My earliest memory of starting employment with Extension nearly 20 years ago is participating in a Real Colors® workshop that was part of Extension’s new colleague orientation. What made this workshop memorable was that it was impactful, immediately applicable and fun—a rare combination for workplace trainings and team building activities!
What is Real Colors®?
You may be familiar with some of the personality instruments in the marketplace, including the internationally recognized Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®. What make Real Colors® unique is that it bridges theory with real life applications. The instrument is easy to complete and understand. It identifies four personality types common across all people and makes them memorable by associating a color with each: gold, blue, green or orange.
The Real Colors® Personality Instrument was developed by the National Curriculum and Training Institute (NCTI). Certified facilitators teach workshops where participants learn skills to understand human behavior and improve their communication with others.
Combining a safe and fun atmosphere with a user-friendly instrument provides a recipe for all workshop participants to learn more about themselves and others in attendance. The impact is even greater when teams or departments from an organization attend a workshop together.
“I started out with a negative view that this would be the same as all the previous ‘personality’ seminars – I ended up feeling impressed and happy I had the opportunity to attend.”
The day after
How many times have you attended a training and were excited to return to the office to apply what you learned only to be faced with an accumulated workload that prevents you from applying what you learned at the training? Since Real Colors® is intuitive, the concepts can be incorporated into individual behaviors and office environments with little effort.
Office teams frequently find creative ways to incorporate Real Colors® into their office environments. One team created personalized posters reflecting individualized color preferences, another created colored puzzle pieces with key concepts for each team member’s preferences.
“Very nice opportunity for staff to learn, teambuilding opportunity. I think it will help us relate to one another a bit better.”
Participants report gaining new insights about themselves as well as others, that can lead to better communication.
Workshop evaluations over the past few years provided 1,007 responses, a response rate of 98%. The table indicates participants’ self-assessed increased ability to recognize the strengths of others and increased understanding of how others process information.
Participants’ Levels of Agreement Regarding Workshop Experience
Increased ability to:
Recognize their own strengths
Recognize the strengths of others
Build rapport quickly with clientele, colleagues, family, and friends
Understand how others process information
Modify their communication style to connect with others
“I now always try to work with other colors on projects. I know that I am perceived as not caring, so I try to incorporate more caring behavior in interactions.”
2017 participant reflecting a year later
The evaluation tool also asks participants how they intend to use workshop lessons. Many comment that they will seek out others that think differently than themselves when working on teams, while others state that they cannot wait to share the information with family members and friends.
Schedule a Real Colors® workshop and transform your team!
As I became increasingly interested in becoming a certified Real Colors® facilitator, in 2014 I completed the facilitator certification with my Extension colleague Carol Bralich. Together we have taught over 40 workshops to over 1,000 participants.
Most Extension educators teach Real Colors® as a three-hour workshop that includes an opening activity, instruction, a personality assessment, small-group activities and large-group discussions. As facilitators, we work to ensure an inclusive workshop experience where participants feel safe to participate at a level they are comfortable. On several occasions, participants have expressed apprehension prior to attending the workshop and then leave expressing their appreciation for the experience.
“This was informative, fun and great team-building exercise.”
Some of our Extension colleagues have successfully adapted the program to a virtual format and NCTI recently launched an online version of the assessment instrument.
If you would like to learn more about Real Colors® contact an Extension Real Colors® trained facilitator near you.