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Work can bring out true colors

| Saturday, March 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

There's a reason you probably don't get along with some of your co-workers.

They're different from you.

And the boss likes it that way.

A boss who has employees who all think and act the same can find herself with a team that becomes fast friends but one that doesn't generate many innovative ideas.

That's why she may put in place someone who is good with details, someone who is a brash, big-talking idea person and someone who is highly competitive. So, although you might not like someone who is brash because you're more conservative and introverted, that's something you'll have to learn to live with if you want to stay in your job.

Career expert Shoya Zichy says the sooner you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your colleagues, the sooner you will be able to work in harmony with them because you appreciate what they have to offer. At the same time, learning to promote and use what you have to offer will help you better mesh with your polar opposite at work and deliver the results a boss desires.

Zichy, author of “Personality Power: Discover Your Unique Profile — and Unlock Your Potential for Breakthrough Success,” says that we all have a dominant personality profile, and even a backup style, that helps ensure we're in the right job. She categorizes them into colors: golds, reds, blues and greens.

• Golds: 46 percent of the population. Employees with these strengths are good at organizing people and processes and are goal-oriented.

Dentists and accountants fall into this category. Warren Buffett is considered a gold.

• Reds: 27 percent of the population. These people are action oriented, spontaneous and focused on the now.

Work has to be fun, and they are great at seizing opportunities and making things happen. Zichy says Bill Clinton falls into this category.

• Blues: 10 percent of the population. If you're theoretical, always driven to acquire knowledge and are good at dealing with complex systems, you are probably are a blue.

Common professions include journalists. Hillary Clinton is considered a blue.

• Greens: About 17 percent of the population. These people are empathetic, creative and expressive. They are good at catalyzing others to their goals and communicate with eloquence.

Those in advertising or human resources often fit this profile, as does ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer.

Zichy says her “Color Q” system is not intended to label people, and some will fit into more than one category.

She says she developed with the system after extensive evaluation of individuals and their strengths. When determining your color, Zichy says, embrace it. Don't be shy about promoting your strengths to others, no matter the work culture or environment.

“If you work in a pretty crazy environment, you can say something about the fact that you're a good organizer and you're there to help keep them on track,” she says. “Don't be afraid about stating your value.”

Anita Bruzzese is author of “45 Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy ... and How to Avoid Them,” www.45things.com. Write her in care of USA TODAY/Gannett, 7950 Jones Branch Drive, McLean, Va. 22108.

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