True Colours (are beautiful like a rainbow)

The ‘What am I?’ series is all about being the ‘authentic you’ because I don’t know about you but I LIKE ME and I don’t want to be anyone else. I admit I can be like marmite, however what I have found is that I am mainly marmite when I am trying to be something that isn’t authentic.  I do wonder in some organisations where there is a huge pressure to be something ‘singular and corporate’ that the high sickness levels- that appear to go hand in hand with this- are around the pressure to be something we are not. Just a hunch at this stage…..I’m all for a set of values and behaviours to work towards by the way but this should never be to the extent that our individuality gets compromised- personality is important and if you don’t believe that …well I wouldn’t be a people manager.

Act I- The Belonging Series – ‘What am I?’

This really came to the surface this week when I did the spectoral management type inventory personality questionnaire and discovered that the colour that best described my personality (very accurately might I add) was one of the rarest in management and not the colours that most of the people in the room had.  My colours pointed to creativity, dreaminess etc… all the things that I had become synonymous with but also on the negative side it meant I could be self- destructive (also true).  Rather than get worried about this and throw myself on the nearest resilience course, I realised that whilst this is excellent fodder for me to chew over, it was so great that also my leadership team were here to hear this. It also made me think what could they do with this information rather than just me.  So I continue to embrace my ‘violet’ like a badge of honour. I also now understand that people who are yellow and blue may struggle with my violet and I can make it more pale at times and that’s ok to me but sometimes there is an absolute need for their blue to be a bit paler too as I bring something to the table too. Collectively we can make something special happen!

This month, i’ve also been holding engagement workshops with literally hundreds of people across my current workplace where one of my other colours ‘orange’ has really come in handy. Orange is about warmth and my ‘warmth’  has meant people have felt they can be themselves and tell me exactly what is going on in the organisation warts and all (their shared vision, not the corporate one) – this is such useful stuff for us to work on as an organisation and again it is because I have an absolute passion to hear from people that pays dividends… if I had been a different colour on the chart , I may have not learnt so much.

So in this chapter , I am going to interview some great people who are not afraid to be who they are and have found success through using their own identity (and I have some absolute corkers for you).  If you are still with me and want to know your colours and wear them like a badge then good for you – I’d love to know the results …because there really is only one you….why be anything else?

Published by Michelle Harte

My name is Michelle Harte and I have worked in HR and OD for over 20 years. I have a passion for learning and growing.

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