When someone is talking about gold, green, blue and orange, I think of jewellery, money, jeans and orange juice. But when Doug Bolger who is the founder & chief learning officer at iLearn2, talks about the colours gold, green, blue and orange, he is actually talking about people’s different personalities. Weird, I know! I admit at first I thought this was a gimmick; you know those “pyramids schemes” or “get rich quick” workshops, but thankfully it was the complete opposite.
iLearn2’s Communicate Naturally workshop at Centennial College was a great learning experience for me because Bolger helped me identify what my strengths are, where I need to improve and how to work with different personalities in order to be a great communicator.
So let me break down what the colours mean:
Gold Mines: people who are detail oriented, dependable and reliable, loves to set schedules and deadlines.
Blue Oceans: people who are mellow, avoids conflict, takes the time to listen and engage with other people.
Green Planets: people who see the big picture, ask many questions and looks for options to improve.
Orange Skies: people who are energetic and creative, loves a fast-paced lifestyle, enjoys being the life of the party,
After completing the assessment my brightest colour was orange, with a shade of blue then gold, and a pale green. I would say that it was spot on!
There were a few highlights during the workshop that Bolger made all 70 of us Corporate Communications & Public Relations students do. First Bolger made everyone stand up and find a way for all 70 of us to move in one direction. It was funny because right away you could tell that the “orange skies” were unorganized while the “gold mines” were formulating a countdown and a leader. Of course us “orange skies” people hate to follow rules! The other task that stood out to me was when Bolger divided all four colours into groups and made us write down lists. Go figures us “orange skies” were YELLING out items, talking over each other, not caring what the instructions were, while the “gold mines” were talking one-by-one and creating a proper list. Why do they have to be perfectionists?! It was pretty interesting to see how all the personalities and everyone in it was reacting to the tasks.
After experiencing that all the “orange skies” cannot work together on a task, it is essential to mix all the colours to create a perfect balance and a successful team. For example, in my project management class we were put into a group for an assignment and had to create a four-month project. My task was to create a work breakdown structure (WBS) and I had no idea how to create one. Even though I was taught from my teacher on what a WBS was, being an “orange skies” I had already forgotten, moved on to the next assignment and I was all over the place. Luckily having a “gold mines” and “blue oceans” in the group, I was explained on what needs to be done and when I should complete the task. This is why it is key for any group or organization to have a mixture of personalities because you can bounce off ideas, help one another, provide feedback and build a solid schedule. Oh, by the way, I did a kick-ass WBS for my group!
In my books, I would rate iLearn2’s Communicate Naturally workshop 9 glasses of orange juice out of 10! It was Bolger’s passion and energy that really captivated me. There was a lot of interaction with both CCPR blocks and that is something that we have not done at all this year. So it was great to see different peoples personality even though it was just for that hour.
Even though I did find being an “orange skies” is super fun and reckless because you don’t know what is going to happen the next day, it can be very dangerous. I definitely want to work on being more of a “gold mines” by adapting its organizational skills, paying attention to detail and writing tasks down. I also want to work on my “green planets” by asking more questions and solving problems efficiently. If I add those personalities to my already vibrant orange I could be a stronger communicator in a PR agency.
I don’t know about you, but I want all of the lights so I can see everything!