Every tool has some basic skills or concepts that drive its use. Utilizing personality styles and nature types in everyday connections is no different. Researchers over the years (thousands of them) have found that by understanding Foundation building someone’s personality type, you can learn much about that person. However, in order to successfully put this understanding into practice, you have to start with (and remember) the basic building blocks.
Over the years, there have been a variety of descriptors for personality types. Many of these descriptors were, at best, difficult to remember and, at worst, held negative connotations. In recent years, companies such as Insight Learning, Four Contact lenses, and True Colors have tried to make the position of execution easier by using four common colors (Blue, Green, Gold, and Orange) as the handholds for creating connections between nature characteristics and our common language. Those connections are crucial if we are to put theory into practice.
In this framework of understanding lie the building blocks — the concepts that form the inspiration. Without these basics, the and the we strive for will never be fully acquired.
Foundation #1: Everyone is Unique
Every person you meet has some characteristics of each nature. The particular combination of inspirations and behaviors demonstrated by any person make up their nature array. Most people have one color that is a lot more like them than the other three. However, some people have points distributed equally among two, three, or even all four of the colors. Because of the nearly limitless variations, a person’s color array (and personality) is a very unique thing.
Foundation #2: Celebrate Differences
Differences are among the first things that we notice about the people we meet. It is easy to execute a quick comparison of characteristics. Often, it is even safer to make judgments or, at the very least, wish these were a lot more like us. In reality, each nature has its set of values and standards. These differ so dramatically that comparing them is similar to the old saying about oranges and grapefruits. It’s simply impossible to compare.
Foundation #3: Rely on Strengths
Have you ever wanted, just for a second, to be like someone else? Have you wanted to experience a skill or ability that appeared to come easily to another? In that moment, you recognized and valued a strength that was not your own. Each nature type holds some natural strengths that the other styles do not. In order to work and live in the most efficient way possible, we must rely on, and place more value on in both word and deed, the strengths of others. In turn, we need to set out to observe that others depend on our strengths as well.
Foundation #4: Sometimes Less is More
People with a confident self-image know how to make the most of their strengths. However, when put in a stressful position, even the most positive person start to feel out-of-esteem. When this happens, characteristics normally considered as strengths can become grossly amplified or abandoned altogether. In times of stress, it is important to remember that any behavior (even a confident one) taken to extreme can become a liability.
Foundation #5: Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover
In what some might think about a perfect world, we might all be motivated to behave in a manner in step with the preferences in our nature type. In real life however, this simply isn’t practical. Sometimes we must act in a manner that seems at chances with your nature. Circumstances at work, church, home, or school might have to have us to take characteristics of a nature not our own.
Learning how to do other colors is part of our growth process. It helps us stretch our abilities and turn into more adept at handling any situation we come across. While going through this extending exercise, balance becomes the operative word. Be sure the goal is to do another colorrather than to become another color. Folding and extending are productive; breaking is not.
These are the five basic building blocks. They need to be positioned at the foundation of the relationships we want to build. In understanding these, and building upon them, we set out to find no use for descriptors like bad and the good or right and wrong. These are replaced by nonjudgmental descriptions as understanding begins to come into focus, and our relationships start to sizzle.