Typically, people lean toward working with individuals who share similar thought processes and work ethics. But, working with only like-minded individuals won’t get you the strongest end result. As the saying goes, “Two minds are better than one, and four minds are better than two.” However, if those minds don’t operate like yours, how can you approach those differences to yield more effective communication?
We all know that the human brain is divided into four lobes and two hemispheres. Each part of the brain is responsible for different functions including movement, visual processing, memory, speech, emotion, perception and more. At E-Colors in Education, a renowned global coaching organization, studies have led the company to divide the brain into four major personality types that become 12 different E-Color combinations.
- The Doer (Red)
- The Socializer (Yellow)
- The Thinker (Green)
- The Relater (Blue)
E-Colors in Education and Equilibria, a 13-year-old coaching company that focuses on effective communication, developed a survey that assesses a Personality Diversity Indicator (PDI), which provides an indication of everyone’s strengths and potential limiters (formerly known as weaknesses). When a PDI questionnaire is taken, a series of words are used to determine an individual’s top two E-Color combinations, which describe a more specific personality style. This is conveyed in any context, whether examining a student and what he or she brings to the classroom, or a teacher and what he or she brings to the team. Additionally, a leader can also learn how to better organize the health and well-being of his or her staff.
“When you look at what we have to offer, as far as training, one of the things that we discuss are core values. My core values had always driven me to work with students who were in at-risk environments,” said Dr. Rosalinda Mercado-Garza, who has served as the CEO of E-Colors in Education for nearly three years. The non-profit organization will celebrate its three year anniversary in June 2016. A former principal for Southwest Middle and High School in Houston, Dr. Mercado-Garza’s school was approached by Equilibria. At the time, the company focused on professional coaching within the oil industry and had just branched out to other fields including education. As principal, Dr. Mercado-Garza welcomed Equilibria to her campus and found their approaches effective and worthy of more exploration. “When you saw the opportunity to help create a healthier environment – that ended up mattering more to me as a leader than the actual position itself. So I really moved from being a principal to expanding this network because I wanted other schools, other students, and the individuals that were all involved to be in environments that promote a greater understanding of communication,” she said. Dr. Mercado-Garza is considered Yellow/Red.
E-Colors in Education offers personal development and leadership trainings for elementary – college students, staff and faculty. Each training accepts no more than 150 participants and trainings are offered in English and Spanish. A full day of training would cost an organization $1,200 and a half day would total $800. Materials are an additional cost. Throughout the training session an array of hands-on activities and games are administered to challenge participants and help them understand the value of healthy communication.
Dr. Gina Cano-Monreal (G/R) from Texas State Technical College experienced an ECiE Leadership Institute and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. “During the 2-day E-Colors leadership workshop, I saw a group of people come to “own” their strengths and learn how they could press their play button for empowerment,” said Dr.Cano-Monreal. “I saw a group no longer ashamed of weaknesses but aware of tools and techniques they could use to manage potential limiters. It was a wonderful experience to be a part of a team that came together from different areas of the college to grow and realize the unique contributions that we all bring to the table and how we can use these to help one another.”
To date, E-Colors in Education has worked with over 45 organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada. Within each organization, multiple departments have utilized these trainings. Ultimately, ECiE plans to expand to every school in every nation. That’s their vision 20 years from now.
Locally, Dr. Rosalinda Mercado-Garza is also raising funds to provide 100 students in the Rio Grande Valley a free workshop. For $50, a student can experience a full-day training session including materials and a free meal. If you are interested in supporting this cause, contact Dr. Mercado-Garza at Rosalinda@ecolorsineducation.org
Curious about your E-Colors? Anyone can take the questionnaire for free at EColorsInEducation.org by clicking on the “E-Colors (PDI)” tab on the homepage.
I took the questionnaire myself and qualified as Red/Green – “The Thinking Doer.” While I was skeptical as to whether the PDI would accurately capture my personality traits within the workplace, I ended up smiling as I read my results.
According to E-Colors, I’m a creator more than a follower. I am decisive and determined to complete tasks that I start. But, I am also sensitive to conflict and do not like resistance, especially if it can affect my goals and objectives; I’m prone to over-analyze, can be quite self-critical and tend to take on many tasks. I take calculated risks when making decisions, prefer to work alone, focus on the future, tend to think of people as ‘tools in the toolbox,’ enjoy planning, monitoring and measuring, and I tend to become over analytical and can micro-manage if I am not careful.
Yup, E-Colors in Education completely nailed it.
Don’t forget to follow E-Colors in Education on Facebook at https://facebook.com/EColorsInEducation.
So, here’s what an eight hour Training Day looks like in a nutshell:
- Participants determine their PDI through a brief questionnaire (prior to session).
- Self-focus activities assess participants’ strengths and limiters.
- Participants determine their PDI through a brief survey.
- Participants are grouped with individuals who share the same E-Color combinations.
- Participants then agree on two common strengths and limiters.
- All participants are later seated in a “U” shape.
- Participants discuss how teamwork is disrupted for them as an individual.
- Participants evaluate personal traits that may cause teamwork disruption for others.
- Participants are partnered with someone of a different E-Colors combination and assess how to better communicate and work with that personality style.
- Participants discuss how to reduce reactionary decisions and offer more appropriate response.
- Participants learn how to maximize and build capacity within the organization by using each other as a resource rather than a barrier.
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