A Guide to Implementing the Theory of
Just a short
aside that changes a little of the wording around the layers of
resistance. It strikes me that if we use
the word “understanding” we may more effectively communicate what we are
really intending to say.
In the earlier and
more public pages I came down on the side of “layers of resistance” to
describe the nested hierarchy of levels that we genuinely encounter, either
partially or in whole, when we begin the transformation or transcendence
towards a systemic and better way of working.
In the layers of
resistance terminology we say “we don’t agree about the problem” or “we don’t
agree about the solution” and so forth, and that seems to me to give people
permission to dig their heels in and hold on fast to where they are. And let’s be clear that is also the wording
that I have been using.
There is an
alternative which is the same thing except by a different name; the process
of buy-in, where we go one step further and say “we agree about the problem”
or “we agree about the solution” and unfortunately to me that is even worse,
the inclination for many people is to rebel against being told that we agree
So my question to
myself is why we don’t call this “understanding?” Aren’t the layers then simply;
1. We don’t understand the problem
2. We don’t understand the solution
3. We don’t understand how to overcome the negative ramifications
4. We don’t understand how to overcome the obstacles
5. We don’t understand our own fear
You are free to
expand that basic sequence out to 7, or 10, or whatever the numbers of layers
are that works for you. The 5th layer
remains the most important, and maybe it should really be the first
layer. Usually people just hope we
will never get them past the 4th layer and so they may not worry much about
the 5th layer until that time.
We could easily
re-write the 5th layer as; “we don’t understand our own
psychology,” and it behoves us as implementers or practitioners or guides or
teachers or whatever, to take people through that sooner rather than later.
I like the use of the
word “understanding” because it is open ended and engaging, it suggests a tension
to be resolved, something that draws people forwards; whereas “I don’t agree”
is giving permission for people to dig their heels in like a mule and
“buy-in” just suggests we are tricking people against their free will.
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