Use Of Colors For Successful Team Building

Most of us have worked on a team whether it is for work, leisure or other pursuits. It is inevitable that some personalities tend to take over the group and assert their influence even if it is not warranted. I have seen teams fall apart on the basis that the mix of members has not been ideal. Through the study of human nature, personality types, and communication methods plus the understanding of how individuals function we can often work towards helping even the most dysfunctional team complete its mission in a smoother fashion.

We all know that are direct and indirect people. Even within these types you can add Open and Self-Contained. So what does this all mean when it comes to forming a good project team?

  1. A project team needs experts from areas where the project will have an impact (this is a given).
  2. From within the experts available a balanced mix of personality types should be selected (this is where the Colors For Success come into play).
Open and Indirect (Yellow)
On the surface: Let’s be friends
Usual Job: Trainer, Teacher
Type: Dependable, team player
Open and Direct (Blue)
On the surface: Love’s FUN
Usual Job: Sales, Entertainment
Type: Promoter, enthusiasm
Self-Contained and Indirect (Green)
On the surface: Let’s get the facts and figures
Usual Job: Engineer, Accountant
Type: Organized, planner
Self-Contained and Direct (Red)
On the surface: Get out of my way!
Usual Job: CEO, Attorney
Type: Focused, goal oriented

We are all a mix of these types with at least one being our dominant type. As you can see, each brings a unique skill to the table and for teams to be highly functional, a balance is ideal.

When choosing a team leader, you need to make a conscious decision on the personality type that will best suit the project. You do not need to simply choose the self-contained and direct type to lead the parade. There are many times when Green is ideal especially when you are looking to a precise outcome for the project. Yellow’s are great for training projects and blues when it comes to some marketing and sales projects.

The biggest reminder is that project management is not in the business of managing projects, it is in the business of leading and mentoring people to be productive and hit deadlines. Project Management is then in the people business. And the team leader is responsible for the people on the project. Without an understanding of the functioning of the personality types, the job of leading a project becomes much more difficult.

Can you imagine having a team leader from the Green category leading a project for soft skills training? It would not be as well managed as having a Yellow leading. Green would do a great precise job but the people part (nurturing and mentoring) would likely be minimized if not totally ignored.

We have just touched this briefly and in the next two posts we will go into depth on the personality types. In addition, there will be tips on how to deal with each type and the approaches you can take to put together a highly productive project team.


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