DANGER: Do not restrict people to the confines of their Fruit box.
Humans are incredibly complex beings and no one is just one Fruit. Every one of us is a Fruit Salad. Through learning about different Fruit in a simple and fun way, we can recognise elements in ourselves and others and use the knowledge as a guideline for more effective behaviour and communication.
The idea of pop psychology is to break down behaviour into easily digestible chunks. Some of us are strong (more than 35 percent) in one segment. Some of us are strong across two segments, some even across three or perhaps all four. The mistake people can make is identifying their top preference and then thinking that is the sum total of their traits:
I’m an Apple, but I can’t make quick decisions?
I’m a Mango, but I hate public speaking?
I’m a Lime, but I love people?
I’m a Banana, but I don’t mind conflict?
So far, we’ve looked at the extreme versions of Fruit, those who exhibit traits on a 9/10 scale rather than a 2/10. We do this because it’s the most memorable way to provide a sharp picture of traits particular to each Fruit.
However, if we only think in terms of pure Apple, Mango, Lime or Banana, it’s easy to become confused because we are not 100% of any Fruit. So, we’re going to dive deeper into our blends and in particular, our top two preferences. These are the preferences we default to, especially when under pressure. However, it is also critical to remember this: We are all capable of donning any of the Fruit hats.
The sweetest, kindest Banana will become a hard-core Apple when defending her child. The Lime, terrified of public speaking, will step up to the plate to deliver a beautiful eulogy for a loved one. We have natural attributes which come to us more easily than others, but that does not mean we can’t learn the skills of the other Fruit. We can learn to be kind, learn to speak up, to have more discipline, or to be more flexible. It just takes more energy and concerted effort to work in the areas that don’t come naturally to us.
Some people tell me their behaviour is the same at work as it is at home. Others tell me they are the opposite. The reason for this is both environments are defined by the people in them.
The way your Fruit plays out at home is also linked to your partner, particularly when you have a shared Fruit style.
If you’re an Apple/Lime and are required to call on your attributes of organisation and decision-making in the workplace, then when you go home to your Mango/Banana partner, you will play the same role and use the same skills. This is because all bases are covered between your Fruit combinations. It’s nicely balanced.
Conversely, you may go home to your Apple/Banana partner, who takes over the Apple role and allows you to melt into your quieter and calmer Lime space. If your partner is particularly challenged in one area you may find yourself increasing your second or even third preference.
Those I have had the pleasure of working with and taking through the full Fruit Personality Profile tool, will know where you sit across all four quadrants. However, even if you’ve only completed my short taster quiz on my website, this will still help to answer some of the questions you may have. Now is also a great time, if you haven’t already, to read my previous blogs introducing each of the four Fruit.
When we look at Fruit blends, there are four natural blends that make sense. Apple/Lime (left-brained); Mango/Banana (right-brained); Apple/Mango (front-brain); and Lime/Banana (back-brain).
After these natural blends, there are then about 15 percent of the population who will have a slightly stranger blend, a cross-blend: Mango/Lime or Apple/Banana.
Over the last twenty years, thousands of people have completed the Fruit Personality Profile, either through my conference keynotes, in live workshops, via video training or during virtual workshops. Of those, around 30 percent reported acting in the same way at work as they do at home. However, even for these people, different circumstances and situations can expose a different Fruit. Ultimately, all of us have the potential to develop any of the traits from the four Fruit and our natural preference will always come so much more easily to us. However, different circumstances or certain people will bring out our inner Fruit salad.
So, let’s look at a quick overview of each of the six blends, using your top two preferences.
First is the Apple/Lime.
A natural left-brain blend and although there are obvious differences – one likes conflict, the other does not, one is fast, the other deliberate – the blend works well. The Apple gathers hard data and the Lime analyses before any decision is made.
Both are logical, both find it difficult to relate to intuition and neither suffer fools gladly.
The problem this blend tends to face, with its Apple control and Lime rules, is that they can be the fun police. The constant parental attitude can make their partners feel like scolded children.
The best bit – they are financial legends; you will never struggle for money.
Then we meet Mango/Banana.
A truly tropical mix and another natural blend, as both are right-brained. Whilst one is extroverted and the other not, they are still generally a complementary blend.
Both love people and relationships. Neither are driven by money, rather by happiness and a desire to see other people happy. Both also want to change the world for the better, either in a big Mango way or a smaller, more personal Banana way.
Their major challenge is that when they make all their decisions based on intuition, they risk poor outcomes. Not to mention that if you do have a Mango/Banana partner, they may well use up their word quota for the day, as well as yours.
The best thing? They bring joy, fun, optimism and love, all in abundance.
Intense and exhausting Apple/Mango.
These two Fruits do have a lot in common and complement each other well; Mango has the vision, supported by Apple logic. Both see the big picture perspective, they both love challenges, and they are fast-paced, they don’t let anything get in their way.
The biggest problem their partners face is that they are exhausting to be around. They can suck the very life out of you with their endless enthusiasm.
But the best thing? They’re the planners and the doers: they will make things happen.
It’s lovely where Lime meets Banana.
This is a steady, stable blend. They do have differences, such as the worry-wart Lime versus the easy going Banana, however, they have many things in common. They both love family, value stability and dislike confrontation.
The biggest issue for this blend is a lack of assertiveness as a result of their aversion to confrontation. If they’re not careful, this blend can find themselves simply doing everything their partner wants.
And the best thing? They hold the team together. They may not think so, but Lime/Bananas are the stabilising, steady, solid glue that keeps the house from falling down.
Slightly stranger blends.
This brings us to our last two blends – slightly stranger, and not as common. These are the cross-blends, Mango/Lime and Apple/Banana. These blends have little in common, unlike the first four blends, so if this is you (or your partner), don’t be surprised to find yourself conflicted and confused on a regular basis.
Let’s look at Mango/Lime.
Mango wants to spend; Lime wants to save. Mango is an extrovert; Lime is an introvert. Mango wants to party; Lime wants to meditate. It’s hard to see where this blend does meet.
Mangoes and Limes do however have one thing in common, they are both creative. Limes’ deep introspection gives them time to be creative, Mangoes believe anything is possible and look for creative solutions. This introvert/extrovert creative blend sees many in the arts as musicians, actors or performers.
The biggest challenge for this blend is when Mango combines their melodrama with Lime’s sensitivity and the natural conflict that lives within takes its toll. If you are a Mango/Lime, you are truly interesting.
If you can accept you are made up of often opposing views and different perspectives on everything, your ability to think both logically and emotionally can help you to see life in a very balanced way. Enjoy your Lime’s careful decision-making and ordered process combined with your Mango’s optimism and ability to connect and inspire people. An impressive combination.
And then there is the Apple/Banana.
This blend has nothing to connect the two Fruits. Nil. Nada. They are constantly battling internal conflict. The Apple wants to sack someone; the Banana to counsel. The Apple wants to fight; the Banana to retreat. And yet, they are less stressed than the Mango/Lime because the Apple simply won’t tolerate drama and the Banana will go along with the flow.
The biggest problem, for others, is they meet the sweet, kind Banana and let their guard down only to encounter the Apple lurking within when there’s a battle to be won.
Like the Mango/Lime, you need to compartmentalise and understand your strengths. You have the Apple ability to make fast, informed decisions, get results and see the big picture, combined with Banana intuition, compassion, and a genuine desire to help and to serve. Apple/Bananas can make incredible parents.
The more we understand about the complexity of our behaviour in the simplest way possible, the more chance we will have of creating happy, productive relationships, whether at work or at home.
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