This month we spoke at a conference on one of our favourite subjects – getting relationships right. Better than right – getting them excellent. Whether you’re aware of it or not, when you show up in a communication, whether it is at a meeting, within a group, in a one to one conversation, even on an email – you bring a vibe to that communication. Think of it as an energy. Being conscious of that energy and where you may need to adapt it, is key to developing effective relationships. We use the Insights Discovery behavioural model to help people understand themselves better. The four “energies” within the model are in all of us. They are just there in different amounts.
When your energy is in Fiery Red, you bring assertion, boldness and speed to the table. You like to speak your mind, get things done and be in charge. Overuse of the energy can make you seem controlling, overbearing and intolerant – even if you don’t mean to be like that, so they are ones to watch. When your energy is in Sunshine Yellow, you bring positivity, ideas and sociability to situations. You have great communication skills and you like to influence. You need to watch that it doesn’t spill over in to an over-the-top, distracting, hard to pin down style or people won’t see you at your best.
With the Earth Green energy comes wisdom about people, a desire to collaborate and a “roll the sleeves up”, practical approach. You want to invest in activities that with make things better in the team, for your organisation and for the benefit of others. Used at the wrong time or with the wrong people it can seem a bit stubborn, plodding and change resistant. Finally when your energy is in Cool Blue, you bring an analytical and detailed approach, one that leaves no stone unturned and strives for high standards. You ask searching questions, don’t take things at face value and believe if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Too much Cool Blue and you might be seen as pedantic, indecisive and socially remote.
The key to success is to be aware of your colour mix and then be conscious of others and what they respond to. Just because you respond to an emotional argument, doesn’t mean they will and you may need to adapt to a more objective, factual style if you want to win them over. Just because you don’t do small talk and believe there is a time and a place for social interactions, won’t necessarily work with people who want to connect with you on a personal level before they knuckle down to work. So you may need to invest in some social time first if you want to work well with them later.
So – good relationships are formed when we can be both authentic and adaptable. Nobody wants to experience a “false” you. They just want to know you’ve made room for them and what they need. And if you do that for them, there’s a very strong chance they’ll make room for you and that’s where excellent relationships happen.