Influencing Skills: The Neethling Brain Instrument Quadrants Part 4 of 4 – It's Not Easy Being Green

By Carolyn Crawford

They say that opposites attract and it certainly seems that particularly among my female friends I have a disproportionate number of left-brain L2 ‘green’ thinkers – the diagonal opposite of my own thinking preference.  Perhaps I’m attracted to their strengths (aka my weaknesses) that I both admire and envy and have made some serious attempts to emulate over time – qualities like steadiness, practicality, an ability to master and excel in multiple skills at once and, the single best thing in friendship, life-long loyalty.  So to finish off this series on the NBI thinking quadrant, here’s a bit of insight into our ‘green’ friends.

I am green:  I am thorough, focused, clear thinking, well organised and disciplined.  I like clear guidelines, a sense of control and line of sight.  I like things deeply researched, well proven and preferably with precedents.

My clothing is likely to be clean, tidy, good quality and colour co-ordinated.  My office is well organised, my notes are neat and my files are colour-coded.  The expression “a place for everything and everything in its place” was written by a green for greens.  This makes me efficient.  Very efficient!  I can lay my hands on anything required quickly, whether it’s a stapler or a piece of key information.

My brain is like a flowchart of files, sub-files and sub-sub-files.  I have a memory like an elephant.  I can tell you who said what and when, where we were standing at the time, what they were wearing and all the mitigating circumstances.

At their rudest people will call us as ‘control freaks’.  I think of it as simply requiring all the relevant information about who’s doing what tasks and why, so we don’t overlap, double up or miss anything.  It seems to me that not being well organised is a short-coming and results in me invariably having to clean up other people’s mess when they go off on some airy-fairy, creative tangent without having thoroughly thought things through.  Haven’t you people heard of risk analysis and risk mitigation plans?!??!

Indeed I’m not a big risk-taker.  I’m steady, reliable and more likely to barrack for the tortoise than the hare.  I may not be an entrepreneur but I’m an awesome right-hand-man or woman.  You do your big picture, creative thing and I’ll make it happen, ensuring it’s followed through to the end, measured and monitored.

I’m not really interested in what you think of me, I’m interested in getting things done.  I’m less interested in the vision and more interested in the steps.  Don’t give me theory, give me practice.  And don’t go varying and changing things for the sake of it.  Let’s see where we’re up to and understand the root cause fully before going off on some half-cocked tangent.

In short, whether it’s tasks or people, I do my research thoroughly and once I’ve made a judgement or decision, I’m hard to budge because I was so darn comprehensive in my thinking in the first place! So don’t expect me to change course on a whim, give me due warning and clear parameters, be true to your values because I respect integrity, and this could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

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