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From Contempt to Curiosity: Creating the Conditions for Groups to Collaborate Using Clean Language and Systemic Modelling Paperback – 31 Mar 2014
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The role of the facilitator in a group reminded me very much of Augusto Boal’s joker - the person who takes responsibility for the logistics of the process relying upon serendipitous insights, synchronicitous inputs and solid reflections. However SM is not without incorporating established theories. Karpman’s Drama Triangle outside of TA is a prominent feature of, for example, management and leadership training, and expresses itself here as the unruly child to the Outcome-Action-Feedback (Karma Cycle) - also noted as the very basics of management. Wilber’s Four Quadrant map is strikingly similar to Caitlin’s Four Quadrants of Evaluation to evidence change, and her Flower Model has many elements of NLP techniques such as the up/down time.
After the positive involvement working with a small group of disaffected teenagers and a receptive SME, Caitlin attempts to scale out her model into the world of institutions to varying degrees of success (as measured anecdotally, behaviourally, perceptively and in results) and closes with a wise and cautionary tale. The tipping point of change is that at least 50% of the people need to operate in a new way for the culture to change. For me, politically speaking, that’s a lot of people to Clean! So maybe on Tannenbaum and Schmidt’s areas of freedom continuum a new domain might be added. Authority figures usually tell, sell, consult (tokenistic), share (within limits) and delegate (scripted). But what about create emergence... Ahh that’s about inspiring people to catch themselves and others to make richer lasting connections. Is that “the way we do things around here?”
The way that Caitlin integrates her own personal journey with what she learned, how she learned it and what she has to teach, in a stage by stage fashion, adding components of the process she has developed, with evidences and transcriptions is seamless. This makes it immensely readable, compelling, enjoyable, educational and practical.
The transcriptions bring the method to life and show how these methods can be applied in groups, while the journey itself gives the book an accessible arc which personalises the material.
This book is a must for communication enthusiasts, and humanists who would like to see the benefits of non-hierarchical structures and group facilitation in action. The world has much to learn from Caitlin's models as they help us all move from contempt to curiosity.