True Colors® Tips

Photo of Cynthia Goodwin, Hemlata Jhaveri, Courtney Howard, Melanie Grice & Rich Bredahl

Cynthia Goodwin, Hemlata Jhaveri, Courtney Howard, Melanie Grice & Rich Bredahl


Change is the only constant in today’s fast-paced environment. Like most departments, Housing and Food Service (DHFS) is not immune to change. The month of May brought the departure of long-time director Laurie Mackey who left to work on the university’s Administrative Systems Modernization Program. I took over Laurie’s role as Director of Administrative Services.

A change in leadership requires that those leaders take time to build a sense a team, set expectations and create goals for the future. The Administrative Services leadership team participated in a retreat in May to do just that. While planning the agenda, the group agreed that it would be beneficial to learn each other’s True Colors® and understand how they affect our strengths or weaknesses as a team.

As the team members shared their colors, it quickly became evident that the dominant colors for our group were gold and green. We laughed at how much sense it made. Our group is responsible for accounting, financial planning, human resources, information technology and occupancy management. Following the rules and needing logical explanations in order to make decisions are basic characteristics of gold and green.

The conversation that followed was probably the most beneficial for our group. Even though our leadership team members have similar bright colors, we agreed that is not good for our larger team since we need every color to be successful. We agreed to be extra diligent in making sure we think about and include all color spectrums when making decisions.

One change that came out of this retreat was to add a “kudos” section at the beginning of all Administrative Services monthly staff meetings. The addition will help us be more spontaneous, share staff accomplishments, and highlight all the contributions to our success, whether blue, orange, gold or green.

Hemlata Jhaveri, M.B.A., Ph.D.
Director, Administrative Services
Housing and Food Service