By Peter DeArmond
Developing effective interpersonal communication skills is the foundation of all of the training that I do. Over the years I’ve tried all the popular tools and methods you can name. In recent years I’ve settled on Real Colors because it is unique in its assessment method, and in the way it incorporates experiential learning so participants can apply their knowledge in a practical way.
In other words, it just works.
It’s also more fun for the participants. The typical training session is presented in a fast, interactive format where participants learn first about their own temperament or “color” and then about the temperament of others, and how to effectively interact with them. Using this knowledge, they can develop more effective communication skills and build better relationships in and out of the workplace. (See this article if you care to learn more about how that applies in communication.)
The National Curriculum and Training Institute (NCTI), the founder of the Real Colors system, offers the following explanation about the advantages of using Colors: In the work world, being savvy about your temperament can lead you to a clearer understanding of your natural role and functions within an organization. It can help you better capitalize on your personal strengths to build your success. By comprehending your co-workers' temperaments and how each temperament relates, you can begin to master your interactions with supervisors and staff. In addition, being able to interpret others' innate styles can help you to meet their implicit expectations, as well as increasing your own leadership abilities.
In your personal life, being knowledgeable about temperament can help you build strong, lasting ties with others. This is true because it aids you in anticipating your loved ones' needs and respecting their different ways of dealing with life. When you are responsive to others, you will naturally be looked upon as dependable, responsible, helpful and empathetic. These are all wonderful qualities to bring to your personal relationships. In addition, coming to terms with your own temperament and innate tendencies can bring new levels of wisdom and self-knowledge to all of your interactions, as well as identifying how your particular temperament impacts and influences others.
Real Colors is based on the work of several pioneers in temperament research: Carl Jung, Myers-Briggs, and Dr. David Keirsey. It focuses on the four basic components instead of the 16 Myers-Briggs Type Indicators. Instead of using words to label these types, it uses the colors Blue, Gold, Green, and Orange. For most people, one color is dominant, or primary. Everyone has at least some of each color, but one is almost always preferred. Because we all have all four colors in us, we can learn to tap into them -- a vital concept when it comes to improving interpersonal communication.
By design, Real Colors does not break down the subsets of each of the four major temperament types. It focuses on the most common identifiable factors of each of the four main types to help people better understand, first, their own color preference and, second, to understand color preferences of others, and how best to communicate with them. After the assessment process is completed through a certified facilitator, the Real Colors system uses proven experiential learning activities to help people learn about the differences, and especially, to accept and appreciate them. A typical Real Colors workshop is held for 20 to 30 people and takes about 3 and a half hours.
Participants learn several key things during the workshop: 1. Your color preference is an indicator of your strength. It's where you operate or excel with the least amount of effort, or do some things without having to think about it, because it's your natural comfort zone. 2. Any strength used in excess can become a weakness. 3. With a conscious effort and a little practice, you can tap into those color characteristics that may not be natural to you, in order to communicate with others who are natural opposites from you. 4. Your color preference, no matter how high your score in it may be, is never an excuse for bad behavior -- that's a character issue.
As a trainer and facilitator who has used Real Colors® for years, I often observe how people accept each other after the workshop. You learn you can't knock someone just because their color preference is the opposite of yours. It's like a light bulb goes on -- we're different, I accept you for who you are, and we don't have to be best friends to communicate in a civil manner. This is why Real Colors is a great tool in any workplace setting where people interact with each other or the with the public. When communication improves, morale, team-building and productivity improve, too.
I welcome calls and e-mails about how this system can help improve your work or home life. You can contact me here with any questions, or call 661-331-3382.
Real Colors © is copyright of NCTI, Inc.