Over the next two weeks I will be answering your questions regarding the Insights Discovery assessment that we use in Younique. Please submit your questions to [email protected].
Q. I am on a team with bright and creative people. However, I dread going to meetings. There are so many ideas and thoughts shared that I can feel overwhelmed. Sometimes I get the impression that I’m not doing enough and other times I think that all we are doing isn’t good enough. I lead with blue and green energy, while most of my team leads with red and yellow energy. How can I get to a place of working effectively with my team?
A: Thank you for the honest question and I truly appreciate your desire for the success of the team. As someone who leads with blue and green, you exhibit an introversion preference. In the last blog post, I clarified the distinction being made. One that is being highlighted here is the difference regarding the generation of ideas.
Those with an extraversion preference, which are individuals who lead with red and yellow, tend to enjoy generating ideas in collaboration with others. Meetings are a time to expand thinking, explore new possibilities, and ask “what if?”. While it may communicate that the work already in motion isn’t good enough, the experience for extraverts is likely more in the space of what can we do next?
Team members who lead with blue can get the impression that all the ideas and concepts are going to be put into action as new plans and commitments. And that can certainly feel overwhelming! Here are 3 tips for team meetings:
- Ask the team leader to clarify the purpose of the discussion. Specifically, ask if the sharing of ideas is in “Blue Sky” mode. I use the term “Blue Sky” to qualify a space that does not translate to agreement, commitments, responsibilities, or action items. It is freedom to create, brainstorm and share. When you know that the ideas generated will not turn into responsibilities for you and/or the team, then you can be more present and available to participate.
- Review the agenda in advance to note the items that require decision-making. In general, individuals who lead with blue energy prefer time to process and qualify information before being asked to share their perspective or be a part of decision-making. If there is an item on the upcoming meeting agenda that will require your input or affirmation, then take the time to prepare thoughtfully. Another action step may be ask the team leader for more information in advance of the meeting so you are ready to engage in the discussion and the team leader can bring data you see as helpful forward to the process.
- Be prepared to share your good work and the team’s success. If one of the reason that your team meetings are stressful is that ideas overcome the ability to celebrate progress and success, then you may ask for time on the agenda to draw attention to what you are producing. Everyone enjoys the opportunity to celebrate the wins. If you can bring that to your team in an appropriate rhythm, then you will be viewed as a positive team player as you remind your team that you are doing work that is both high quality and contributing to the overall team objectives.
Individuals who lead with red and yellow are energized by the opportunity to share ideas. These 3 tips can help you find ways to connect and engage with your teammates as someone who leads with blue energy and creating space for you to participate in idea generation.