One BIG problem with being any Color is that people of other Colors consider us wanting, less than perfect, and possibly stupid. I will talk about being a “stupid Gold person” in this blog entry.
Hey there, Gold folks, do you notice people tune you out when you start explaining things? You might wonder, “Isn’t what I’m saying coming off as important to this person?”
The problem is that Gold people tend to overdo on details, repeat ideas more than necessary, and treat all points – whether big or small – as equal.
What you might not be noticing is that people of the other Colors “think you are stupid” because they figured where you were going in the first 50 words you uttered – and would rather not submit themselves to a spoon feeding of all processes that lead to a conclusion.
People don’t realize how important it is to Gold folks that a responsible job of any kind means caring about the small things as well as the large things…and being recognized for that painstaking care is nearly as important. It goes back to “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” Gold folks do not want weak links of any size.
To the other Colors, then, what is our objection to the “stupid over-the-top over-processing” that we witness when we get to deal with Gold folks? The answer is that the problem is with us ourselves – we are not as patient as they. What they do is unpleasant for us under most circumstances. On the other hand, just imagine a world without people who cared so very greatly about doing the right thing at all levels!! You know that chaos would reign.
So what to do? Besides being patient, we can control how much processing we have to sit through. As a boss, we can ask a Gold employee to put long lists of details into e-mail attachments. We can schedule short meetings that require information to be delivered concisely. But most of all, we can show our gratitude to our Gold employees, friends, bosses, etc. who – YOU KNOW – have put a great deal of work and thought into their “stupid” reports, plans, and presentations.
And Gold folks – yes YOU – with awareness that all the other Colors can be impatient with your report or presentation, what can you do to make sure your audience will listen? The answer is to continue to be you, to be complete, to be responsible, etc. However, consider how to make the presentation. Notice that magazines deliver information with bullet points, succinct headlines, and references to web links, etc. for readers who want more information. Your presentations will also be more attractive if you tune into individuals’ preferred communication styles (email? One-one-one meetings? Staff meetings? Standard reports? Quick briefings in the hallway?). Finally, accept that everyone has a full plate of activity, so carefully honor timeframes. If you need to be certain that your information needs to be fully understood and signed-off on, then provide the most efficient check system that you can get away with, e.g., a simple check list, little blanks for initials, deadlines, etc. It’s really not that hard to move from a “stupid” image to a SMART one!!!