Recently I was asked to facilitate a workshop for a newly formed team. One of the activities I used to quickly assess the personality types within the room is The Color Test.
The Color Test is simple.
- Buy Crayons or Colored Markers, enough so that each person has a complete set of 8 (one Black, White, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Purple, and Brown)
- At the meeting, mix all the crayons or colored markers
- Have each participant choose 1 color
- Once they have chosen their color, let the individuals know that you can tell what type of personality they have based on the color they have.
- They will all be intrigued and will want to know what the color they chose means for them
- Let them know that you will do so at the end of the meeting
Before I get to what each color means, did you know that we see in three primary colors: Red, Yellow, and Blue?
All other colors we see are a combination of these primary colors. For instance, Yellow + Blue = Green. I believe the Zip Lock Bags used to have the seal in Yellow and Blue so that the consumer would know it was sealed when it has turned Green.
So what does the color mean?
Black. People who choose black as their favorite color are often artistic and sensitive. While these people aren't introverts, they are careful with the details of their lives and do not share easily with others.
White. People who like white are often organized and logical and don't have a great deal of clutter in their lives.
Red. Those who love red live life to the fullest and are tenacious and determined in their endeavors.
Blue. If blue is your favorite color you love harmony, are reliable, sensitive and always make an effort to think of others. You like to keep things clean and tidy and feel that stability is the most important aspect in life.
Green. Those who love the color green are often affectionate, loyal and frank. Green lovers are also aware of what others think of them and consider their reputation very important.
Yellow. You enjoy learning and sharing your knowledge with others. Finding happiness comes easy to you and others would compare you to sunshine.
Purple. You are artistic and unique. You have a great respect for people but at times can be arrogant.
Brown. You are a good friend and try your hardest to be reliable and dependable. Flashy objects are not something you desire; you just want a stable life.
Clearly, these are generic descriptions but it provides a leader with a starting point when assessing the different personality types that exist within a group.
To better understand your group, it's important to have a baseline on each individual and this exercise is meant to be one data point to help you get to that stage. Try this exercise and let me know what you think.
Bernardo Tirado, PMP @thePMObox
Bernardo covers leadership and technology for PsychologyToday.com. In addition to being an industrial psychologist, he’s certified as a Six Sigma Blackbelt, Project Management Professional, Body Language Expert, and is a Train-the-Trainer in Analytical Interviewing.