Whoever put ‘fun’ and ‘triathlon’ in one sentence is one of two things; sadistic, or lacking in their grasp of the English language! Or so I thought, until I took part in the Stratford 2014 Fun Triathlon having signed up alongside six other Colour Workers last year.


I consider myself to be relatively fit – I run regularly with a running club, (although lolloping best describes my running style), and I know I can run 6 miles so my head was in the right place for the 2.5km stretch of the triathlon. As for cycling, I very much align with John F Kennedy in saying “Nothing compares to the simple pleasures of a bike ride”, but I was actually really looking forward to the challenge of 15 miles. Everyone has an Achilles Heel, however, and mine is most definitely water. Swimming. I come out in a hot sweat thinking about it.  Knowing this, I arranged to take some lessons to better my chances of completing the 200m swim without being scooped out by the lifeguard’s fishing net, and practiced frog legs with my dolphin-like daughter but always knew that I’d find it difficult.

In the workplace, you will inevitably have your own running/cycling prowess and your own Achilles Heel. We work with a model of behaviour derived from Carl Jung based on colours which helps individuals develop their emotional intelligence and understand their behavioural preferences.

I regularly play to my strengths of being friendly and sociable, interacting with others, seeking variety and working towards being inspirational with the programmes I run – my Sunshine Yellow energy. This is me in running/cycling mode; it comes naturally and, most importantly, I enjoy it! My swimming demon at work is my lower levels of Cool Blue, the logical, precise, analytical side of me with fantastic attention to detail, and this really puts a brake on my effectiveness.  I know this about myself, and following instances where I haven’t managed to follow up with clients in a timely manner or set aside time to plan and have the right information to hand, I should definitely know better!  It is a challenging journey to build in discipline and systematic ways of working when I naturally hover towards variety, new things and enjoy those distractions, but, like my swimming lessons, I have a LOT of work to do to be more effective in my style.

So, what is your Achilles Heel? And how can you play to your strengths?

Suzanne Shaw, Facilitator at The Colour Works

Read up on emotional intelligence, discovery, letting go, mindfulness and the power of metaphor in the workplace

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