Snapshots Announcements Spotlight UTSA Athletics

October 2016, Issue 10

True Colors
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Keys to Communication

Communication is at the heart of everything we do in Student Affairs — whether it's with members of our own department, inter-departmental teams, or our students. Below is a helpful refresher on the keys for communicating effectively with each other.





Keys for Communication…

Keys for Communication…

Keys for Communication…

Keys for Communication…

Outcome based short-term goals will be most effective.

Focus on behavior and performance more than finished products.

Reward by freeing them to act on their own initiative.

Tangible rewards and competitive situations create stronger incentives.

Set high expectations that challenge their skills causing them to know they have earned the recognition received.

Clearly identify the impact their performance has on the organization.

Clearly establish expectations, have short and long term goals, and plans for achieving them.

Give specific measures of their performances and achievement.

Tangible rewards have the most appeal to them.

Provide clear, specific feedback regarding the work accomplished and its contribution to the organization.

Traditions, rituals and ceremonies are meaningful for them.

When preplanned they provide incentives for performance.

Hierarchical structure and clearly defined roles work well with them.

Clearly outline your expectations or performance in a friendly but frank way.

Identify rewards for achievement individually and in teams. This builds cooperation and excitement.

Couch your comments in feelings terms: “I value your uniqueness and your contributions. You are important to me as a person.”

Provide personal contact through pats on the back or simply smiling.

Recognize their creativity and the depth of feeling they put into their work.

Clear expectations and project outcomes with the latitude to figure out how to accomplish them work well for them.

Provide sincere recognition only when warranted. This group does not appreciate “hoopla.”

Assign tasks requiring designing new models or thinking up new approaches.

Compliments relating to his/her intelligence are the greatest sources of esteem for them.

Reinforce through contributions their knowledge provides for completing projects.

If this is your color…

If this is your color…

If this is your color…

If this is your color…

Be aware of how you are coming across to others.

Wait for a response before proceeding.

Identify other’s requirements.

Keep your mind focused.

Have patience.

Consider other options.

Practice peripheral listening.

Accept others.

Give it a break.

Practice objectivity.

Add “no” to your vocabulary.

Speak up.

Recognize the difference between politeness and interest.

Seek other avenues.

Add some detail or not.

Ease up.

Allow emotions.

Pay attention to other people’s needs.

Save the debate.

Learn to listen without fixing.


Submitted by -
Jan McKinney
Director, Communications and Administration
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs


Miscisin, M. (2005). Showing Our True Colors: A fun easy guide for understanding and appreciating yourself and others (3rd ed.). Santa Ana, CA: True Colors Publishing.

Has your color spectrum changed over the years? How?

Describe those changes to your colleagues. Remember True Colors is a tool to understanding others and ourselves. It is a common language because we talk about it and use it to articulate our perspectives to each other. Keep it going.

True Colors Training

Training Schedule, Student Affairs STAFF (SD 410) - Fall 2016  (Download PDF)

Training Schedule, Student Affairs STUDENT WORKERS (SD 417) - Fall 2016  (Download PDF)

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