May 20, 2015

Insights - Earth Green

Insights - Earth Green

Continuing with our Insights profiles, today we will be taking a look at the earth greens and explore what we can do in order to better interact with them. But first, as always, here are some of their characteristics:

  • Caring
  • People & feeling orientated
  • Relaxed & calm
  • Sharing
  • Tries to keep the peace

The first thing to note about earth greens is that they often concerned about feelings and relationships with other people. They also tend to put other peoples welfare before theirs and are often seen helping others with their tasks. Due to this, they may often find it difficult in saying no to requests. They often make great team players and advice givers as they have an interest in listening and helping out. In addition, they also have a strong moral compass and can be seen as the "ethical barometer" of the company.

Strong earth greens may find it very difficult to make decisions that could violate their ethical values. They also tend to be easy going and relaxed about situations, which often leads to disagreements with fiery reds.

Environmental clues

Earth greens can often be identified from the following indicators at the workplace:

  • Since they value relationships, their desk may be filled with family pictures or personal items.
  • The seating arrangement in the office is very open and informal, which is conducive to building personal relationships.
  • Walls and desktops may have family or serene, relaxing pictures.


What to do

Whenever interacting with a earth green, try to be patient and supportive of them. They also tend to prefer a slower pace and have some quiet time where they can reflect on issues. Therefore, try to slow down a bit and communicate at their pace. Also be sure to ask them of their opinion and give them some time to answer, which may be a difficult task for a fiery red.

What not to do

Since earth greens are so giving and willing to help you out, some people will take advantage of their good nature. As with the cool blues, it is not recommended that you surprise them with last minute changes or force them to make a quick decision on the spot, as this will take them out of their comfort zone.

Scenario time

In my previous project, we had a colleague who was our Scrum Lead/UX Developer and was a very strong earth green. They would always try to help out with any of the tasks and would constantly try to maintain the peace between the business and development teams so that everyone could get along.

Unfortunately, in the end things didn't work out for her and they eventually left the project. Now, I may be wrong, but I assume that the some of following reasons had a role to play:

  • The project requirements would literally change quite often and such rapid change may have been to to much for her.
  • Trying to be the middle-man and keep the peace between the two parties eventually took its toll on her.
  • She would often clash with the product owner, who was a strong cool blue but a fiery red when challenged. I suspect that he may have seen her as being very docile (Due to her being demotivated and unhappy) which would have irritated him.

So what could have been done to possibly prevent her from leaving? Well, like I said, I'm not 100% sure of the actual reasons, but some of the following things could have been tried:

  • There could have been more awareness of the conflict between the two groups. Also the manager could have been more proactive in sorting it out.
  • The product owner could have been more patient and sensitive, which could have strengthened their relationship and reduced the friction between the two of them and possibly delivered a better product in the end.

That's if for this post. Next week we will be looking at the final profile, sunshine yellow.

Until next time...keep learning!