For over 4,500 years we have studied behaviors from ancient Egypt to ancient Greek to the Roman Empire, the Chinese ancient culture, the Japanese culture, as well as South American Aztecs and Inca tribes, modern America, and across Africa. It has fascinated the learned and the average person going to work every day in a field. They have all asked the question: What is behavior? Many have come up with models and some of them are good and all have their place; some are dated and have strange labels but behind these labels is still the essence of a simple four-dimensional model that works as well today as it ever did. We must also add here that all the behavioral models that exist today are based on white middle class, often North American (USA) and Western cultural studies. We must allow for cultural differences between countries, regions, villages, tribes, and religions.
Even the oldest behavioral and personality models (ancient Greece) and the modern protagonists of all known behavioral models in the 1950s where nearly all the models we have today started in the 1950s. There were an amazing number of Europeans and a high number of Jewish psychologists who studied behavior, and a lot of these went to the United States before, during, and after the Second World War. There are also some Russians, Polish, United Kingdom, and many Americans too, and many of these were looking at why some of the atrocities happened in Germany and my theory is that many became quite introspective studies of psychology, psychiatry, sociology, and behavior.
There are dozens of psychometric assessment tools out there with lie detectors built in and measures of how consistently you answer the same question twice, and they will give you a valuable insight into people. We cannot change personality easily, but we can influence and affect the important bit—behaviors. After all, we cannot do much about our personalities, as they are set in stone; it is difficult to change the cultures we live in; we have roles in our lives and some come and go and many stay for our entire life times; and situations are usually predictable but there are some that jump out and bite us. But we can change our behaviors and we can then use these to get more from others, be more efficient, maintain less conflict, and predict how someone might behave and be ready.
But what I found is that in each there is a nugget of wisdom; in each something I could use or adapt and blend until about 15 years ago three guys took the best of all the models out there, created and challenged some of the accepted ones, and put together a new perspective, and for 15 years it has been tried and tested without anyone saying that is not me or it does not work. It was used on individuals to help them understand their behaviors, and improve their effectiveness. It can help you with leadership, presentations and public speaking, relationships at home and at work, sorting out issues and conflicts, selling, and persuasion too.
It can help you become more inspirational, get on with people better, lead, be an effective team player, and be better at relationships in general. It could improve your ability to sell more and quicker; to work in project groups; to help them create identity, meaning, purpose, and direction; and to help them unblock blocks between teams and of course at the organizational level to look at the culture and how well the values are being lived by the staff.
These existing models use the same basic model for behavior—a four-style behavioral model. SPECTRUM is very similar but easier to understand, easier to remember, and more user friendly; you can alter and change your behaviors as simply as deciding you want to and we will show you how.
A lot of you will already be wedded to another model and yours will be the best. Like your favorite football team, designer you like wearing, or your political party, it is hard to change your beliefs, but what about having an alternative or an extra string to your bow rather than replacing yours? A complimentary affordable model that even the person who makes tea or sweeps the car park right up to the chief executive officer (CEO), vice president (VP), and senior directors and managers can easily understand and talk to each other about in the same language and understand what they both want? How can anyone understand “You are a introvert, Sensing, Feeling, and Judging (ISFJ) and I am a Extrovert, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving (ETFP)” or “You are a conserving/holding on and I am an adapter/dealing away”? How can anyone remember it the next day, the next week, and then actually use it?
What if we said, that your preference is to use red behaviors and mine is to use yellow? You should instantly remember what each color means in behavioral terms and what motivates them and how to communicate with them. What do you think red behaviors are? What do you think yellow behaviors are? You are already right!
If you do not think this is true: I used Spectrum in a school with prefects aged 15. In 20 minutes, they had understood the model, built their own model, and changed the way they would deal with the other students because of seeing their role from another’s perspective.
They thought they needed to be policemen, giving out detentions and lines and punishment for rule breaking—because that is how it has always been done. With 20 minutes of SPECTRUM training, they now treat the other students as customers, helping and supporting them and even buddying up with the year 7 students aged 11 to help them with homework and finding their way around the school, and getting advice and help on antibullying, and so on. A move from red and blue to green in 20 minutes.
But by Treating others as they want to be treated and it was found that incidents went down and there was less bullying and more helping nature and kindness instead of rules and regulations being adhered too. Schools tend to use negative language and this reinforces the belief that it is a scary place to go for 5, 11, 16, and 18-year-olds, as they transition into new schools, colleges, and universities.
Here is one such rule—“Keep off the Grass!” (red). It has been replaced by “Please can all students try to keep to the footpaths (sidewalks) as walking on the grass when wet can kill it and make it very muddy. Thank you so much for being considerate!” (green & blue).
So, once you have a common language to use for behaviors and all are using the same one, you can talk to each other, you in their style and they in yours. But you can also use Spectrum to look at a team; a team can have a preference to use say Blue and the teams feeding into that team or receiving outputs from that team can better understand their needs. You can look at whole companies too; a Blue organization can understand that if they are selling to a yellow organization then safety, low cost, evidence of its success, and resale value do not matter to them; they prefer the latest, the best, the most innovative, and something that makes them look and feel good. One example of this is a company that decided to make a brand-new plastic Pandrol E clip for \$1 (75p) each.
For over 100 years London Transport had used a metal clip that cost \$2 (£1.50). As a precaution, every third clip is replaced every five years so that there is a low chance of failure as every clip is changed every 15 years during maintenance. London Transport is a Blue organization. Uniforms; rules and regulations (by the book); timetables; and safety, health, and welfare of passengers are number one priority. The organization making the plastic clip was innovative, creative, and forward thinking, and tried to sell its clip first to London Transport by saying it was at half the price, lasted for ever, and no one else had used it. Would you like to be first? Answer—No. After 20 years of selling this new clip around the world London Transport still has not committed to changing over. If they had approached ten others, with evidence of others’ usage and safety and failure rates across three to five years they might have listened—they needed to treat their customer as the customer wanted to be treated, not as a a fast-moving, risk-taking, energetic, innovative organization—as they were at opposites in style. They did sell it in Australia, Japan, and other forward-thinking, fast-moving, and change-welcoming countries and organizations.