True Colors was started in 1978 by founder Don Lowry, modeled after the four temperaments of humans discussed by Hippocrates in 460 BC and expounded upon by modern psychologists. True Colors is a means of using colors to represent four different personality types. In True Colors, the colors of Orange, Green, Blue and Gold are used to differentiate the four central personality styles. Through identifying one's personality and the personality types of others, a person is better equipped to understand different motives, actions and communication approaches. In team building, communication and informed interactions are key to understanding one another and working together efficiently.
Color Meaning Discussion
Learning which color matches which personality type is the key to successful True Colors team building, so typically it is best to begin by assessing your group and learning about the True Colors program. Oranges generally strive to achieve results, to win and be successful, as they thrive on competition and crave productivity. Gold reflects a need to be a part of something, representing stability and embracing a family ideal with loyalty and faithfulness. Greens crave intellect and stability, drawing values from information and data rather than emotion, and being consistent in their persistence to create self security. Blue represents calm and contemplative types driven by empathy and feeling, as they strive for balance and a sense of reflective awareness. Finding out each team member’s color and how it may impact his relationship with others is a necessary part of understanding what drives each person.
Have an open discussion about personalities. Have the team identify what color most exemplifies each member, then reflect on past interactions, events and frustrations and how they now perceive them differently knowing a little more about each member’s color personality. To fully understand each color personality, groups can put on mock interviews where team members take on the role of another color.
A ropes course is a great way to validate one another in a group activity that relies on a team. Ropes courses generally involve every team member working together to get from one platform to another, utilizing member’s individual strengths and finding validation in everyone’s abilities and ideas. Have team members verbalize their thoughts about each person and how they are ensuring success for the entire team. You might notice an orange member striving for success while a blue member makes sure everyone feels comfortable with the activities at hand. Green team members might have the best ideas for solving each rope challenge while golds help keep the team working together.
For this activity everyone is separated in to pairs. Each team has one person blindfolded while the other serves as their eyes, verbalizing directions and instructions as they go along. You can either set up an obstacle course or give each team a set of objects to collect; colored helium balloons work really well. Each team will have to recognize each other's colors and communicate to one another to avoid getting frustrated or stumped during the relay.
Stephen Andrew Baldwin became a freelance writer in Seattle, Wash. after graduating from Western Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing. Focusing professionally on web copy, Baldwin has been writing professionally for more than two years, and has been published on a number of websites including eHow.com.