All Colors Styles are “essential” on a team, but this article will focus on our Green friends.
I was once an HR trainer on a team that had hired only one identifiable Green person. The lack of other Greens did not bother me a lot at the beginning because I don’t enjoy the company of Greens all that much. I say that because I have traits that repel Green folks: I’m a hugger, very spontaneous with unsubstantiated ideas, and quite happy wearing my emotions on my sleeve.
To me, Green people are knowledgeable but often impatient when it comes to sharing the knowledge with folks who are not as “deep” as they. They ask hard questions and appear overly critical – even icy at times. They’re not big on small talk, warm relationships, social events, or spur-of-the-moment fun and games.
If you are Green and have your dander up right now, you may indeed consider yourself quite warm and “fun” – and you may very well be!!! – but I’m here to tell you that the general consensus of people of the three other Color styles bears me out.
I started this article saying my team of trainers had only one Green. An enormous problem was that she was the only team member who primarily concerned herself with strategic planning, deep research, needs analysis – in a phrase, with gathering important knowledge and figuring out how to keep the bar raised on our team.
Because we were blessed with only one Green, a committee consisting only of Orange and Blue people ended up being tasked to choose a Civil Treatment program for New Employee Orientation. The student evaluations later revealed the program was exciting and wonderfully people-centered, but it lacked focus, a good system to follow, and it was embarrassingly short on up-to-date information.
A team lacking Green is very likely to be a team lacking scholarly depth. Without Greens on board, important questions may not be asked. Don’t expect a lot of research. Don’t expect folks to be looking five or ten years into the future. When a study has been made, you have to ask if the real experts have been found.
Eventually a couple of other Greens joined the staff. A Civil Treatment program was created that today serves as a model for corporate and government training programs around the world.
Green people are not “smarter” than other people. And non-Greens are not incapable of thinking and acting like Greens either. What Greens do generally possess, however, is a natural inclination for strategic thinking, scholarly study, and the ability to create complex systems for use in the everyday world. An organization with big ideas would be foolish not to actively recruit people with clear Green styles to help with big-picture thinking, planning, and creativity.
So, how many Greens are part of your team? If you have a few, how are they contributing to building your team and meeting your goals? If not many, or none, how are you coping without them? Your comments are very welcome.