Although there are many different personalities, communication styles can be broken into four major profiles: Red, Green, Yellow, and Blue.

If you take into consideration the needs of each style when communicating with others, you have the greatest chance of establishing rapport and trust. Develop more tolerance, and an appreciative point of view, for what each style brings to the table. Diversity is the key to innovation and success.

Take the survey to determine your communication style.

 

The strong, confident leader.

Also known as "Controllers", Reds take quick action to drive results. They get to the point with little formalities. They don’t care for details and love finding shortcuts. Otherwise, they get bored easily. They like autonomy, freedom and taking risks. They are self-starters, innovators and love to expend physical energy. They like public recognition, especially for putting what they most value into action and for creating results that make a difference in the world.

Some characteristics of Red:
Concrete, impulsive, risk taker. Likes to get things done and is very action-oriented. Wants to know the short-term objectives of a project. Doesn’t like indecision and vagueness in others, and doesn’t like advice from others. Uninterested in personal feeling.

How to communicate with Red: 
Be supportive of their goals and objectives; be business like. Avoid trying to get personal. If you disagree, argue the facts, not feelings. Be clear, specific, brief and to the point. Stick to business. Be prepared to support your ideas and work. To influence the decisions Reds make, emphasize the practical. Give facts and documentation where possible. Be precise, efficient, and time-disciplined. Do get to business quickly, when interacting with a Red be succinct and precise, give them facts, and avoid the detail, talk to them about results and outcomes, they need to hear this to make quick decisions. Use their time efficiently, they are fast paced thinkers and tend to move quickly in their thoughts, great people to bounce ideas off, be confident when you talk to a Red. 

Factors that will create tension or dissatisfaction:
Talking about things that are not relevant to the task or issue. Being unprepared or incomplete. Avoiding or beating around the bush. Appearing unsure or disorganized, but not asking for help. Don't waffle, remember, they are less patient and what ever you do, don't be vague or ramble on. They value time, so again don't waste their time, don't get too personal as Reds just like to stick to business. Don't stray from purpose, these personality types are focussed. Don't ask irrelevant questions, they get impatient and it does not fit in with their rational thinking patterns. Lastly don't try to take control, Reds are natural leaders and like to feel they are in control. 

You can rely on Reds for: 
Implementing a plan; getting work done quickly; quick decision making; finding simple, practical solutions to a problem; determining realistic parameters of a problem.

 

The team player that looks after everyone in the tribe.

Also known as "Supporters", Greens are caring, understanding and agreeable, always seeking to reduce stress and promote harmony. They are easy to get along with and informal in their approach, but can be stubborn and non-supportive of pushy people and what they judge to be impulsive ideas. The Green is the go between for the Reds and Yellows who are much faster paced. They act as the facilitator to conflicts.

Some characteristics of Green:
Introspective, creative, conceptual. Makes associations, has insights. Needs personal freedom. Enjoys expressing ideas. Ask questions for understanding. Responds poorly to authoritative management. Can take small pieces of information and form a whole. Bored by routine work. Good listener; need to be unique; often unrealistic.

How to communicate with Green: 
Be supportive of Green’s feelings and idealism. Try to show that you are interested in him/her as a person. Make certain that you find out what he/she really wants. Be informal, casual. Allow Green a great deal of personal freedom. Avoid dictating to Green. Begin with a personal comment--break the ice. Present your case smoothly, non-threateningly. Ask “how?” questions to draw their opinions. Be well prepared when dealing with a Green personality, get into detail as they love to get all the facts in their mind. Be factual, specific and logical with your approach. Listening is important to a Green so listen carefully to what they have to say, as they verbalise their thoughts through questioning thoroughly. Give them time to respond as they are slower paced thinkers. Be formal in your approach as they are very business like. 

Factors that will create tension or dissatisfaction:
Rushing headlong into business. Creating tension. Being domineering or demanding. Forcing them to respond quickly to your ideas. Demanding change. Don't come across as disorganised with a Green as they are very tidy. Try not to be late as they are sticklers for time keeping. Try not to be flippant or pushy with them. They don't like vagueness so make sure you have lots of detail and be prepared to have lots of questions thrown at you. Don't use testimonials or exaggerate claims as they do not fall for this, they are more facts and figures orientated. Don't be too emotional as they cannot handle emotions. 

You can rely on Greens for: 
Creative thinking; projects involving inductive reasoning, long range planning generating alternatives; projects involving independence.

 

The life of the party.

Also known as "Promoters", Yellows are sociable, expressive, optimistic and enthusiastic. They like to verbally process their thoughts and tend to interrupt others, especially when excited. They can appear wishy-washy in their decision-making and may need help keeping deadlines. They desire social interaction, acknowledgment and chances to be creative and have fun. They genuinely like people. However, they might find themselves caught up in drama since they are quick to want to help fix things. Teasing is one of their favorite pastimes.

Some characteristics of Yellow:
Empathetic, personal, intuitive. Emphasis on human relationships and feeling when communicating. Likes to be involved in decision-making process. Enjoys friendly, informal relationships with everyone. Doesn’t like rigid, bureaucratic, unfeeling management. Full of ideas. Dislikes telling people unpleasant things; seeks harmony.

How to communicate with Yellow: 
Be supportive of their opinions, ideas, and dreams. Don’t hurry the discussion. Emphasize feelings. Try to avoid arguments, but look for alternative solutions you can both agree on. Be friendly and personable with Yellows, but don’t let them stray from the subject. Provide a warm and friendly environment. Do little things to show your care. Don’t deal with a lot of details (put them in writing). Ask “feeling” questions to draw their opinions or comments. Key to interacting with a yellow it so socialise before mentioning any business. To get into their good books talk about your contacts, networks and other people you may know in common. Be enthusiastic and energetic when conveying your ideas over to them and be fast paced in delivering them. Offer your ideas and use humour when doing so.

Factors that will create tension or dissatisfaction:
Being curt or cold. Cutting them off if they have something to say. Controlling the conversation. Not allowing them to talk and express. Focusing on facts and figures. Yellows don't like it when you suppress their opinions or get into intricate details. They are social animals and don't like it when you are too impersonal, business-like or task orientated. Don't try and inhibit their creativity, or appear aloof or detached.

You can rely on Yellows for: 
Assessing the emotional tone of a situation; getting others involved; generating alternative possibilities and ideas; making people feel at ease; stimulating enthusiasm and support.

 

The deep thinker.

Also known as "Analyzers", Blues are organized, analytical and detail oriented. They take their time and are much slower paced than the Reds or Yellows. Blues can come across as aloof perfectionists due to their logical, precise and deliberate approach. They like to have all the facts, and then logically put together an answer. They desire clear expectations, specific goals and structure. They live by a sense of order, methodology and personal responsibility. They like acknowledgment but won’t ask for it.

Some characteristics of Blue:
Precise, analytical, impersonal. Likes consistency and logic. Prefers clear procedures, rules and regulations. Wants guidelines and structure. Needs to know deadlines. Likes objective, task-oriented work. Not concerned about personal feelings of others. Principled, cautious, prefers working alone; likes problem solving; unemotional. 

How to communicate with Blue: 
Be supportive of Blue’s organized, thoughtful approach. Be systematic, exact, organized and prepared with Blue. Give Blue time to make a decision. Don’t push for quick action. Provide solid, tangible evidence to support your ideas. Stress principles, logic, theoretical, proven ideas. Prepare your “case” in advance. Be prepared for a debate. Stick to business. Be accurate and realistic. Be friendly and show genuine interest in them, chat before going into business. It is important to develop trust first, be informal and non threatening. However, be alert for non verbal signs of concern, remember they say yes but mean no, but their body language will alay this. If you notice any non verbal signs of concern, uncover their needs with open questions. Allow them to weigh things up for themselves. 

Factors that will create tension or dissatisfaction:
Being giddy, casual, informal, emotional or loud. Pushing too hard for results or being unrealistic with deadlines. Being disorganized or messy. Don't be pushy or put them on a spot, Blues absolutely hate this. Don't try and dominate the discussion or rush things and they do not like when you decide for them so try to avoid this. Don't be abrupt, explain in full and do not make wild claims or demands. They can also tell if you are insincere, so don’t be.

You can rely on Blues for: 
Interpreting large amounts of data; designing complex projects or experiments; setting priorities; impartial decision-making; detailed projects.