Picture the scene. You’re about to go into a one-to-one meeting with a member of your team. You’ve requested the meeting to discuss some areas of significant under-performance that have been noticed by yourself and other members of the team. The discussion needs to be positive and productive, with complete buy-in from your team member and ending with a commitment to embracing the criticism and a willingness to change and improve.

Sound familiar? Such meetings are a day-to-day occurrence in the work-place and yet so often they go badly wrong and fail to produce the desired change.

Why is that? How do we ensure that we are gaining acceptance and commitment from our colleagues to whom we have to deliver bad news or reproach?

Well, we can start with some basic preparation work based on personality types. Taking some time out to frame the scenario could save lots of wasted time and distress later on. Ask yourself some simple questions like:

“What colour mix are they?”

“What does that infer about how they like to be communicated with?”

“What do I need to do therefore in preparation?”

“How should I behave during the interview?”

“What outcomes can I realistically expect to achieve during the meeting?”

“How best can I close out the meeting?”

“How can I best support the individual after the meeting?”

All of the above can lead to a wealth of understanding about how to adopt the correct approach to get the most from the meeting. Remember, it’s not about our own style here, but about adapting our style to meet the needs of others. And that needs to incorporate supporting preparations such as reflection time, setting the right ambience and surroundings, and follow-through.

So, below is a table that attempts to capture the main points for each of the colour energies. Of course if you have the opportunity to read through your colleague’s Insights Discovery© Profile then that will prove to be a veritable gold-mine of understanding and tips for communicating with them. You may even want to get your colleague re-profiled to explore the current frame of mind and establish if there are any indications in the preference flow that might start a conversation.


The above snap-shot of the colour energies gives immediate insight into how we should be framing the one-to-one meeting. Remember, by adopting the other person’s preferred style of behaviour we are far more likely to connect with them and achieve a positive outcome.

Having our clearly-framed overview in mind places the individual concerned at the centre of the process, with style and purpose being directed according to their own individual preferred style. Now let’s look at some aspects of the meeting process itself in a similar table format.

The above is a simplified example, but you should be able to construct a similar process based on your own knowledge and experience of the individual concerned. Little ‘tweaks’ to the way you manage the meeting can make all the difference between gaining buy-in and acceptance and therefore having the issue productively addressed, or creating a stand-off position, where the issue is lost within personal feelings of anger, rejection and perceived negative criticism.

It’s in your hands and you know the outcome you want. A small amount of preparation and consideration of the colours involved in your interactions will pay dividends and make the process of dealing with the ‘awkward’ situation a whole lot easier.

The Colour Works’ ‘Leading and Developing High Performance’ programme has been designed for middle managers who have to practically manage staff on a day-to-day basis and provides immediately applicable training to empower managers to get the very best from their teams. We cover how to motivate, support and develop team performance to maximise success and deliver more productivity with less down-time.

Why not view our solutions on teamwork today?

Why not view our solutions on people and change today?

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