The People Code: It’s All About Your Innate Motive by Dr. Taylor Hartman

The People Code (formerly called the Color Code) theorizes that everyone comes hardwired with their own innate motive and that once you understand what your motive is and those around you, you’re better able to interact with others, improve on your own weaknesses, and draw on your strengths. The part that’s interesting to me is that Dr. Hartman claims there are only four possible innate motives and that every person fits into one of these four categories, which he tags with a color.

The People Code

People who are Red are motivated by Power. They’re the chairman of the board that’s only interested in the bottom line, or the guy that woos his love interest with flowers and chocolates until he’s got her but doesn’t see a need for such things once he’s got her, or the girl that runs a super successful business because she wouldn’t let any obstacle stop her. Blues are motivated by intimacy. These are the ones that will bare their soul to you, that ride a roller coaster of emotion all the time. This is the kid that watches the parade floats go by and thinks of all the hours of work that went into making it and the people who put in all that effort, or the man that doesn’t tell someone about how they inconvenienced him because he doesn’t want them to feel bad. Whites are motivated by peace. They’re happy to go along for the ride if it keeps you happy. It’s the woman that won’t leave a toxic relationship because she just can’t bring herself to upset the status quo, or the guy that is satisfied and agreeable and content to just keep living his life as he is. Yellows are motivated by fun. They’re the life of the party, the irresponsible friend who can’t show up on time but that you can’t stay mad at because you have such a good time with her.

I took the test at the beginning of the book to determine what color I am. I’m a Blue, but only barely. I’ve got a pretty strong Yellow influence in there too. But according to Dr. Hartman, what really matters is your dominant color, even though you can be heavily influenced by your secondary color(s). On reading the chapter that talked all about Blues, I found myself nodding along to a lot of the descriptions. It felt like a pretty good fit.

His idea is that once you learn your Color and those of the people around you, you’ll be able to interact with yourself and others in a more healthy, productive way. For instance, Terry’s a White and is generally happy to go along with whatever I want. When we’ve been picking out where we want to spend our next vacation, I sometimes feel bad because we usually just go to the place I suggest. I’ve asked him several times where he’d like to go, and suggested that he pick our next destination. For me, that feels important because I, as a Blue, like to be understood and to have my opinion taken into account. Naturally, I assume everyone else in the world operates like I do and would also like their opinion to be heard. But people aren’t all the same, and Terry genuinely doesn’t usually care where we go and is perfectly happy to let me choose. I’ve had fun the last couple weeks as I’ve been reading trying to determine the Colors of everyone I know. . . and all the characters I see on movies and read about in books . . . (nerd alert!). Then I can spend hours analyzing in my head why that person acted a certain way in a given situation.

It’s an interesting idea and there was a lot I liked about it, but…I don’t know, I just had some unanswered questions by the end of the book. Like, why are there only four motives? How did he arrive at that number? He explains (a couple of times) how these four motives can be mixed with circumstances and birth order and personality and how you’re raised, etc, for an endless combination that leads to our own unique differences. And I get that, but…why four? I mean, why not five? Or six? Who’s to say we’re not missing a motive? He just never really clearly explains how he arrived at this conclusion and that bugged me.

That said, I’ve still been thinking a lot about it, which says something about a book, right? His next book supposedly talks about how to become what he calls “charactered,” which is when you adopt all the strengths of all the Colors, not just your own. We’ll see if I feel compelled to read it.

Now go google the test and take it and tell me what Color you are. 🙂

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