What’s it like to be a Sunshine Yellow Manager?
Following on from our post on the Fiery Red manager I am delighted to present a post from Nicky Cowling on the Sunshine Yellow manager. Nicky has lots of sunshine yellow energy and has teamed up with another Insights practitioner, Judith Yates, to form a company called Good Day Yellow!
What is Sunshine Yellow energy?
This colour preference is characterised by the following adjectives:
They are full of ideas and plans for the future and welcome change. They will be able to paint vibrant pictures of what the future will be like, possibly with words, equally likely with coloured pens on a poster that they will stick to the wall.
Their enthusiasm will be infectious and you’ll find yourself doing things without always needing to know why.
They are open and honest (perhaps sometimes too honest?) If their words don’t tell you and others what they’re thinking then their body language and facial expressions are likely to. You may want to remind them before attending negotiation meetings to try and keep a ‘straight face’ rather than disclosing your position too soon?
They will definitely know where they’re going, possibly how to get there but won’t always be sure where they and you are right now.
When dealing with this type of manager they would prefer you to involve them! Engage them in your plans early, whether it’s for a social event or a major project, to avoid a possible ‘hijack’ at a later stage because they believe they have a ‘better’ idea.
What I appreciate about this energy
They’ll understand how your work as a team fits into the bigger picture for your organization. If it looks like an obstacle is going to stop the team from achieving objectives (e.g. a budget constraint) they will have a creative solution or know someone somewhere to help you overcome it.
There will be few surprises in appraisals as they let you know if they’re happy with your work or not as you go along. When things are going well they’ll be a powerful advocate for you, singing your praises to the rest of the business.
When Sunshine Yellow energy gets in the way
Once we understand the gifts of a Sunshine Yellow manager we will appreciate that when these strengths become overused this energy can get in the way of high performance. Just like the sunshine used as a metaphor to describe their behaviour at their ‘brightest’ you may need to protect yourself from their full glare in order to avoid a headache. They are the ‘drama kings and queens’ of the management team.
They’ll remember the cake for birthday celebrations but forget the plates and the matches!
This manager under pressure will leak the following behaviours:
Sunshine Yellow energy and Liberating Leadership
The Sunshine Yellow energy will bring high level of style flexibility to their leadership responsibilities. They are likely to be equally comfortable challenging and supporting but may rely too heavily on their own experiences to choose an appropriate style. They may fail to fully understand the detailed circumstances of the team member and the situation they are dealing with before jumping in with a solution. Their challenge will be with style effectiveness. The team as a result will feel confident that they will get time and a response but may be unsure of whether they will get the right response for them.
The challenge for the Sunshine Yellow energy is to adopt the right style at the right time. In particular making sure that they listen to their team member and gather the full facts before determining a solution.
What is your experience of a Sunshine Yellow manager? It would be great to get your perspective.
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