The essential guide to Insights Discovery color energies and how to use them at work

Picture this. You’re communicating with a work colleague, or client, and you hit a wall. They seem off. Their emails are short and curt. You haven’t spoken with them before, and you don’t understand what you’ve done to offend them.

Plot twist, you haven’t.

Everyone is unique. People like different music genres. They have different pastimes. Different tastes, styles, interests and preferences. Einstein famously stated that ‘the person who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd’.

Embracing our differences is brave- they’re our superpowers. After all, it’s these differences that make the world a wonderfully diverse place.

Yet, when differences arise at work, they can be met with tension, conflict and stress.

Much like people have personal preferences, the same can be applied to work contexts. Let’s face it, chances are you wouldn’t invite Kevin, a classical music fanatic, to your heavy metal concert on a Friday night. You know he probably wouldn’t like it.

So then, why would you ask the usually quiet Tim to contribute out loud in a company-wide meeting? Or not involve sociable and outgoing Katie in the team catch up call? Or, expect the short-answered, straight talking Steve to engage in chit-chat?

The days of ‘work me’ and ‘home me’ are lessening, and personalities are coming into play at work more often.

How do you manage these contrasting personalities within your team, and ensure that everyone feels valued? How do you ensure that your team communicates and operates effectively?

A simple and efficient way to manage different personalities across your team is using the Insights Discovery methodology.

Understanding the Insights Discovery Methodology

Based on Jungian psychology and presented through a simple, four-color model, this system enables individuals to see their unique mix of ‘color energies’: Fiery Red, Sunshine Yellow, Earth Green and Cool Blue.

Everyone has every color energy within them, but they prefer, or are more comfortable with, some over others. These are the ones you’ll recognize in them most often. It is this unique mix that determines how and why people behave the way they do. In other words, their superpower.

This provides an insight into how you and your colleagues work, and enables an easily understood language of color that can be adopted in the team, unifying team members in whatever way your organization works.


The Benefits of Understanding Personality Characteristics

Understanding these color characteristics, and how you and others in your team collaborate can be hugely beneficial. Once you know how your colleagues work, you can accommodate their projects, tasks and ways of working in a way that best suits their preferences. The result? A happier, healthier, and more productive team!

Cool Blue:

What are the characteristics of this color energy?
Cool Blue represents the combination of Introversion and Thinking. Your colleagues that lead with this color energy preference want to know and understand the world around them. They often like information to be accurate and complete, and to fully think things through before committing to action. They may maintain objective standpoints and value independence and intellect. In short, they are characterized by an internal focus on knowledge, quality, reflection and consideration.

How to work with someone who leads with Cool Blue?
When working with your team members that lead with this color energy preference, detail, accuracy, and quality are key. Give them the space to work on independently, present all facts in a clear and logical way, and be prepared to answer questions. Additionally, allow them the time to adjust to new situations and ideas and ensure that these changes are presented with a factual base. Due to their often analytical nature, people who lead with Cool Blue color energy may enjoy having the opportunity to reflect and de-brief on projects, and they may prefer written forms of communication to maintain clarity and accuracy.


Earth Green:

What are the characteristics of this color energy?
Earth Green represents the combination of Introversion and Feeling. People with this color energy preference tend to view the world through their values and what’s important to them. They often seek harmony and depth in relationships and defend what they value with quiet determination and persistence. Colleagues with this color energy preference may prefer democratic approaches that respect the individual and like to ensure all perspectives are heard and considered in decision-making processes. In short, they are characterized by an internal focus on value, relationships, trust and support.

How to work with someone who leads with Earth Green?
Your colleagues that lead with this color energy preference often like all ideas and perspectives to be heard in relation to group projects; so make sure to enable this level of discussion. They may enjoy the space to work independently, but also depend on opportunities for team relationship building and collaboration to enhance relationships within the team. Make sure any decisions are made democratically and that individual preferences and needs are understood to enhance team harmony.


Fiery Red:

What are the characteristics of this color energy?
Fiery Red represents the combination of Extroversion and Thinking. People with this color energy preference are often active and move in a positive and firm direction. They may have a strong determination that influences those with whom they interact and tend to approach others in a direct and straightforward manner. They are predominantly results driven and may have a single-minded focus when it comes to checking off a ’to do’ list. People that lead with this color often like to seek outcomes that are specific and tangible.

How to work with someone who leads with Fiery Red?
Your colleagues that lead with this color energy may be strongly results driven, so ensure projects are moving forward and that these individuals have challenges and goals to keep them engaged. People with a strong Fiery Red preference may like things to move quickly and are strongly motivated by getting things done, so support them in getting what they need and removing blockers. With a passion for action, colleagues with this preference will sometimes need focus time to make sure they’re feeling productive. When progress on key projects is slow, your colleagues can be motivated by quick wins.

Sunshine Yellow:

What are the characteristics of this color energy? 
Sunshine Yellow represents the combination of Extroversion and Feeling. People with this color energy preference often radiate enthusiasm, encourage participation and enjoy and seek the company of others. They may have a strong desire to be involved, and like to be noticed and appreciated for their contributions- especially when they go above and beyond. Natural storytellers, people with a strong Sunshine Yellow preference are often great in group situations and are inspired by ideas and possibilities.

How to work with someone who leads with Sunshine Yellow?
Your colleagues that lead with this color energy may relish in the opportunity to collaborate, as they thrive when participating with others. Make sure their ideas and contributions are heard and try to build on their ideas to harness their natural energy. Additionally, ensure there is the opportunity for team based socialising outside of work and follow-ups in relation to work projects.

Your unique mix
🔴 🟡 🔵 🟢

You may lead with one color energy, but it is the combination of the four color energies that create the unique you.

We are all nuanced, and how these colors interact may differ depending on the day, surroundings, external and internal pressures. An awareness of how you are ‘showing up’ to others each day is crucial, not only to elevate your self-awareness but also to understand how you interact with your team.

Your team is unique, so leverage these individual preferences and treat others not as you would like to be treated, but as they would like to be treated! The result? Harmony in your team through a shared understanding of preferences.


What is Insights Discovery?

Intrigued about what your unique color mix is? Understanding your own preferences through self-awareness can enhance your team. Interested?