The Colour Works’ Triathlon Challenge

The Colour Works’ Triathlon Challenge

1024 1024 Suzzane Shaw

The Colour Works’ Triathlon Challenge


Whoever put “fun” and “triathlon” in one sentence must be either a sadist or not have a grasp of the English language! This was my belief up until recently.

Last year The Colour Works was challenged with completing a triathlon.

Six of us took the bait and entered the Stratford 2014 Fun Triathlon which was held on 11th May. I consider myself to be relatively fit as I run regularly with a running club although lolloping best describes my running style. We had to run 2.5km; I know I can run six miles so my head was in the right place. I am not a regular on my bike but I enjoy cycling for fun. As John F Kennedy said “Nothing compares to the simple pleasures of a bike ride”. We had to ride 15 miles but I was really looking forward to the challenge. I guess the phrase “it’s like riding a bike” has been coined because once you master the skill, you never forget it. Swimming on the other hand made me come out in a hot sweat thinking about it.  I have a lot of demons as far as getting in the water is concerned. I only ever learnt how to swim breaststroke so arranged to have some lessons to better my chances of completing the 200m swim without being scooped out by the lifeguard’s fishing net. My swimming teacher explained that my “screw kick” wasn’t propelling me forward and was acting like a brake. I practised my frog legs with my dolphin like daughter but always knew that my swimming would be my Achilles Heel.

In the workplace, you will have your own running/cycling prowess and you may have your own Achilles Heel. There are several models of behaviour derived from the psychology of Carl Jung. We work with a model based on colours which helps individuals understand their behavioural preferences. We all have strengths and things that we’re not so good at. In the workplace I regularly play to my strengths of being friendly and sociable, interacting with others, seeking variety and working towards being inspirational with the programmes I run. This is me in running/cycling mode-I can do it and enjoy it! My swimming demon at work is my low amounts of Cool Blue-the logical, precise, attention to detail, analytical side of me which really puts a break on my effectiveness. I should know better after the times I have not spent time planning or not having the right information. Traditionally it is spring cleaning time and I have a lot of housekeeping to do. Like my swimming lessons which have really stretched me outside of my comfort zone, I am working on processes and systems which will help me to be more effective at work. It is a challenging process to build in discipline and systematic ways of working when I like variety, new things and enjoy those distractions.

Suzane Shaw Triathlon

As predicted, my swimming was not the greatest in Stratford. I came 40th out of 41 women in the swim but overall came in 26th position. We were all ecstatic achieving something none of us had done before. Our performance is driven by behaviour. I am determined to beat those demons and went swimming last night and attempted the front crawl for the first time ever! I have spent time using tools such as Outlook to help me dedicate attention to business development and administration activities. It is a slow job but I am moving in the right direction and feeling a sense of achievement both professionally and personally. I would love to be able to say in a year’s time I can swim 200m in five minutes and that all of my paperwork and account management is meticulous. This will require lots of effort, dedication and focus. You never know I may take my eye off the ball and sign up to…mmm, let me see.


So, what is your Achilles Heel and how can you manage it? How can you play to your strengths?

The Colour Works is an organisation specialising in transforming performance in individuals, teams and organisations. We help you unlock unrealised potential, inspiring you and your people to improve performance and deliver better results using the unique Insights Discovery model. Our programmes are SRA accredited. Suzanne is a qualified trainer passionate about helping people to realise their potential. She has worked with a variety of organisations ranging from the public and private sectors including large organisations and SMEs. Suzanne’s areas of interest include Leadership and Management, Team Building, Customer Care and Selling Skills.


Suzzane Shaw

Suzzane Shaw

Suzanne Shaw is the Senior Facilitator for The Colour Works.

All articles by: Suzzane Shaw

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