You might have wondered if there is a specific meaning to the name Green Elephant. Why Elephant? Is green about sustainability? Does it have something to do with that psychedelic horror film from Russia or some sort of vegetarian Indian restaurant? Well, no…
“There is an elephant in the room”
Imagine walking into your new office and noticing a gigantic tree growing in the middle of the room. Imagine you notice the tree and pretend not to have seen it. The tree could be a metaphor for a situation or a topic, anything from sexual harassment to your colleague’s outrageously original hairstyle. This would be an example of an elephant in the room.
Having an Elephant in the room means that there is an obvious problem or difficult situation that we do not want to talk about. The Elephant can be a personal sore spot or socially incorrect hot potato that no one wants or feels capable to tackle. That’s why we often avoid bringing it up.
The Elephant is the largest mammal on Earth, so big that when it appears, it’s really difficult to pretend that it doesn’t exist.
So what do you do? You can either be an ostrich – hide your head in the sand and keep ignoring the problem – or you can try to find the courage to take steps towards change and learn techniques to voice and discuss the elephant in the room.
#Elephant is one of our most powerful communication techniques and it works magic for your relationships both at work and at home by building trust between people.
So, that’s what the word Elephant stands for.
Why is the Elephant green?
Based on our GreenBlueRed™ framework, all communication behaviours can be colour coded using three colours regardless of personality.
“I” BLUE Communication focuses on my beliefs, needs, values, feelings, information and knowledge.
“YOU” GREEN Communication focuses empathically on other people’s beliefs, needs, values, feelings, information and knowledge.
“WE” RED Communication focuses on common decisions, agreements or actions involving both parties.
In this approach, Green communication focuses on others, it’s the colour of empathy and trust-building. Being Green means being able to understand others.
As the elephant in the room is often something that you wouldn’t even want to touch with a ten-foot pole, it can take a tremendous amount of courage to voice it. To survive the task without escalating the situation into an uncontrollable forest fire of dysfunctional conflicts, you need to be as empathic, kind and respectful as possible. As we would say, you need to be GREEN.
Voicing the elephant in the room in a green-conscious way is a superpower that can be learned by everyone.
That’s Green Elephant!