Get All Access for $5/mo

True Colors: What Your Team Members Reveal by Coloring, Yes, Coloring The current fad for adult coloring books needn't be confined to bookstores and homes. It's also useful in the workplace.

By Kelly Lovell Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Sally Anscombe | Getty Images

For International Day of Happiness in late March, I decided to start our day at the office with a little fun.

Related: Coloring Books for Adults Are Good for Creativity, and Selling in the Millions

Since my company MyEffect has similar goals -- helping companies make connections, pursue charity work and boost employee engagement -- I thought it would be fun to participate in the United Nations' #smallsmurfbiggoals campaign.

After all, with the constant hustle of startup life, it's important to "breathe" every now and then.

So, before everyone got bogged down with their daily tasks, I brought them together in our boardroom and surprised them with an impromptu coloring contest! Armed with pencils, crayons, markers and a handful of black-and-white Smurf pictures, we started the day off by coloring and forgetting about our pending to-do lists.

We talked about our weekends, shared travel experiences and compared bucket lists. In the end, our coloring exercise was a necessary activity for us to take a step back and de-stress -- as well as build our team culture.

The benefits of coloring therapy have been discussed at large, and the current demand for adult coloring books speaks for itself. Many adults, inf fact, seem to be embracing their inner child by flocking to coloring activities as a way to relieve stress and disconnect from their work for a while.

And, while art therapy has been used for years to treat depression and anxiety, the adult coloring-book fad has grown into a kind of lifestyle, with more and more people each year testing out its benefits.

These benefits, however, are not limited to individuals. Coloring is a great team activity that increases mindfulness in the workplace. It's no secret that a less stressful culture promotes employee well-being while increasing productivity -- as a team. Through our contest, I found coloring to be a unique way to understand more about my team's personality and leadership traits.

Related: Crayola Launches a Line of Coloring Books for Adults

I also realized that the way a person colors can exemplify how he or she approaches work and feels about innovation and leadership. Here are five coloring techniques and what I believe (not being a professional therapist) they say about your team members:

Following the pattern and coloring the picture as it should be. These team members are your analytical problem-solvers. They like to play by-the-book and take a results-driven approach to their work. You can count on them to get tasks done right and on time.

Changing up the colors. These are your marketers and creative minds. These individuals like to think differently and infuse creativity into their work. You can count on them to come up with new ideas and strategies to drive your projects.

Outlining before filling in. These are your operations and process leads. These individuals enjoy structure and prefer to pursue the most effective paths to high-quality results. You can count on them to develop efficient processes that increase productivity and improve internal operations.

Not finishing their design. These team members are your sales and communication advocates. They thrive on making connections and, on coloring day, likely enjoyed spending their time chatting with their work colleagues. You can count on them to develop client relationships and foster networks.

Coloring outside of the lines. These are your founders and innovators. These individuals are big-picture thinkers and enjoy breaking the mold or being different. You can count on them to drive your innovation and continually think of new ways to improve your business.

Smurf colouring.jpeg

Image Credit: Kelly Lovell

Some of the most innovative companies in the world embrace creativity as a pillar of their workplace culture. Take Google, an employer noted for its innovation and engaging workplace environment: Google has dozens of play-areas for its employees, including gourmet cafeterias, cafes and outdoor terraces. All of this is done in an effort to push the boundaries of the workplace and create the "happiest employees in the world."

Facebook, similarly worked its employees into the design stages of its headquarters. Using its own technology, Facebook asked employees what they wanted to see in the office and then made it happen. This led to an office that features a full skate park, a DJ booth and entire rooms built for rest and relaxation. Throw in the fact that the company's main headquarters is located in the heart of Palo Alto, and you have a winning combination for increased employee morale and well-being.

Of course, it's easier to provide these workplace amenities when your company's estimated worth is almost $600 billion. The philosophy of supporting a positive, creative culture where employee well-being is prioritized, however, is something startups can embrace at any financial level.

This can mean adding in something as big as volleyball courts outside your office, or as small as running a creative coloring contest on International of Happiness, to help your employees unwind and have fun.

Related: Did Adult Coloring Books Just Get the Justin Bieber Bump?

It's not the size of activity that matters as much as the quality of the opportunity, making it easy for employees to talk and learn more about each other and improve the quality of your culture, overall.

Kelly Lovell

Youth Mobilizer, Speaker & CEO, Lovell Corporation

Kelly Lovell is a 15 time award-winning entrepreneur & 3-time TEDx speaker who specializes in social innovation, generation gaps, marketing, entrepreneurship & youth mobilization. Her companies include https://myeffect.today & http://lovellcorp.com You can follow her at @kellyalovell

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Side Hustle

This 26-Year-Old's Side Hustle That 'Anybody Can Do' Grew to Earn $170,000 a Month. Here's What Happened When I Tested It.

Stephen Alvarez was working at a dental supply company and following his passion for cars on the side — then an Instagram ad changed everything.

Marketing

How AI Is Revolutionizing the Marketing Landscape (and How to Use It Ethically)

The marketing landscape is undergoing a significant transformation due to rapid advancements in AI. Amidst this innovation, the crucial role of identity verification is highlighted as essential for ensuring ethical and effective AI use in marketing.

Business News

Elon Musk Reignites Feud With Mark Zuckerberg Over July 4th Vacation Video: 'I Prefer to Work'

Zuckerberg went wake-surfing over the holiday weekend, while Musk claims he was working.

Business News

Over 10 Billion Passwords Have Been Exposed in the Largest Password Hack in History

The data is thought to have been collected over the past two decades.

Growing a Business

Discounts and Deals Used to Be Enough to Make Loyal Customers — But Not Anymore. This Is What You Need Now.

Building brand loyalty today requires more than just low prices, discounts, deals and referrals for deeper, lasting relationships with customers.

Franchise

Take Advantage of the Booming Value Gym Market with a Pure Fitness Franchise!

Pure Fitness gym franchises are rapidly expanding in the low cost and flexible gym membership business that offers a resilient and flexible business model which helps achieve success in any market.