Book Reviews:

Jack Falt

Steven E. Beasley

Neil Baldwin

Michael Lazarchick

Dennis William Hauck

Fred Coon

Reviews of Follow Your True Colors to the Work You Love

Jack Falt.
Enclosed please find a book review I have written about your very interesting new book. I have written this for the Ontario Association for Application of Personality Type (the psychologists won't allow us to use the word psychological here in Ontario) newsletter. I am using Canadian spelling for words such as "colour."
I've written book reviews of David Keirsey's Please Understand Me II and Linda Berens Introduction to Temperament.
Thanks for your time. It was a great book.

As far as I know, this is the first book published that is based on Don Lowry's True Colors™ personality system. And Carolyn Kalil's book is an excellent one to become acquainted with this system. An additional bonus is that her book contains the four temperament cards and the word cluster ranking system used to determine one's true colours. The scoring produces a hierarchy of colours for each person from one's strongest to weakest colour. (The weakest colour is like the Inferior Function in MBTI.)
The developer of  True Colors was Don Lowry, an entrepreneur and student of David Keirsey. He used Keirsey's four temperaments as the basis of the True Colors system. By using four colourful cards depicting clowns performing colour related activities, Lowry developed a system that can be used with all ages from kindergarten children to multinational company executives. The four colours are: Orange - Sensing Perceiving, Gold - Sensing Judging, Blue - Intuitive Feeling, and Green -Intuitive Thinking.

Kalil's book is written in a very personal style with lots of anecdotal material. She describes her own life and how her first True Colors workshop with Lowry was so tremendously helpful in understanding herself and enhancing her own self-esteem. As an educator she has used the system extensively, and has utilized this experience as the basis of her book.

Kalil concept of career education is based on the theory that you can't know what you want to do until you know who you are. She describes each of the four colours in separate chapters, looking at basic colour personality, goals and ideals, and how men, women, and children of that colour behave. An added feature is how each colour acts when one is out-of-esteem (or what MBTI calls being-in-the-grip).

Having described the four colours, Kalil then applies this to the world of work. She looks at the basic needs of each colour and describes the path to best satisfy these needs. She also looks at the values, natural gifts and talents, and most suitable career choices for each colour. She urges the reader to tie it all together in a mission statement, and has a exercise to help you to do this. These careers are just suggestions and she does not imply that anyone is limited in any way.

Recognizing how our upbringing can be a negative influence, Kalil has a chapter on facing the past and being aware of our negative programming. She includes an exercise on how to rewrite your life script. She also concludes the book with a chapter on harmonizing the four colours in our world. Each of the four colours has a useful function to perform.

I found the book an interesting book to read, and felt it would be useful for late high school age to adult, and wish I had had it available for my Grade 11 Personality Development and Career Planning course when I was teaching. People unaware of MBTI or Temperament will find it easy to understand and will likely discover it gives them a boost to their self-esteem. No matter what stage of life you are at, this book could be an eye-opener in your career quest. For some, it may give them the courage to make needed changes in their lives, and for others, help them explain why they chose the career they did.

Jack Falt (INFJ and a Green) is a retired Guidance Counsellor. He is trained in both True Colors and MBTI. He leads an ongoing group called Appreciating Differences which studies how type and temperament apply to all aspects of life. He is also the Membership Director for the Ontario Association for Application of Psychological Type. He can be reached by e-mail: jfalt@trytel.com , snail mail: Box 701, Almonte, ON K0A 1A0 or tel.: 1-613-256-3276.
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Steven E. Beasley, President, Center for Career Growth and Development

"The best way I know to raise your self-esteem
is to do what you love." Carolyn Kalil


Carolyn Kalil has made Don Lowry’s "True Colors" concept easy to understand and apply. Her new book, "FOLLOW YOUR TRUE COLORS TO THE WORK YOU LOVE," presents the four personality types, as classified by the "True Colors Personality System." In four delightful chapters, she tells us what we are: The blue personality—to love and be loved; the green personality—knowledge is power; the gold personality—plan it; the orange personality—where’s the action?

Like the other card sort classifications, Carolyn Kalil’s approach has cards-- four of them in full color, representing the four true colors personality types, with graphics on one side and full personality type descriptions on the other.

I liked the fact that Ms. Kalil puts together so many factors with each type, so that you can understand how to work with each type, and so as to better understand yourself.

Take the blues, for example. For blue true values that motivate and drive behavior, we have: authenticity, compassion, creativity, emotions, empathy, enthusiasm, friendship, harmony, honesty, integrity, intuition, love, natural potential, optimism, patience, relationships, sensitivity, tact. Under "Things that cause stress to blues," we find: disharmony, judgmental people, lack of communication, chaos, injustice, rigidity, isolation, overly aggressive people, cruelty to children and animals, being yelled at, being lied to, heartlessness, no hugs, insensitivity, lack of romance. Under the blue player, we find that we can count on them to be the harmonizers who force us to look for peaceful means for settling our conflicts. For career choices suited for blues, there is coach, counselor, teacher, family lawyer, minister/rabbi, nun, pediatrician.

The good news is that this is a very easy-to-use guide to applying the true colors concept to yourself. There is even a list of famous people of each type in the appendix! Putting it all together with exercises, priority ranking, diagrams, and work sheets makes this a very useful tool in choosing one’s career.

Highly recommended.

Steven E. Beasley is President, Center for Career Growth and Development
Post Office Box 283 - Los Gatos, California 95031
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Neil Baldwin, Career Development Chapter of the Canadian Guidance & Counseling Association

Let me admit from the outset that I have never been a big fan of True Colors, summarily dismissing it as a simplified version of the typology employed by the MBTI. As such you won't be surprised that I was putting off reading the book, leaving it in a variety of locations around our house, shuffling it from place to place to make me feel like I was doing something. My wife, who (for better or worse) has become conversant with personality typology, picked up the book, read it through within two days, and said it was great. She passed it on to a friend who also knew her type and she, too, praised it. So I set bias aside and jumped in to find out what was so great.

The majority of this book is not so much about career planning as it is about understanding the differences between the four colors and how they interact within one's True Colors profile (primary color, secondary color, etc.). The text is easy to read, interesting; full of examples, and can't help but promote a better understanding of temperament differences. It even gets briefly into True Colors as they relate to relationships, gift-giving, and other related miscellany. And I think this is what makes the book good. People put it down having genuinely learned something about themselves and the others that inhabit their worlds. As humans, we tend to like that.

As for the finding "work you love" component, while not an in depth exercise in career planning, it's pretty good too. One of the main emphases is on understanding your color profile, not just looking at the primary color. There is an interesting discussion of the distinction between the color we take on in roles (e.g., work) and the color that is genuinely our identity. You won't be surprised to know that those two colors are not always the same. It's important to really understand yourself in this regard if you are trying to find your life's work. This book fosters that understanding.

Follow Your True Colors to work you love also relates one's color profile to typical talents and values for each color although I took issue with some of the occupation examples (e.g., airline pilot as a green career-those I know are oranges and golds). If there's a weakness to the career choice concept described in this book it is that while it spends many pages on True Colors and satisfying life's work, it spends hardly any on the importance of information and research in the process. The whole thing seems a bit too intuitive to me, but then my "weakest" color is green so what do you expect from a gold-orange like me!

In concluding this review, I can tell you that not only have I found a useful book to recommend, but also a new appreciation of True Colors as a tool for self-understanding and career planning... as long as one always considers their entire profile of colors not just their one primary color. Of course, this balance is what we try to emphasize when using the MBTI, as well, so people don't feel pigeon-holed.

By the way, as an added bonus for the practitioner, the book includes four photo-quality cards to be used in discovering one's True Colors profile. I like these better than the "standard" True Colors cards.

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Michael Lazarchick, LPC, NCCC, MA 

In a True Colors Workshop at the NJ Counseling Association Conference, my Blue Group completed a task very differently than the three other color groups. We all had exactly the same task and the same instructions. I was intrigued. I also know that we print a disclaimer on our NECA assessment page: Personality Tests have not been supported by court cases and legislation. An employment counselor using this “tool” as “truth” would have to prove it had been validated against the labor market being served.”

I approached Carolyn Kalil’s Book, Follow Your True Colors to the Work You Love, with an open, yet cautious, mind. She took me on an interesting journey. It is easy reading, well organized and competently argued. She begins early with a concept that is easily accepted in our field, “Understanding who you are is the first and most important step in discovering your ideal career.” She asks us to card sort four different colored cards representing four personality types. Our task is to identify the color with values with which we most identify and sort down to values with which we least identify. She tells us we are all made up of all four colors. It is a matter of preferences and the process answers “why we are naturally good at some things and not others.” Basically the approach to career development is to find work that fits your identity instead of trying to “squeeze your identity into your job.”

I had little difficulty sorting my cards into the correct order for me. I related to the description of how my primary and secondary color preferences explain how I interact with the universe. I related to my list of “Natural Gifts and Talents.” I agreed with the list of “True Values.” There is little doubt in my mind that this is an excellent tool to clarify values. Carolyn does offer a list of career choice occupations under each personality type, but they were used as suggestions for further exploration. She emphasizes that “thousands of other possibilities exist.” Identifying my personality preferences and learning more about what it all may mean, was actually fun.

The professional counselor in Carol Kalil really blossomed in her closing chapters. She finishes very strong with uplifting, positive information, some exercises and techniques that are quite familiar to both professional counselors and individuals on a successful career path. Her approach is very practical. I especially liked the short chapter on How to Create Your Ideal Life's Work. No doubt in my mind, she has us going in the right direction. We are exploring possible use of this tool with our TANF population in New Jersey.

 Michael Lazarchick received the 2002 Licensed Professional Counselor Award from the New Jersey Counselors Association, He is a past president of NECA and currently manages the Burlington County (NJ) One Stop Career Center.

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Dennis William Hauck, Whole Life Times, Los Angeles, CA December 1998

This unique interactive guide makes it fun and easy to match your personality to your career. The author promises that if you follow the simple steps in her book, you will quickly learn how to reclaim your true self and find your path to success. To make her case, she provides numerous anecdotes and first-hand reports from people she has helped.

The True Colors method starts with four color cards included with the book. Each carries symbols and descriptions of the four basic personality types that have been the basis of various psychological systems for many centuries. In the fifth century B.C., Hippocrates described four dispositions - phlegmatic, melancholic, choleric and sanguine - and Eastern astrologers incorporated the four elements of creation - fire, water, air and earth-into the 12 individual signs of the zodiac. Alchemists believe the four elements were responsible for a person's temperament, and the modern psychologist Carl lung reinterpreted the ancient teachings in fixed patterns of behavior he called the four personality types-thinking, feeling, intuition and sensation. Psychological therapist Dr. David Keirsey has re-labeled the four types in terms of mythological archetypes -- Apollonian. Dionysian, Promethean and Epimethean.

Career counselor Carolyn Kalil uses the True Colors Personality System developed by consultant Don Lowry to simplify and enhance the basic idea of the four types. In their system, four-colors (gold, blue, green and orange) correspond to the deepest archetypes within each of us.

When people need a detailed, organized person to get things done, do they always count on you! Then you are the conventional fire element of the sun's gold color. On the other hand, are you a person driven by the constant challenge of new ideas! Do you like to do things that require vision, problem solving, ingenuity, design and change! Then you are the conceptual air element, color green.

Do you have a natural ability to communicate on a deeply human level! Do you value integrity and unity in relationships! Are you sympathetic and express your feelings easily! Then you qualify as the compassionate water element, blue. Finally, if you are a resourceful, action oriented leader who dislikes details, routine and rules, values energy, and shows affection through physical contact, then you are the courageous earth element, color orange.

By working with the True Color system you will discover the color that best represents you. By identifying the color least like you and ranking the remaining two cards in between the extremes, it becomes easy to discover your true talents and maximize them. The next step is to determine your ideal career and put your soul into the work you do, thereby fulfilling and transforming your true nature.

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Fred Coon, The Gladiator, FEC Career Services

This book is powerful in many ways. First, it is a very well- explained roadmap through Carolyn's personal journey of self-discovery and combines that with her personal experiences and examples from her career. That makes for very interesting reading. Second, it provides real-world examples from many points of view that reinforce the assumptions used in establishing the color scheme. Third, it is solidly based in documented statistics from client experience.

As many of you know, I authored a book and am working on two others. One of the most difficult things for me is layout and how the information is to flow to enhance the reader's experience and absorption ability. Carolyn has done a wonderful job of putting the information in a sequence that builds to a complete understanding of the subject being covered.

There were a few areas that struck home with me and I re-read them over and over and then spent a good part of my vacation in Cancun last week thinking about them. They struck a major chord in my thinking. Isn't that what any good book should be designed to do?

In fact, on the way down to Cancun, I gave the two young people next to me the tests and determined their colors and then worked with them to understand their work. I mean, what else did I have to do in the 4+ hours I was sitting there. It was fun, enlightening for them and reinforcing in their understanding of their personal styles and relationship as well.

The book is quick reading and that doesn't mean foo-foo. It means that Carolyn has explained the concepts exceptionally well, supported them with real-world examples, and added her own thoughts and conclusions that make sense.

Overall, I strongly recommend this book to career professionals who wants to work with their clients and, at the same time, wish to employ professional techniques without having to attend a Myers-Briggs training seminar and become testing experts and psychologists.

BTW, I am an Orange.....What are you?

Good Job Carolyn!
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