I recently watched the movie The Heat starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. To be honest, I’m still not entirely sure if I liked the movie or not, and please don’t take this as an official recommendation. However, I will say that I found it fascinating to watch the interaction between the two main characters in the story.
Any normal person might watch this movie and see it as the story of a straight-laced, by the book FBI agent (Sandra Bullock) and a street smart, rough-around-the-edges cop (Melissa McCarthy). But not me…no story is that simple for this personality trainer. I saw two strong Red personalities who were clashing over the “right” way to handle a situation.
I saw one Red whose secondary personality was Yellow and the other one who was what I call a Red Blue. Both were confident, driven, focused and ambitious. But one was outspoken and impulsive while the other other followed had systems and plans and protocol. While the story itself was sometimes funny, yet often “over the top,” what I saw were two personalities interacting in a way that echoes what I observe in real life.
When it comes to working WITH someone, most Yellows have fun working with other Yellows, Blues like working with other Blues, and Greens feel comfortable working with other Greens. But when two Reds try to work together, more often than not, there is conflict…a power struggle. Reds tend to be quick to decide what is “right” in a situation but if the two Reds have come to different conclusions about what “right” looks like, conflict is almost always going to follow. This is especially true when the Reds have opposite secondary personalities as we saw with the characters in The Heat.
For two Reds to work through their differences and successfully achieve their goals together, typically two things need to happen. First, they have to agree on the end goal. In this example, catching the bad guy (don’t want to give too many spoilers in case this post inspires you to go watch the movie) had to be more important to each of them than the process itself. Secondly, they have to figure out how to use their differences to move them both closer to the end goal. They must be willing and able to learn from each other.
The Heat may or may not be your type of movie, but if you watch it, I hope you see some of the characters’ personality traits in yourself as well as your colleagues, co-workers, employees or supervisors. We can, at least sometimes, learn real life lessons from Hollywood.
Have you watched The Heat? What do you think of my assessment of their personalities? What other movies have you seen lately where you see different personalities interacting with each other?