INsight/ Speak Their Language

Manila, 27 July 2017 — If learning seven communication languages seem like a lot, why not start with these three? That's what a group of young bridging leaders will do this week.


Think of it. A large part of our societies is focused on doing things right, and that needs order, hierarchy, and procedures. What would our world look like if we didn't have solid hierarchical systems for education, government, finance, law, aviation, quality assurance and more?

These systems create order. Without them, there would be chaos. To keep order, we need to follow the rules, and it's best to keep calm while doing so.

This is the domain of what we call the Blue worldview, and it comes with its own language of communication and behavior. It is one of the Big Three worldviews in our world today. Interestingly, most of the world's religions are also practiced from a Blue worldview.

So what are the other two dominant worldviews today?


Orange is the worldview of business and of scientific and material progress. Success is what matters, and also to be seen to be successful and to be rewarded for that. Where Blue emphasizes the collective, orange is the domain where individuals can stand out and be recognized.

In Orange, entrepreneurship is key, as is reaching goals and targets, and getting bonuses. It goes without saying that in the Orange worldview, there will always be winners and losers, those who achieve success and those who fail to reach it. 

Historically, the Orange worldview emerged when people found that the Blue way of organizing life in organizations, systems, and rules and procedures had become too constricting. In today's world, we can see, however, that much of the Orange success in entrepreneurship and science would not be possible without a strong base of Blue organization to support it. 


The third of the Big three worldviews today is Green. It stands for collective human empowerment, where everyone is seen to have the potential to develop, and the right to do so without being left behind. Green is also the worldview of consultation, participation, and seeking consensus.

In Green, it is no longer acceptable that some win and others lose. Everyone should have the right to develop themselves because people are most important. Everyone matters. We see today that businesses come under attack when they forget that people matter. Uber is a recent example.

This is not the whole story. The proportion of people inhabiting other worldviews—Purple, Red, Yellow, and Turquoise—varies from place to place, and also between generations. Mostly, however, they are a smaller proportion than the big three.

Learning more about the Blue, Orange, and Green worldviews and their corresponding communication languages is, therefore, a good place to start when you want to develop your leadership.

Speak their language

And that's what a group of emerging leaders in the Philippines will be practicing this week as they gather for the graduation events of the 2016 Young Bridging Leaders (YBL) program. I am excited to support them through Natalie in the Light, Inc., the NGO established in memory of my daughter.

A central question on the minds of the emerging leaders this week is how to mobilize support for the sustainable development projects they have created in their local communities over the past six months. Their challenge will be to connect with their audience when they present their projects so that they can effectively engage with them afterward and win their support.

To do that, they will be focusing to speak their language, starting with Blue, Orange or Green.