1. An introduction to a Purple persona

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A quick glance at a Purple persona

Purple personas are big-hearted, community-oriented people who are practically-minded and skilled at organisation. Their people skills are second to none; they are thoughtful and polite and generally give a great first impression as they tend to make others feel instantly comfortable around them.

There are two sides to Purple personas – on one hand, they are really kind, emotional and sensitive; on the other, they are calculated and systematic. This is an ideal combination for organisation, planning and people-focused tasks. Purples are fantastic at organising and managing people and are very likely to be involved in community events, to volunteering for charities or help out in events that have a good cause.

Purples have very strong perfectionist tendencies and a logical mind. Thanks to their ability to think systematically, they climb the career ladder quite successfully and are generally quite intelligent and academic. Feeling competent and knowledgeable is important to their sense of self.

Socially, Purples don’t necessarily like to be the centre of attention and can be easily irritated by some people’s quest for the limelight.

However, don’t mistake their friendliness for openness, as they tend to hold back at the start of relationships, including those in business. You may feel like they have their guard up and are being reserved and careful, it takes a while for them to develop trust for someone, but once the person has proved themselves thoroughly a Purple persona will welcome people into their lives.

In long-term friendships and relationships, they are intensely loyal and family-oriented and are designed for the long haul. They won’t bow out at the first sign of trouble; rather they stick with people that they have high regard for through thick and thin, and utilise their talents and skills in acts of service.

Purple personas experience a wide range of emotions that they won’t necessarily allow other people to see. This may create the impression that they are quite detached, but that is not how they view themselves. They consider themselves to be quite emotional and it is not uncommon for them to pour out all their bottled-up feelings in one go. However, their displays of anger or severe emotions are very short-lived.

Purples are likely to be quite well organised and their financial matters will be in good order. Their workplace environments will be tidy and structured and they may place a high value on domestic skills and a home that is welcoming.


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2. Managing relationships with Purple personas

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How Purples interact

A Purple persona makes really good, long-term friends. They are likely to cultivate a contained number of friends who are mainly similar to them and have been around for a long time. They are likely to socialise with their friends fairly regularly and remain best friends over long periods. They value their friendship highly and will go the extra mile to be helpful and supportive to their friends when an occasion calls for it.

They are, however, also quite introverted. They tend to stay friends with people throughout their life and it can be quite difficult for new people to forge friendships with them. If they have no connection with you, they can come across as aloof and distant. If you take them into new social or family scenarios, they will also come across to others as cold and distant. They might be having conversations, but this will only be with a few people on the sidelines, and these conversations will tend to be skin-deep. They won’t commit to anyone until they feel a sense of mutual trust.

Purple personas can be extremely good at managing people in any context including social occasions like a surprise party, a group holiday, or a fund-raiser at the kids’ school. If you have a Purple in your social group, rest assured that any time something needs to be organised, they will not only jump up to volunteer but will rise to the occasion with incredible attention to detail.

Purples tend to work like Reds, and they will hold Reds in high regard. Socially and domestically they relate with the hearts of Blues. Mix into this the fact that they have the strong intuition and creative streaks of White personas, and you have a person that can call on many resources. This makes them very capable but also renders them the most misunderstood personas on our chart.

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Purples and timekeeping

Purple personas are generally very time-conscious and organised. They are respectful of other people’s time and will generally want to be on time for anything they are attending. They are very capable of keeping everything and everyone on track. Domestically, things will be paid on time, booked on time and so on. If, however, a Purple is still undecided on something, they will stall for time while trying to project a front that everything is fine. They may even deflect the attention away from themselves and skillfully find things to chase you or others about for things you haven’t delivered on themselves.

A Purple persona will prefer planning things ahead of time and will not want any last minute changes imposed on them. They have a knack for keeping things on track. For the more impulsive personas on the chart, a Purple persona may even come across as ‘stuck in the mud’ or ‘anal’ when they dig in and become unprepared to entertain mid-stream changes or new ideas.

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What Purples want from others

Purple personas migrate to like-minded people. They may idealistically favour people who are much like them, who match their strong sense of values and principles. They enjoy people who are thoughtful, but they also have high regard for people who are organised and decisive. Socially, Purples take a shine towards people who are affectionate and socially-minded.

Family is very important to Purples – The biggest mistake you can ever make is to question the amount of time they spend with their family as they truly cherish those moments.

Purples have quite a quirky sense of humour that won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and individuals who can give as good as they get will certainly catch their attention.

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How to communicate with a Purple persona

In all of their communication, Purples are likely to be structured, opinionated and clear. They are good listeners and typically good participants in conversations. In written communication they can come across as a bit too formal.

A Purple persona will be good at keeping the conversation flowing with you. They have the ability to make you feel at ease with their chatty and open nature. However, they can tend to hold back at the start of a new business relationship and will keep you at bay with a certain amount of ambiguity until they feel they can trust you. They would genuinely rather be open and honest with you than put up a front, but their tendency of hanging back may give off an air of them being more enigmatic than what they intend to be.

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3. Purple personas and stress

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Purples and stressors

The well-spoken Purple persona does not appreciate anyone who is domineering, overbearing or arrogant. They are very encouraging and personable people. Although they don’t easily show it, they can become drained quickly by contentious talk, factions, or any show of intolerance or prejudice. They may even take serious offence to such talk.

When they feel strongly enough about an issue, they will have no problem dishing out a bit of straight talk, nor will they have trouble getting involved and standing up for someone else who is not being treated fairly. It is worth mentioning that Purples, like no other persona, are likely to hold onto a grudge and make sure they get even in some shape or form. So the best advice we can give you is to make sure you don’t walk away from an argument with a Purple hoping that things will fizzle out. Instead, face the issue and try to come to a compromise that both parties are happy with.

Just like Blue personas, Purples will be indignant if you have asked their advice and then don’t act on it. Overall, they are very caring people, when they give you advice, they have your best interests at heart, so seeing someone dismiss their best intentions hurts their feelings.

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Purples and confrontation

Purple personas are generally quite clear and confident in any context, hence they can be outspoken and direct when the occasion calls for it. They won’t want to hurt anyone’s feeling, however, when tough things need to be stated and may beat around the bush. Depending on the context, they may even prefer sending an email or a text; in an argument, these communications will become increasingly long and verbose as the Purple attempts to justify his or her position.

Purples don’t easily forgive or forget. They tend to bottle things up, and as stated, they can harbour grudges. If they are badly affronted, they are likely to get even, even if it takes them years to do so.

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Purples' irritating habits

To be clear, items listed here may be irritating to some people and quite acceptable for others, depending on their own persona colour.

The capable purple persona has a few quirks that stand out as things that would irritate some other personas. Other Personas will find it difficult to understand the apparent inconsistencies within their behaviour. Purple personas can swing between traits normally associated with Reds and Blues (see those Persona descriptions further elsewhere on this site). They can switch from being driven, reliable and goal-oriented on the one hand, to appearing laidback and unmotivated on the other hand, as well as going from being detached and cold to being caring and affectionate. Some people will read this ‘hot and cold’ behaviour as insincere.

Another trait of Purples that some personas may find difficult to recognise is how they may seem to “rub you up the wrong way” in their decision-making processes. Purples need time to weigh all the options and often need to sleep on things before they are comfortable enough to come up with a final decision. This would not be a problem if they were not also leaving you with the mild impression that a mutual conclusion has been reached, just to show up the following day with another decision that they will rigidly hold on to and push you into accepting. In most cases, this leaves people feeling frustrated and bulldozed into doing things they didn’t agree to in the first place. This is even more confusing to people because, in general, Purples don’t come across as bossy and pushy

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How to support a Purple

A Purple persona is not prone to talking about their feelings or to show their feelings, although this will be less so when they are comfortable with you. Although they don’t show it, they actually experience a wide range of emotions, and often, the sheer weight of those can take its toll on them. They try their best to keep them under control but are not strangers to occasional outbursts.

One thing that you will notice is that Purple personas are very difficult to read, and as we said, they are not particularly good at being communicative about their feelings either. So until you know this person better, you may have to guess your way through the conversation process. Best to often ask open and upfront questions. You may not necessarily be rewarded with open and honest answers but at least the Purple will know what is on your mind. So if you ever feel like talking ‘heart to heart’, tread very carefully as you may step into sensitive territory.