The Four Roomed House

There are many ways to prepare people at an event for what may happen. The notion I find myself using most often is the four roomed house:

This version is 4rooms.gif from Those of you with particularly good eyesight may be able to see that it acknowledges a man called Claes Janssen and his Four Rooms of Change theory.

I explain it by saying that I hope most of those present manage to spend much of their time in the room of contentment. Even so, every so often something will happen that contradicts our understanding of the world. Our initial impulse is often to push it away, to pretend it hasn’t happened. We enter the Room of Denial. Sometimes it does go away. But often it does not, and we are then faced with the combination of our old view and this new fact or event that is incompatible with it. We enter the Room of Confusion. But if we can keep in our minds these two apparently incompatible things, we will find a new understanding of the world that reconciles the two, and move into the Room of Renewal.

I add that most of us would like to shuttle too and fro between Contentment and Renewal – but it doesn’t work like that. The only way from Contentment to Renewal is via Denial and Confusion.

Finally, I say – and this is the point – that if at some point in the event people feel thoroughly confused, they should congratulate themselves. It is probably a sign that they have let in a new view of the world, a sign of success.

The more the participants operate in everyday settings that demand that they present themselves as knowing exactly what to do at all times, the more important it is to acknowledge the value of uncertainty.