The Orange True Colors Case Study

The Orange Personality at work

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True Colors is a model for understanding yourself and others based on your personality temperament. The colors of Orange, Green, Blue and Gold are used to differentiate the four central personality styles of True Colors™. In this 5 part series get to know all about your True Colors.

Just because I’m high energy and like to have fun doesn’t mean I can’t get the job done or does it?

People love to make assumptions especially when it comes to others. For example: If an employee uses humor a lot we might label her undisciplined and assume she can’t be serious enough to lead a meeting, while another who is more serious is isn’t given the chance for fear of being a bore.

Making assumptions and labeling comes naturally to us, it’s how we make sense of our lives and experiences. But the problem with labeling others is that it affects our interactions.

That’s why participating in a True Colors workshop is so insightful, it gives us a chance to learn about the strengths, motivations and communication styles of all four True Colors personality types – Green, Blue, Gold and Orange.


Successful people know who they are and what their True Colors are… when you know what your core values and needs are and feel good about them; you can perform at your highest potential in every area of life. And when you share a working, mutual understanding of other’ core values and needs, you have the basis to communicate, motivate, and achieve common goals with utmost dignity, efficacy, and mutual respect.”

Don Lowry, creator of True Colors.

About True Colors – Orange

People who relate to True Colors – Orange are motivated by their underlying values which include freedom, spontaneity, variety and quick completion of tasks to name a few.

Orange see themselves as:

  • Fun-loving – enjoys life
  • Spontaneous and Carefree
  • Flexible and adaptable
  • Proficient and capable
  • Practical
  • Problem Solvers
  • Good negotiators
  • able to do many things at once
  • able to deal with chaos
  • curious
  • Superior ability to discriminate among options
  • see shades of gray
  • welcomes new ideas
Others label them:

  • Irresponsible
  • Flaky
  • Goofs off too much
  • Disobeys rules
  • Manipulative
  • Scattered
  • Cluttered
  • Uncontrollable
  • Indecisive
  • Not able to stay on task
  • Not to be trusted

If you don’t relate to the way True Colors – Orange see themselves, and find yourself labeling others as described here, your personality type is likely one of the other True Colors (Blue, Green, Gold),So, to give you further insight into how all the True Colors Types, think and interact, I’ll introduce you to Rachel, Stephen, Bob and Grace in a series of articles that focus on one True Color at a time.

Meet Stephen (a True ColorsOrange):  In the previous article, we learned how Rachel, a True Colors – Gold felt about her meeting with Stephen.

Orange ManNow let’s look at the scenario from his perspective. Stephen meets with Rachel regularly, but this time the meeting is offsite. Although he arrived a little late, in his rush to get there he forgot his project file. He can’t help but notice Rachel’s body language – she isn’t happy. And. in an attempt to lighten things up a bit he tells a joke, that isn’t well received. Stephen is generally an easy going guy and can’t relate to Rachel’s stressed out look (after all he was only a few minutes late) and, now he’s feeling judged before he’s had a chance to explain.

If his thoughts were audible we’d hear:“Rachel really needs to lighten up; if she clenches her jaw any harder, she’s going to have a stroke. I’ve heard she’s a bit of a control freak and a task master. Working with her isn’t going to be a lot of fun, she’s way too uptight.”

Stephen feels apprehensive about working with Rachel because she’s too serious and may not share his work ethic. His thoughts on her ‘judgmental’ attitude are those of a typical True Colors – Orange. Being flexible, practical, expedient and having fun are strongly held values of a True Colors – Orange – but Rachel doesn’t get that.

However, Stephen’s thoughts also reflect his lack of appreciation for Rachel’s True Colors type. If he understood her better he might be able to manage his feelings and find a way to work more effectively with her.

Next time, we’ll focus on True Colors-Green and you’ll learn how Bob interacts with Grace


In the meantime, keep noticing all the different ways you interpret and label other people’s actions or what you see or hear them say. Then, before you make assumptions about what’s going on, say to them..“I notice (fill in the blank) what’s that about?By stating the facts without interpretation or labeling you accomplish two things:

  • You eliminate any judgments or anxiety you might be feeling and
  • You’ve made the other person aware of a behavior they may not be conscious of.

You can also try this self-reflection exercise. For example: Notice what annoys you about other people. What things do they do or say that triggers a response in you? What crosses your mind? How do you feel when you are annoyed? How does feeling annoyed change your behavior?All four True Colors communicate their thoughts and feelings with more than their words. By the end of this series of articles, all four True Colors Types will come together to learn about each other. I hope this sheds some insight into your True Colors too.


Gillian Andries, is a  Life and Career Coach and a Certified True Colors Facilitator.  Checkout our True Colors Workshop options, then contact Gillian to discuss your specific needs.

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