A lot of research has been done in attempts to categorize individuals into specific personality types. A few months ago, I was introduced to the True Colors personality test, and was very intrigued by the results. True Colors personality styles are classified into four different colors: gold, orange, green, and blue. Each color describes the traits that the individual with that personality style likely exhibits. The test asks you to pick the traits that you relate to the most, and to grade the colors on a scale; the color that you assign the most points to is your primary color, the next is your secondary, and so forth. What fascinated me is that once I assigned all of my points and looked at the results, I saw that I related almost equally to three of the personality types! Out of 60 points, my results were as follows: 19 Green, 18 Blue, 17 Orange, and 6 Gold.
After reading the descriptions of the personalities that each color represented, I realized that I did identify with all three personality styles. However, I noticed that I related to different styles in different situations; this made me realize just how fluid our personalities truly are. Before I delve any further, let’s explore the four different personality styles described by True Colors.
Green: Analytical, global, conceptual, cool, calm, collected, inventive, logical, perfectionist, abstract, hypothetical, investigative
Blue: Enthusiastic, sympathetic, personal, warm, communicative, compassionate, idealistic, spiritual, sincere, peaceful, flexible, imaginative
Orange: Witty, charming, spontaneous, impulsive, generous, impactful, optimistic, eager, bold, physical, immediate, fraternal
Gold: Loyal, dependable, prepared, thorough, sensible, punctual, faithful, stable, organized, caring, concerned, concrete
The facilitator at the meeting that I attended explained it in a very memorable manner—“if the light fixture above us fell on the floor and shattered into tiny pieces, the Golds will be the first to start cleaning up the mess, the Blues will make sure that no one got hurt, the Greens will wonder why it fell, and the Oranges are probably the ones who caused it. All personality types have strengths and weaknesses. The Greens may take too long to spring into action, and overanalyze things; the Blues may be too emotional for their own good; the Oranges may not be able to sit still because they need constant stimuli to keep their attention; the Golds may be seen as too rigid. The idealistic question that arises is whether or not our personalities can be intentionally modified in such a way that magnifies our strengths and eradicates or mitigates our weaknesses. In research conducted by Lesley Martin, Lindsay Oates, and Peter Caputi in 2014, results indicated that intentional personality modification was indeed possible, and in a short period of time too. The researchers showed that in as little as three months of attending personality change coaching, participants reported significant positive changes in areas that they wanted to improve.
Although this research was preliminary and the concept requires further delving into, these results shed an optimistic light that cannot be ignored. If negative personality traits can truly be modified into positive ones by changing one’s beliefs, habits, and mindset, individuals who undergo this process can exponentially increase their success in their professional and personal lives. In the future, employers can potentially use such coaching programs to develop their management teams, instilling in them traits that would benefit them as well as the organization, such as leadership, confidence, and optimism. Furthermore, individuals who may have negative traits that affect their interpersonal relationships may benefit from such behavior modification by perhaps developing positive traits such as open-mindedness, generosity, empathy, and many others. Whereas such results and coaching may be viewed as controversial by some who may take it as brainwashing or cloning, it is important to remember that such changes require serious commitment from the individual undergoing this process, and a genuine desire for such change in order to achieve greater success in their careers and personal lives.
1. What is true colors? (2015). True Colors Intl. Retrieved from: https://truecolorsintl.com/about-us/what-is-true-colors/
2. Martin, L. S., Oades, L.G, & Caputi, P. (2014). Intentional personality change coaching: a randomized controlled trial of participant selected personality facet change using the Five-Factor model of personality. International Coaching Psychology Review, 9(2), 196-209