Management Styles & Colours: How it Works

by | May 30, 2024

The universal language of iMA (which stands for Identify, Modify, Adapt) is a simple way of observing and understanding the differences in people, then connecting with them on their wavelength. When this happens communication, trust, understanding, co-operation and sales go up, and stress and tension go down.

Everyone in the world speaks one of four iMA dialects, putting them on the same wavelength as 25% of the world’s population. The majority of people, many of whom are important to your success, are on a different wavelength than you.

There are iMA colour codes for each of the four (25% of the human population) styles; High Red, High Yellow, High Green, and High Blue. But what exactly do management styles and colours have in common? Read on to find out more.

What is a “High” Colour in iMA?

The reason that each colour has the word “high” in front of it is significant. iMA recognises that every person is a blend of all four styles or colours but is also as unique as their own thumb print. As a result, iMA focuses on each individual’s highest colour — the characteristics that are familiar and comfortable for them and are easily identifiable to other people.

Once you know how, high iMA colours are easy to spot. The behaviours, strengths, limitations, and especially communication styles become patterned, programmed, and predictable.

How are Colours and Management Styles Connected?

Now we’ve established the background of iMA, what exactly do management styles and colours have in common? The term “management style” is really your iMA colour in action. As a manager, you will naturally adhere to your own colour characteristics — whether you’re managing your team or communicating with internal stakeholders or clients.

To unlock the potential of management colour styles, you first of all need to complete three important steps:

  1. Identify and know your own iMA colour
  2. Build self-awareness and become a self-actualised version of your iMA colour — understanding your strengths, limitations, the roles you like, and how you come across to other people
  3. Learn to identify the iMA colour of other people. This is arguably the most vital step of all

A massive 75% of the world’s population doesn’t communicate, behave, or react in the way you do — so it’s essential to:

  • Identify every person’s iMA colour,
  • Modify your communication style, and
  • Adapt your behaviours to reflect those of the people you’re working with at any given time.

How iMA Improves Communication

Communication is an essential element of good management. When you think about it, everyone likes to be talked to in their natural style or colour — even you.

The ethos of iMA is simple. Communicate in the other person’s colour and they will respond positively to you. All the classic, familiar, and frankly unnecessary communication breakdowns can be avoided, leading to a significantly happier, and way more productive, team.

The exact same method is used when working with your clients or customers. Knowing each of their iMA colours and understanding how they correspond to your own is vital for creating a successful business relationship.

Management Colour Styles & Relationship Building

It’s often the case that you’ll come across a client or customer that you consider to be difficult. You may even feel the same way about a member of the team that you manage. More often than not, however, this isn’t an accurate reflection of the true situation. The reality is that the individual is a different iMA colour to you, and is behaving and communicating in their own style.

Without the knowledge to apply the required iMA skills, you’re going to find this person irritating — which is probably exactly the same thing they’re thinking about you. With the magic combination of iMA colour identification, self-actualisation and communication, and behavioural modification, you will have a far better, if not a really good, relationship with that person.

It’s also important to recognise that there are only four iMA colours, and you are one of them. This means that other individuals share your own characteristics. People of your own style are very often easy to identify and you tend to communicate in a smooth and comfortable way. As a result, you only need to identify the remaining three colours, rather than all four.

iMA Colours and Job Roles

iMA doesn’t just work for people, it’s also used for job roles too. In fact, the practice is highly-useful in recruitment to ensure the right people are in the right positions.

Just like individuals, each job has an iMA colour too. As a manager, you need to know firstly if your role matches your style, before ensuring that the iMA colour of those you manage also matches their roles.

How Each Colour Works

High Reds and High Greens are logical. They respond to facts, figures, and data, and are driven by tasks. Meanwhile, High Yellows and High Blues are not logical and instead respond to feelings, collaboration, and recognition. They are also driven by relationships.

The main characteristics of the four colours are as follows:

  • High Red: Assertive and logical. Thrives in roles that require leadership and are driven by tasks
  • High Green: Non-assertive and logical. Excels in positions that are also led by tasks, but also require thought, detail, and accuracy
  • High Yellow: Assertive and non-logical. Do well in relationship-led roles that need a leader/self-starter and a constant flow of new ideas
  • High Blue: Non-assertive and non-logical. Requires roles that are relationship-led and feelings-driven

If the role and the person don’t have matching iMA colour, you’ll inevitably lose productivity points on an hour-by-hour basis.

Who Manages Who?

Another important element of management styles and colours is understanding who manages who. High Reds and High Yellows are both assertive types of people. They are happy to express their opinions, like to work at pace and make decisions, and are always thinking about what’s coming next.

High Greens and High Blues, meanwhile, are non-assertive people who thrive on work that needs detail and close consideration. They are only comfortable with expressing their opinion in an environment they consider to be safe, and are fully-focused on the here and now.

As you might expect, it’s a lot easier for assertive people to manage non-assertive people than the other way around.

Essential Support with Management Colour Styles

iMA continuously helps organisations find the right styles of people for the right roles, and ensures better day-to-day relations both within and outside of your business — so why not get started?

As an iMA practitioner, I’ve helped businesses and individuals from all areas of industry to unlock the potential of management styles and colours, elevating both their professional lives and having a positive impact on their company. From mediation and hospitality, to exhibiting and education, there’s no limit to the sectors that iMA can support.

The process starts by taking a simple, two-minute, questionnaire to understand your own iMA colour and what makes you tick. From there, you can begin to identify the characteristics and colours of your team and the people around you. It’s that straightforward. Alternatively, if you think you or your business could benefit from iMA, get in touch with me today.

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