Colour energies: What Are Your True Colours?

A personality test that figures out the colour energies driving your interactions can help you get the best out of your relationships – both at home and at work.

I know what you’re thinking: ‘Colour energies’ sound like wishywashy armchair psychology – and how can you possibly split the whole of humankind into four neat little boxes? But bear with me. The True Colours personality test can help you understand what makes some people clash and others get along with ease, and teach you how to tailor your interactions with people to get the best from them. (After all, we co-create both good and bad relationships.) The theory behind the four colour energies dates all the way back to Ancient Greece. Hippocrates first identified what he saw as the ‘four humours’ – a premise that was built upon by Swiss psychologist Carl Jung. A good thing to keep in mind is that everyone will have aspects of all four ‘types’ in their personality, but usually you should be able to identify a dominant as well as a secondary colour that drive behaviour. So which of these four colour personas describes you best?

Colour energies: What Are Your True Colours? Photo Gallery

FIERY RED extroverted & thinking ‘Let’s do it NOW’ Identification Spotting a Fiery Red is not hard. It’s like the old joke about runners: ‘How do you know if someone is a runner? They tell you.’ Fiery Reds will ‘tell’ you that they are Red right off the bat, either through their words or their behaviour, as they are usually the ones who take charge and speak their mind, no matter the situation. They are confident, strongwilled, driven, competitive and willing to take risks, and they have no problem delegating tasks, taking on a challenge or dealing with conflict head-on. Reds are rational, disciplined and persistent, but also quick-thinking and decisive. With this type, what you see is what you get. On the negative side Fiery Reds can be seen as domineering, pushy, insensitive and impatient. They are also inattentive when it comes to details and they don’t handle restrictions well. An ideal working situation Fiery Reds thrive in a job where they have variety, but also autonomy to do as they see fit. They want to do things their way (don’t try to take over!), they don’t want to be micromanaged, and they value direct feedback. How to interact with them Dealing with a Fiery Red? The best advice is this: ‘Be brief, be bright, be gone’. State the facts, be succinct and be assertive. Don’t waffle or give them too many details; headlines only, please, and come with solutions, not problems.

COOL BLUE introverted & thinking ‘Let’s do it RIGHT’ Identification Tidy desk? Immaculate appearance? A sharp eye for detail? You are dealing with a Cool Blue perfectionist. They are organised, conscientious, precise and analytical. As they are also on the ‘thinking’ side of the colour wheel, they prefer to approach problems with logic rather than emotion. On the negative side Because they are so thorough, Cool Blues tend to get bogged down in the details, which can make them seem indecisive. They are often sticklers for the rules and tend to come off as aloof or detached, as they prefer to remain objective and analyse the situation. An ideal working situation Cool Blues thrive in a job where they have a clear brief on what is expected of them and sufficient time for careful planning. They also prefer to fly solo – a team project is a Cool Blue’s worst nightmare, as they want to do things alone so they can get it just right. How to interact with them First off, don’t show up late. Don’t exaggerate or be vague; come prepared with facts and figures and give them the details: Cool Blues like to have all the information before they make a decision. Also, give them time to think things through and listen attentively when they speak. If you’re in a work situation, send them an email and set up a meeting if you want to chat; don’t just walk over and pull up a chair.

SUNSHINE YELLOW extroverted & feeling ‘Let’s do it TOGETHER’ Identification This is the very definition of a people person. You’ll find the happy-go-lucky Sunshine Yellows at the centre of things, usually talking loudly and animatedly – about their weekend, their friends or their latest passion project. Yellows are high-energy, enthusiastic, sociable and articulate, as well as optimistic and imaginative. Their thinking is fast-paced and they are very focused on relationships; they like to help others and rarely turn down an invitation. On the negative side (They won’t like admitting to any of this.) Sunshine Yellows may promise you the world – and fully intend to stay true to their word – but they might not necessarily deliver. Yellows have trouble following through and completing projects, as they tend to lose steam before a task is completed. They also tend to overestimate their own abilities and act impulsively. An ideal working situation Yellows flourish in a warm working atmosphere that is not too task-oriented or focused on timekeeping. They love teamwork and variety; don’t tie them down with routine or bore them with too much detail. Give them ample opportunity to voice their ideas and give them public recognition. How to interact with them Be open and friendly, and socialise first – the worst thing you can do to a Yellow is to get straight down to business. Keep the interaction light and fun, tell stories to make a point, and give them a chance to contribute ideas.

EARTH GREEN introverted & feeling ‘Let’s do this HARMONIOUSLY’ Identification Earth Greens are cool, calm and collected. They don’t get worked up very easily and they are easy to get along with because they are so understanding and supportive. They are especially concerned with feelings and relationships, which makes them loyal, patient and democratic. Earth Greens are great listeners, and because they want everyone to get along, you will often find them playing the role of peacemaker or mediator. Like the Sunshine Yellows, they make decisions based on emotions rather than reasoning. On the negative side That tranquil exterior has a flip side: Because they hate conflict, Earth Greens will go to great lengths to avoid confrontation, preferring to smile and keep the peace even if they are seething inside. And, because they find it hard to say no or stand up for themselves, people tend to take advantage of them, and they tend to hold grudges. They find change very challenging, and they have trouble making decisions and sticking to deadlines. An ideal working situation Earth Greens want to feel valued and secure in their work. Acknowledge their efforts and give them clear guidelines on what they need to do. A high-pressure, competitive environment will just stress them out. How to interact with them Show genuine interest, and take the time to chat and get to know them. The worst thing you can do when dealing with an Earth Green is to be pushy or rush them to make decisions. Don’t put them on the spot, make abrupt demands or dominate the discussion. Give them time to think, and the space to voice their thoughts and feelings.

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