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Quickly putting labels on people

Quickly putting labels on people

Publié le 14 janv. 2022 Mis à jour le 12 mai 2022
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Quickly putting labels on people

Pierre is the archetypal nice guy. Smiling, always cheerful, a bundle of laughs and funny stories to share. There is always something happening to him and his spirit is contagious. I enjoy talking with and learning from him because he can do something that I can’t. He’s good at making people feel comfortable, as a salesperson that’s his trump card. But he’s worried about what people might think of him.


Monday moaning


Footsteps in the hallway. The door slowly swings open. Everyone is sitting in a U-shape in a large room, facing a man wearing a suit and brown shoes, jacket open. He seems rather relaxed. This morning, it’s not the sales manager who’s standing in front of us, but a trainer. He’s going to spend three days with us discussing the Disc Theory.

Like many tools taught to salespeople, managers and HR, it’s easy to divert them from their professional setting. Mainly for two reasons:

  • They allow you to better understand others. It’s especially rewarding when someone's behaviour and way of doing is the opposite of your own. For example: take someone who throws themselves into a task as soon as it's given to them. Add a second person who will first take a sheet of paper, look into the situation, think it through and draw an effective plan of action before getting started. What makes them both different? Let's find out.

  • To shed light on gut feelings and personal intuitions. They allow you to apply the same exercice on a personal level. Why do these social activities exhaust me while they energise the person next to me?

The Disc tool is a synthesis that allows you to categorise behaviour trends across four colours. Each of us has a way of acting that is unique to us, whether it’s in our personal life, in the workplace or depending on the level of stress we endure. 


Paint Splashes


Its theoretical basis is built on the works of William M. Marston, a 1970s American psychologist and lawyer. He’s known for two things: the creation of the lie detector and Wonder Woman (the comic book character who owns the Lasso of Truth).

Natural behaviour is what we have on a daily basis and is the least likely to change. It’s the aspect of our personality that comes out when we are in a comfortable situation.

Adapted behaviour is who we are when in a group, at work or while interacting with others. This adapted mode is essential but it comes at a cost. The more we adapt, the more it results in significant mental exhaustion. Imagine someone who craves action and challenges, with a need to take matters into their own hands. Then put them in a context where being methodical and attentive to detail is vital in order to succeed. The person will get exhausted and feel like they're acting against their very nature.


Have you been tested?


Back in the meeting room with the trainer, he asks each of us a few questions to find out our expectations.

Some want to learn to understand others better. Others seek to be more efficient at their job. Still, others hope to get to know themselves better. And that’s when Pierre talks to us about his fear. What he expects from the training is to know what other people really think of him. He’s afraid that his exuberant personality will make him lose the trust the group has in him and his work.

This is surprising, since he comes across as someone who's comfortable with social interaction. He’s one of the most appreciated people for what he brings to the group. Then in itself is a good indicator of his dominant colour.

For the results to be as accurate as possible, you should take the test before reading further. Download the table in your preferred version:

Important note: Disc theory doesn’t measure someone’s intelligence or skills, but a behavioural preference. There are no right or wrong colours, just as there is no colour superior to another. You’ll see that each one possesses strengths in its weaknesses. 

The test is not the actual one, the official one requires half a day to complete. I’m not a Disc trainer either. I’ve essentially transposed my memories and did some research here. We all have every colour, but to different levels and degrees, which makes each profile unique.


Gummy Bears


ID Cards


Red #IronMan #Thor

Strengths: Goal-oriented. Has a global vision. Knows how to make a decision quickly, even without holding all the cards. Knows how to recognise their mistakes. Problem solver.

Needs: To be on the move. To lead. Personal challenges. She loves competition. To have responsibilities. Taking risks.

Fears: Failure. Losing control. Being taken advantage of. Uncomfortable with details. "We'll cross that bridge when we get there." Irritated by slowness and stagnation.

Limits: Impatient. Impulsive. Wants to do everything. Sometimes aggressive, too straightforward. May be insensitive to others’ feelings. Not very open to emotions or pieces of advice.

Under pressure: The red personality can have a tendency to belittle others and only sees their goals. Can sometimes bend the rules to their own advantage by thinking these apply to others more than themselves. Can overstep their role and bypass authority or procedures.


Yellow #Spiderman #Deadpool

Strengths: Optimistic, enthusiastic, holds energy in reserve. Very comfortable with building relationships. Has a natural influence on others because her energy is contagious. Creatively solves problems. Regulates conflicts in a group.

Needs: New and varied social relationships that stimulate them. New activities. To be trusted by others. Personal recognition. To be congratulated, even for things that seem trivial. To enjoy their work. Freedom.

Fears: Being rejected by others. Losing their freedom. Being trapped in a routine, a system or put in a box. Being ordinary.

Limits: Disorganised. Does not always follow through. Doesn't listen enough.

Under pressure: Can become increasingly scattered and snipe at people. If the stress soares even more, they may distance themselves from the group and withdraw into silence.


Green #Hulk #CaptainAmerica

Strengths: Reliable. Loyal. Practical. Great capacity and willingness to listen. Cooperative. Humble. Empathetic. Patient. Personal relationships. Good at resolving conflicts. Consistent quality of work. Doesn't overlook others.

Needs: Regularity. To be recognised for their true value and for what they bring to the table. Clear and though-throught procedures. Some level of detail to know how to do things and get them right. Security.  Honest and personal relationships with others. Stability and harmony. To feel useful.

Limits: Unassuming. Takes time to make a decision. Quickly freezes under pressure. Tends to take on too much. Possessive.

Fears: Unstable environments. Doen’t like stress, especially, unnecessary stress. Unprepared and sudden changes. Aggressiveness.  

Under pressure: Can shut down when faced with the slightest stress. Will tend to have heightened awareness of their surroundings and what is going on around them. Will not let anything show through and will keep everything to themself until they blow up.


Blue #BlackWidow #Batman

Strengths: Precise. Descriptive. Conscientious. Likes systems, structures, analysis, problem solving and high standards. Even-tempered. Down-to-earth.

Needs: Security. To check things. To try things out. To understand both the outline, but also the details. To determine “the right course of action”. Seeks accuracy. Quality work. Organisation. Predictability.

Limits: Critical. Seems cold. Rigid. Wants to control everything. Can get stuck on unimportant details. Tends to gather more information than necessary.

Fears: Being criticised frankly. Losing control. Sudden changes.

Under pressure: Hangs back even more and begins to over-analyse. Pays even greater attention to detail. If the pressure stacks up, gets very critical and starts to let it show.


How to be on the same page?


Red #IronMan #Thor

Be direct, concise, swift, assertive. Get to the point. Talk to them about the challenge it represents and what they can gain from it. Let them decide.

Support their projects, talk about accomplishments, performances and results to be achieved.

Learn how to channel their energy and set boundaries. They tend to be in the driving seat and hog the conversation, so you have to know how to assert yourself, or even push her around to get her attention.

Keep your answers short and straightforward. Spare them the details that are going to annoy them at best, or scare them at worst.


How to solve a problem with a red personality?

In their own style. Get directly to the point and don’t try to paint a pretty picture. Even though your words may seem hurtful, they won't take it the wrong way. Quite the opposite, they will appreciate your honesty.


Yellow #Spiderman #Deadpool

Be warm and enthusiastic. Accept informal moments and always share a few words with them. Pay attention to them and what they have to say. If you forget or ignore them, they may think something’s wrong. Catch up with them.

Don't be inflexible, and don't try to rush the discussion either. Instead start with what is new since the last time you met up and share a few funny stories.

Let them speak and support their ideas. Be careful not to drone on. They appreciate people who live life to the full and don't wear a mask. Authenticity. Know not to take yourself too seriously. Life can be fun too!

How to solve a problem with a yellow personality?

If you have anything to say to them, remind them that they have your trust and support, and that of others too. Briefly tell them what's wrong, but don't dwell on it too long or they may turn on you. They would feel like you're trying to twist the knife in the wound.


Green #Hulk #CaptainAmerica

Be understanding, express your personal feelings. Take your time to talk to them and build confidence.

They value good-quality relationships built on mutual trust. They like taking time to explain things well to understand the ins and outs.

Ask them questions. Listen carefully to their answers. Respect their personal space.

How to solve a problem with a green personality?

You have to clear the air as quickly as possible. Be tactful. Set the stage and don't rush them, as they might take it as an attack. Give them time to process everything.

Explain things in a calm manner and work with themin order to find the best solution.


Blue #BlackWidow #Batman

Be specific, factual and pragmatic. You don't have to overdo it to impress them, because what they values ​​is legitimate reasoning, backed by solid evidence.

They loves to dig into the hows/whys and go into detail to get the full idea; to be sure of how to proceed and the train of thought behind it. Don't just scratch the surface you would look somewhat amateur. Offer form and substance.

They like to discuss facts and data more than personal feelings. They like to approach the consequences from every point of view. They like to talk about the technical aspect.

How to solve a problem with a blue personality?

Listen to them explain their points. Try to understand them and follow their train of thought to the end. Do not criticise them publicly or in a harsh way, because you will make them turn on you.

Focus the discussion on solving the problem, describing the situation as objectively as possible. Give logical options to overcome of the problem.


Paint Cans


Changing your karma


I am red:

  • Listen to others more.

  • Develop your patience, your empathy and your humility.

  • Ask more, argue less.

  • Think collectively, delegate.

  • Tell others what you admire about them, criticise them less.

  • Develop your tolerance for yourself and others.


I am yellow:

  • Dream a bit less and get things done.

  • Take a step back, control your emotions.

  • Concentrate on the task at hand and finish what you set out to do.

  • Listen to others.

  • Learn how to organise and plan your work.

  • You can't please everyone.


I am green:

  • Learn to stand for yourself and say no.

  • Don't always take into account the opinions of others, make your own choices.

  • Get out of your comfort zone, take risks.

  • Make decisions faster.

  • Accept change.

  • Express your thoughts, feelings, frustrations, and dissatisfaction faster.


I am blue:

  • Be more expressive by verbalising your emotions.

  • Get to the point, not all the details are important.

  • Allow things not to be structured all the time.

  • Have fun!

  • Listen to your feelings and those of others.

  • Take a little more risk and decide faster.


The advantage of the model lies in its simplicity and its dynamic approach. Our colour gauges change over time and depending on the situation, more or less voluntarily. You probably have one or two dominant colours and a few spots of other colours.

You can now guess people's main colours around you. Try to play with your different colour gauges to be on the same wavelength.

I'm going on a quest at this address: www.julienguyomard.com


Cover photo by Analia Baggiano. Photo of the paint splashes by Dan-Cristian Păduret. Photo of the gummy bears by Amit Lahav, photo of the paint cans russn_fckr on Unsplash.

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