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Jelly Bean Personality Test

Looking for a fun activity that will involve everyone at the start of a faculty meeting? Pass around a bowl of jelly beans and invite each staff person to choose one jelly bean. When every person has a jelly bean, invite the people who chose black or white jelly beans to stand up. Share with those people their personality traits based on the chart below. The chart is based on a study done at a major university, which reported on personality and administrative styles based on jelly bean selection. For the purpose of this activity, we will identify that administrative style as faculty meeting style. As you share the traits on the chart, be sure to keep things light and fun.


Jelly Bean Color Personality Traits Faculty Meeting Style
White or Black This person
  • is highly structured and organized.
  • likes surroundings to be neat.
  • when given an assignment, wants to know how many pages, exact requirements.
  • always wants to know the rules.
  • memorizes things well.
  • cant stand sloppy, unorganized people.
  • deliberates before making decisions.
The white jelly bean person likes to controls the environment and likes a lot of praise. S/he is always trying to earn brownie points; gets reports in weeks before the deadline.

The black jelly bean person smiles a lot, is enthusiastic and always playful. In fact, s/he usually plays around at workshops, meetings, and conferences.
Yellow This person
  • is not usually outspoken.
  • is always in a state of transition, whether s/he is 8 or 80.
  • is usually smart and innovative, often artistic.
  • is sometimes confused when making decisions, unsure where theyre supposed to be.
  • is a hard worker.
  • is exciting to be with, will try anything so long as its safe.
  • is often spiritual.
  • looks at things with perspective and respects others opinions.
The yellow jelly bean person is the thinker of the group and is very independent. In fact, s/he often doesnt follow meeting rules, polices, or procedures.
Orange This person
  • is cheerful and good-natured.
  • has the ability to get along well with almost anyone.
  • is friendly and has a ready smile.
  • usually has a quick wit.
  • is fluent, often eloquent and profound, in speech.
  • does not like to be left alone.
  • enjoys life and inspires others to reach their highest potential.
The orange jelly bean person dresses well; like luxury such as gold bracelets, watches, and chains. In fact, s/he likes possessions and might stay at school to horde supplies; or after meetings to horde handouts.
Violet This person
  • is flirty and passionate.
  • is highly creative and highly excitable.
  • has new ideas; can be a visionary.
  • has a short attention span; cant stay put for a long time.
  • can be disorganized.
  • might prefer to close a door instead of dealing with the organization.
  • can be a procrastinator who thrives on chaos; enjoys the challenge of different problems.
The purple jelly bean person needs fulfillment. S/he might question an assignment, want to do it differently. She/he can have a problem dealing with highly structured time, such as meetings.
Green This person
  • loves recognition.
  • is often seen as a leader, holds a highly visible position.
  • is a respecter of authority and tradition.
  • is decisive, directed, and focused.
The green jelly bean person is a peacemaker, doesnt like conflict. S/he likes to get black and white jelly bean people to organize his/her projects. S/he might be superintendent sooner than you think.
Red or Pink This person
  • is courageous; their energy seems boundless.
  • smiles much of the time.
  • will ask another person what the problem is if s/he is not smiling.
  • genuinely cares about people and becomes involved in others problems.
  • is highly influenced by others; shares their sadness or grief.
  • makes decisions with his/her heart; acts on impulses of the heart.
  • spends a great deal of time on the phone, usually listening to others.
  • is a sensitive, enthusiastic friend or lover.
The pink jelly bean person can be a skilled brown-noser. S/he often volunteers to do a little more, especially when the superintendent or principal asks.

The red jelly bean person can be extremely frustrated. In fact, researchers would like you to submit your name and address for future research!

After doing the activity, you might ask for a show of hands of those who think the description of their personality traits was valid; was the way they perceive themselves. Emphasize that no one is one color, but that one color is often dominant. All of us have some of the various traits associated with other colors. This is important to realize when dealing with others. We should be able to empathize with those who see things differently and deal with problems differently than we do.

Mark Lukert, principal (retired), Lakeside Elementary School, Coppell, Texas
If you would like to learn more about Mark or the workshops he conducts through his consulting company, Precision Team Building, contact him through his Web site,


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