Going Blue: How to Tap Into Your Empathetic Side
Do you struggle with small talk? Do you have trouble connecting with people or showing your feelings? Do other people sometimes see you as distant or abrasive?
Empathy, enthusiasm and skilled communication are all qualities of a particular personality type, which under the True Colors spectrum is called “Blue.” Even if Blue is your palest color, those qualities are still inside of you, and you can learn to tap into them when you need them.
Blue personality traits are crucial, not just for team morale, but for communication of all kinds. Bright Blues have a knack for building bridges between people. They naturally relate to others’ feelings, which can grow trust and diffuse tension.
But what if you’re not naturally a “people person”? How can you strengthen the skills that will help you communicate your own needs – and understand what other people struggle to communicate to you? Here are a few things to practice.
True Colors tips: How to find your Blue side
- Consider when your Blue is brightest. When do you find you connect the most with people, feel camaraderie or feel comfortable sharing your feelings? Can you recreate those conditions?
- Think about a bright Blue you admire. Think about someone who always knows just what to say or who is great at drawing others out. What words do they choose? What does their body language say?
- Practice eye contact. It doesn’t have to be constant during a conversation (that can be overwhelming), but make sure to connect visually multiple times during the conversation.
- Say “hi” to a stranger. Whether you’re passing someone on the street or interacting with a cashier or server, try giving an extra smile or asking them how their day is going.
- Give compliments. An extra tip here is to compliment them on something they have control over or have put effort into (rather than a physical attribute) – e.g., the shoes they chose, something they contributed to a project or even how they were able to stay calm in a tough situation.
- Ask questions and listen. Show interest in others by asking them about themselves - not probing questions, but questions about things they probably enjoy talking about. What do they love most about their job? Do they have pets?
- Ask follow-ups. Make it a point to ask someone about something personal they’ve mentioned in the past – e.g., ask if they are still taking painting classes or how their child is doing in karate.
- Read a new perspective. Read an autobiography of someone who is quite different from you – e.g., different gender, ethnicity, religion or upbringing. Looking at the world from a completely different perspective can help you relate to a broader variety of people.
- Make an effort for the Blues in your life. Even if you have trouble getting in touch with your blueness, you can help other Blues by giving them opportunities to champion causes, making sure they are in the loop on whatever’s going on, providing one-on-one feedback and giving high-fives (or air-fives or elbow bumps) and similar encouragement.
This is part of a series on how to tap into your entire spectrum of personality strengths. We’ll explore all four True Colors personality types in the coming weeks.
Balcom Agency offers True Colors personality assessments to our marketing clients so they can strengthen their communication with each other as well as with their customers. Contact us about scheduling a True Colors workshop for your team.