E-Colors with Young Children

Corban, another young advocate of E-Colors!

As the father of two young children, I want to connect with them from an early age. Knowing the personality and character traits of your children helps with positive interaction.

My four-year-old son and two-year-old daughter are too young to undergo a PDI assessment. Not wishing to guess their E-Colors, I made an assessment by looking at how they approach tasks and interact with people.

My son Leon is task-oriented. From the age of 12 – 18 months, it was noticeable that when he played with a new toy, he would inspect it first and check how it operated, turning the wheels if it was a car, for example. If it was a toy he could sit on, he would proceed with caution. As he got older he would also arrange his toys evenly, or by size. He does not need to play with other kids and can sit and watch his trains by himself.

Unlike my son who is comfortable playing on his own, my daughter Kyra is people-oriented. Since the age of one, my daughter Kyra has been the life and soul of the party. At 12 months old she started talking, copying everything that was said. She is not shy, and is always looking to catch someone’s smile when they walk past. She always has to be around people, giving out a lot of hugs and always saying she loves you. When she plays with toys, it always involves interaction with someone. If someone is riding on a toy, she wants to sit with them. She does not like to be on her own, or play with toys by herself.

Kyra hugs Leon as they take a photo together. 

How has this helped us as parents? 

My son sometimes likes his space, and if he has a new toy we let him play with it by himself for a while, which is the opposite of what we used to do. In the past, if I was playing with one of his new toys with him, he would snatch it from me, and then turn his back on me. As a father I felt frustrated; why wouldn’t he play with me?

We know that we need to give our daughter a lot of hugs and play games with her. However, I am not a person who likes to constantly hug. Through my knowledge of the E-Colors I better recognize my daughter’s personality traits, and share with her the joy of hugging.

Understanding our children’s personalities has helped us understand them and their needs better. It is never too early to start having positive interactions with your children, thanks E-Colors!

Story by: James Herbert (G/Y)

If you haven’t established your E-Colors yet please visit www.equilibria.com and complete your PDI– it’s free!

We welcome your comments. Just leave a reply below and we’ll get back to you.

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A Lesson in E-Colors from a Horse!

On March 21, 2014, I had the privilege to attend Don’s leadership workshop at The Cowboy Solution. I was blown away at how communication and leadership applies even when working with horses. During the event, I realized how important it is to build trust with your teammates, and how important it is to coach one another along the way to succeed. I learned many, many things, but one incident involving Star and I, is of particular note.

During the last session of day, Don told me to grab Star, a Red/Green horse. I was instructed to guide her through a maze exercise, while my teammates helped me guide her along from outside maze.  After guiding Star through once, Don asked me to repeat the maze again. Magic happened during my second time guiding Star. Throughout the second run of the maze exercise, Star kept pushing my back with her head. At first I was confused, thinking that she was trying to hurt me. However, when I asked aloud why she was pushing me with her head, Don simply replied, “Oh she’s just telling you to hurry up. You are going too slowly for her.

I found it fascinating that even a top color red horse didn’t need too much time or details, especially once I had already taught her once. Star just wanted me to step it up and complete the task. I realized then that I could relate my experience with E-Colors to my interaction with this horse’s personality. If not for E-Colors, I wouldn’t have paid attention to Star’s personality. However with E-Colors, I have learned top color reds don’t usually need too much time or details to complete a task. You tell them or show them once and they are ready to go. Star was a clear example of this!

I am happy to say that I am able to understand all of that because of E-Colors. Star really taught me a lesson, showing me how slow I was going when teaching her the way, after doing it once already. Star proved that she is an achiever by nature, and successfully went through the maze a third time on her own, without knocking down any cones, or with the assistance of others.

Story by: Jennifer Majano (B/Y)

If you haven’t established your E-Colors yet please visit www.equilibria.com and complete your PDI– it’s free!

We welcome your comments. Just leave a reply below and we’ll get back to you.

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Could I Really Have A Nagging Personality?

Recently, I began dating a very busy young woman. As with many new relationships, one asks questions to assess compatibility. This is where attending an E-Colors class led me to better understand how I communicate, and how it affects my relationship.

My new girlfriend is very busy with her career, and has limited time to communicate. I would send messages filled with questions, but I might not get any of my questions answered. As a result, I just sent more and more questions until one day she told me I was stressing her out with my nagging.

I was shocked and very puzzled as to how someone close to me could accuse me of nagging. When I began to think about how I could have been stressing her out, it triggered the memory of a similar exchange with my previous girlfriend – she said nearly the same thing! This made me think I must be messed up, or something was wrong with me, but I was clueless as to what the problem was, or what I was doing wrong.

Around the same time, I took my E-Colors evaluation onlinebefore attending a class. I remember receiving my E-Colors pie chart, but not yet comprehending what the colors meant in real life. I entered the class thinking I am never on an offshore rig long enough to get to know people, and so I probably should not really worry about their E-Colors. I had heard that the class can help outside the workplace, so I listened on a personal level instead. As I sat in the E-Colors class the lights went on.

I realized I had been too stubborn to realize that I am not perfect. I usually think that anyone who questions me is the one with the problem, and I could not see that maybe it was my own fault. Through the seminar I came to realize I was taking my E-Colors to the extreme edge of my personality’s potential limiters!

My careers to date, firstly in aviation and now as an oil field surveyor, have focused on asking direct questions and receiving direct answers; my performance is highly dependent on this process. The more I need answers and do not get them, the more persistent I become. However, doing the same in my personal life makes me a nagging person when I do not get answers. I was literally backing my girlfriend into a corner. Luckily, she had the courage to fire back and let me know it was me who was messed up. My previous girlfriend just said I was stressing her out and left me. Had I not had the class on E-Colors, I fear I would have run my current girlfriend off too.

After the E-Colors class I took a breather for a day and stopped the relentless questioning. The following day I told her that I owed her a huge apology, and that she was completely right about me being a nagging, persistent individual. I explained how I took the E-Colors class and – combined with her confronting me – I had learned that I have a lot of changes to make in my communication skills. She is still very busy and I try to limit myself to one question a day, or not at all. I have got plenty of time to sort out questions, and I don’t need the answers all at once. As for work, I might still be a bit nagging in my approach to people, but I’m now working on a different approach to getting my work completed too.

Article By: Joe

If you haven’t established your E-Colors yet please visit www.equilibria.com and complete your PDI– it’s free!

We welcome your comments. Just leave a reply below and we’ll get back to you.

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Feeling My Family’s E-Colors

My ‘Aha moment‘ came while visiting my niece’s family in England. My niece, her partner, and their two lovely girls invited me to make the journey from Scotland. The day of the visit duly came, and from the beginning it promised to be an interesting evening. I arrived at the house to find my niece’s partner had hurt himself accidentally the night before. Rather than open it, he decided to hop over a child safety gate placed on the stairs. As a result he struck his head on the stairwell ceiling and concussed himself. Since he was normally the household’s cook, we decided to go out for dinner instead.

Stair gates and toys at The Salty Dog holiday cottage

While the children were eating and enjoying their meals, the adults indulged in a chat about family life. As always, I sought permission to talk about my work and history in the oil and gas industry. One thing gently led to another, and we got to talking about E- Colors and Personal Intervention – How could I not, after the tale of woe from a young man who had head-butted a ceiling beam? Both were fascinated by the PDI assessment, which they did using smart phones. We determined his E-Colors combination was Green/Yellow and my niece’s Blue/Green.

They wholeheartedly agreed on the findings, and after a while I introduced the idea of Personal Intervention. This was enthusiastically taken up by the young man who admitted he often arrived home stressed from work, home to the family. He began to enjoy the thought that he could decide not to give in to stress at every opportunity, allowing it to derail family time. The look of stress floating away from this man as he increasingly understood Personal Intervention made my evening, and I thought dinner could get no better.

That is when my niece spoke up, inquiring how E-Colors could help with a difficult interview she had arranged with her supervisor about an overdue raise in pay. I suggested that even if she didn’t know exactly the other person’s E-Colors, she now knew her strengths and needed to be aware of her limiters when communicating her message. Again I watched this idea sink in, and the ‘Aha moment’ slowly dawn as she could see that might have a positive outcome on her meeting (the upshot was she eventually did get her raise and felt pretty good about it!).

Lets Organize the Crayons

And now for my Aha moment. My two grandnieces had been so good during the meal and our conversation, quietly enjoying their night out with the grown-ups. The restaurant had provided coloring pens and paper for the children to entertain themselves, and this was what they were doing. The older girl is a caring sweet-natured child; her idea of fun was to sit next to me, and when we walked together outside, to hold onto my hand as we went along the path. Even without any other knowledge I could see her colors shining through!

However, discovering her younger sister’s personality traits would be more difficult. All evening she had hardly said a word, but had also never left my side. She was shy, quiet and very gentle, smiling all the time! Then I noticed she had taken all the crayons and sorted them in neat rows. All the points were facing the same way, and lined up to sit neatly on the coloring page. When I asked why she had done that, she replied quietly, “It just looked right to line them up,” confiding that she, “liked the crayons to be all neat and tidy.”

The E-Colors are a good family binding agent! Apart from loving my grandnieces as much as I do, I was proud of my privileged position to be able to use the E-Colors, even in this gentle scenario. Our simple family dinner made me realize I could feel the E-Colors if I listened closely and was perceptive enough. I do not always need to make an assessment; all I have to do is see what is being shown to me to understand the message! I had a great ‘Aha moment’ that, not for the first time, left me feeling humble to be a part of Equilibria, and of my own family.

Article By: Jim Campbell (B/R)

If you haven’t established your E-Colors yet please visit www.equilibria.com and complete your PDI– it’s free!

We welcome your comments. Just leave a reply below and we’ll get back to you.

Photo credit: mob mob

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Early Morning Aha Moments

french press coffee, the photo essay

A few months ago, my colleague Michael and I thought we would upgrade our morning caffeine fix from that instant stuff to fresh ground roast. I’m no coffee connoisseur, but I can appreciate a quality cup of Joe. So what does making a cup of coffee have to do with the E-Colors? I’ll explain, but as you read below, please keep in mind Michael’s E-Colors are Red/Green while I am a Yellow/Blue (Don’t know your E-Colors? Click here).

Not too long after we dubbed ourselves the in-house baristas, Michael came into the pantry as I was emptying coffee out of the bag, and into the French press. To prepare the coffee, my normal approach is to guess how much is needed based on the previous batch. Michael looked shocked and immediately called a time-out on the coffee production!

french press coffee, the photo essay

Now that Michael had my attention, he went on to explain that a better way to prepare our brew is to measure grinds instead of randomly pouring them out of the bag. Having worked for Equilibria for over seven years, I immediately recognized why Michael’s R/G personality traits naturally applied a more structured approach for even the simplest of tasks. More importantly, I related this experience back to my potential limiters which has me rushing through my tasks with little thought.

Although making coffee is trivial in the grand scheme of things, the conversation served to raise my awareness. My goal is to make a conscious effort to take these lessons into account throughout the day. Doing so helps entrench a more logical approach into my behavior, even when these aha moments happen before I’ve had my morning cup of coffee!

Article By: Danny Kellar (Y/B)

If you haven’t established your E-Colors yet please visit www.equilibria.com and complete your PDI– it’s free!

We welcome your comments. Just leave a reply below and we’ll get back to you.

Photo Credit: Sarah Gilbert

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What Makes it Difficult for Me to Intervene?

I’d like to share a story about two new Equilibria ‘Secondees’ who were in a potentially dangerous situation. They left the camp early one morning en route to the domestic airport in Lagos for a flight. Their driver was extremely late in picking them up, and did not have a security chase vehicle accompanying them to the airport. The driver was instructed by the dispatch office to proceed to the airport without the second vehicle, so that their flight wasn’t missed.

On the way to the airport, the vehicle was pulled over by the police and two things happened which should never happen because they place our employees at great risk. First, the driver left the vehicle for some time to discuss things with the officers who are often impersonated by criminals. Then a police officer entered the dispatch vehicle, asking the passengers to move around the vehicle so they could inspect. Needless to say, all the passengers were very nervous. Eventually, the driver came back to the vehicle and proceeded to the domestic airport dropping off the passengers successfully for their flight.

This story ended well, but for many vehicles without the appropriate security detail, it does not. It’s not uncommon in Nigeria for people posing as police to stop vehicles on their way to the airport. In most of these cases, their intentions are malicious. If the passengers are lucky, the impostors only desire a ‘pay-off’ to continue down the road. If the passengers are not so lucky, they may encounter a kidnapping or worse. Having a security chase vehicle prevents these things from occurring.

Once they were safely at the domestic airport, I found myself at a fork in the road and began to wonder:

What if something worse had happened?

How should this be reported?

What will happen to those responsible?

During this internal questioning, I was paying attention to my potential limiters and was beginning to see how they were inhibiting my decision to report the event. The first issue I was considering was the fate of the driver and the supervisor in the dispatch office, what would happen to them?

The experience jolted me back to the E-Colors Deskbook and for someone with my Yellow/Blue characteristics, it warns it’s difficult for us to intervene because we, “Don’t want others to get hurt but I always want to remain friends.” I use the dispatch vehicles & interact with the dispatch drivers quite frequently. I couldn’t help but think that someone would be in big trouble once I reported the incident. Maybe someone would even lose their job.

After realizing the seriousness of the situation, I sent an e-mail to the management, the dispatch office, and the security office, asking simply, “Why was there no security chase vehicle accompanying the dispatch vehicle?” I did not mention the incident, and when they responded I was surprised to find they had no prior knowledge of it.

The news of the security protocol breach reached a very high level of the organization, as I expected. Knowing this would happen made reporting the incident a challenge for me, but I am so glad that I preferred to press my “play” button instead of later asking myself why someone had been kidnapped or worse. I’m confident this won’t happen again and was also able to debrief with the passengers so they could learn from this experience as well.

Article By: Christopher B. Cottingame (Y/B)

If you haven’t established your E-Colors yet please visit www.equilibria.com and complete your PDI– it’s free!

We welcome your comments. Just leave a reply below and we’ll get back to you.

Photo credit: Zouzou Wizman

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How Do You Respond When Kindness Seems to Backfire?

Ever found yourself laughing at your own behavior, especially understanding your own E-Colors and propensities?

Allow me to set the scene: As I am a Yellow/Red, I tend to see the bright side of life, always looking out for others and have the privilege of being Co-CEO of a coaching company who’s core value is People FIRST.

This week I flew into Bakersfield, California having just experienced a very productive few days with our coaching team in Houston, followed by an inspiring board meeting with an organization dedicated to the benefit of children in several parts of the world, called Cherish Our Children International.

starbucks on swanston street

On arrival, my first stop was Starbucks. I love my regular order of a ‘Grande Cappuccino with only one shot of coffee‘ and when I arrived I was definitely feeling good about the world. As I am often contemplating our leap into E-Colors in Education lately, I’ve noticed I’m more conscious of the children and other young people around me.

It may come as no surprise that I couldn’t help but notice a woman with a young boy in line behind me. They were hard to overlook because the child had progressed from shouting to screaming and throwing a giant tandrum about how much he wanted a particular item. The mother seemed anxious about her son’s behavior disrupting people’s peaceful Sunday morning and attempted to calm him down to no avail.

Line at Starbucks

Eager to help, I offered the woman the chance to go ahead of me, suggesting her son seems ready for his chocolate. She thanked me and moved to the front of the line.

What followed was a wonderful lesson to me. To my amazement she then pulled a piece of paper out of her pocket and read out an order that had at least 15 different drinks on it!

Keep in mind, there was only ONE barista making drinks…

Would you have said something or let it go?

I am interested to know what you would have done and as I continue to recount this story, I’m getting a broad range of responses.

In hindsight, I’m certainly thankful I was wearing my Personal Intervention wristband and could hit pause! :-)

Story by: Lewis Senior (Y/R)

If you haven’t established your E-Colors yet please visit www.equilibria.com and complete your PDI– it’s free!

We welcome your comments. Just leave a reply below and we’ll get back to you.

Photo credit: Jung MoonDiana Schnuth

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Brain Stretch: How Our Minds Quickly Process Info and are Often Fooled

The brain is our most fascinating organ! There a libraries FULL of books and research as we strive to understand more about the super computer trapped in our skull.

One of the most popular topics being explored is about how to trick the mind, which ranges from how we’re easily duped in optical illusions to the antics of your favorite magician. Today allow us to share a video from Asap Science on how being duped by these tricks relates to how all of our brains process an incredible amount of information at turbo charged speeds.

This quick 5 minute video includes:

  • Fast Thinking (System 1) vs. Slow Thinking (System 2)
  • How Fast Thinking Allows Us to Be Fooled
  • How Our Bodies Change When We Engage in Slow Thinking
  • Many Brain Stretching Examples for You to Try

Did you find this video interesting? You can also see more optical illusions and brain trickery in the TV Series, “Your Bleeped Up Brain.

Thanks for reading and stretching your brain today!

If you haven’t established your E-Colors yet please visit www.equilibria.com and complete your PDI– it’s free!

We welcome your comments. Just leave a reply below and we’ll get back to you.

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10 Lessons from an Antarctic Explorer on Developing Leadership

Cutting Through Multiyear Ice

We’re always excited to hear what the leaders in our Equilibria community are reading and which books most inspire them in their path toward realizing potential. Today we’re sharing notes from Christopher B. Cottingame (Y/B), who’s been reading “Shackleton’s Way“ a book about Ernest Shackleton, the great leader and Antarctic explorer. Here are Chris’ insightful notes from the book’s first chapter entitled, ‘The Path to Leadership’, Shackleton’s way of Developing Leadership Skills.

  • Cultivate a sense of compassion and responsibility for others. You have a bigger impact on the lives of those under you than you can imagine.
  • Once you make a career decision, commit to stick through the tough learning period.
  • Do your part to help create an upbeat environment at work. A positive and cheerful workplace is important to productivity.
  • Broaden your cultural and social horizons beyond your usual experiences. Learning to see things from different perspectives will give you greater flexibility in problem solving at work.
  • In a rapidly changing world, be willing to venture in new directions to seize new opportunities and learn new skills.
  • Find a way to turn setbacks and failures to your advantage. This would be a good time to step forward on your own.
  • Be bold in vision and careful in planning. Dare to try something new, but be meticulous enough in your proposal to give your ideas a good chance of succeeding.
  • Learn from past mistakes – yours and those made by others. Sometimes the best teachers are the bad bosses and the negative experiences.
  • Never insist on reaching a goal at any cost. It must be achieved at a reasonable expense, without undue hardship for your staff.
  • Don’t be drawn into public disputes with rivals. Rather, engage in respectful competition. You may need their cooperation some day.
If you found this inspirational, we suggest grabbing a copy of Shackelton’s Way by Margot Morrell & Stephanie Capparell. We will also share more of the lessons Chris has gleaned from this great leader in the future. 

Contributed by: Christopher B. Cottingame (Y/B)

If you haven’t established your E-Colors yet please visit www.equilibria.com and complete your PDI– it’s free!

We welcome your comments. Just leave a reply below and we’ll get back to you.

Photo credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight

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There’s Always Room to Grow

As a characteristic of my yellow/red E-Colors, I tend to minimize my own faults or potential limiters during conflicts with others. When I lack communication with other people, I create the notion that only that person’s actions will determine whether I build upon the relationship or build a wall to keep distance.

More recently, I was challenged to consider how to improve this way of thinking, especially in complicated situations. The following quote encouraged me always strive to adapt to change, growing my ability to respond to others:

Once I was convinced there was room for improvement, I became restless. I ran for miles just to spend time alone in my thoughts. I read a book on emotional intelligence. I listened to an audiobook about pausing for reflection. The process of renegotiating my thinking didn’t happen over night.

Months later, I learned that it was my internal voice combined with my previous experiences which convinced me to create the separation between myself and others. For years this had impacted my relationships with people. I had to learn to change the perception that only others were plagued with the inability to communicate and recognize my role in impeding discourse.

Are you giving yourself room to grow? What potential limiters most often slow down your individual progress? Which potential limiters restrain your relationship with others?

Here are the three things which most aided me in my self-awareness journey:

1. Acknowledging that I had room to grow was difficult but it was what allowed me to begin the process

2. Having a mentor who was willing to challenge my perspective

3. Reading books for an alternative perspective and to develop a deeper understanding of myself

There’s always room to grow and I hope my personal journey helps you to overcome similar obstacles in realizing your own potential.

Story by: Rosalinda Mercado-Garza (Y/R)

If you haven’t established your E-Colors yet please visit www.equilibria.com and complete your PDI– it’s free!

We welcome your comments. Just leave a reply below and we’ll get back to you.

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