E-colores – A Bilingual E-Colors Experience

The following story has been translated from Spanish, read below to find the original Spanish language text. 

Prior to joining the West Tellus, I had experienced the E-Colors with CVX in Indonesia. However, even though the E-Colors process was explained to me, I didn’t get it. I didn’t pay much attention and I never used what I had learnt.

When I arrived on this beautiful rig, I soon found Equilibria doing some training, which I decided to join. It became a very valuable learning experience for me. I was able to discuss the E-Colors, and I now understand clearly what helps me, and what limits me. As the operation went on, I observed everyone on the rig becoming aware of the principles, and discussing what they had learned – especially the leadership team. Watching everyone else apply the E-Colors made me realize I had to do something for myself.

I decided to apply what I had learned: to slow myself down, learn to wait for what others have to say, and to think before I say something that I may regret later. Now, I give people time to understand me, and get the data before they ask me for it. I am much more aware of my own limitations, and the potential of others, and have become more reflective and cautious than I have ever been. I still act quickly, but am not as reactive as I had been before. I have learned that not all of us are the same, and I recognize others’ strengths and limiters. This has made me a better leader and better group member. I do not have to be the leader and take over; when someone else takes the lead I can follow. I have also suggested that all the people on my crew attend the E-Colors training. I would not want my crew members to miss this chance to get to know themselves better.

I have found out that when interacting with other E-Color combinations, I have to prepare myself in order to meet their expectations. When I to talk to the Red/Green engineer he tells me he needs the data. When I talk to Blues, I slow down, calm myself and wait for them to process and then respond. This is very tough for me, but it works.

Thank you for showing me how to be a better me!

Danilo Tosso (R/Y)

Coaches Note: Danilo has been recognized for his hard work at managing his potential limiters. He has positively affected the performance and trust level of the team.


Cuando llegué al West Tellus , había tenido una experiencia previa con e-colores durante la campaña de CVX en Indonesia , aunque aun cuando el proceso de e- colores me fue presentado , yo no le presté mucha atención, nunca utilicé lo que había aprendido en aquella oportunidad.

Cuando llegué a este magnífico equipo de perforación, donde encontré que el personal de Equilibria y Check 6 estaban dando entrenamiento, me interesé y asistí a una reunión, esto se convirtió en una experiencia muy beneficiosa para mí, pude ser capaz de entender claramente lo que me ayuda y lo que me limita, con el avance de los días decidí a poner en práctica lo que había aprendido. Poner un freno a mí mismo, aprender a esperar lo que otras personas tienen que decir, pensar antes de que diga algo que yo pueda lamentar más tarde, dando tiempo para que la gente me entienda y obtener los datos antes de que se me pregunten por ellos, conseguí ser mucho más consciente de mis propias limitaciones y los potenciales de otras personas, lo cual me llevó ser más reflexivo y prudente de lo que había sido. Todavía tomo un enfoques rápido, pero no tan rápido como ha sido antes; no todas las personas son similares y reconociendo los demás sus potenciales y limitadores, me ha hecho un mejor lider o simplemente un mejor miembro del grupo. Recomendé la gente de mi equipo para ir al mismo entrenamiento; no hubiese querido dejar que alguien de mi equipo, pierda esta oportunidad de conocerse a sí mismo más profundamente.

Gracias por enseñarme, cómo ser un mejor yo.

Story by: Danilo Tosso (R/Y)

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What Yoga Can Teach A Seasoned Oil and Gas Employee

I know what you are thinking, who let the hippie into Oil & Gas? Yes it is true, I have just completed yoga teacher training. It was evident that coaching for Equilibria and teaching yoga have much in common. I thought I would take a moment and share what I’ve learned, but don’t worry, you don’t have to do a single yoga pose, just read my examples and consider your own personal growth and leadership.

The Relationship Between Pain and Suffering

Since joining Equilibria I have appreciated the similarities between personal intervention, martial arts and Buddhist philosophy. In short the concept is: deal with the pain – if you do not you will suffer, then you will have to deal with suffering, and you will still have to deal with the pain that caused it.

As an example, one of the first teams I worked with lacked alignment with the leadership team, as one member undermined the rest of the team. The pain was never addressed and the entire operation suffered. Even though that team continually fixed things, they never fixed the problem (the pain). Years later that team still struggles; the problem is still there. No one wants to face the pain and deal with it, they continually manage suffering, seemingly always improving, realistically never improving. High-performance teams do not suffer – they deal with the problem, not the symptoms.

This concept is repeated again in personal intervention. The concepts are easy, much as watching someone else do a yoga pose; the hard part is doing it yourself. In yoga philosophy, one’s mind is the same as the body, and it takes practice to create change in either your mind or body. The mental discipline of practicing yoga is the hard part.

Exercising Our Potential Limiters

One exercise from the yoga teacher training was to find one thing we do that we didn’t like about ourselves (we used yogic yamas and niyamas, but E-Color potential limiters would work perfectly). Then, for the rest of the day we were assigned to doing that thing we wanted to change consciously and deliberately.

For the rest of the day we were assigned to consciously and deliberately practice our negative habits. Some people had to interrupt others, some had to say bad things about their team mates and start rumors, some had to be disruptively messy or rude, some had to be argumentative… you get the picture. It was horrible to have to do something which you knew was wrong and counter-productive; the whole time I was thinking this is brilliant! I hate this. The obvious question is “If I hate doing this so much when forced to, why do I do it by choice?” Everyone’s experience was different; I became more aware of my own triggers of unwanted behaviour. The discussion afterwards provided immediate feedback on what it was like to both behave in such a way, as well as being on the receiving end.

Demonstrating Strength and Balance As A Leader

At the end of my training I decided the focus of my own yoga practice for the next year was going to be on strength and eliminating tension. Through the course, I experienced reduced tension leading to more space for me to be me. This strength has enabled me to hold this space for both myself and others more effectively. The experience has proved very refreshing for this Blue/Yellow Coach, increasing my ability to consciously manage potential limiters.

I have attached a photo. The pose is Vrikosana – Sanscrit for Balance pose – which is the essence of Equilibria.


Story by: Steve McGrath (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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No Longer A Bully, Now A Leader

As soon as I went through the E-Colors training I understood why I behave the way I do, and understood what I have to do to manage my potential limiters. Before I was a man in a hurry and used to shout at people all of the time – I was a bully, not a leader. I have learned how to manage those tendencies, which has helped me both at work, and with my family. Teamwork is about E-Colors recognition.

On one occasion I was yelling instructions at a Blue/Green roughneck. He said to me “Do you see my E-Colors? When you yell at me it confuses me.” I learned that my impatience had caused a situation where he could have got hurt, but he also reminded me that rushing and hurrying was how I can get hurt. Now I am more patient, calmer and I listen more. I ask questions and answer my crew’s questions. When someone asked a question in the past I would tell them to wait until I had finished what I was doing. Now I stop what I am doing and allow them to ask their question.

My crews don’t avoid me anymore, our relationships are friendlier, and we get better results. I am no longer a director, now I am a leader.

Story by: Terry Pupu (R/Y), Lead Roughneck, Seadrill West Tellus Liberia Operation

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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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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