The Dynamic Spiral, A Fantastic Communication Tool

Last updated by Lauren Hart

Have you ever met someone you didn’t understand? With whom there was no chemistry? Personally, it’s happened to me, and it can be disconcerting to be confronted with another way of thinking. That’s why it’s interesting to know about the dynamic spiral. What is it? What are the levels of the spiral? What difference could it make to someone you don’t know? I’ll explain it all to you!

The Dynamic Spiral, A Fantastic Communication Tool

What is the dynamic spiral?

The dynamic spiral is a human development tool created by psychology researcher Clare Graves and popularized by researchers Don Beck and Christopher Cowan. This method uses a system of values with levels, based on the needs of Maslow’s pyramid.

Each system of values is represented by a color 🌈. They represent a way of thinking, behaving, and perceiving the world. Obviously, we don’t remain the same throughout our lives, so we can evolve through the levels. What’s more, the levels also respond to the issues we face, so it’s an extra opportunity to change levels/colors. You can go up as well as down through the levels.

When we go up a level, we make our thinking more complex, and we risk having more cognitive dissonance. If we go down a level, it doesn’t mean we’re going backwards. We’ve learned to change in order to adapt and back down.

What are the levels of the dynamic spiral?

The dynamic spiral has different levels, each represented by a color: beige, purple, red, blue, orange, green, yellow and turquoise:

Dynamic spiral

Let’s take a closer look at what each color means 👇

👉 The beige level: survival

This is the first level, the primary one. It’s a way of thinking dominated by the survival instinct. In today’s society, we’ve all gone beyond this level. This is something that can be found in babies and young children who just need to satisfy their primary needs 👶: sleeping, eating, relieving themselves, etc. Some drug addicts can lose their bearings and awareness of their surroundings, so it may be that adults are at this level, due to an alteration in their perception. The only motivation for this color is survival.

🧠 Speaking of the primary brain… You may be interested in this article: What are the 6 primary emotions?

👉 The purple level: security

Like in Maslow’s Pyramid, this second level, purple, corresponds to the need for security 🏠. We can symbolize this by a place that makes us feel secure, like home, but it’s also embodied by family locations and those around us. Those around us form a shell, a security barrier.

We become aware of the purple level in times of crisis, whether on an individual or societal level. For example, during the pandemic, people focused on the essentials, on what made them and their loved ones feel safe.

👉 The red level: power

This level is “dictatorial”, in the sense that it represents power. Indeed, we become aware of our individuality and want to impose our will on others. What’s most important? Defending our own interests and satisfying our own desires, regardless of others. This is generally the rule in gangs and unfortunately also in some countries ruled by dictators 😥.

We can sometimes be violently confronted with “red”. How can this happen? At work, when you’re in a company where the hierarchy is crushing you and in your personal life when you’re in a relationship with a narcissistic 🤕.

👉 The blue level: order

Blue represents the need for structure and organization. In society, this corresponds to laws, the legal system, property rights, etc. The blue level brings reassurance, calm and stability. Many very religious people find themselves at this level because religion is a system that structures. It lays down rules that are reassuring for those who believe in it.

However, the blue level can also bring too much rigidity and a fear of change. It’s a dogmatic mentality with a huge sense of guilt if the rules aren’t respected.

>>> Read; Can a narcissist change?

👉 The orange level: success

Once you’ve been reassured by the blue level, you can move towards innovation and success. As with red, this level is linked to personal success with a healthy structure. It’s more thought through and calmer, so you can move forward with care. Overall, capitalist society can be represented by the orange level: we need to move forward, produce, grow while achieving individual success.

However, by focusing on productivity and development, the orange level has its limits. Indeed, if it continues, it will be at the expense of natural, human, social and environmental resources.

👉 The green level: harmony

This level represents the quest for meaning. Green repairs what has been broken in the other color levels because it puts our behavior into perspective. It’s not like the blue level because it’s not rules that count, but emotions. Empathy, tolerance and listening are at the heart of this level. When you get to this point, it’s because you have important human values and want to reduce injustice as much as possible.

Nevertheless, this is where we risk encountering the most cognitive dissonance. Indeed, we all go through different color levels and these give us habits, which are sometimes difficult to put to one side, even though they differ from our way of thinking.

For example: I ate meat for a long time, even though I knew it wasn’t in line with my values (animal cruelty, ecology). I managed to become a vegetarian and get rid of my old habits to be in harmony.

👉 The yellow level: individualization

When you reach the yellow level, it’s because you want to learn for yourself. You need to come up with new ideas, change the system, and innovate. You’ve got rid of our fears, such as the fear of failure, to move towards what makes us truly happy. External forces, such as social pressure, are out of the equation. What counts is the inner strength that allows you to be independent.

Like the green level, the yellow level finds solutions to problems. The aim is to move forward and cope with chaos and change while maintaining structure. For example, eco-anxiety is overcome at this level and fear is put aside in favor of concrete solutions.

However, the yellow level isn’t perfect. People at this level tend to see things as more complex than they really are. They often complicate their lives and think that others are incompetent because they don’t see things the same way 😅.

👉 The turquoise level: the global vision

This final level is a mixture of the previous ones: there’s self-expression (beige, red, orange, and yellow), with an orientation towards “us” and others (purple, blue, green). People who reach this level are more in tune with their environment and find it easier to balance the different levels of their lives. There’s a perpetual synthesis between experience, testing, and the known, the lessons of feelings, which allows for greater understanding and adaptability. In fact, one of the strengths of this level is the ability to understand the points of view of the other levels. There’s a real holistic vision, everything is taken into account for personal reflection.

However, you need a great capacity for introspection to achieve this and a strong awareness of yourself and the world. It’s a level that can be exhausting because whoever’s reached turquoise will concentrate all their efforts on eradicating all inequalities, war, disease, etc. It comes close to green, but this level gives up everything for the common good. They therefore make great sacrifices that erase their individuality a little too much.

A good communication tool

The dynamic spiral is a method used in many fields: psychology, sociology, personal development, etc., because it enables us to communicate better.

How? By identifying people who belong to the same level as you. A bit like the languages of love, if you meet someone who’s at the same stage as you, at the same color, you’ll have a better chance of understanding each other and communicating better.

However, this extends even beyond the intimate sphere. We can communicate better in the professional world by understanding the level of the company we work for. Marketing also makes enormous use of the dynamic spiral to sell a product more effectively. The brand will identify the level its target belongs to so that it can interact with it better.

In short, it’s an interesting tool that allows us to better understand how we function, both individually and collectively!

Editor’s note - A method, not a miracle

The dynamic spiral is an interesting tool for better understanding human behavior. For example, you can avoid someone who’s red or question someone who’s orange. However, like all tools, it’s not a miracle method for understanding ourselves and others. When we have difficulties, the best thing is to be accompanied so that we can say what’s blocking our relationships. Therapy can really help us to move forward, much more than a tool like this that we try to master on our own...

🤗 Understanding yourself, accepting yourself, being happy... It’s here and now!


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Article presented by Lauren Hart

Writing is a beautiful means of expression that I cannot do without. It has allowed me to channel my hypersensitivity, plus I love writing about psychology and personal development. For me, self-understanding is the best way to move forward!

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Wengood's favorite tunes 🎵

Wengood's playlist


  1. Only LoveBen Howard
  2. Invalid date
  3. Fix YouColdplay
  4. Beautiful DayU2
  5. Thinking out LoudEd Sheeran
  6. White FlagDido
  7. Lay Me DownSam Smith
  8. Nine Million BicyclesKatie Melua
  9. Put Your Records OnCorinne Bailey Rae
  10. Summertime SadnessLana Del Rey
  11. Imagine - Remastered 2010John Lennon
  12. Shake It OutFlorence + The Machine
  13. Space Oddity - Love You Til Tuesday versionDavid Bowie
  14. What A Wonderful WorldLouis Armstrong
  15. With Or Without YouU2
  16. HelloAdele
  17. Don't Stop Me NowQueen
  18. Skinny LoveBirdy
  19. WingsBirdy
  20. Californian SoilLondon Grammar

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