What is True Colors and what can it do for me?
True Colors® is a model for understanding yourself and others based on your personality temperament. The colors of Orange, Gold, Green and Blue are used to differentiate the four central personality styles of True Colors®.
Each of us has a combination of these True Colors that make up our personality spectrum, usually with one of the styles being the most dominant.
Identifying your personality and the personalities of others using True Colors provides you with insights into different motivations, actions and communication approaches.
True Colors works because it is based on true principles and easy to remember and use – in all kinds of circumstances – from personal relationships to professional success.
“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.
A Brief History of True Colors
The theory behind True Colors can be traced back to when Hippocrates (460BC) identified four different temperaments of humans: Sanguine, Choleric, Phlegmatic, and the Melancholic… and in Plato’s (428BC) ideas about character and personality.
Many great thinkers around the world have expounded upon this theory throughout the ages from the ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations to modern psychologists with relative consistency of these various interpretations (Adickes, Jung, Spranger, Kreschmar, Fromm, Keirsey).
In 1978 founder Don Lowry, further developed the personality concepts he had studied and was the first to apply the color metaphors of Orange, Gold, Green and Blue to the four temperaments, coining this methodology: True Colors.
The True Colors Character Cards
What are they – why use them?
Recognizing the potential of the True Colors concepts to improve people’s lives, careers and relationships, Lowry set about developing a fundamental and universal way to package the information so it could be understood and easily applied by both children and adults alike.
Don Lowry originally selected theater as an entertaining way to acquaint people with the powerful insights of temperament. In order to involve the audience in the process, he developed the True Colors character cards (thus the mimes depicted on the front of the cards). The cards offered a gratifying, hands-on experience in discovering their True Colors personality traits.
Little did he know at the time, the simplicity of these cards would be
key to the ease of use and lasting impact of True Colors.
Flip a switch – the light comes on. Simple as that, right? Most of us don’t take the time to step back and consider the vast technology of electricity that lies behind this simple act, and yet we enjoy the benefits of the light bulb numerous times throughout the day.
The same could be said of the True Colors Character Card Sort – on the surface it seems like a simple act, yet behind this simple process is decades of personality research and observation. Once you sort the cards into your unique personality spectrum your personality will take on a new light. Frequently from this one activity individuals have remarked, “Oh, so THAT’S why I do things that way”, or “Now I understand my spouse/mate better”. The card sort is a deceptively simple, yet profoundly effective way to discover your unique personality and begin your exploration with True Colors.
The Meaning Behind the Colors of True Colors
Color has been used to shape and describe our lives, our habits, our values, and our feelings throughout the ages. Research into the physiological effects of color has shown that it truly has an impact on our lives, often in unconscious and mysterious ways. The colors for the True Colors model were chosen to correspond with the various metaphors associated with each Color.
Orange is a color often used to promote action, motivation, excitement. Orange urges you to PAY ATTENTION – wake up and seize the moment, make quick decisions…take advantage of the immediate opportunity available right now! Orange encourages a playful atmosphere of activity and movement. Think of the flash of fire, shimmer of sparklers on the fourth of July or the flame of a match – hot, dazzling, Orange energy.
Gold is a color with numerous metaphors associated with it. Think of the common phrase, “Good as Gold”. It represents value, stability and strength. The expression “Solid Gold work ethic” conjures up an image of someone who is very responsible… on time, organized, fulfills their obligations with stellar dependability, efficiency and thoroughness. The classic expression “sets the Gold standard” is also a suitable fit.
Green is an expression of the logic – the system of existence and the abundance of this color in nature. Greens are concerned with the world’s challenges, such as preserving the wisdom of mother earth for the future. Psychological research has shown the color Green to have a calming effect and many Greens demonstrate a composed demeanor using mind over emotion to orchestrate and solve the mysteries of life.
Blue is a color that has been shown to soothe the central nervous system. It fosters psychological contentment and physical tranquility. It can be said that when a person is feeling BLUE, they are experiencing emotional intensity and sensitivity to the dramas of life. The figure of speech referring to “True Blues” takes on the meaning of friendship, helpers, “there when you need them” individuals that will go the extra mile for others.