News & Insights

It's Good To Have The Blues

While preparing for an all-day wireframe presentation, a client asked us to take the PACE (Personality, Attitude & Career Enhancement) test and suggested we share our “colors” prior to the meeting. Since we expected eight attendees, it was helpful to know who the Red, Blue, Green and Yellow folks were in the room so we could better analyze and understand everyone's comments, feedback and suggestions relative to the client's expectations around their new website features and functionality. Having a good balance of colors in the room would allow us to be more productive and understand why someone was commenting on something in a particular way, etc. After going through this exercise, there was more understanding when someone was either dominating the room, out of control with ideas, too rules-oriented and concerned with timing, or didn’t have an opinion because they were too worried about everyone else’s feelings. There was a lot of..."oh , there's that coming out.” By reinforcing that our colors were the reason behind our actions, emotions and responses, it instantly eased the room and no one felt personally attacked. It turned out to be a very productive meeting.


What do the colors mean?

Red - Adventure

Reds tend to be more concerned about what’s happening right now than in the future. Adventurous hobbies, impulsive behavior, if it isn’t fun - forget it! Generous, sharing, helpful. Waiting is unacceptable. They’re often bored and restless. Naturally competitive, witty and charming.

Yellow - Responsibility

Yellows are loyal, dependable, punctual, trustworthy and they know that everyone else should be too. Structure and order are very important. They establish and maintain institutions. Yellows are the backbone of a stable social system. Yellows resist change and see hierarchy as essential to society, the company, the family.

Blue - Harmony

Blues see the possibilities in others, and in themselves. They are highly creative and constantly growing. Uniqueness is important, yet they can shift identities to fit the situation. Life is a search for meaning. Warmth and compassion flow easily and with sincerity. Devoted friends, blues love to talk, share and help.

Green - Curiosity

Greens want to know all there is to know about everything. They like to analyze, study, invent, investigate and explore. Nonconforming and independent, they tend to appear calm, cool, and collected most of the time. The worse situation for a green is to appear unintelligent. They love abstractions and solvable puzzles.


So, what color am I?

Not to my surprise, I scored a 19 in yellow! I live my life with structure and order - some may call that OCD, I call it organized and precise. As one who plays the Project Management role quite often, I need to be dependable, punctual, trustworthy and detailed. Checklists are my friends. In a meeting, when all the reds are strong-willed and dominating the room, I tend to listen and raise questions of how exactly something will get implemented to understand how it will affect timelines and budgets. Spoken like a true PM.

Luckily, I also have the blues. I scored 14 in the blue quadrant, meaning I want to ensure everyone is happy, playing nice in the sandbox and building relationships with people I meet, especially clients.


How To Administer The Test

Administering the test is easy, just follow these basic steps.

1 – The test should only take 5 minutes to complete. Be sure to have everyone answer the questions quickly, with honest, gut reactions.

2 – The score card contains a table with 5 rows and 4 columns of boxes. Each box contains 3 words.

3 – You'll take the test by rating the boxes in each of the 5 rows horizontally.

4 – You'll rate how closely the 3 words in each box match your traits using a scale of 1 – 4 (you can only use each rating number once per row). Scale is like this: 4 = most like you; 3 = somewhat like you; 2 = less like you; 1 = least like you

5 – After rating the score card, total the scores by vertical column and write the total in the box below each column.

6 – Check out your "colors"

So, the next time you are planning a big group meeting which includes different personalities and various opinions, you should consider breaking the ice first by asking your attendees to take a personality test. This way everyone understands what types of personalities and traits are working together. You'll be able to distinguish who may get a little out of control, who will quietly contemplate budgets and timelines, who may be singing Cumbaya and requesting to hold hands, and who will be contemplating new ideas that were not initially part of scope. Regardless, it will make the meeting more fun and productive.


The PACE™ Organization was founded in 1961 by James W. Newman, a pioneering behavioral scientist whose study of high-performance people identified a group of habits, attitudes and patterns of behavior which appeared to be common denominators of high levels of success and achievement in all walks of life. From the beginning the purpose of PACE™ has been to help already successful people better understand just what made it possible for them to make productive use of their talents and training and to provide clear methods with which to further enhance their personal and professional success. Read more or take the PACE test here: