Contributed by Kami Pollvogt, Change by Design, LLC
We all know that life can be hectic, and people’s behaviors can be downright confusing. One day our boss gives us an assignment with little to no direction, or you have a stubborn classmate who refuses to do his/her or part in a group assignment—heck, even our loved ones, the ones we think we know best, can throw us for a loop from time to time.
Do you ever find yourself asking, why do they act like that?
I have some of the answers for you! There is, of course, no way to be 100 percent certain why someone does what they do, but I’ve had the privilege of learning a lot about human factors, both from a long career in change management and user-centered design, as well as my knowledge as a certified independent trainer of the Color Code Personality Science—the latter being today’s blog topic!
All life is about relationships: personally, professionally, with our business clients/ customers and, of course, with ourselves.
You might have noticed that some people are very easy to love, work for, and befriend. Then there are some who require constant effort, often baffling you as to why the relationship is so difficult. Easy or difficult, we each play a part in making those relationships work. As a result, every relationship begins with YOU!
Who are you? Do you really understand why you think and behave as you do? Imagine the power of truly knowing yourself, what motivates you, and how you impact the relationships in your life!
By knowing ourselves first, we can better understand how to successfully communicate and relate to others. The Color Code Personality Science allows you to see yourself and others in a way you never have before. Once you “get yourself,” it changes your self-awareness and provides tools for effectively connecting with others.
What is the Color Code Personality Science?
The Color Code Personality Science is the creation of Dr. Taylor Hartman—a psychologist, a leadership coach, and the author of four books, one of which is The Color Code: A New Way to See Yourself, Your Relationships, and Life (now The People Code), which was published in 1987.1
The Color Code theory is that each of us has a Driving Core Motive (DCM)—a reason why we do everything we do in life. Our Driving Core Motives are innate; they came with us at birth. Everyone has a distinct personality pattern that remains stable throughout life. Your personality includes specific ways of thinking, reasoning, feeling, and acting.
There are four primary personality profiles which are identified by four colors; red, blue, white, and yellow.
- Reds have a core motivation of Power, and their natural talents are leadership and vision.
- Blues are motivated by Intimacy, and their natural talents are quality and service.
- White’s core motive is Peace. They naturally bring clarity and tolerance.
- The core motive of Yellow is Fun, and their natural talents are enthusiasm and optimism.
How is Color Code Personality Science Different?
Color Code Personality Science is motive-based. Most other popular personality assessments are behavior-based. The difference between the two is that The Color Code™ (i.e., The People Code) goes deeper—it explains why you do what you do (motive) rather than just identifying what it is that you do (behavior).
Most other assessments start with behavior because it is easy to observe and document. It is also easy to repeat a certain behavior, which over a long period of time develops into habits. Our habits collectively determine our lifestyle. However, personality begins long before behavior is exhibited.
Motive is not learned or developed; it is intact at birth and does not change. The key take-away is that our personalities begin with a Driving Core Motive.
How do the Driving Core Motives reveal themselves in day-to-day actions and interactions?
Important Note: please view these as you would a stereotype, i.e., a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image, idea, or type of person.
It is rare that any one person will personify100 percent of their primary Driving Core Motive color. The following tendencies and behavioral traits is a small sample of each of the personality colors.
Red’s Driving Core Motive is Power. Common behaviors exhibited by Reds are:
- The first to volunteer to lead a group activity.
- Could be an action-oriented Dad who feels his kid is taking too long deciding which college to attend.
- Manager of a store who manages her people fairly; logical; doesn’t mince words, but secretly feels she could be more productive.
Blue’s Driving Core Motive is Intimacy. Common behaviors exhibited by Blues are:
- The first to come to your aid. Blues will be the ones bringing you a thermos of soup when they hear you’re not feeling well.
- They can be intolerant of problems in the workplace. Blues are the ones who analyze and say there is a better way to do XYZ, but then they don’t do anything about it.
- The mom who worries that her kids will get hurt every time they do something new.
White’s Driving Core Motive is Peace. Common behaviors exhibited by Whites are:
- The first to be accepting of someone who is different.
- They are the people who won’t easily pick a side but will show you the merits of having choices, which leaves them with a tendency to be indecisive.
- He’s the person in class who gets good grades but doesn’t eagerly participate in class. He’ll need to be called upon for answers or thoughts about a topic.
Yellow’s Driving Core Motive is Fun. Common behaviors exhibited by Yellows are:
- The first to know the best place to go on vacation or which restaurant to eat at.
- They thrive on being noticed, so you will find them to be well put-together and always ready to try something new.
- He’s the storyteller of your family, the one who at Thanksgiving dinner holds everyone’s attention with hilarious stories from back in the day.
How can you benefit from The Color Code knowledge?
There are many ways you can use The Color Code to improve your personal and professional relationships, gain an advantage in business, or just get to know yourself a little better.
The biggest overall benefit to understanding The Color Code is awareness of one’s tendencies. Once you are aware, you can begin to accept the behavior and figure out healthy ways to communicate and interact.
I’ve listed three specific benefits under each type of relationship.
Personal Relationship Benefits
- Couples begin to identify the strengths of their partner and learn to lean on them.
- Parents begin to release certain expectations of their child, grow more accepting of their differences, and easily identify similarities that create connection.
- You will begin to understand what friends are great for certain situations and WHY!
Professional Relationship Benefits
- You may find it easier to meet the expectations of a boss/manager by knowing what motivates them.
- You may find it easier to get along with and communicate with your coworkers. They may even feel like you know them better than anyone else.
- Managers find it easier to communicate expectations and allocate work assignments based upon employee
Business Relationships Benefits
- Business owners find it easier to tailor information on their product and services in a manner that supports prospective client decision making.
- Business owners will better understand and respond to the actions of existing clients/customers.
- Clients/customers may brag about you and your business because you will interact with them in a way they know, like, and trust.
Relationship with Self Benefits
All the previous benefits I’ve covered work best when you are aware of your own Driving Core Motive. Remember, every relationship begins with YOU!
Before you can grow within ANY relationship, you must understand how you’re showing up in the world. Knowing your natural behavior tendencies, wants, needs, strengths, and limitations allows you to see how you can change by design!
Are you curious to know more? Let’s chat! I love talking about the Color Code Personality Science and how it can help improve your relationships. I offer everyone who’s interested in developing better relationships a complimentary 30-minute discovery call.
Be sure to follow me on Facebook, where I will be blogging more about the Color Code Personality Science and other topics related to personal development.
1Taylor Hartman, PhD. The People Code: It’s All About Your Innate Motive. (New York: Scribner, 1987).
Kami Pollvogt is a Transformational Life Coach and founder of Change by Design LLC, a creative personal development company that focuses on teaching, guiding, and accelerating personal change through the practice of living intentionally.