Green and gold

My favorite color may be blue (see my previous post), but according to True Colors, I am a Green. Or maybe a Gold.

Yesterday afternoon my supervisor at work gave me a True Colors personality quiz. I scored slightly higher on Green than Gold, while Blue and Orange were tied for the lowest score he said he had yet seen.

Curious to learn more, I looked for information on True Colors on the internet. I found this free quiz, and according to it I am a Gold. Some questions made it very hard for me to pick one answer over the other.

Is it more important to (a) make others happy or (b) follow the rules? If I absolutely have to pick, I’d tend to choose (b) – but it depends on who I would make happy or unhappy by my choice, and who made the rules. I’ll drive a bit faster than I like to if my husband is concerned about how late it is. When I’m approving software change requests at work, I’ll consider the intent of the rules and the probable impact when deciding whether to stick to the letter of the rules. But even those exceptions make me somewhat uneasy.

At work is it more important for me to (a) be mentally challenged or (b) have predictable situations? They are both very important to me, which is probably why I have trouble finding a job I really like. Dealing with new situations tends to fluster me. Recently I was setting up a new computer for someone, which is something I did many times in previous jobs but I’m just starting to do in my current position. I was very embarrassed to have to be told by the computer’s user that the reason the new mouse wasn’t working was that I hadn’t put the batteries in yet.

Doing a job that rarely led to dealing with new situations would be very boring, though. The trick is finding a good mix of variety and routine. My supervisor also asked, yesterday, what aspects of IT I think I know or do best. That’s tough to say, because I spent nearly twenty years at small companies where my “expertise” was knowing everything well enough to be the entire IT department on my own. I looked forward to not having to be the resident expert at everything, working at a large company, but I have trouble finding a good niche for myself.

Whatever the weaknesses of the quizzes, however, it’s clear that Green and Gold together do a good job of describing me. This article – the first one I’ve found that actually sums up each type in a single word – identifies Green with curiosity and Gold with responsibility. Yes, that’s me – the Perennial Student who always wants to learn new things, but who spends most of her time just doing the things that need to get done at work, home, and church.

Interestingly, the same article also shows a matrix which groups Blue and Gold as cooperative, Green and Orange as Pragmatic, Blue and Green as Abstract, and Gold and Orange as Concrete. What does it mean to be both cooperative/concrete and pragmatic/abstract?

Supposedly one of the strengths of the True Colors matrix is that it’s easy to understand and remember. The Myers-Briggs designations such as ISTJ can seem complex and ill-named. (Why is “judging” the opposite of “perceiving”? Apparently the nomenclature goes back to Carl Jung.) And just a couple of weeks after taking the DISC quiz, I can remember that I’m both S and C, but I can’t remember what the S stands for.

I won’t have any trouble remember that I’m Green/Gold, but I’m not sure yet how helpful I find it. (My manager is supposed to be sending out information on who is what within our team, and tips for communicating with people of other colors. That will be interesting material to review.) I would prefer words that actually mean something instead of colors that are supposed to hint at something (is that my Green side speaking?).

I do find it interesting to read of a study analyzing people in terms of both True Colors and Myers-Briggs personality types. (This is mentioned as a small part of a long document; the section that interests me is around page 8.) I am not at all surprised to learn that Green apparently corresponds to Thinking (the T of ISTJ) and Gold corresponds to Judging. The opposites of those, Feeling and Perceiving, correspond to Blue and Orange, which of course I scored so low on.

The Myers-Briggs types introduce two other dimensions, introverted vs extroverted and sensing vs intuition. One of the articles I referenced above links the SJ type (Guardian) to Gold. Green is identified with NT (Rational). So according to that breakdown, my S and J determine more of my personality than the T aspect. I don’t remember if I thought about that before when I read the book Please Understand Me.

As for introversion and extroversion, the sample True Colors personal assessment makes an interesting point. Extroverts, it says, operate in their dominant style externally, while introverts use their dominant color on the inside and are more likely to display their secondary color on the outside. So perhaps my dominant color is green, but I keep all that interest in logic and philosophy on the inside, while I carry out activities that are related to responsibility.

Speaking of which, it’s time to finish with all this interesting theory and go do something practical. I need to go do laundry, dishes, and finish making preparations for a day trip to Chicago tomorrow (to visit the Museum of Science and Industry, where I can let my curiosity take over).


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