GSCEs and A Levels : True colours and EQ

GSCEs and A Levels : True colours and EQ

How can the knowledge of your true colours help you with your next steps?

It’s finally here, the day that’s been pencilled in the calendar since, forever. Results Day. Although this year, it’s different. This year the results are based on expected grades and not based on the hard work you would have put in if allowed.  Your stomach is in knots of anticipation over what your future holds. Will you get the grades you need to do the A-Levels you want or go to the university of your choice? Will you have to rethink your chosen career path? Either way, you’ll have to make some big decisions over the coming days which can greatly influence your route to employment.

The thing is, it’s out of your hands, you can’t control what you can’t control. What you can control is your next steps, how you deal with whatever results come out of that envelope. The emotions will be mixed for you all and you will all deal with it in different ways.

You now have your results. You now have the ingredients to move on with your next steps. These grades being the doorway to what can be possible. Or are they? Grades and academics are part of the battle when looking at your future – your intellectual intelligence (IQ). The other important part is your EQ, your emotional intelligence.

If you are emotionally intelligent, even if you have average intellectual intelligence, you will always come out on top” Daniel Goleman. Author and Psychologist.

Intellectual Intelligence is about:-

  • Visual and spatial processing
  • Knowledge of the world
  • Fluid reasoning
  • Working memory and short-term memory
  • Quantitative reasoning

Emotional Intelligence is about:-

  • Identifying emotions
  • Evaluation of how others feel
  • Controlling one’s own emotions
  • Perceiving how others feel
  • Using emotions to facilitate social communication
  • Relation to others

Can Emotional Intelligence be learned?  The answer to that question is an unequivocal yes.

According to one meta-analysis that looked at the results of social and emotional learning programs, the study found that approximately 50% of children who became more aware and increased their EQ, through workshops and programs, had better achievement scores and almost 40% showed improved grade averages.

A huge part of increasing your emotional intelligence is about understanding self and others and adapting your behaviour to improve those relationships.

How can we help our GCSE and A-Level students in this area?

One simple step is for them to understand their true colours. What makes them who they are. What strengths do they have? What value do they bring? And more importantly, what strengths and value do other people bring? Understanding the impact you have on other people is also key to success. This impact can be the thing that opens doors and opportunities and also closes them too.

Your True Colours: Why We Use C-Me Colour Profiling   

One of our strongest tools in working with young people is C-Me colour profiling. C-Me makes a huge amount of sense to us: its power lies in the simplicity that comes from its basis in colour.

After all, what is pretty much the first thing we teach our children? Their colours. Colour is one of the most basic aspects of being human.

C-Me draws on colour to help us understand more about ourselves and our behaviour in a fun, warm, direct way. It gives us a set of tools that we won’t forget a week later and which can be applied to school, home or work life.

C-Me allows individuals to articulate their strengths, areas of development and value to a team. This language and knowledge then stays with them as they navigate higher education, their first job and their journey up the career ladder. It’s all part of building their EQ.

We use C-Me with both those in and out of work. We work with young people looking for ways to excel in high-pressure situations: sixth formers working on personal statements, graduates facing assessment centres or interviews, early-career professionals who need to deal confidently with clients and colleagues and senior managers wanting to build high performing teams.

From what we see, C-Me gives students and early-career professionals a level of self-awareness and therefore self-confidence that is uncommon for their age. They understand how to get the best out of those around them. They communicate in a way that can be understood by different behaviour types. They respond to others in a mature and professional way, showing high EQ.



C-Me has a very simple set of goals:

  1. Understand yourself
  2. Understand others
  3. Improve relationships by adapting

The system draws on the theory of Carl Jung, dating back to 1923 (as do tests such as Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTi), DISC and Insights). C-Me is seen as the next generation of colour profiling. It creates a colour wheel to show preferences in thinking vs feeling and levels of extroversion vs introversion/reflection.

Following the completion of a 10-minute online questionnaire, individuals are located on the wheel and given an in-depth behavioural profile.

They are also able to look at themselves on the C-Me colour wheel in relation to others they deal with in everyday life: teachers, colleagues, managers. This is the source of many lightbulb moments. It is really powerful watching people realise why it is they’ve never got anywhere with particular people or have conflicts that seem intractable.

How it might work in real life?   

To take a simple example: Ella sits firmly in the green section of the C-Me wheel: considerate, warm, loyal, supportive, conflict-avoidant, concerned for others’ feelings. She’s paired up with Lucy for a really important piece of coursework/presentation. Lucy is over in the red section of the wheel: determined, confident, direct, keen to set a winning mentality.

Things haven’t been going well. Ella feels pressured and that she isn’t listened to. She is stressed out because she feels like Lucy doesn’t like her. Lucy, meanwhile, is completely focused on achieving a high grade for the project and hasn’t even noticed that Ella is suffering. She is confused, though, as to why Ella doesn’t seem enthused by her ideas or the prospect of succeeding to achieve their best possible potential for the task.

Too often we think that just by putting people in team situations, they will learn to work as a team. This requires EQ. Frequently, this just doesn’t happen. Lucy and Ella will probably produce a reasonable assignment/presentation, but Ella may emerge less confident from the experience, and Lucy may continue to see group tasks as entirely dependent on her setting the agenda and taking on the majority of the tasks to ensure the result is exactly what she wants.

Were Lucy and Ella to be equipped with C-Me, we would see something different. Ella would be more proactive, as she would be aware of her own tendency to avoid conflict. We would hopefully see Lucy taking a more democratic, softer approach to counteract her natural tendency to storm onwards to victory.

The two girls would enter a challenging situation armed with some tools to handle it. In using those tools on this task, they would be building on their confidence, resilience, communication abilities and EQ. Each time they put their C-Me kit to use, they become more self-aware. Clearly, they’re also becoming far more employable.


The Impact of knowing your true colours.

 Knowing your true colours can not only help you know more about who you are, but it can also help you understand the things that make you tick, the things you are naturally good at which you can do effortlessly. It’s with this knowledge that you can make stronger decisions for your future.

What type of environment do I need to be in to thrive? Does it need to be fast or slow-paced? Supportive or challenging? Structured or open? Campus or non-campus. Knowing your preferred behaviour preferences ie your true colours will help you in these decisions.


  • What type of course will really work to my strengths?
  • What type of experience will really make me happy?
  • What opportunities do I need to give me the freedom I want?
  • Is it OK to want to do something different to my parents?


All of the above questions can be supported by knowing who you are and having the emotional intelligence to recognise how you best interact with others. Having greater awareness of self, others and also the environment will enable you to make more robust decisions. (Resilient Leaders Elements)


Next Steps

Good luck to all those receiving results and if you would like to start work on your EQ and begin to understand your true colours, Alex Webb from Flying Start XP is offering a 2-hour C-Me foundations workshop for 14 – 21 year-olds on Thursday 20th August. This includes an understanding of the colours and their associated behaviours, a young person’s C-Me Report, and a chance to discuss and apply these learnings to your next steps, whatever they may be.  For more information and to book, click this link


Flying Start XP

We specialise in developing the core business skills and behaviours which allow individuals to build confidence, stand out and thrive in the world of work.  Key to all our courses is C-Me. It is the foundations to everything we teach.

We work directly with schools and businesses to inspire and open minds to accelerate career development. For further opportunities for C-Me profiling workshops, 1:1 coaching and employability courses please visit our website www.flyingstartxp or contact us at


Alex Webb is also the Director of TLRdynamics, optimising individual and team performance through awareness, leadership and resilience development. or contact


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