I was reading through New Zealand’s Alert Levels Summary, in preparation for a Covid19 simulator experience. I was quite impressed with how thorough and thought-out the content was when an image of a group of people sitting in a meeting, trying to figure it all out, popped into my head. It must have been mad, chaotic and intense. An image of Insights energy colours then popped into my head and I started thinking about the different energy preferences in the room and how they would act in a meeting to decide how to deal with the crisis. If you haven’t come across Insights Discovery, here are the 4 colours and the words used to describe each colour. Hope you enjoy my musings.
Cool Blue Energy
A person accessing their Cool Blue energy is likely to be taking it all in and needing to process it. This will take them time. They will need to absorb the information and apply it to what they already know and consider what it all means, from all aspects, in all situations, which will take time, a lot of time, preferably in a quiet place…don’t interrupt, I’m thinking.
In a crisis meeting, a person accessing Cool Blue energy is likely to be slow to make a decision, and most likely, would prefer if we could push out making the decision until they’ve had time to think it through a bit more.
Fiery Red Energy
A person accessing their Fiery Red energy is likely to be moving very fast, they want a decision and they want it now. Stop the talk, stop the considering, stop the stories, just get on with making a decision so we can get on and just do it. Why are we still here? Why are we still talking? What’s the bottom line? No, let’s not keep discussing it. In the words of Nike, just do it!
In a crisis meeting, a person accessing Fiery Red energy is likely to focus on getting to a plan so they can head off and action it.
A person accessing their Sunshine Yellow energy is likely to want to know the gossip. What’s happening, who did what to who, and when? Did that happen, it did not, did it? Wait til I tell you…! Who’s coming, what will we tell them, how will we break the news? Why are we doing that? What will that do for us? I’m not sure they’ll like that!
In a crisis meeting, a person accessing their Sunshine Yellow energy is likely to consider the human side of the crisis, while keeping the story in mind.
A person accessing their Earth Green energy is likely to quietly sit in the corner…..while they ponder the ethics of the situation, the impact on the people and whether it is the right or the wrong way to do things. They may not speak up during the meeting, particularly if there’s a lot of other voices in the room. If their views and concerns aren’t heard, they may quietly go about rejecting the decision.
In a crisis meeting, a person accessing their Earth Green is likely to want to consider everyone’s views, especially those on the edges, but they won’t automatically share these insights.
Tips for Managing Insights Energy Preferences in a Crisis Meeting
- Blue energy preferences: give pre-reading, if possible. If not possible, prime them to understand that an expected outcome of the meeting will be a decision. Ask what information they would need, to be able to make a decision and try to ensure it will be available.
- Green energy preferences: consider a pre-meeting chat, to understand their concerns in advance and give the broader purpose of why something needs to change; invite them to share their views at the meeting; ask them to express their concerns.
- Red energy preference: consider only inviting them after in-depth discussions have happened. Then summarise the discussion points and have then participate them in the final decision. You might want to frame this for them, something along the lines of: “we’re meeting at 3pm and I’m sure there’ll be the usual detailed discussions and to-ing and fro-ing. Do you want to sit in on that or do you want to join us for the final discussion and decision? We can summarise the main points and concerns that have come up, when you join us.” Many a red energy preference manager will gladly say “call me when you’re ready for me to join”
- Yellow energy preference: keep them on-point during discussions, don’t let it get gossipy, but ask for their input on how to sell the story, when finalising the decision/strategy.
- Yellow & Green energy preference: before any final decisions, get their input on how the various options might be seen by groups of people. Red and Blue energy preferences are more likely to focus on the process and theory while Green and Yellow energy preferences are more likely to consider the human aspects.
- Blue energy preference: before any final decisions, get their input on how the processes of each of the options might work and what issues might arise.
- Red energy preference: task them with implementing the decision and agreed plan.
Of course, in a crisis, its hard to remember all of this. It’s one of those things that’s better to practice these tips when its not a crisis (a bit late during Covid, but the initial crisis is over, so there’s less pressure now). Are you interested in finding out your own energy preferences, or your team’s energy preferences? If so, we can arrange online assessments and virtual debrief, either on a 1-2-1 basis or a group workshop.
I’d love to hear your favourite meeting dynamics, in terms of colour energy preferences, so please share below. If you liked it, please Like or share with someone you think would benefit.