The idiots I work with - Meet the blues
In a recent post I introduced the concept of DISC profiling which is a way of understanding the different behaviours that often cause conflict in the workplace or in our personal lives. Understanding these different behaviour profiles can help us understand our own weaknesses and help us to adjust our behaviours when dealing with conflicting profile types. It would be better to read the introduction post first to make sense of this post.
Today, I want to introduce you to the blues who are the C's - the compliant type.
Before we start off, just a reminder that this is not black and white. It is just a guide to help us understand the world we interact in. There is no right answer either. Each type has its strengths and weaknesses - just as we all do.
Introducing the Blues
The blues are analytical, objective and diplomatic. They are also quite reserved and like their privacy.
Their analytical minds need to be fed with details. The more detail the better. If you know someone who likes crunching numbers in Excel then they are quite likely to be a blue. The more columns and the more cells the better in the mind of a blue. Their attention to detail and analytical minds make them really good for many jobs. Nothing will get past a blue.
The blues also like structure, process and controls. They love rules and regulations and will struggle to understand why people may not just follow the rules.
They are not ones for making quick decisions. They will methodically and painstakingly go through all the detail to make the right decision.
The blues value accuracy and quality. They take great pride in their work and they are motivated by doing the job right, with quality and being able to show their expertise.
My father is a blue. In his workshop, he has a place for every single tool. He has drawn around the hanging position for each tool so that it can be hung in the correct position each time. Blues don't like mess and disorder. I can drive him crazy by not putting a tool back in its right place.
Weakness of the Blues
The blues fear being wrong and doing botched quick jobs of low quality. They fear being criticised and their slowness to get things done may really irritate other types. They just want to keep polishing and tweaking to try to improve the quality. They seek perfection rather than just finding a solution that is workable.
They also feel the urge to criticise others when they don't follow the same high standards that they judge themselves by. They expect all of us to follow high-quality standards, the process and every policy precisely.
They can also drive others crazy by asking far too many questions as they drive deeper and deeper into a subject. As such, they are slow to make a final decision, there is always a need for more detail first.
When dealing with a blue, you need to be precise and you need to bring the detail to back up your argument. Don't think a high-level PowerPoint will satisfy a blue - you will need detailed Excels that the blue can take away and analyse.
Prepare your meetings with a formal and concise schedule. Keep on topic and be factual and precise. A blue will smell if there is any ambiguity in your ideas or the story behind what you are selling.
The blues are not emotional beings so don't be overly friendly or joke too much. You need to be formal and serious with blues. They generally like to work by themselves so keep the face-to-face meetings to a minimum and let them crack on ploughing through their lovely detail.
Blues find it hard to receive constructive feedback because they are so proud of the quality that they produce. If you need to give feedback to a blue you will need to be very objective, precise and formal. Emotion is not going to help you with a blue.
Example of a Blue
One of the famous examples of blue is Bill Gates. He is a high C, the blue type. Another example was Albert Einstien. I wonder if you can see any of the attributes I have provided above in this type of person?
I have now been through all the different colours. In my final post, I will cover more information on the interaction between the different colour types and will point you to where you can find more information and carry out your own assessment.