A few days ago, @MmeBergevin posted a visual of the True Colours quadrants and the accompanying personality traits associated with each colour. Seeing that graphic took me back to the spring of my last year as a classroom teacher. In those days, there was a selection of off-site professional learning opportunities available to educators, as opposed to our current model of site based school improvement focused learning days. I knew at that time that I would be transitioning into a vice principal role in the upcoming fall and I was intrigued by this session.
I can clearly recall the two presenters ~ one whom I immediately connected with and the other, whose style seemed unorganized and frustrating to me as a participant. As we went through various activities and learned about the four quadrants and how knowledge of our colour could influence our interactions with others, I learned that day that I was drawn to presenters who shared a similar personality colour. As soon as I had determined my dominant colour of Gold, I knew that when it was time for the presenters to reveal their colours I could easily identify the one who was Gold and the one who was Orange.
Oh, what a simplistic, single-minded view I had of myself and those around me…. Such an embarrassment when I think about it. I was dismissive and jealous at the same time of others because I had not learned to appreciate the value within each quadrant.
Fast forward to today and add 15 years of learning about differentiation, multiple intelligences and emotional/social intelligence and now I find myself looking at the same quadrant with an entirely new lens.
I wonder how 15 years ago I landed solely within the Gold quadrant and could not imagine myself identifying with many of the traits within the other quadrants. As I look at those same definitions today, it is amazing how many of the traits within all four quadrants I know see evidence of on a regular basis. Is this simply as a result of life experiences and being in the role of a school leader (which creates the conditions for interacting with so many individuals) or have I done something intentional to move from monochromatic to polychromatic?
I can’t help but wonder if I were to have the opportunity to return to the scene of the original professional learning session if I would now see the strengths of the presenter who identified herself as Orange. I hope so…
Take a look at the graphic. Do you have a dominant quadrant?
Come write with me…
I explored this again as well when it showed up in my social media feeds. I have never really believed that we “fit” only within the bounds of one colour. The situation dictates the characteristics that we need to make use of. I can see times where I am very gold and others where my blue takes over.
I see the important piece to be really understanding yourself and knowing when you need to use the traits from each quadrant. This becomes especially essential when building relationships with others. When we know ourselves well, we can really get to know others. We can see their strengths and their areas of need more clearly when we know our own.
Right now I am wishing I was a little more orange and a lot less gold.