Personality Colours and Leadership: Types and How-to Guide

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 11 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you want to pursue a leadership role and want to know what kind of leader you are, then learning about personality colours and leadership may interest you. Personality colours can help you understand your leadership style and suitable careers. Learning about this topic can help you excel as a leader and work better with your team members. In this article, we define leadership personality colours, explain their types, outline how to apply them as a leader and highlight tips to improve your leadership skills.

How are personality colours and leadership connected?

Personality colours and leadership are connected through traits that describe an individual's strengths as either red, blue, yellow or green. Each colour has characteristics that apply to leadership. The different personality colours include characteristics can that make you a suitable candidate for a specific career path. An individual can have a dominant personality colour and a few traits from other personality types. For example, you may have attributes that make you a blue personality but also possess characteristics of a green personality.

Thomas Erikson used the Dominance, Inspiring, Stable, Analytical system to create the personality colour system. He created it because using colours is easier to remember. The system states that:

  • Dominant individuals are red.

  • Inspiring individuals are yellow.

  • Stable individuals are green.

  • Analytical individuals are blue.

Related: What Are Personality Traits? (Definition, Examples and Tips)

Types of personality colours

Here are the four types of personality colours:

Red

Individuals with red personalities are highly driven, direct and ambitious. They prefer straightforward communication concerning how to complete tasks. Leaders with a red personality use a directional leadership style that's goal-oriented and involves wanting things to move forward. Red individuals are dominant, direct, assertive, competitive and results-driven. If your personality colour's red, consider looking for leadership roles in business, sales and management.

Blue

Individuals with blue personalities are planners. They're detail-oriented and enjoy making to-do lists and organising items in a specific order. Words that describe blue individuals include organised, logical, analytical, meticulous and precise. Leaders with blue personalities use an operational leadership style that involves creating organisational systems designed to achieve goals. If your personality colour is blue, consider looking for career opportunities that require logical thinking, such as finance, engineering and law.

Yellow

Individuals with yellow personalities are enthusiastic and enjoy talking to people. They inspire others to act. Words describing yellow individuals include charismatic, sociable, inspiring, motivated and humorous. Leaders with a yellow personality use an inspirational leadership style to encourage productivity in the workplace. If your personality colour is yellow, consider pursuing a career in marketing and public relations.

Green

Individuals with green personalities are peace-keepers. They're patient and calm people who encourage teamwork during challenging situations. Words describing green individuals include relaxed, caring, loyal, steady and encouraging. If your personality colour's green, consider roles in human resources, customer service and account management.

Related: 18 Types of Personality Tests with Professional Applications

How to improve your leadership skills based on personality colours

Understanding your personality colour can show you your positive traits and help you apply them in leadership. As a leader, no matter your personality colour, there are several ways you can improve your leadership skills. Here are some tips to help you:

1. Learn team members' personality colours

There are personality colours that pair harmoniously and others that don't. Start by learning your team members' personality colours so you can understand how to pair them to improve productivity. Examples of harmonious personality colour pairings are:

  • Red and blue: This pairing works well because they have opposite strengths and are goal-oriented. Red individuals set general goals and blue individuals focus on the finer details.

  • Green and yellow: Yellow individuals create ideas and green individuals find ways to actualise them.

  • Blue and green: Blue and green individuals are gentle and analyse their goals before pursuing them.

  • Red and yellow: Yellow individuals inspire ideas and red individuals set goals that lead to achieving them.

2. Evaluate your leadership style

Assess your leadership style by analysing your strengths and areas for development. You can do this by writing all your positive traits, their effectiveness in a leadership role and any aspects you want to improve. For example, if you're a red leader, you can improve on how you communicate mistakes in the workplace by being more encouraging. Try to be impartial during this exercise to maximise your chances for improvement.

Related: 10 Types of Leadership Styles

3. Share your knowledge

You can share your knowledge with your team members about personality colours and help them discover theirs. If your team members learn their personality colours, they can apply these traits to their work ethic and increase productivity. It can also be an enjoyable experience that inspires and motivates them at work.

4. Set goals

As a leader, it's important to set goals for yourself and your team. Setting goals provides guidance and allows you and your team to work towards targets. Your goal-setting techniques may vary depending on your personality colour. For instance, a red leader might try to achieve a minimum number of sales per day, while a blue leader might set goals in the form of lists.

Related: How to Make a Career Plan and Set Career Goals (With Benefits)

5. Show honesty

It's essential to be honest with your team members about challenges you may face as a leader. You may find that they have solutions that can address these challenges and increase productivity. For example, if you're a yellow leader with challenges actualising goals, your colleagues may provide solutions. Being honest can show accountability and create a work environment where it's acceptable to ask for help, which may improve productivity.

6. Communicate with others

Communication is a vital skill for a leader. Leaders communicate with colleagues, team members and clients. How you communicate with people may vary, so you can improve your communication by learning about their personality colours. This can inform you how each person thinks and behaves, which you can then apply to communicate more effectively. For example, if you're a blue leader, you can communicate with red individuals by setting them targets to achieve.

Related: What Is Leadership Communication? (Definition and Examples)

7. Ask for feedback

Feedback can show how your team members perceive you and how you can improve. You can ask for feedback through questionnaires, suggestion boxes or meetings. The information you receive can highlight areas your team members appreciate and those you can develop.

Related: How to Give Feedback Professionally at Work

8. Connect with others

Find other people with leadership roles and connect with them. This can teach you new leadership techniques to match your personality colour. Other leaders can advise on how they work with different personalities to increase productivity. If you want to become a leader, you can approach leaders you admire and ask them how they used their knowledge of personality colours to rise to leadership roles.

9. Take on more responsibilities

If you're aiming for a leadership role, consider taking on more responsibility at work. Use your personality traits to your advantage as you seek leadership opportunities. For example, if you're a blue individual, use your analytical and organisational skills to offer solutions. As a red individual, you can use your goal-oriented nature to achieve higher goals that show leadership potential. If you're a green individual, you can demonstrate leadership skills through patience and loyalty. As a yellow individual, you can lead by inspiring those around you to be innovative and productive.

10. Adapt to challenges

As a leader, you may experience challenging situations regarding your duties, team or clients. It's important to adapt to these by creating solutions that you and your team members can actualise. You can use your knowledge of personality colours to develop solutions. For example, if you're a blue individual, you can create to-do lists with steps to solve problems that team members can use for guidance.

Related: Adaptability Skills: Definition, Examples and Tips

11. Attend training seminars

You can look for events, seminars or training workshops that focus on personality colours. This can help you understand their role in the workplace and identify the personality colours of your team. Applying this information at work can allow you to set reasonable goals for different team members based on their personality colours, which may lead to increased productivity.

Explore more articles