How Our Personalities Shape Our Interpreting - Part 1

Feb 10, 2021 | Interpreter Education

by: Judy Beldon-Feldman CSC, NIC-M - NIR Interpreter Coordinator

*Personality Traits

*Personal Bias

*Personal Values/Morals

*Cultural Competencies


We are discussing Personality Traits for part 1 of this series:


There are many different self-study tests that focus on Personality Traits that we can choose from;

  • Myers Briggs Types
  • Disc Assessment
  • Test Q
  • Minnesota Multiphasic
  • Color Code Personality Assessment
  • And many others

The discussion today will focus on using Color Code because this assessment helps identify what we do but also why we do it. It’s our driving force. Through insight to ourselves it also allows us to see clearly how it influences our personality, which directly impacts our interactions with others, and ultimately our interpreting.

There are four colors used in Color Code:

  • Red
  • Blue
  • White
  • Yellow

Red are the power wielders. Power: the ability to move from point A to point B and get things done, is what motivates and drives these people. They bring great gifts of vision and leadership and generally are responsible, decisive, proactive, and assertive.

Blue are the do-gooders. Intimacy: connecting, creating quality relationships and having purpose, is what motivates and drives these people. They bring great gifts of quality and service and are generally loyal, sincere, and thoughtful.

White are the peacekeepers. Peace: the ability to stay calm and balanced even in the midst of conflict, is what motivates and drives these people. They bring great gifts of clarity and tolerance and are generally kind, adaptable, and good listeners.

Yellow are the fun lovers. Fun: the joy of living life in the moment, is what motivates and drives these people. They bring great gifts of enthusiasm and optimism and are generally charismatic, spontaneous, and sociable.

This story may help show the clarity of responses for each of the colors:

You work at a statewide insurance company taking claims by phone. You have a caller who has your insurance but is vacationing in another state. The caller went skiing and had a pretty bad fall off the slope and needs to go to the hospital and is inquiring about coverage.

"Your policy clearly states that your insurance only covers hospital services when you are in our state. You will need to pay out of pocket for any services while you are in that other state."

"Oh no are you okay? Do you need an ambulance, or do you have friends with you who can help you get to the hospital? I know you are worried about the insurance and unfortunately this insurance will only cover you when you are in the state where you signed for the insurance. I wish I could do something."

"Oh no it’s terrible that you were in an accident while you weren’t in our state. I will speak to our manager to see if there is any way that we can do something for you. Here is my information and please hold on to it and call back to follow up."

"What. Where were you? That sounds so awesome! What kind of slope was it? I would give anything to be there right now! I did extreme skiing once and I’d love to be back again. I crashed too but it was worth it. The insurance will not be able to cover you while you’re there but you’re going to have some amazing stories to tell!""


We are all made up of a combination of each of these colors, but we have one that is our primary color and one that would be considered our secondary.


So, what do you think…? What is your primary color? What is your secondary color?

The key to all of this is that you have to be okay with and accept who you are. Once you embrace your driving core motive, you can start to learn the skill sets of the other colors. If you try to squash your own color in an attempt to adopt another, your insecurities will always hold you back from reaching your full potential.


Do you see what influences you and why?

Remember we have our true color, but we also are able to adapt when needed in other situations like at work, or as a member of our family.

According to the Color Code demographics, in a group of 20 people the way the colors would divide is approximately 5 reds, 7 blues, 4 whites, and 4 yellows. Look around you, can you pick out which ones are which?

If you could choose, what color would you choose as your boss, teacher, co-worker, or best friend?

Would it be:

Reds with their vision, confidence, determination, and discipline?

Blues with their attention to detail, commitment, ability to make sacrifices, and deep sense of purpose?

Whites with their calm under pressure, observant nature, adaptability, and focus?

Yellows with their high energy, adventurous, optimistic, and flexible nature?

Think of ways that your "color" has led you to make decisions on assignments or teams.

Have fun with this and remember there are many different ways to look at one’s personality and their driving force.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series…

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