action of the moment . . . Seek adventure and stimulation . . . [prefer] to be spontaneous . . . enjoy the camaraderie of team sports . . . find it hard to follow rules . . ." Three guesses which of my closest friends is a text-book Orange . . .

A-ha! I am the Orangiest Orange that ever Oranged! I WIN!

When I informed The Lovable PigPen that he was my point of stress, he cried out "YES!," did a celebratory arm pump, and told me that he took that as a personal point of pride.

One of the interesting things about the process was seeing what color patterns my co-workers fell into; ever since the seminar, everyone has posted their colors up on their cubicle walls, and conversations are now peppered with phrases like "my Blue is really strong today" and "stop being such an Orange!" The vast majority of our office were high Golds, which isn't surprising, since supposedly over 50% of the adult population falls into the Gold category, and the number is usually even higher in library workers, since the Gold is described as "lik[ing] responsibility, accountability and predictability . . . serve and do their duty . . . protect and preserve . . . look to the past and tradition . . . like ceremonies and rules . . . security and stability . . get the right things at the right time to the right people . . . excellent with detail . . . " Sounds pretty librarian-ish to me. Of course, the unit I'm currently supervising is the exception to this: three Blues, two Greens, and not a Gold in sight. It sort of makes sense: when working with the constantly shifting world of Serials and Electronic Resources like we do, being focused on structure and tradition will just drive you insane.

One of the things I liked about the True Colors personality schema was the fact that in addition to being pretty user-friendly and intuitive, it fully embraced the idea that while each of us might have a dominant personality trait, none of us are totally one color to the exclusion of all others. In other words, we all exhibit some trace of each one. My Orange may be low in terms of seeking excitement and adventure and spontaneity, but it shows up big time in terms of my competitive nature -- a competitive nature that, perhaps not surprisingly, comes out the strongest when I'm dealing with that champion of Orange Power, PigPen. Also, out of the different personality evaluations I've seen, this is the first one that really seemed to have me pegged, but I'm sure your mileage may vary depending on whether you are one of those who can easily be pigeonholed by the test's specifics or not.

In the end, I realize that this sort of pop psychology has little scientific foundation, but at the same time, it can be a great tool in helping people examine how they relate to each other.

If you're interested in seeing where your True Colors fall, you can use this page to take a key-word evaluation like the one we used, or you can go here to take a much more story-problem style test. And please feel free to share your results in the comments section; I'm unendingly curious about where all of you blog monkeys fall.


Anonymous said...

I took the True Colors test a while back. I'm a Gold/Blue-they were within 1 point of each other and Orange is my lowest color. Curse that red headed boy from Oklahoma and his evil smiling buddy. Oh the stress the Orange people cause.


The Lovable Pigpen said...

Okay... here is how I scored on this "My True Colors" thing. Yes, I was highest in Orange (Power!), 18. But Gold (I love Gold!) was not far behind, 16. Now here is where the jump comes in with Blue (I'm (not) so Blue...) with 10 and Green (the phone goes Green, Green) bringing up the rear with a whopping 6. So you see Todd... you are partially MY stress point since your two highest are my two lowest. It's a give and take here, man. I know I'm the one mostly giving out the crap, but hey.... it's not like I enjoy it! ............... LMAO Ok. Ok. So MAYBE I do, but I get stressed that you'll get tired of it and THEN who am I going to pick on?! Oh Melissa... can I borrow one of your personalities for a little bit? hehehehehehehehehehe >;D

- The Lovable Pigpen
aka - The Devil
aka - El Diablo (that ones for my Homies!)

Cap'n Neurotic said...

Blondie - my question is, exactly which of your personalities was in charge when you took the test? Not #8, that's for sure, because you know that wild child is through-the-roof Orange.

PigPen - Oh, how I wish I could be as big a stress point for you as you are for me, but once again, that's a contest you will win hands down. As for you having such a high Orange/Gold combo, we had one lady at our workshop with the same thing; when the lady in charge of the workshop saw that, she said "We'll talk afterwards so I can get you some counseling."

anna said...

From your second link (with the a b choices)
Blue 12, Green 11, Orange 7, Gold 6.

pretty interesting stuff.

Anonymous said...

Not sure what this means....

Orange 14
Blue and Green - tied at 11
Gold - 0 (yes that is zero)


Cap'n Cluck said...

Green 17 (I do love that color!)
Orange 15
Gold 10
Blue 8

Guess my stress point is Todd? This doesn't make sense at all!
I want to know what Peanut scored.

Anonymous said...

Pig Pen: The group has voted and #4 is the one you get.

Todd: Of course it wasn't #8. She's so orange that the rest of us have to have it as our stress point. Can you guess which # it really was though?

Cap'n Neurotic said...

Cluckity, I'm sure the fact that my high Blue is tempered by a high Green helps keep me from stressing you out quite as much as I might otherwise :)

The Mag said...

Green 15
Blue and Orange 12
Gold 11

As with Briggs Meyers, this test proves that I don't really have a personality!

The Mag - Can I be called The Pirate now that I'm looking at 40?

That's a Jimmy Buffett reference for all you youngsters.

Cap'n Neurotic said...

Mag -- That's awesome. Consider yourself redubbed! The Pirate it is!

The Pirate said...

Excellent! Ok I took the second test.
Blue 12
Everything else 8

Flunky lover said...

I did both and they both said I was gold with green very close behind.

Anonymous said...

Cap'n Bubbles:

Blue - 17 (naturally, naturally)
Gold - 16 (surprisingly high)
Green - 10 (hmm...interesting)
Orange - 7 (not too much surprise here)