Business Paralysis & Its Impacts on Productivity & Relationships – TPP4

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In this episode of the Third Paddle Podcast, learn how business paralysis is usually more about us than it is the people surrounding us. This includes the go-getters who don’t feel business paralysis but wreak havoc with researchers, idea generators, and peacemakers. For all-sized businesses.

Things We Mention:
Color Code Personality Science:
Video, what overthinking looks like:
Bull in a China shop:
Hulk vs. Helicopter:

Twila:                           00:00

Hi, welcome back to the third paddle podcast. This is Twila Kaye, I know Jen usually does our intro for us, but you know I needed to do it today. So here we are and we’re going to be talking today about business paralysis and based on who you are and your personality, where are you getting stuck in your business, on your projects, in your leadership, on your teams? So stay tuned. This is going to be great, and if you think this doesn’t apply to you because you never get stuck and you never do have paralysis, stick around, you’ll want to hear this. We’ll be talking about your hawkish behavior in a little while. Welcome paddle podcasts.

Announcer:                  00:49

You’re listening to the Third Paddle podcast recorded at the Vandal lounge in the beautiful south-east Portland, Oregon. Why the Third Paddle? Because even the most bad-ass entrepreneurs get stuck in business shit creek. Tech Strategist, Jen McFarland and business strategist Twila Kaye are your Third Paddle, helping you get unstuck.

Jen:                              01:08

OK, so Twila today we’re going to talk about business paralysis. It’s not them, it’s us. So let’s just start with that.

Twila:                           01:14

Yeah, absolutely. You know, it’s been so easy for us humans, right? To blame other people, to kind of shove off what’s going on on them or think that things are happening to us instead of happening for us. Oh, so you’re saying that we’re part of it? Uh, yeah. We kind of have a big part of it, in fact, a hundred percent part in it.

Jen:                              01:14


Twila:                           01:39

Yes. There are things that are out of our control sometimes, but even those things can be within our control. Um, so when it comes to business paralysis, tech paralysis, any of that, it really is how do you manage, how do you handle when you get stuck, how do you handle it? And depending on the personality that you are.

Twila:                           02:01

And we’ve talked about personalities as far as the tool that I use, which is the color code. Um, you know, whether you’re a blue or red or a yellow or white, depending on your innate personality, you’re going to handle things very differently, especially when you get overwhelmed and you get stuck.

Jen:                              02:22

OK? So when we talk about business paralysis, what really talking about is when you get overwhelmed, when you get stuck, OK, so, you know, cause it’s all about me. Let’s start with the blues, who are the overthinkers overachievers. We like to analyze things and make decisions about that. We make judgments based on our thinking and all the information we take in.

Twila:                           02:45

Right? So the way the blues gets stuck the most is in all of that thinking. That’s fair, right? You get in your head about it and boy, sometimes that can be a cyclone for you, right? I mean, is that fair to.

Twila:                           03:00

Yeah, and so you wind up overthinking things a lot. That’s why we typically labeled blues as overthinkers because. And you get stuck in that and the paralysis and the what ifs.

Jen:                              03:14

So there’s this facebook video that I see that’s like about overthinking my absolute favorite, swear to God. One of my favorite videos I have it saved and it’s like this horse trying to decide whether or not it’s going to go out of the barn. Have you seen that one? It goes out and it looks out and then until it goes back in her face, back out there, you know, and they say this is what our thinking is, and I look at that and I’m like, yeah, Shit, you got me.

Twila:                           03:39

Yup, exactly. And now there’s what it looks like, right? You’ll maybe do one thing, test the water, see if any. There are any reactions if you know, if that’s too much for someone or too little for someone or if it’s going to be comfortable for you, whatever the case is, whatever you’re thinking about. Right? And then you kind of hold back and wait and watch and listen and see,  and then maybe a little bit further the next time and then you pull back again. It’s just really to test yourself

Jen:                              04:15

incremental actions. Is that, is that still paralysis?

Twila:                           04:19

It is, absolutely.

Twila:                           04:26

Now, let’s talk about yellows. Our paralysis comes from overcommitting and trying to go ahead and do too much with at one time all the ideas are ideas are bombarding. We have no problem. Just go in. As my dad used to say, you know, from the fire to the frying Pan, right? It’s like we, we have no, no problem doing that. And sometimes we do it a little too much and that gets us into trouble. Uh, and blues need to get a little more of that. They need to get a little more of the. Just put both feet in. I promise it’s going to be OK to do that. Just put both feet in, move forward, do it. Quit overthinking it. Quit thinking, oh, this wasn’t good enough, this wasn’t perfect enough. This wasn’t right enough. This wasn’t.

Jen:                              05:16

So you’re saying I don’t need to build out a full-on studio in my office for facebook live.

Twila:                           05:19

That would be correct. That would be really what you need to do is just step out in the natural light with your phone and just start talking and just start recording. Yeah. But what if there is a cloud? Uh, well the sun will shine because clouds move.

Jen:                              05:36

OK? So as always, then I’m confused between a blue and a white. OK. So a white, they’re motivated by peace, which truly means balance, right?

Twila:                           05:47

And it means just cohesion and that inner balance can’t get too much activity around them, can’t get too much energy around them. That’s what them is. If there’s just too much going on, they just shut down and shut out and they’ll go away to their room. You know, we’ve talked about that. Our husbands, both of our husbands are white and when things are just too much, they just go to their room. Yeah. John will just go play it out on his guitar. Right. And Paul will go listen to sports on his phone and just zone out.

Jen:                              06:19

So you’re saying like in the facebook live scenario, then the white might just be like, oh, that’s just too overwhelming for me. I’m not to do that.

Twila:                           06:27

Right, right. Especially if they’ve got other things going on, right. If they’re, if they’re doing other things to market themselves and then you throw in one more thing in the mix, ask them to do a Facebook live on top of the other things is like, whoa, no, no, no, no, I can’t do that. So they get stuck. No, I can’t do more than one thing. I just, I can’t do it. I won’t do it. And they’re resistant naturally. OK. Naturally resist anything new coming in because in there they have to process what that’s going to take and decide if that will be enough, if they can handle that or not if it’s not going to be too much for them. And so you can’t bring a new idea and expect them to jump right in. It’s going to take time and they are by nature indecisive anyway. So it will kind of look like, well I should do a facebook live, but what will that really do for me? And are there any other things that I should be doing? And that’s just too much for me. OK. I just won’t do anything.  Anything at all.

Jen:                              07:33

So before we go to the one we haven’t talked about, if we’re going to talk about Hulkish behavior, saying the gorilla in the room might actually be appropriate.

Twila:                           07:44

Um, so what I would like to do cap on me like that Boo?

Jen:                              07:44

Because it’s how I roll.

Jen:                              07:52

So what, what I was going to say is because we both work in scale and we’ve worked on large projects and we’ve worked on something as small as a Facebook live, I do want to take this to like other business scenarios in terms of the, you know, the red, white, yellow and red. So before we move into really talking about the red, which is the power dynamic, like let’s, let’s kind of look at some other scenarios and then integrate the read into that in terms of business paralysis. So how do you see these all play out in organizations where, you know, it’s not a facebook live or talking about something bigger and we’ve got teams with multiple people?

Twila:                           08:40

You Bet. So you have a big project, right? Yes. Maybe you’re working with a company and your team has a big project. So how this will play out is automatically the blues will say that won’t work because they haven’t.

Twila:                           08:56

They don’t have enough data to determine that it’ll work. The Blues and an organization will always carry your meter of quality and your morality and mean we want to do what’s right. You want to do what’s right and so you need all of the data that you possibly can get so that you can make a good decision to make sure yes, that’s the right way for us to go. That’s the right way for this project to be done. It’s the right way to get the result that is wanting to be had and so again, you’re very analytical. You think things through probably more than any other personality does, and so it’s really not boy, you’re just so negative like nothing will ever work to you, will it? And yes, by nature of blue as pessimistic, but it’s not that they just don’t have enough data yet, so you need to give them more data.

Jen:                              09:57

As a manager, as a teammate, whenever they shut down like that, then they’ll just a clue to you to say, OK, what do we need then? So you’re saying that when we shut down, it’s like I just need more information, like we functioned perfectly to be gray or since I’ve been identified perfectly fine in most scenarios, but at a point where I become overwhelmed then my, my fallback is, and I think this is fair, my fallback would be that I need more information before I can do something. Yes. OK. And I’ve seen that when I’ve worked on large teams.

Twila:                           10:33

\Yeah, absolutely. Um, so you just kind of have that look on your face, um, that judgment look on your face that everybody else has gone is why is this such a problem for you? Right. But you’re just, all you’re thinking in your head, correct me if I’m wrong, is I don’t have enough information here like I need, I need more.

Jen:                              10:56

I do, but I think there is just enough read in me that I’m like, we gotta do it. Right. Because sometimes the only way to get more data is to do it.

Twila:                           11:04

Correct. Correct. So get to that point. Like you said, you can function perfectly. It’s very analytical. It’s very, it’s very sequential. So at a certain point you can see that by going into action you’re going to get the data that you need. That’s right. And I think that’s why I’m so good at tech. Yes. Is because it is very sequential, data-based, and sometimes you need to do things preferably in a test environment to make sure that it’s going to work and then you can move it forward. That is why blues make really great project managers. They really do because they, one, they can see the project as a whole. They can think things through, they can be sequential about it, they can be detailed about it and they can get it handled right.

Jen:                              11:53

I’ve been told that I’m usually about five or six steps ahead of everybody else because you’re thinking it through, which is the gift. So. OK. So we’ve tackled me. So what about, what about the fun cause I love, I love yellows, yellows are motivated by fun.

Twila:                           12:10

That’s our core. Driving motive and fund does not mean frivolity or class clown. Fun means to us more than anything. Freedom. So in a work environment and that way in a team environment, in a project environment, we need to have the freedom to bring our ideas forward because we’ve got a million of them and so we need that freedom to be able to how’s the team is working through something or a presentation is being given about something. We need the freedom to say, hey, did you think about this and bring our ideas forward and we love it.

Twila:                           12:51

Freedom within that team to be able to express those ideas and express ourselves and to us, that’s fun. Gathering people to us. We work much better as yellows and I say we because I am yellow. We work much better in a team environment than we do alone. What does that mean? Like if you’re alone with all of those ideas, what happens? Then we start going down rabbit holes that when you get overwhelmed, I get overwhelmed and then shiny syndrome happens because all of a sudden I look over at my computer and something pops up on Google and I’m like, Ooh, OK, that and I go start doing that because I just, I don’t.

Jen:                              13:36

If you were say on a team that didn’t allow you to express your ideas, absolutely you would go back to your desk and just start shiny objects syndrome and all over the place. I love this. Tanner or producer said shiny objects syndrome. That’s SOS. It is. He said that. I was like, oh my God. That is like so true. Like shiny objects syndrome is actually SOS. You’re actually sending a flare to yourself that is like, I need something. I’m not getting it.

Twila:                           14:02

Shiny objects syndrome or SOS yellows. We need attention.  We just do. We need attention. You know that because I send you a bit more cheese that are all the attention to me. Pay attention to me working over here, right? Because we need that attention because to us, if we’re getting that attention, then that’s validation within that team that were valued. OK, that we’re accepted.

Jen:                              14:31

The idea that we’re validating, given me more data. Yes. More fully think out my my thoughts. Exactly, and then the peacemakers are trying to float with it and see how everything fits or how does this,  not always the the whites, the white personality is motivated by peace, which means inner.

Twila:                           14:52

So if there’s a lot of commotion, if the Teams in a board room meeting right and after they’re going through the ideas and everything, the whites are just going to sit there but they’re not really going to participate until you ask them to and then they’ll just say what they have to say and then then back and then back off again.

Jen:                              15:11

They’re not really going to fully participate because there it’s just too much for them. I mean most likely to go to somebody afterwards.

Twila:                           15:21

Correct. Absolutely, and they’re very logical. So the white personality, things have to make sense. So if that yellow is bringing in just ideas to the table that don’t make sense to the project or there’s the blue hasn’t brought enough data, right. Or even the team hasn’t brought enough data for it to make sense and the white doesn’t even know why the project is happening to begin with.

Twila:                           15:48

They need the why of everything. Lose need, the what whites need, the why. They need to know why is this happening. It has to make sense to them. It has to make sense that yes, in fact it’s going to move the company forward that this project is going to make an impact, that it’s actually going to result in something and then they’re onboard and they can, they can participate, they can do things. But if it, if things during that project or even the project itself does not make sense to them for get it. They are the most resistant and they are so silently stubborn. They’ll be the ones that are uh, no, I can’t make that meeting.

Jen:                              16:31

Wow. OK. So, um, you know, there’s one, one person we haven’t talked about, we talked about them at all. We haven’t talked to him about them at all.

Jen:                              16:39

There are the people who are listening to this podcast right now saying this whole thing is BS, right? Because bottom line, this for me, bottom line this for me, this is like, why am I, why am I here? Why am I, why am I listening? I don’t have any paralysis at all ever.

Twila:                           16:56

Right, and that would be the people will say I get shit done. They are our resident doers, doers, bull in a China shop. Hulk, gorilla in the room. Yeah, probably a manager or supervisor. Most times because they are natural leaders and as leaders themselves in those positions in the color code. That’s red. Yes. In the color-coded red, so if you’re a dominant red and you do not have any paralysis because you just like to keep things moving, you probably still aren’t even listening to this episode, but that’s OK.

Jen:                              17:35

We’re getting to you now. I’m just going to say we’re getting to you now and we, those of us who are listening have dealt with you a lot and learning more about you is probably very helpful for us. Absolutely. All of that preamble. Let’s go ahead and let us know about the red.

Twila:                           17:55

The red personality in the color code is motivated. Their core driving motive or driving core motive rather is power and that does not necessarily mean power over people, dictatorship or authority or any of that, although they typically do have those things because they’re natural leaders and visionaries and so they naturally step into those roles where they are, have authority to others, but the power that they want is the power to control their circumstances and the circumstances around them. They want the ability to get from point a to point z without much obstruction, without much nonsense and quickly because they see it very quickly and they do very quickly.

Twila:                           18:45

If right now I’m, I’m have a red, uh, that I’m doing business with to prepare for speaking engagements and uh, she’s OK, do you have your speaker one sheet, get that to me tomorrow and I’m thinking I’ve got 100 other things to do and I’ve got 100 ideas on how to put that speaker one sheet together and everything else. Right? That’s how I’m getting in my way as a yellow. And this isn’t fun to have to sit down and actually do this because it takes some work and it takes some thought process, but to her she could just shut off at 9:00 at night and have it done in an hour so she doesn’t understand why I’m not able just to turn that around within 24 hours. And that’s how this person on your team is going to look to you. It’s. I don’t understand why you just can’t get this done.

Twila:                           19:38

Like right now. Right? Why do we have to wait? Why do we have to have this meeting? Why do we have to sit here and talk about things? Why do we have to think things out? Just get it done, handle it. You’ll hear that a lot from them. Just handle it, get it done and they want to be talked to in bullet point fashion. You don’t talk to or read in all the stories and ideas and everything else because they’ll just look up at the top of their eyes out you like, really? Just go get it done. I don’t care. Go get it done.

Jen:                              20:11

But the pitfalls of a red are if it’s like, I need this thing, Yadda Yadda Yadda, it’s done. Is that if you skip over all of the research and the ideas is what you end up with could be terrible.

Twila:                           20:26

Yes. It could.

Twila:                           20:31

Quick can result in terrible. However, the caveat to that with a red is if it comes back terrible to them, they’ll say, do it over. They won’t launch it out. They won’t release it, and so then it’s frustrating for everybody on the team. Then they’re like, are you kidding me? We worked two days on this. You only gave us two days. We needed seven. I don’t care. Do it over. And so then the whole team has to go back over. If you have to, if you have to work all night, work all night because they’re willing to do that. How do we all work together? Can you integrate this for me at all? You can, yeah. You absolutely can work together, and this is where a red gets in their own way, is forgetting that they have the other personalities around them and those personalities don’t work well with that style.

Twila:                           21:33

Not everyone works with that. Just get it done style. They need to be able to come to you. They need to be able to share ideas. They need to be able to have things make sense. So as a red, it’s your job on that team or as the leader of that team two, give those people what they need to get their job done. So if you have someone, if you have a blue saying, we can absolutely get this done for you. We can’t get this done in 24 hours, but we can get it done in 48 or 72 hours. You need to take that into consideration because that blue standing in front of you has done the research. They know why, and the best thing that the blue can do is say, we can don’t say we can’t always come in. This is absolutely doable and we will need 72 hours to do it.

Twila:                           22:31

And here’s why, because reds are also very logical and they can see the why, but if you come in and the first thing you say to them is, I can’t, I’m coming in hot, I can’t come in here and I can’t. And the red slide bs, worked it out, work it out, do it. So that’s how you work among each other. The reds just become aware and recognize the other personalities in the room and what they need and actually allow that within the group. And then the group, he has to know that that red needs absolutely this can be done. Yes, the can do attitude and the action behind it because the worst thing you can do on a team red’s on there or they’re leading is not take action, is to sit back in meetings and just keep planning and not doing anything.

Jen:                              23:30

This episode was supposed to be about your tech mindset as well as your business mindset and how you can sometimes experience paralysis if you’re on a team or working with other people. But Twila decided to hog up all the time. So stay tuned, and next week we’ll talk all about the tech mindset and how some of this personality science can really affect tech productivity in your business.

Announcer:                  23:54

Thank you for listening to the third paddle podcast. If you like our show and want to learn more, check out our website at or leave us a review on iTunes some questions or topic ideas to And don’t forget to tune in each week to get even more technology and business tips to help you navigate business Shit Creek. The Third Paddle podcast is sponsored by Foster Growth online at and Twila Kaye International online at

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