No matter where they are on the wheel, ‘Creatives’ experience access to all 4 colour energies in a way that is not experienced by individuals in the other positions
They have, in their conscious persona, two “opposite” colour energies as their dominant and auxiliary energies (the two “highest percentage” energies). At the same time, the less conscious persona (sometimes considered a more “authentic” preference) reveals a preference for the remaining two “opposing” colour energies on the wheel, as dominant and auxiliary energies.
We hope that this guide will be of value to both Creative individuals and the teams in which they preside as they discover the immense value of the Creative Position.
What does it mean?
The unique qualities of the different colour energies are not always apparent to Creative individuals when they perceive others or themselves. The Insights Discovery model may seem confusing because the distinctions between the descriptions of the ‘colours’ have no basis in experience – and don’t seem to make much sense.
They have easy access to all of the colour energies, particularly in the “opposition” positioning, and have the ability to make instant connections between them. They may not understand why other members of the team are not as agile mentally or emotionally – and may experience frustration or impatience. This gives an extremely powerful range of Thinking and Feeling, Introverted and Extraverted, and Sensing and Intuitive capabilities.
They are often surprised, and sometimes confused or hurt, by reactions of other members of the team to what they perceive as a “normal” response.
- For example, the individual may be sharing a warm, harmonious interchange with an Earth Green energy preference colleague in one moment – and in the next moment state abruptly that they need to get to work.
- Or, the individual may be humorously engaging with Sunshine Yellow energy preference colleagues in some idea chat in one moment – and in the next appear to coldly distance themselves and begin to negatively (although from their own perception, simply use “the gift of caution” ) rebut the ideas.
They may not experience the same stress responses relating to the different colour energies that were explained during the Discovery Accreditation. The “flips” may not be as intense in their expression – and the stress response could vary considerably.
In addition, the various stages of stress that are learned in the Discovery Accreditation are not applicable in the same way to the Creative position. The stress response for those in the creative position is driven by the particular colour energy they are using in the moment when they experience stress. So, even the initial stages of stress could be expressed as outspoken, challenging and aggressive in one situation and in another be withdrawn and passive.
How and why does it come about?
There are, undoubtedly, a full and complex range of possibilities. However, in experience the same four explanations (with much more emphasis on the last 3) keep cropping up so frequently and without fail that I believe they are the most significant.
- The individual is going through a life transition. (Although this explanation is rarely given by the individual themselves as a reason why he or she perceives being in the Creative position.)
- The individual grew up in a home with parents in very different positions on the Insights Discovery Wheel.
- Growing up, the individual moved to a different location every year or so, and learned to “reinvent” themselves to adapt to constantly altered situations, environment, and relationships.
- The individual experienced ongoing demands/challenges/possibly trauma during their formative years and developed a highly creative coping strategy.
In the first case, the individual is often fully aware of the unusual stretch (sometimes even felt as stress) of their usual personality preferences. In the last three cases, the individual is not aware of any particular “stretch” or uniqueness involved in being in the Creative position and will often state that “I’ve always been like this”. What is so very interesting is that in each case the psyche is stretching well beyond expected physiological preferences to meet the sociological demands the individual is facing.
In responding from the Creative position physiologically, the Reticular Activating System (RAS) of the Central Nervous System is processing all of the data from the five senses in some moments – as in the case of the introverted “high RAS” experience and in other moments is only processing a fraction of it – as in the case of the extraverted “low RAS” experience. (For more details about the Reticular Activating System, I recommend: The Hidden Gifts of the Introverted Child – Marti Olsen Laney.) This gives the individual the capacity to almost simultaneously see the details and the big picture – and to hold both a “now” and “future” orientation.
The thinking processes of The Creative individual can be enhanced. Given the situation, he or she can use the neurotransmitter dopamine to produce a “short thought pathway” experience and can ALSO use the neurotransmitter acetylcholine to produce a “long thought pathway” experience. (For more details about the “short or long thought pathways”, see: The Introvert Advantage – Marti Olsen Laney.) The result can be expression and/or experience of the gift of recognizing possibilities, then quickly taking action – relating to either task or relationships AS WELL AS the gift of caution, a slowing down of the thinking process to access long term memory in order to make vital risk-relative associations and information pertinent to either understand and resolve the situation or bring harmony to the relationships at hand. With this capacity, the Creative individual holds the possibilities and the cautions – the capacity to conceive of the cup half full – and half empty – in equal measure.
In addition, the information contained in the neural cells in the left hemisphere of the brain, the right hemisphere of the brain, the heart, the gut – and throughout the “mind-body” – are all brought into the consciousness and given more equal weight. (For more details, see the following three books: Magical Child and Magical Child Matures – Joseph Chilton Pearce and HeartMath – Howard Martin.) In certain cases the world appears to be perceived through the senses with full access to the intuition.
What are the benefits to the team of having a team member in the Creative position?
In order for the team to benefit from the full range of benefits, there must be an understanding of the Creative Position itself. In addition – with deeper understanding, these benefits can finally be fully felt and experienced by the individual. This can release a powerhouse of potential, and, in some cases, alleviate the stress that can come to the individual from sometimes feeling alienated from the rest of the team. The key benefit that comes with an individual in the Creative Position is a mental and emotional that can boost the team’s performance ability exponentially.
– The individual in the Creative position will not experience, or need to compensate for, the limitations of the physiological and sociological preference in the same way as the rest of the team members.
– The individual in the Creative position can become a conscious bridge/interpreter between the members of the team who are most in “opposition” on the Insights Discovery Wheel.
– The individual in the Creative position can take on specific projects that demand the use of the “opposite” colour energies in ways that might take a toll on other team members.
– The Creative individual can stimulate the team to grow in emotional intelligence if the other members of the team make the effort to provide a conscious container for the gifts of the Creative to manifest.
What are the challenges of having a team member in the Creative position?
The individual will not always react in the ways that the team has come to think of as “normal” within the Insights Discovery model. It is important to remember that the only times that team members situated within the non-Creative positions of the wheel experience the “opposite” side of the wheel is in the latter stages of stress. In those situations they do not experience mastery of the opposite colour energies. More likely, there is an association with pain, discomfort, or disconnection with self and others.
Here are some examples of the sudden shifts that can often be experienced as disconcerting for non-Creative position team members:
– For those team members in the Inspirer or Helper or Supporter position, the movement of the Creative individual into an Observer, Reformer or Director position “in an instant” may be misinterpreted as criticism, rejection or, perhaps, withdrawal. This movement may cause a stress reaction in those with a marked Feeling preference – and a “domino effect” is created – causing further misunderstanding, which can often be projected on the next situation or interaction that occurs.
– For those team members with an Extraverted preference, the presentation of perceived “negative” and cautionary details as a prelude to the presentation of a brilliant idea is not understood. The individual in the creative position with Cool Blue as the dominant energy preference is often not given the time to get to the brilliance of his or her Sunshine Yellow auxiliary energy preference. In this case, the loss to the team is significant, because in a Cool Blue/Sunshine Yellow creative positioning, the brilliant idea will come with a fully analysed and researched plan to develop the idea.
– A Creative team member with Earth Green as their dominant energy preference with Fiery Red in the auxiliary position is often not given sufficient time to get to the action oriented achievement that would naturally follow, as in non-Creatives it is so rare to occur. In this case, the loss to the team is equally significant, because in an Earth Green / Fiery Red creative positioning, the achievement of the goal will come with a full understanding of what needs to happen to emotionally engage the people who may have to either implement the plan to achieve the goal – and the people who will be affected by the achievement of the goal.
It can be incongruous for non-Creative team members, when they encounter a certain type of Creative colleague who can seamlessly incorporate the brilliant future/dream/action-oriented “AHA’S” of the Extraverted Intuitive, along with the reflective attention to fine details and intricate systems and process thinking of the Introverted Sensor. For those team members with an Introverted preference, the rapid movement into the Extraverted orientation – either in Sunshine Yellow possibility thinking or humour, or Fiery Red rapid-fire urgency to achieve the goal can be experienced as disconcerting, aggressive, or undisciplined.
The members of the team may view the individual in the Creative position as a chameleon – someone who “is all things to all people”. Labels such as “insincere”, “untrustworthy”, “erratic”, “phoney”, “slippery”, and “confusing” are sometimes applied. “I just can’t figure her/him out” is a phrase that is often used. The Creative individual is often misunderstood and can be marginalised. He or she can end up feeling alienated, rejected – and the vast potential of the gifts that can be given to the group or organisation are not realised.
Conflict between team members and the individual in the Creative position until the position is understood – can flare up. Often there isn’t the understanding necessary to resolve the conflict in a way that is satisfying to either the individual, or the other team members. Sometimes the individual in the Creative position ends up leaving the group because the suffering and the inability to contribute is simply too high a cost to pay.
How can team members learn to realise the benefits of the individual in the Creative position and minimise the challenges?
In short, by taking the time to understand, learn and transform their knowledge. All of the Insights Discovery learning around adapting and connecting is applicable here. However, there is an increased need for more conscious and constant communication between the individual in the Creative position and other members of the team. There are four steps that can move the team to the place of full realisation of all of the benefits offered by the individual within the Creative position. And, as the team moves forward, each member of the group interdependently experiences enhancement of their own unique gifts.
Step One: Transformation
The Creative individual can benefit greatly from raising his or her own awareness and emotional intelligence by learning how to identify which colour energy he or she is using at any given moment – and being able to adapt and connect with others from that place. This step provides the common language to unify, create synergy and expand energy capacity.
Step Two: Inspiration
A team which enters into a conscious, and ongoing, dialogue/connection with the individual in the Creative position will be able to enjoy the full range of benefits that such an individual can bring. An immediate result will be the creation of a healthy, productive environment in which all team members are respected, valued, included, heard and informed. Collective inspiration is the natural outcome.
Step Three: Effectiveness
Just knowing that there is an additional need to adapt and connect whenever there is interaction between the individual in the Creative position and the rest of the team members, can bring rapid results for everyone. Each member of the team, including the individual in the Creative position, is now able to fully make the connection between their own individual gifts – and the contributions they want to make to the group, the organisation and themselves. This step is about integrating the gifts of the Creative position, in order to experience tangible and intangible growth, results and rewards. This will enable all the individuals within the team to meet or exceed individual, group and strategic goals and objectives. Each position on the wheel brings gifts to the team, and it is a fortunate team that also enhances its effectiveness with the unique and brilliant gifts of the Creative position.
Step Four: Specialists
This final step is about autonomy – where healthy, innovative specialists are actively contributing to self, others, the company and beyond – from a place of internal mastery, integration, service and interdependence. Individuals in the Creative position are uniquely able to contribute as a team specialist. They will add immeasurably to the energy and service capacity of the team, as it moves to autonomy. The team that is fully able to bring each of its unique and valuable members into interdependence and autonomy will soar.
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