Archive for May, 2011

I’m not sure about you, by my recollection is that every preacher or teacher I ever had told me I had to live by the ‘Golden Rule”. You remember it I am sure: ‘Do onto others as you would have done onto you’.

In principle, the Golden Rule is absolutely sound. Of course I want to treat others as I wish to be treated, and, that said, I want to be treated with respect, dignity, and unconditional love. I am also attracted to certain qualities in others, some of which mirror who I am and some of which are quite different. I dislike really loud argumentative people. I don’t care for those people who are really ‘in your face’ and gratingly opinionated. I also dislike people who get buried in detail and by contrast are all over the map. That’s just me.

Noticing what I like and dislike in others  is  interesting. What about those others who are very different from me. Someone who is that ‘in your face’ kind of guy may find me rather plodding and withdrawn. Not that I am, but as his/her opposite, that may be their perception.

So back to the Golden Rule – does it really hold?

Or is it time for an update and consider the Platinum Rule – Do onto others as they would have done onto them. The Platinum Rule challenges us by saying that what others want may differ from what we want.

From my work in the area of communications I know this to be true. Based on the work of Carl Jung, it has been demonstrated that different energies, introvert versus extrovert, thinking versus feeling or sensing (detailed) versus intuitive (conceptual) do vary in how they communicate with others and how they want others to communicate with them.

In teaching a program entitled the Colour of Communication for one of my clients over the past 14 months, I share with workshop participants the four colour energies of personality. Again, based on Carl Jung’s work, each energy represents a specific set of preferences. The Red Energy, representing the Extraverted Thinker, wants you to communicate logically and offer few details. By contrast the Blue Energy (Introverted Thinking) prefers details, details, details. Then there is the Yellow Energy (Extraverted Feeling) who considers the Blue Energy to be stuck in analysis paralysis because he just wants to move fast and have some fun along the way. Finally we have the Green Energy (Introverted Feeling), working quietly and diligently behind the scenes while focusing on how people are doing. Yes, this is a very brief summary, but you get the picture.

Each of us is different and with these differences come a strong preference for how we wish to be treated, how we want others to communicate with us, and how we want to be in relationships with others. Evidently there is no one size fits all and the Golden Rule needs and update.

I actually love the idea that each person is unique. The colour energy lens is just another way to look at oneself and it raises some interesting questions from a coaching perspective. While your colour energy preferences is clearly your strength and representative of your authentic self, any preference overused becomes a potential weakness. Overall, our colours are what make us tick and the difference, one to another, make the world an interesting place to live and work in.

Are you wondering what your colour preference is? Here’s a set of characteristics we often attribute to the four energies:

RED: Competitive, Demanding, Determined, Strong-willed, Purposeful

YELLOW: Sociable, Dynamic, Demonstrative, Enthusiastic, Persuasive

GREEN: Caring, Encouraging, Sharing, Patient, Relaxed

BLUE: Cautious, Precise, Deliberate, Questioning, Formal

You will see elements of yourself in all colour energies and yet you will recognize that one energy is more descriptive of you than the other. Also notice that you have a second strong colour so that in the end, your colour energy preference is best described a s a Yellow-Red or a Yellow-Green. Like mixing paint, the second colour energy has a significant influence on the first.

Have some fun and play with the energies. and remember, the person sitting next to you will be different from you and may not want to be treated in the same way you want. And that simply makes life interesting!

Have fun…

Until next time,


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