Insights - Cool Blue

In this second post, I'm going to explain how cool blues think so we can better understand how to interact with them. But first, here are some of their characteristics:

  • Reserved
  • Quiet
  • Task & thinking orientated
  • Cautious
  • Unsociable

Cool blues tend to live according to facts, logic and principles. As I mentioned in the initial Overview post, they tend to analyse the all the various options to ensure that they don't make an misinformed decision. Due to this thoroughness, they also tend to be reluctant to make hasty decisions.

At times, they might seem quite cold and introverted which might come across to some people as being rude. Most of the time this is not the case, and it is just a result of them being so quiet which can count against them.

Environmental clues

Cool blues can often be identified from the following indicators at the workplace:

  • Their desk is often well organized and clear.
  • The décor is functional where everything has a purpose.
  • The walls is often contain graphs and charts so that they can stay up-to-date & informed.
  • The general seating arrangement very formal.

Interactions

What to do

As I mentioned above, cool blues are very detail orientated so they like it when you are well prepared and thorough. If some outcome is required from you, cool blues tend to like detailed, well examined documents with logic explanations. In this way they can review it thoroughly and probe the information until they are sure that they know exactly what is going on.

What not to do

When interacting with a cool blue, try not to invade their personal space or hug them when you meet them, as they will probably find this very uncomfortable.
They also get very uptight when you don't show the required seriousness to issues that they deem important, so be sure to understand what are consider to be key points.
In addition, since cool blues like order and structure the also take offence when any of their routines are changed without notifying them or if people are disorganized, so just be wary of this.

Scenario time

This scenario is an actual example from my current project. To give you a bit of background, our tester is a very cool blue personality. How do I know this you ask? Well, you just have to look at his workspace and more importantly, his test cases. They are extremely precise and he makes 100% sure that they are well ordered and structured. If you read through them, you will see that they are extremely detailed as well, which is a good thing, especially in testing.

Recently we deployed a new version of our application for testing. Everything worked fine, until a few days later the app stopped responding. He sent me a mail asking me what was going on and I started to investigate. I quickly realized that the app had killed itself due to a known memory leak and the temporary workaround we had, was not deployed. I corrected the issue and proceeded to notify him.

Now, knowing that he is a cool blue character, I drafted an email and in it I gave him a brief overview of what causes the the memory leak and temporary workaround we had agreed to implement in the short term. I went on to tell him that the workaround was now deployed and assured him that it would be part of the future deployments as well. This gave him a detailed understanding of what the issue was and how we corrected it. This allowed him to understand exactly what was going on.

Now, lets say the tester was a fiery red character. My response in my email would have been quite different1. As we saw in the previous post, I need to "be brief, be bright, be gone", so my email would have gone somewhere along the lines of "The issue was due to the memory leak fix not being deployed. It has since been fixed". There is no need to go explain how the memory leak works, as this would more than likely just be ignored and be superfluous information for him which may have just irritated him.

That's if for this post. Next week we will be looking into the calm & patient earth green profile.

Until next time...keep learning!

  1. On a side note, fiery reds prefer verbal communication over email, so the best approach would have been to go over and speak to him directly, but we are in different buildings so it isn't practical

Mauro Da Silva

Learning everyday about software development, leadership & self improvement

South Africa