The Four Colors
One way to help people understand their own personalities and the personalities of others is to use psychometric assessments that sort people into different personality types. The Insights Discovery system, based on the work of Carl Jung, is often used in a business context to help leaders, managers, and co-workers understand one another better. Insights Discovery sorts people into four colors, eight personality types, and ultimately into one of 72 wheel positions. Each color represents two key related pieces of information: an individual’s outlook on life and the way they make decisions.
Four Colors, Eight Types
None of us fit the description of just one of the four colors. We’re all a mix of different traits, and these are displayed differently based on our environment and mood. Most of us are a mix of different color energies, and out of this emerges eight personality types, which are described under each color.
Fiery Red is displayed by someone who is action-driven, certain, and confident. They enjoy a challenge and are often competitive and determined to succeed. This determination means that their goal is achievement. They thrive on overcoming challenges. Their single-minded focus can sometimes lead others to see them as impatient.
Director (Extroverted Thinking)
A director is focused primarily on results. Their biggest priority is to get the most important task they have done to a high standard and on time, and they are not afraid to make big decisions and to implement those decisions assertively. These qualities make them excellent leaders, but they need to be careful so they don’t come across as pushy or impatient.
Cool blue is displayed by someone who is very exacting, who wants everything they do to be to a high standard. This person is cautious and thoughtful. They are deliberate in their actions and like to work within a formal structure. In a group, they strive for understanding. While they can be perceived by others as thoughtful and analytical, they can also come across as distant and unemotional.
Observer (Introverted Thinking)
The observer is detail-oriented and cares about everything being correct and defined to a high standard. They are strong at analysis and at meeting rules or guidelines, making them well suited to testing or compliance roles, and any role that requires analytical, practical thought. The observer is often a great fit for legal, financial, and technological pursuits.
Earth Green is displayed by someone who is caring and encouraging. They value stability and are committed to supporting others. They are happy to share with others and are patient when teaching a new skill. Their ultimate goal is harmony, and in a group setting, they strive to foster consensus. They are seen by others as agreeable and relaxed, but they can also be seen as mild and docile. Because of their willingness to foster harmony they may be seen by others as slow to make a decision.
Supporter (Introverted Feeling)
The supporter prefers to stay out of the spotlight and to facilitate the work of the group. They are excellent listeners and can empathize with others, so they often make good counselors. They are highly loyal to their team, and they like supporting others and the group rather than driving results on their own.
Sunshine Yellow is displayed by someone who is fun-loving and enjoys interacting with others. They value socializing and they are enthusiastic around others, particularly when demonstrating a skill. When working in a group, they desire recognition. They are dynamic and spontaneous. Others can sometimes see them as great starters but see that they lose energy when it comes to focusing on all the details.
Inspirer (Extroverted Feeling)
The inspirer’s greatest strength is their people skills, as they enjoy being around others and have a good understanding of how to motivate and inspire them. They are not just cheerleaders, though; they are creative types who can find people-oriented solutions to problems that other people might not think of. Their skill at persuasion can make them good salespeople as well as creative team members.
The next four types are a combination of two colors:
(Extraverted Intuition)—Fiery Red and Sunshine Yellow
The motivator has the same drive to get results as the director, but this is tempered by an emphasis on positive thinking and a sense of fun. This person has high levels of enthusiasm and can get a group motivated to take on a task or overcome a challenge. Their ability to motivate people to implement plans makes them successful at inspiring their staff to achieve their goals.
(Introverted Intuition with Extraverted Sensing)—Sunshine Yellow and Earth Green
The helper has the sociable aspects of the inspirer but also possesses a more grounded, caring aspect. Instead of wild creativity, they take a solid, supportive, practical approach. They enjoy helping others most of all, and they are willing to be flexible and to see others’ points of view. Their skill at sharing ideas makes them excellent mediators.
(Introverted Sensing)—Earth Green and Cool Blue
The coordinator is highly organized and emphasizes planning and time management. They have a practical approach to what can be achieved and what steps will be required to implement a plan. They make excellent administrative staff and project managers.
(Extroverted Sensing with Introverted Intuition)
The reformer strives for both high standards and strong results, which makes them extremely determined. Their strength is monitoring performance and discipline, making them well suited to roles where decisions might need to be made based upon logic and data rather than people and relationships.