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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 to something.


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.?


This Webpage Copyright ? 2013 by Dr K. J. Youngman

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