As an E-Colors coach, I have heard many experiences shared by others during the foundations sessions that I have delivered. My first came from my search to gain a deeper understanding of where one’s E-Colors come from. Initially, I had my parents complete the PDI and had one come out a Yellow/Blue, while the other was a Blue/Yellow. From this, I was led to believe that my own Yellow/Blue profile was directly inherited. Of course, one could argue that their influence alone could have been the key in developing my E-Colors, so the observation didn’t lead to a solution for my nature over nurture debate.
Furthering my developing understanding, this past year I had the opportunity to work in several different fields with a common element: a population of workers largely derived from Canada’s most easterly province, Newfoundland. For those unfamiliar with Newfoundland, the province is peopled with closely knit families and communities, often living in isolated areas of the province, some accessible to this day only by water. What was interesting to me working with these groups (one on a land-based seismic site, composed almost entirely of people from one town in Newfoundland, Burgeo, the other on a seismic support vessel in the Beaufort Sea in Canada’s Arctic, composed largely of physically disparate Newfoundlanders, with a smattering of other Canadian East Coasters thrown in), was how similar they were in their E-Color make-up; Blue/Green. For example, the seismic support vessel had 7 of the 11 crew members as Blue/Green.
While I have come to the realization that these observations still don’t solve the nature vs. nurture debate, what struck me was the commonality. Both groups had very friendly, family atmospheres, where many of the crew had been working together in often seasonal labour environments for years.
So, what of the notion in the E-Colors tenets to celebrate diversity? Is it a plus or a minus to have all Blue/Green members (or Red/Green members, like the drill crews I work most commonly with on the drill ship where I spend most of my time?)
While it may not be possible to truly celebrate diversity on a seismic support vessel where the crew is almost all B/G, nor may it be possible when you are working with father and son teams from one village, perhaps just as important is recognizing that your team lacks diversity.
In support of that idea, one of the crew members on the seismic support vessel recounted a story to me of how he was almost killed when a new member joined their close knit group. Blue/Greens can get hurt by relying on other people. When he relied on the new crew member to understand a particularly dangerous task they were doing – he put himself in harm’s way and was nearly drowned when almost pulled overboard by an anchor they were pulling up. Diversity on his team may have demonstrated itself as someone asking more questions, or taking a more active role in explaining the task at hand. So celebrate diversity on your team, or at least understand and mitigate your team’s lack of diversity! Both are E-Colors observations that can optimize your performance and protect your life. All the best!
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© 2013, Ken Hovland (Yellow/Blue). All rights reserved.