Are you green or red? Which zone are you in?

By Regina Martins

Elevator Pitch

Collaboration is not a team sport - initially! The best way to collaborate better & solve conflict is by learning to manage your own defensiveness. This workshop will show you the signs of defensiveness, help identify triggers that make you defensive and help you create a defensiveness action plan.


Learning outcomes: - Learn about Red Zones and Green Zones and the behaviours that make up each zone - Understand what are the triggers that make you defensive - Compile a personal defensiveness action plan

Organisations are made up of people and the interactions between them are what creates and sustains a particular organisational culture. This workshop introduces the concept of Red Zones and Green Zones. Red Zone people, teams and organisations are inherently conflictual and Green Zone people, teams and organisations are collaborative. Many people, team, and organisations are stuck in the Red Zone who don’t know that there is a better way of being. The reality is that an organisation cannot be externally competitive if it is not first internally collaborative.

There is no better way of resolving conflict and building better collaborative relationships than managing your own DEFENSIVENESS. When we become defensive our thinking becomes rigid and our IQ drops about 20 points and we simply become stupid. And if you’re in a room full of people who are defensive then you are in a room full of people who cannot solve a problem.

So knowing about Red Zone and Green Zone behaviours is important for you and how it impacts the relationships in your team firstly and organisation broadly. Managing personal defensiveness is the first step towards collaborating better. People who collaborate better are more creative. An organisation that has Green Zone people working for it will be more creative and in turn more innovation and solve problems better. They know how to manage risks better. Failure in Green Zone organisations are treated as learning opportunities. They are also nicer places to work in and are more profitable.

This workshop presents the (longitudinal) research done by ex-California judge, Jim Tamm, creator and founder of Radical Collaboration. It then moves on to present the concept of the Red Zone and the Green Zone behaviours. After this, each person has the opportunity of reflecting on their behaviours and what triggers their defensiveness, and then participants will have the opportunity of creating their own personal defensiveness action plan.


I am a Certified Radical Collaboration trainer and the process of becoming a trainer included a lot of reflection and self-development work, including knowing my triggers and how they can be diffused. This has led me to have more collaborative relationships at work and at home. This is not a theoretical talk, it is based on personal experience and experience working with teams. The research I mention will be presented in an interactive way and only a few items. Presentation of these results is only to show how collaborative organisational cultures are more successful that non-collaboratives ones. And the path to collaboration starts with “me” - the individual.

Workshop requirements: - chair circles - flipchart needed for presenter - projector and screen