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Category: True Colors

Yes, I’m still alive.

Yes, I’m still alive.

More than words can say

Thanks for asking. I am indeed alive and celebrating a milestone birthday. This blog too lives again.

Let’s be friends again. Here’s a suggestion. How about visiting the https://www.jackdermody.com/free-survey? Yup, it’s free.

Ask a loved one to take it. Enjoy a chat about your core values. Such a healthy conversation. https://www.jackdermody.com/free-survey.

Got questions afterwards? I’m at dermody@cox.net.

Stay tuned. I’m also about to launch a national tour.

Cheers,

Jack

HOW TO SELL YOUR IDEA AT WORK

HOW TO SELL YOUR IDEA AT WORK

Sell an idea at work
Jack in Persuasive Mode

 

Do you truly want  to sell your idea to the right people at work? And then watch your idea be implemented?

The Answer: Two Words. Gold and Green

Do you know that about 85% of all executives and managers could have either a Guardian Gold or Rational Green temperament? So if you want your idea accepted, consider selling to Gold and Green values and strengths.

Gold Guardians

Gold Guardians put your feet to the fire on their core value of responsibility. Here are some questions that Gold decision-makers surely have in their heads when you want to sell an idea.

Gold Question #1. Is the proposal perfectly clear? And ‘perfectly clear’ is no joke. You don’t want a Gold person to ask what you really mean? So is your idea countable, measurable, sketchable, and undoubtable?

Gold Question #2. Are you reliable, all the time? If your idea will inflict more change on the team than Gold people are comfortable with, do you have a reputation for consistently delivering sound, workable ideas? In other words, will your Gold manager not worry about regretting a decision in your favor?

Gold Question #3. Will we get value for our dollar from your idea? If nothing else, Gold managers are rigorously careful with money, so be ready with return-on-investment research that honestly reveals business risk.

Gold Question #4. Who else has done this already? This may be the most important question for Gold managers. Gold folks tend to be the most risk-averse.

Green Rationals

Green Rationals nail you for their core values of deep knowledge and trustworthy competence. Here are predictable Green questions.

Green Question #1. Are you a person worthy of respect for your knowledge and competence? Related to that, do you share connections with other experts that your boss respects? Are you the in­-house expert on this subject? Are you known for doing your homework? Do you deserve profound respect for your thorough research and careful presentations?

Green Question #2. Where’s the beef? In other words, where is all the research? And can I see it when I ask for it?

Green Question #3. Have you done enough work on this that I don’t have to fix it? Green managers pride themselves in the perfection of their work and they never, ever, want to be caught looking incompetent. So are you an icon of competence where you work?

Green Question #4. Am I learning something new from you? Perhaps the best way into the hearts of Green managers is to consistently wow them with new information based on an expertise they do not possess. If you do this regularly, you will be invited to more brainstorming meetings and your word will carry weight over others’.

So You Are Orange or Blue?

If you are an Orange artisan or Blue idealist, you might quickly agree with the advice above, but the odds are high that your standards of expertise, of detail, of completeness, and pure naked objectivity come nowhere close to what Golds and Greens actually expect. So try this: Run a few ideas by your favorite Gold and Green friends and ask them to critique the ideas severely. The truth may hurt at first, but you will probably learn how to prepare better when you need to ask for serious changes at work in the future.

 

Appreciating what’s driving other people

Appreciating what’s driving other people

The only way to change the world, according to Tony Robbins at the very end of his TED Talk Why We Do What We Do, is to “appreciate what’s driving other people.” People in my training sessions have all experienced what other people’s values actually look like. For example, Orange people are driven to compete, but non-Orange people can judge all that competition as just plain annoying. So instead, shouldn’t non-Oranges step back for a moment? Should they not consider that their NASCAR-loving brother-in-law Mike gets high on life when he gets a chance to be top dog? Orange Mike is driven to compete. Mike gets off on winning, or at least trying to win. What business do we have raging at Mike’s great joy in life? Perhaps we should ask ourselves what core values in our own lives will make us just as passionate as Mike.

It can be hard to see what’s driving other people

My own mother unknowingly tortured me, my sister and Dad with tales of heroic frugality at every dinner table. I am not kidding. She listed the prices of all the food items. She walked us down the aisles of the stores she visited.  Mom recalled the coupons used.  She smiled at her own cleverness of heating up leftovers when possible. She bragged our desserts were homemade and surely finer and healthier than the expensive goodies advertised on TV. Sadly, it was only decades later that I realized she was glowing with pride for high Gold achievement. For Mom, frugality enshrined the Gold core values of responsibility and conservation of resources. She was certain she was always striving to do the right thing. She used the dinner table to role model and teach the right thing.

So I ask you. Imagine how smoother my relationship with Mom could have been. Her core values were definitely not my core values. I too often chose to get angry about hers. I chose to demean her for being almost ridiculously true to her own belief system. Needless to say, I could have figured it out. She did grow up in the Great Depression. Believe me, her family had been dirt poor, but came out on top because of unrelenting hard work and, yes, frugality.

And what else might I have done to have better conversations with Mom? For one, I could have learned to speak Gold. For example, when I wanted to urge her to buy store-bought desserts, I could have countered with nutrition info. I could have comparison shopped. I could have made a case for time savings. I could have bought a few items with paper route money for her to sample.

I like to think I could have changed my little world a little by appreciating better what was driving Mom.

 

Are we born with a personality?

Are we born with a personality?

If we really are born with a personality, as many psychologists tell us, there is plenty of evidence to makes us think so, but also plenty to argue against it.

If I were a Badass Orange person, for example, you just might agree I was probably born with great physical abilities and an adventurous nature. I would tell you that, yes, I worked hard to get skillful, but that I honestly feel that I was gifted at birth with a terrific body type, a bottomless cauldron of endless energy, and a ridiculous comfort level with risky behavior. I’d say, yes, you are looking at a naturally born Badass. I am Orange, Orange, Orange.

On the other hand, we just might discover that our individual temperaments are nothing like our parents’. Our siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and our own children have core values in direct contrast to our own. How could our own DNA manifest itself so differently? How is it, then, that we are ‘born’ with this personality?

I challenge you to look back over your whole life for just a minute. How different are you, really, from the kid in grade school you remember? Was your main core value that much different from now? For example, if you were dependably responsible then, are you still that way now? I mean, is ‘dependable responsibility’ still more important than harmony seeking, than knowledge and competence, or than personal freedom? If that principal core value remains the same, there’s a case to be made that you came into the world with a strong DNA-based temperament. You always were and always will be Gold, a Loyalist, a logistical thinker.

Needless to say, you were a hostage of your parents until your teenage years, so you have to wonder how much of ‘who you are’ comes from a natural temperament and how much comes from the intense nurturing that your parents and community thrust upon you for over a dozen years. All those people influenced your thinking, your philosophy of life, your religion, even your politics and career choices. You have to ask yourself, “How many of my life choices came from the real me, from my innate temperament, and how many were influenced by the society around me?

Whose life?

So am I living my own life, or someone else’s idea of life?”

To paraphrase Rene Descartes, we can’t live until we reject everything we’ve been taught and then begin to design our own life. Descartes’ thinking must have come from the realization that a real, innate self needs to trump the weavings of the cultures swirling around us in order for us to truly fulfill our destiny. Ah, there’s the word: Destiny. And I don’t think the word ‘destiny’ here means ‘pre-destined fate’ that we really cannot control, but a pre-determined set of talents and intelligence that need to blossom under our own control, in the face of the cultures around us, to find the best possible path for a lifetime.

So do I think we were all born with a temperament? You betcha. Both nature and nurture contribute to who we are as whole persons, but I am certain our brains and bodies arrive with some kind of pre-installed hard drive (temperament) that develops into a whole character through configurations with the apps of life.

The trick, I think, is to discover the right path early in life rather than later. And if it’s clear our own path differs significantly from the paths of the gang that lives around us, our choice to follow our own right path will probably demand a ton of uncomfortable honesty and raw courage.

Can clothes reveal your personality?

Can clothes reveal your personality?

Can you guess a person’s personality type by their clothing? I spent hours in crowded airports the last few weeks and I am convinced that even amateur personality typers can eyeball clothing and correctly guess a personality type at 50% or higher. Yes, you can guess wrong, sometimes more than 50%, but do pat yourself on the back and let yourself to be pleasantly surprised when you find out you can nail the personality of lots of people by noticing their clothes.

For me, Blue Gurus are the easiest to spot. Dead giveways of course are tie-dye skirts and loosely tied-up hair, but Blues would be horrified if you stereotyped the lot of them as hippies. Still, twenty-first century Blues can tend to wear not-so-trendy “comfort clothes” that hippies surely favored, like loose-fitting shirts and skirts of soft and simple fabrics — more outdoorsy cotton and wool than silky or sythetic flash. Notice soft functional shoes and sandals, minimal earthy jewelry, as well as satchels with wide shoulder straps.

Gold Loyalists aren’t so difficult to spot either. Obviously the ultimate Gold attire is trendy-conservative to the point of looking “uniform”. Relax, Golds, that too is an unfair stereotype. But face it, Gold clothing tends to be good quality yet economical, not-over-the-top trendy, appropriate, clean, matching, color-coordinated, and acceptable for each setting. The Gold “package” says “I care” and “I am careful about my outward appearance.” This includes manicuring, near-to-trendy hair, and tasteful quality jewelry. Golds are modest and of course want to look sexy “when appropriate,” but rarely over-the-top.

I think Greens are the hardest to spot. Yes, many dress like stereotypical “geeks” with more function than fashion — unashamed to wear a Go-Pro camera or Google glasses, mismatched shorts and shirts, ugly but comfortable shoes, and unkempt hair. On the other hand, perfectionistic Green Geeks who are sensitive about their image of careful competence might choose to wear attractive and comfortable outfits that range from formal business to less formal. They might pro-actively choose what’s professional and what makes them approachable. In any case, many Greens will agree they don’t want their clothing calling attention to their physical selves over their good ideas and accomplishments.

Orange Badasses dress with style — personal style. Their clothes tend to scream “I am free and I am me.” I am a star athlete or a cool musician or a dancer or the best carpenter in the world or the bravest fire fighter or the sexiest dude in town or the most laid-back artist on the river. If any personality type is over-the-top, it can be an Orange Badass — creative, colorful, tattooed, very “today,” or one of a kind — in any case, cool — a player, a free agent, a physical star, an action seeker, a risk-taker, or even an introverted but free spirit. You’ll be surprised at how many startlingly creative dressers are introverted Oranges. Like Badass words and behavior, Orange clothes can make a stand that “rules are for other people.”

Try guessing the four personality types in crowded places. I prefer airports because all Colors will show up there for sure. Even better are crowds of tourists in other countries. If you really want a slice of society, check out shopping malls in December.

Choosing Just ONE New Year’s Resolution

Choosing Just ONE New Year’s Resolution

Look up “change one thing” at Amazon.com and you’ll find a handful of self-help books with such a title. I myself am living proof that it works, not only because changing one thing is easy, but because it has a domino effect on the rest of your life.

Take a look at your weakest Window Color and find a strength there that you KNOW you need, then work on that one thing. If you’ve forgotten your Windows Color Spectrum, click here to take the survey. It’s free.

In my case, a long time ago, I chose to arrive early for all my sales appointments. Being on time or early is a signature Gold Window strength. Gold was so weak in my character that it hardly registered on any scale at all. Bottom line, by making the change to show up early at appointments, my sales career turned around. And I surprisingly gathered other Gold strengths without thinking about them, such as not cancelling appointments, by preparing better, and by developing pretty good follow-up techniques.

So I urge you to consider making just one New Years Resolution for 2016. And consider scanning the strengths of your weakest Window. Here are some suggestions.

If your GOLD Window is foggy:
• Save money regularly.
• Make a financial management plan and follow it.
• Buy something that will appreciate.
• Commit more strongly to something or someone.
• Never be the first to change an appointment or be late for one.
• Spend a little more time on projects that test your patience.

If your ORANGE Window sheds little light:
• Be in the now, embrace the now, and wallow in it gleefully.
• Set up triggers to lighten up.
• Take up some physical activities and don’t stop doing them.
• Follow impulses – for some fun.
• Learn or develop skills — for art, sport, or fitness — especially for self-expression.
• Kill your fears and welcome new things to do, at least one a week.

Do you need to clean your BLUE glasses?
• Devote yourself passionately to someone who needs your help and cannot give anything back.
• Stop judging and be more adaptable to others’ ideas.
• Understand someone’s feelings as a possible logical indicator of reality.
• Be more enthusiastic around others.
• Regularly ask yourself how others might be thinking and feeling.
• Study morals and ethics.

Is it hard being GREEN?
• Regularly and aggressively understand at least two sides to controversies around you.
• Before buying something expensive, do deep research on it, demanding thoroughness, quality, and excellent scientific inquiry.
• Use words to express yourself accurately, avoiding vagueness and sloppy thinking.
• Upgrade the level of information you take in by choosing better quality reading and media.
• Make a hypothesis, do some research, then carefully explain your findings.
• Read about nature and how to interact with it better.

Yes, there are 24 possible resolutions above. Don’t get crazy with ideas. Choose JUST ONE, stick to it, then watch some magic happen throughout 2016.

Case Study: How To Hire a Green

Case Study: How To Hire a Green

Last year, I did a Four Windows workshop for a team with only one single employee out of sixteen who saw the world through a Green Window. So guess which rational Green strengths were missing from the team. Big picture thinking? Yes. Eagerness for strategic planning? You bet. Competent research analysis? Yes again. I.T. skills? Oh yeah.

The manager, Renee Jones (we’ll call her) knew that new Green Window strengths would make a difference. The team was stagnant and uncomfortable with change. When measured against big-city teams in the same industry, her department competed poorly. They were not flexible. Nobody could write code.

So Renee designed interview questions that would reveal Windows strengths and values for all four temperaments and which would certainly reveal folks who seriously viewed the world through a Green Window.

Question #1. What did your former bosses most appreciate about you? The Green candidates answered that their bosses praised them for figuring out problems on their own and finishing jobs with perfection within timelines. Bosses depended on Green Window research and long-term planning of all kinds.

Question #2. How would you describe your ideal boss? Green candidates said the best bosses got their respect when they demonstrated deep knowledge and skills, they were open, they were fair. Greens especially liked superiors that did not micromanage.

Question #3. What workplace strengths are you most proud of? Green interviewees talked of being terrific team players, usually adding that they prided themselves on making sure everybody was on the same page about each project. They liked being seen as dependable and loved it when their coworkers were just as reliable.

Question #4. How do you like your co-workers to treat you? Most Green candidates wanted their co-wokers to respect their space and time, as well as the quality of the work they produced.

Question #5. What behaviors cause you the most stress and frustration? Green stressors turned out to be high emotions, too much socializing, too many meetings, and wasted time.

Question #6. What is your ideal work environment? Being highly task-oriented, Greens interviewees hoped for plenty of time, space, and independence to complete projects, together with resources, open-mindednes, and teamwork to support and fuel the projects.

Notice what Greens did not say to Renee. The language was devoid of Blue Window idealistic expressions. Neither did they dwell on Gold-Window rules and traditions. And no Green responses seemed as knee-jerk as Orange folks might tend to voice.

So what can we conclude from this? First of all, during job interviews, why not get a face-to-face personality scan while delving into work background, skills, and education? When your organization is Four Windows savvy, you realize you can confidently identify your needs for strengths and values and then ask for them, find them, hire them, and leverage them.

Another benefit: Yes, your job description in this case would have asked for I.T. skills, experience with strategic planning, etc., but the personality probing would make interview comments more telling. Non-Greens can say “the right words” to fit the official job description, but a people who have viewed the world through a Green Window all their lives will say those right words with the conviction of genuine passion for the values that meet your needs.

Disclaimer: Never, ever discount the experience of Blue, Gold, and Orange people. Do not exclude them from hiring, even in a case like this one, because plenty of non-Greens do indeed not only have experience, but they often possess Green values and strengths that they have developed over time, thus bringing to the table a whole palate of skills that nobody else can ever replicate.

So you want your committee to succeed?

So you want your committee to succeed?

Rule #1 for committee formation: Invite people whose values and strengths differ from yours.

If you don’t have Greens (rationals), you might lack lovers of research and long-term strategic thinking. For example, if you were on the committee to protect kids from violence in your local grade school, Greens would look for best practices locally, nationally, and internationally – with gusto and thoroughness.

If you don’t have Golds (guardians), consider disbanding the committee. Those guys stay on top of logistics, rules, policies, and especially follow-through. For the grade school anti-violence committee, Golds will probably link the committee’s work to respected organizations and leaders in the larger community, will guard against sloppiness and inconsistencies, and will hold everyone else’s feet to the fire of quality and high responsibility.

The Blue people (idealists) facilitate, mediate, teach, mentor and often become the greatest cheerleaders for the committee’s mission and implementation. Without Blues, don’t be surprised if the people you need to persuade tell you that your committee wreaks of sharp-edged, bureaucratic turn-offs. Besides, For the school anti-violence committee, the Blues will not let you forget the people issues, human feelings, and ways to appeal to peoples’ emotions, ideals, and dreams.

Oranges (artisans) are the least likely to be invited to join a committee. Oranges themselves shy away from sit-down events for fear of slow activity. Non-Oranges are wary of fast Orange decision making. Orange strengths, however, include inborn high practicality, natural awareness of common-sense priorities, and especially abilities to carry out and enforce safety measures. For protecting school children, Oranges are the natural first-responders and uniquely capable to lead and think on their feet when it matters.

Each temperament style has values and strengths that differ from the others. At least three styles see life significantly differently from each one of us. They complete us. They are rich resources. Together we build collective wisdom, even genius. So how wouldn’t a genius committee succeed?

 

Many 2016 Prez Candidates Are RATIONALS!

Many 2016 Prez Candidates Are RATIONALS!

What do Bush, Clinton, Cruz, Fiorina, Sanders, and Kasich have in common? Together with several colleagues in the personality assessment business, I am betting that all six of them are Rationals, i.e., Green in my Four Windows program. The only major Greens (nothing to do with the environment) in previous elections were Obama, Clinton, and Gingrich.  This year’s crop is nothing short of astounding because only a few Greens have ever run and won in the United States in all of its history, i.e., only nine to date.

Rational Greens make up only about 10% of the entire world’s population to begin with. And it’s no secret that Green people are difficult to sell because they tend to be the opposite of touchy-feely, the opposite of empathetic, the least humorous. Rationals are as serious as a heart attack. Listen to any one of them at any time: They spew facts and strategy like Harvard professors. The good news is that all of them think long-term and big picture. And they don’t suffer fools lightly.

No question about it, candidates inside and outside the Democratic Party will be worthy challengers to Hillary Clinton, like never before. The debates are bound to be worthwhile. We can expect more depth than we have heard before and, believe it or not, probably less name calling and fewer dirty tricks in the advertising.