Three years ago, I was introduced to a personality workshop originating from a company called “True Colors® International.” I confess, my initial reaction was to heave an inner sigh at having Cyndi Lauper’s song, “True Colors,” immediately stuck in my head. I was also skeptical. I have taken a number of personality tests and enjoyed them all, but found them difficult to apply to my everyday life…walking away with a list of personality type initials or percentages of categories I fall under in my career path was interesting, but not particularly memorable or applicable. I am happy to say True Colors proved to be a unique experience, so much so that I not only apply the principles I learned on a daily basis, I chose to become a certified facilitator and am now passionate about passing my knowledge onto others.
Why is True Colors different? In a nutshell, it goes beyond an assessment – after you learn your own personality color spectrum, you are guided through a variety of fun team-building exercises that give you the tools to implement better communication and interaction in your workplace, and at home. It is also easy to understand; your personality is categorized by blue, green, gold and orange.
What is the actual value? True Colors is utilized in many ways, but I categorize workplace application into two groups: organizational culture and leadership guidance. For example, when I previously worked at a high performing nonprofit, I conducted a monthly True Colors workshop at new employee orientation. This practice establishes communication and workplace culture expectations from an employee’s first week on the job, and ingrains the lingo into daily conversation. For example, your company’s “blues” may not get along with your “oranges,” but they will understand why they tend to have disagreements, and how to approach colleagues who think and operate differently at work. I have also taught workshops to groups comprised of executives, managers and supervisors. These leadership workshops include insight on how your employees may view your leadership style, and what tactics to employ to better manage employees based on their personality.
I love True Colors because it embraces diversity – each personality color adds value to the workplace, and we all have shades of each color within us. The workshop identifies intrinsic values, motivations, sources of self-esteem, causes of stress, communication and listening styles, social skills, learning styles and much more. This method also has a more than twenty-year history of success with companies such as Ford, Kraft and JC Penney.