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Marc Accetta Team Building: Greens

Welcome back to our Marc Accetta March series!

For those just joining us, we're reviewing the four personality color types as defined by Marc Accetta's personality test. You can read our overview below, and take the test, if you haven't yet.

Today, we're looking at Greens. Let's get started!


The most logical, analytical, data-driven members of the team, Greens lead with their reason. They come at problems using the scientific method, analyzing, creating a plan, and executing that plan. They thrive in structured environments, they love digging into details, and have a natural curiosity. They are organized, precise, meticulous and tend to hold themselves to a high standard.

Greens are extremely valuable to every team, because Greens will show you the numbers, and stick to the plan. However, their reliance on structure and organization can mean that they struggle when your plans have to change, or if they have to make snap decisions. Extremely number-oriented Greens can also come off as aloof or emotionally distant, which can affect their closeness with the rest of the team.

Identifying Greens

Greens may be one of the easiest colors to identify in your employees, if only because their behavior is so consistent. Ask yourself, who on your team asks "Why?" most frequently? Chances are, they're not trying to challenge your authority, they just want to understand the logic of your process. If you have a teammate that usually needs time to think about things, if they're the one making plans for the team, keeping track of time, measuring and analyzing, and

taking minutes or notes during meetings, they're Green!

How Greens Fit Into the Team

Ultimately, every successful business has to keep their bottom line in mind, and as such, Greens are incredibly valuable members of every team. Greens will not make snap decisions or deviate from a plan of action unless they absolutely have to; if you have a Green at the helm, you know a project will never go over budget, and it will never miss any critical details. Their natural inclination towards structure means that they can create robust, detailed plans of action and be counted on to reliably execute them.

Again, because Greens are so detail oriented and number focused, they can be less connected to the needs of their teammates, and more focused on the needs of their plan or structure. This is where leaders can be helpful to Greens, by helping them connect with the rest of the team, and by getting other team members emotionally invested in the structure Greens create.

Motivating Greens

Motivating Greens is simple: show them the numbers! When it comes to helping a Green visualize an end goal, the best method is to work with your Green directly. Greens love to follow logical, detailed plans. The easiest way to ensure that your plan is something a Green will follow? Design your plans with the Green on your team! Their naturally strategic minds will benefit your planning process anyway.

Greens can be helpful in motivating the rest of your team, as well, as they can look to your project data and pick out inspiring highlights. They can find benchmarks, help your team understand how close you are to your goal, and get everyone to see their role in the big picture when you're deep in the guts of a project.

How Greens Lead

Green leaders are typically collected, organized and results oriented, which are fantastic leadership qualities! Their ability to create plans and stick to them results in structured environments where all team members involved know their role and what's expected of them.

As a Green leader, the key to reaching your team is to help them understand your process.

You can use your natural ability to create structure to strengthen and streamline the team's processes and find areas for them to be more productive. The key to connecting with your team is to keep in mind that your teammates may not be as strong in creating plans as you are, but that they can benefit from them just as well as you do. Communicate with your team, help them see the logic you use in your decision making, and they'll be more likely to back your plan of action.

Emotional Intelligence and Data

Greens are often guilty of looking past the "human element" and focusing overmuch on data. This can be a strength, as it allows Greens to make decisions unaffected by their emotions, but it can be a weakness too, because it doesn't allow for a Green to take in the whole picture." If the numbers prove me right, why should I take the feelings of my team into consideration?" can be a damaging line of thinking, and a potential pitfall for Greens.

The best way for Greens to avoid this trap is to consider the importance of variables. All structures, project plans, and collected data have to account for variables; it would not be useful data otherwise. Therefore, to make the most effective plans and structures, a good Green has to account for the human variable. Understanding that elements of your plan have to struggle through human reactions, emotions, and inconsistencies is critical, because ultimately, how your plan overcomes these variables will determine how successful it is.

Let's take a look at a self-professed Green from our own team, who has seen a lot of success at DialogueDirect: Nick Mirsky, National Training Manager based out of Boston!

Nick's Thoughts on Being Green

1. What are your most typical Green traits?

I think my Green comes out in my ability to understand how a system works, just by looking at small elements of the system. To use a DialogueDirect example, I can see how our pitch structure builds impulse and passion in donors, and from seeing it happen in one conversation, I can infer how it will break down in every interaction. I see a part of the structure, and I see how that structure can be plugged into any situation, like plugging in different numbers into an equation

2. How does it affect the way you're motivated?

I think it's tough for Green people to find motivation while fundraising, because we're so process and structure oriented but there are so many variables that are part of our success. I think progress is what motivates me, and seeing progress happen shows me that the system is really working. What I really want to see is myself getting better. To stay motivated, I break things down into little pieces and monitor the development of those pieces. When I was a fundraiser, it was tracking progress in my pitches, analyzing which parts of my pitch were strongest and weakest. Now that I lead a campaign, it's watching the different results of our campaign, and watching the progress of the skill sets developing on my team.

3. How does being Green affect the way you lead?

I look at my team as a different type of system. I know that I need to make sure that my side of the equation is producing the best result possible, so that their side of the equation is successful too. I identify what I want to see from my campaign, and communicate to them what they want, but in a way that delegates to their strengths. A big breakthrough for me was about being confident enough in my team to let go and let them do what they do best. In our morning meetings, I delegate the "pump up" segment of our morning session to those who feel motivated by doing that, which turned what I saw as a chore into a one of the strongest elements of our meetings.

When I lead other managers and other greens, I break down what I'm doing, I let them see my process so that they can see the logic behind my process, and this has been very successful in getting them motivated. Greens need to understand the logic of your thinking or they won't follow a process.

4. What's your second strongest color?

Red, because I love to win, but I also have a lot of yellow and blue on the rise... I've been looking at my team more as a family, and I've been developing that emotional connection. When I took ownership of the Boston campaign a few years ago, my team was very yellow and blue, and I find that a manager's colors often reflect the dominant colors of his campaign. But ultimately, my secondary color is red, because when I see how something works, I want to be as efficient with that system as possible.

5. Any advice for being successful for other Greens?

Keep track of data, no matter how small, take lots of notes to reflect accurately on your day, and use that reflection to be better.


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