Steven E. Beasley
of Follow Your True Colors to the Work You Love
Enclosed please find a book review I
have written about your very interesting new book. I have written this for
the Ontario Association for Application of Personality Type (the
psychologists won't allow us to use the word psychological here in
Ontario) newsletter. I am using Canadian spelling for words such as "colour."
I've written book reviews of David Keirsey's Please Understand Me II and
Linda Berens Introduction to Temperament.
Thanks for your time. It was a great book.
As far as I know, this is the first book
published that is based on Don Lowry's True Colors™ personality system.
And Carolyn Kalil's book is an excellent one to become acquainted with
this system. An additional bonus is that her book contains the four
temperament cards and the word cluster ranking system used to determine
one's true colours. The scoring produces a hierarchy of colours for each
person from one's strongest to weakest colour. (The weakest colour is like
the Inferior Function in MBTI.)
The developer of True Colors was Don Lowry, an entrepreneur and
student of David Keirsey. He used Keirsey's four temperaments as the basis
of the True Colors system. By using four colourful cards depicting clowns
performing colour related activities, Lowry developed a system that can be
used with all ages from kindergarten children to multinational company
executives. The four colours are: Orange - Sensing Perceiving, Gold -
Sensing Judging, Blue - Intuitive Feeling, and Green -Intuitive Thinking.
Kalil's book is written in a very personal style with lots of anecdotal
material. She describes her own life and how her first True Colors
workshop with Lowry was so tremendously helpful in understanding herself
and enhancing her own self-esteem. As an educator she has used the system
extensively, and has utilized this experience as the basis of her book.
Kalil concept of career education is based on the theory that you can't
know what you want to do until you know who you are. She describes each of
the four colours in separate chapters, looking at basic colour
personality, goals and ideals, and how men, women, and children of that
colour behave. An added feature is how each colour acts when one is
out-of-esteem (or what MBTI calls being-in-the-grip).
Having described the four colours, Kalil
then applies this to the world of work. She looks at the basic needs of
each colour and describes the path to best satisfy these needs. She also
looks at the values, natural gifts and talents, and most suitable career
choices for each colour. She urges the reader to tie it all together in a
mission statement, and has a exercise to help you to do this. These
careers are just suggestions and she does not imply that anyone is limited
in any way.
Recognizing how our upbringing can be a
negative influence, Kalil has a chapter on facing the past and being aware
of our negative programming. She includes an exercise on how to rewrite
your life script. She also concludes the book with a chapter on
harmonizing the four colours in our world. Each of the four colours has a
useful function to perform.
I found the book an interesting book to read, and felt it would be useful
for late high school age to adult, and wish I had had it available for my
Grade 11 Personality Development and Career Planning course when I was
teaching. People unaware of MBTI or Temperament will find it easy to
understand and will likely discover it gives them a boost to their
self-esteem. No matter what stage of life you are at, this book could be
an eye-opener in your career quest. For some, it may give them the courage
to make needed changes in their lives, and for others, help them explain
why they chose the career they did.
Jack Falt (INFJ and a Green) is a
retired Guidance Counsellor. He is trained in both True Colors and MBTI.
He leads an ongoing group called Appreciating Differences which studies
how type and temperament apply to all aspects of life. He is also the
Membership Director for the Ontario Association for Application of
Psychological Type. He can be reached by e-mail: email@example.com , snail
mail: Box 701, Almonte, ON K0A 1A0 or tel.: 1-613-256-3276.
Steven E. Beasley,
President, Center for Career Growth and Development
"The best way I know to raise your
is to do what you love." Carolyn Kalil
Carolyn Kalil has made Don Lowry’s "True Colors" concept easy to
understand and apply. Her new book, "FOLLOW YOUR TRUE COLORS TO THE WORK
YOU LOVE," presents the four personality types, as classified by the "True
Colors Personality System." In four delightful chapters, she tells us what
we are: The blue personality—to love and be loved; the green
personality—knowledge is power; the gold personality—plan it; the orange
personality—where’s the action?
Like the other card sort classifications, Carolyn Kalil’s approach has
cards-- four of them in full color, representing the four true colors
personality types, with graphics on one side and full personality type
descriptions on the other.
I liked the fact that Ms. Kalil puts together so many factors with each
type, so that you can understand how to work with each type, and so as to
better understand yourself.
Take the blues, for example. For blue true values that motivate and drive
behavior, we have: authenticity, compassion, creativity, emotions,
empathy, enthusiasm, friendship, harmony, honesty, integrity, intuition,
love, natural potential, optimism, patience, relationships, sensitivity,
tact. Under "Things that cause stress to blues," we find: disharmony,
judgmental people, lack of communication, chaos, injustice, rigidity,
isolation, overly aggressive people, cruelty to children and animals,
being yelled at, being lied to, heartlessness, no hugs, insensitivity,
lack of romance. Under the blue player, we find that we can count on them
to be the harmonizers who force us to look for peaceful means for settling
our conflicts. For career choices suited for blues, there is coach,
counselor, teacher, family lawyer, minister/rabbi, nun, pediatrician.
The good news is that this is a very easy-to-use guide to applying the
true colors concept to yourself. There is even a list of famous people of
each type in the appendix! Putting it all together with exercises,
priority ranking, diagrams, and work sheets makes this a very useful tool
in choosing one’s career.
Steven E. Beasley is President, Center
for Career Growth and Development
Post Office Box 283 - Los Gatos, California 95031
Career Development Chapter of the Canadian Guidance & Counseling
Let me admit from the outset that I have never been a big fan of True
Colors, summarily dismissing it as a simplified version of the typology
employed by the MBTI. As such you won't be surprised that I was putting
off reading the book, leaving it in a variety of locations around our
house, shuffling it from place to place to make me feel like I was doing
something. My wife, who (for better or worse) has become conversant with
personality typology, picked up the book, read it through within two days,
and said it was great. She passed it on to a friend who also knew her type
and she, too, praised it. So I set bias aside and jumped in to find out
what was so great.
The majority of this book is not so much about career planning as it is
about understanding the differences between the four colors and how they
interact within one's True Colors profile (primary color, secondary color,
etc.). The text is easy to read, interesting; full of examples, and can't
help but promote a better understanding of temperament differences. It
even gets briefly into True Colors as they relate to relationships,
gift-giving, and other related miscellany. And I think this is what makes
the book good. People put it down having genuinely learned something about
themselves and the others that inhabit their worlds. As humans, we tend to
As for the finding "work you love" component, while not an in depth
exercise in career planning, it's pretty good too. One of the main
emphases is on understanding your color profile, not just looking at the
primary color. There is an interesting discussion of the distinction
between the color we take on in roles (e.g., work) and the color that is
genuinely our identity. You won't be surprised to know that those two
colors are not always the same. It's important to really understand
yourself in this regard if you are trying to find your life's work. This
book fosters that understanding.
Follow Your True Colors to work you love also relates one's color profile
to typical talents and values for each color although I took issue with
some of the occupation examples (e.g., airline pilot as a green
career-those I know are oranges and golds). If there's a weakness to the
career choice concept described in this book it is that while it spends
many pages on True Colors and satisfying life's work, it spends hardly any
on the importance of information and research in the process. The whole
thing seems a bit too intuitive to me, but then my "weakest" color is
green so what do you expect from a gold-orange like me!
In concluding this review, I can tell you that not only have I found a
useful book to recommend, but also a new appreciation of True Colors as a
tool for self-understanding and career planning... as long as one always
considers their entire profile of colors not just their one primary color.
Of course, this balance is what we try to emphasize when using the MBTI,
as well, so people don't feel pigeon-holed.
By the way, as an added bonus for the practitioner, the book includes four
photo-quality cards to be used in discovering one's True Colors profile. I
like these better than the "standard" True Colors cards.
Michael Lazarchick, LPC, NCCC, MA
a True Colors Workshop at the NJ Counseling Association Conference, my
Blue Group completed a task very differently than the three other color
groups. We all had exactly the same task and the same instructions. I was
intrigued. I also know that we print a disclaimer on our NECA assessment
Personality Tests have not been supported by
court cases and legislation. An employment counselor using this “tool” as
“truth” would have to prove it had been validated against the labor market
approached Carolyn Kalil’s Book, Follow Your True Colors to the Work
You Love, with an open, yet cautious, mind. She took me on an
interesting journey. It is easy reading, well organized and competently
argued. She begins early with a concept that is easily accepted in our
field, “Understanding who you are is the first and most important step in
discovering your ideal career.” She asks us to card sort four different
colored cards representing four personality types. Our task is to identify
the color with values with which we most identify and sort down to values
with which we least identify. She tells us we are all made up of all four
colors. It is a matter of preferences and the process answers “why we are
naturally good at some things and not others.” Basically the approach to
career development is to find work that fits your identity instead of
trying to “squeeze your identity into your job.”
had little difficulty sorting my cards into the correct order for me. I
related to the description of how my primary and secondary color
preferences explain how I interact with the universe. I related to my list
of “Natural Gifts and Talents.” I agreed with the list of “True Values.”
There is little doubt in my mind that this is an excellent tool to clarify
values. Carolyn does offer a list of career choice occupations under each
personality type, but they were used as suggestions for further
exploration. She emphasizes that “thousands of other possibilities exist.”
Identifying my personality preferences and learning more about what it all
may mean, was actually fun.
The professional counselor in Carol Kalil really blossomed in her closing
chapters. She finishes very strong with uplifting, positive information,
some exercises and techniques that are quite familiar to both professional
counselors and individuals on a successful career path. Her approach is
very practical. I especially liked the short chapter on How to Create
Your Ideal Life's Work. No doubt in my mind, she has us going in the
right direction. We are exploring possible use of this tool with our TANF
population in New Jersey.
Michael Lazarchick received the 2002
Licensed Professional Counselor Award from the New Jersey Counselors
Association, He is a past president of NECA and currently manages the
Burlington County (NJ) One Stop Career Center.
William Hauck, Whole Life Times, Los Angeles, CA December 1998
This unique interactive guide makes it fun and easy to match your
personality to your career. The author promises that if you follow the
simple steps in her book, you will quickly learn how to reclaim your true
self and find your path to success. To make her case, she provides
numerous anecdotes and first-hand reports from people she has helped.
The True Colors method starts with four color cards included with the
book. Each carries symbols and descriptions of the four basic personality
types that have been the basis of various psychological systems for many
centuries. In the fifth century B.C., Hippocrates described four
dispositions - phlegmatic, melancholic, choleric and sanguine - and
Eastern astrologers incorporated the four elements of creation - fire,
water, air and earth-into the 12 individual signs of the zodiac.
Alchemists believe the four elements were responsible for a person's
temperament, and the modern psychologist Carl lung reinterpreted the
ancient teachings in fixed patterns of behavior he called the four
personality types-thinking, feeling, intuition and sensation.
Psychological therapist Dr. David Keirsey has re-labeled the four types in
terms of mythological archetypes -- Apollonian. Dionysian, Promethean and
Career counselor Carolyn Kalil uses the True Colors Personality System
developed by consultant Don Lowry to simplify and enhance the basic idea
of the four types. In their system, four-colors (gold, blue, green and
orange) correspond to the deepest archetypes within each of us.
When people need a detailed, organized person to get things done, do they
always count on you! Then you are the conventional fire element of the
sun's gold color. On the other hand, are you a person driven by the
constant challenge of new ideas! Do you like to do things that require
vision, problem solving, ingenuity, design and change! Then you are the
conceptual air element, color green.
Do you have a natural ability to communicate on a deeply human level! Do
you value integrity and unity in relationships! Are you sympathetic and
express your feelings easily! Then you qualify as the compassionate water
element, blue. Finally, if you are a resourceful, action oriented leader
who dislikes details, routine and rules, values energy, and shows
affection through physical contact, then you are the courageous earth
element, color orange.
By working with the True Color system you will discover the color that
best represents you. By identifying the color least like you and ranking
the remaining two cards in between the extremes, it becomes easy to
discover your true talents and maximize them. The next step is to
determine your ideal career and put your soul into the work you do,
thereby fulfilling and transforming your true nature.
Fred Coon, The Gladiator,
FEC Career Services
This book is powerful in many ways. First, it is a very well- explained
roadmap through Carolyn's personal journey of self-discovery and combines
that with her personal experiences and examples from her career. That
makes for very interesting reading. Second, it provides real-world
examples from many points of view that reinforce the assumptions used in
establishing the color scheme. Third, it is solidly based in documented
statistics from client experience.
As many of you know, I authored a book and am working on two others. One
of the most difficult things for me is layout and how the information is
to flow to enhance the reader's experience and absorption ability. Carolyn
has done a wonderful job of putting the information in a sequence that
builds to a complete understanding of the subject being covered.
There were a few areas that struck home with me and I re-read them over
and over and then spent a good part of my vacation in Cancun last week
thinking about them. They struck a major chord in my thinking. Isn't that
what any good book should be designed to do?
In fact, on the way down to Cancun, I gave the two young people next to me
the tests and determined their colors and then worked with them to
understand their work. I mean, what else did I have to do in the 4+ hours
I was sitting there. It was fun, enlightening for them and reinforcing in
their understanding of their personal styles and relationship as well.
The book is quick reading and that doesn't mean foo-foo. It means that
Carolyn has explained the concepts exceptionally well, supported them with
real-world examples, and added her own thoughts and conclusions that make
Overall, I strongly recommend this book to career professionals who wants
to work with their clients and, at the same time, wish to employ
professional techniques without having to attend a Myers-Briggs training
seminar and become testing experts and psychologists.
BTW, I am an Orange.....What are you?
Good Job Carolyn!