Chapter 7
EMERGENCE OF THE GROUP

Each group emerges as a special kind of organism, growing out of the intermeshing of the four TORI discovering processes. Each group is unique, as different from other groups as a person is from other persons. A group is more than a collection of persons, more than the sum of its parts. It has being and essence.

Some groups grow, take on life, actualize themselves, are seen by members as healthy, and provide an environment of trust. In this chapter I'll consider five kinds of groups with which I am especially familiar and in which I have lived a great deal of my life: the family group; the classroom or learning group; the therapeutic or counseling group; the sensitivity training group; and the work or management team. There are unique purposes and significantly different processes and structures in each of these five special situations, but it is the similarities that interest me most and provide the most useful content for this chapter. I respect the group I belong to, consult with, study, or learn from— just as I celebrate and honor the person. I go with the group, flow into it, savor it, live in it, pick up its vibrations, and try to sense its essence.

Some groups stagnate, constrict, defend, or provide an environment in which members feel less good about themselves. Such groups are seen by members as draining, boring, unhealthy, and requiring more than the members are willing to give. Some families are viewed with pain and as providing an environment that one doesn't want to return to. Some therapy groups lead to greater illness and the need for more help. Some classrooms are toxic. Some management teams hold interminable meetings, make impatient and unsatisfying decisions, create more problems than they solve, and add to the organizational burden.

Through our energies, actions, and attitudes we create the groups we belong to—and they, in turn, nourish or drain us.

What Do I Do When I Find Myself in Charge of a Group?

I'm writing this chapter as a message to myself and to everyone who is or will be a member of a group—and this gives me a rather large target audience. But, especially, I'm writing this for myself and for you as parents, therapists, teachers, group leaders, and managers. The theory states that such a person simply does whatever he or she would do as a person in the group. Of course, it isn't that simple. Parents, therapists, and managers have many pressures to assume roles and to take on special responsibilities. The pressures come from their own feelings of responsibility and from the expectations of children, clients, and workers. Removing these role pressures is an early task of the leader and the group.

In Table XIII I have summarized in checklist form the theory as it applies to the group leader who is in the process of moving from an EQ V or pre-V level to level VI and beyond. By now the specific 32 items in the table need little elaboration. For those of you who wish to follow up and read more about the theory as it applies to groups, there is an annotated list of references in the appendix. This is not intended to be a training manual for group leaders, but an elaboration of TORI theory as it applies to groups. A later book in the series is intended as a set of guidelines for experimentation.

The plan of the chapter is to discuss the theory from the standpoint of group growth and development, dealing with the major phenomena of group life as I see them. I will then discuss each of the five selected group situations: the family, the classroom, the therapy group, the training group, and the work team.

First, let me comment on a few of the items in Table XIII.

1. Again, the over-arching question that each group leader asks, in applying TORI theory, is: What would it be like if I were more trusting? The application of TORI theory is a continuing idiosyncratic process. As a therapist, parent, or teacher, I continue to ask, in moments of reflection, what it means to me, now, to be more trusting. The function of Table XIII and of reflecting on theory is to develop myself so that in meeting a new situation I can be more spontaneous and present, more together, more in tune with all of my being. I would throw away the book, as it were, when in the group and then perhaps return to the book or the table in moments of reflection and retrospective analysis. Or because trusting is an open process, I would discuss my "theory" or specific elements in it with the members of the family, class, or team. Group living at any level from EQ V through X is a collaborative and joint process of discovering. No one knows finally and absolutely the best way of being together. Life in each group is a continuous process of discovering.

2. The Environmental-Quality analysis in Chapter 3 provides a framework for any group or group leader to look at the issues. Depending upon the EQ level which determines the process, the manager or teacher asks himself, herself, or the group: How can we create a new environment that will nourish us? Here we are talking about EQ levels IV, V, and VI because leaders at EQ levels I, II, and III would not be asking these same questions. And EQ levels VI through X would not have leaders, therapists, teachers, or managers. Groups at those levels would have moved beyond the leader-related concerns dealt with in this chapter.

3. The words used in the table describing the positions which one moves away from and moves toward are intended as a list of dilemmas for reflection, rather than rules to follow. Our frame of reference is a culture facing an impasse between EQ levels III and IV, or IV and V, with some persons and groups struggling through the major impasse between V and VI, the boundary line between leaderful life, which is passing away as a lifestyle, and leaderless life, which is the wave of the future. This transition is a major societal process with far-reaching consequences. There are significant differences among TORI theorists in viewing this transition. To illustrate: in a recent flyer put out by one of the TORI International Community local groups is a statement: "We are a leaderless community, because we believe that we are all leaders." To the contrary, I feel that we are a leaderless community because we have come to the realization that none of us is a leader, that leaders restrict us, and that the assumption that we need leaders is self-defeating and restrictive. This book may further productive dialogue on this and other issues.

TABLE XIII. BEING WITH A GROUP
(As Parent, Teacher, Therapist, Trainer, or Manager)

I move away from:

I move toward

Fulfilling more role as parent, teacher, or therpist. Being a full person.
Doing what is helpful (my role prescription) Responding to my feelings and perceptions (showing me)
Focus upon relations between role and role (leader-member) Focus upon relations between persons
Focus upon intevening Focus upon improving our environment together
Focus upon the family or group as a collection of persons Focus upon family or group as as transcdent unit
Take responsiblity for me and for you Taking responsibility for our family or group
Responding to what patients or children need (programming) Responding to how I see or feel now (spontaneous)
Modeling appropriate or professional behaviors Sharing all of me (showing)
Responding to the other as client, student, child Responding to the other as a unique, special person
Concern for changing or remedying the deficient person Concern for the growth of each of us, our being
Focus upon motives, interpretations, and inferences Focus upon available and experienced behavior now
Focus upon abstraction, generality, or principle Focus on concrete, primitive feelings, perceptions
Focus upon values, morals, and judgements Focus upon describing what I feel or see
Focus on the concern for then, past and future Focus on and concern for now (being present)
Descriptions of the passive self as a static being Focus upon each of us as a dynamic,in-process being
Focus upon limitations of each of us, on waht we need to learn to get up to speed Focus upon strengths and growing edges of each of us
Focus upon rewards and punishments Focus upon flow and being
Focus upon legality, contract, norms, rationality Focus upon flowing feelings and perceptions
Focus upon management and controlling the process Focus upon getting into the process, the flow
Focus on terminology of fear, risk, caution, conserving Focus on trust, venture, impulse, liberation
Focus upon words, semantics, speech, percision Focus upon sub-lingual and organic integration
Focus upon planning, preparation format Focus on doing it
Focus upon law, order and structure Focus on de-structuring and breaking up of patterning
Emphasis upon commitment and obligation Emphasis upon wants and impulses, emergence
Concentration on readiness and present capacity Preparing us for transcending present readiness
Reaching consensus Celebrating differences among us
Concentrating on my preferred modality, my habits Living in my imaging, acitvely creating images
Accepting my current reality Choosing continual new realities, opening myself to transcendence
Listening only to my body Listening to my mindbodyspirit and to all of me
Accepting my EQ level Allowing myself to create new environmental levels
Living in my current feelings and perceptions Living in the all-in-all

4. One exciting and positive aspect of TORI theory is that TORI practitioners have major differences (as illustrated above) that are easily expressed and celebrated. I cite one further example. I believe that techniques are depersonalizing and hence trust-reductive. Another recent flyer from a highly active and beautiful TORI community says: "We use no particular technique, but rather a variety of them, thus not limiting ourselves to one technique." This is certainly a major difference among us, but we must remember that each of us writes and creates his or her own theory.

5. As Item 5 in Table XIII indicates, I believe that group therapy is more than a therapist working with one individual at a time in a group setting. Most of the films and transcripts of "group therapy" that I have seen show a skilled therapist working with one person after another in a group situation. Seemingly, the hope or expectation was that therapist modeling would be effective, or that empathic observation, projective problem-solving, or some other similar process would enable the participants to benefit from the sequential therapy. I see group therapy as something very different. The group, with or without the help of a therapist, somehow creates a climate, a new environment, a new and transcendent organism that is much more than a collection of individuals or of pairs. It is this new organism that nourishes the therapy and that mediates the interbeing processes that are the therapy. What each therapist does to enhance this process is not completely clear, but clarifying the concept is a step in the right direction.

6. In Item 6 is the statement that "taking full responsibility for our family group" is a positive step in group formation. As a member of a group which is important to me, I can take full responsibility for creating our environment. I take full responsibility for initiating shared and collaborative processes. Anything less than full responsibility is a cop-out and allows me to blame any existing group limitations (at least, as I see them) on those members who seem to like it the way it is. This is also different from taking any responsibility for any other single member of the group, or even trying to influence other members. I take full responsibility by clearly expressing my feelings, showing me and my being, making visible my wants and preferences, and taking part in any problem-solving or creative approach to the issues or problems of the group. I can also change my wants, preferences, feelings, and even my nature as I gain more experience, achieve a deeper perspective, or engage in creative interchange. I am part of the emergence and the synergy.

7. In Item 7 I am expressing my view toward the relative ineffectiveness of motive- analysis. After years of trying to analyze my motivations and the motivations of my patients, students, clients, and friends, I found myself going down by-paths which led nowhere. A motive is always an inference, an interpretation, a second-order and retrospective, non-existential analysis. Such an analysis usually leads to pejorative and judgmental feelings on the part of both the analyst and the person analyzed and raises defenses and the distrust level. I prefer staying with direct experience and using the concept of motive sparingly. "Motive", "need", and "value", mentioned in Item 13, are overused concepts and are best replaced with concepts closer to direct experience. The "exercises" used in "value-clarification" experiences have been used in other human-relations and psychological training. Calling choices "value judgments" adds a complicated, unnecessary, guilt inducing, and possibly confusing step to the process of experiencing. "Value", like "leader", is a word that grows out of EQ I-V concerns and becomes less relevant in levels VI and beyond. Value-clarification experiences are probably useful in helping people move out of "value" (defense-bred) concerns and into higher EQ levels and states.

8. Item 16 highlights an especially useful concept: Functional learning comes from strengthening our present ways of being, freeing ourselves from our constraints, going with what we do and feel, being in our own rhythm and flow—not from getting in touch with our limitations, getting feedback on our errors, or trying to remove deficiencies. I view both education and therapy as growth processes rather than as remedial or corrective processes.

9. Item 17 points up the dilemmas of rewards and punishments. Because learning theorists long ago discovered the fairly obvious and powerful learning principle that rewarded activities are repeated and punished activities are less likely to be repeated, practitioners have used this principle to try to improve life for children, workers, clients, and other groups. Recently designated as "behavior modification", this ancient form of people control is clearly much more appropriate to EQ levels I, II, and III than to any of the higher levels. The culture may have already outgrown the need for behavior modification.

10. Item 22 refers to the trust-forming focus upon action-taking, "doing it", following impulses and spontaneity, discovering what we want to do by being into what we are doing, and other existential processes—ways that are in contrast to planning and preparation activities. The higher the fear, the greater the need for planning, pre-testing, detailing prescriptions of programs, and other rationalizing of process. How much to plan, how much long-range visioning and imaging are functional, how much programming to do—all are issues for the TORI practitioner.

11. Item 25 refers to the growing recognition that "readiness" is a passive, fearful concept. It is retrospective and limiting to describe a person as having a readiness level. Readiness levels are states to be transcended—states that will be transcended by the trusting person. I am always ready for more than I was at the last moment that I looked. It is useful for me, in looking at myself, to think of readiness levels as states that I have passed through. When as a group we design for ourselves a more flowing environment, we all move past our readiness levels.

12. Item 26 refers to consensus as a concept related to EQ level. When action groups are at EQ level V, a participative mode, they often use much energy reaching consensus. This may be essential until the group moves into levels VI and VII. In a management or work team, for instance, it may be quite necessary that the group reach consensus for involvement in later action or for commitment to the planned task or action at hand. The same might apply to a family council. There are occasions when the family may wish to reach consensus: on an important family purchase, a major vacation plan, or a way of sharing the family tasks. A creative under-agenda for the family is to move beyond consensus into EQ levels VI and VII, where actions flow into each other in more natural ways, where there still is an organic or body movement-and-rhythm agreement, but without as much of the word-processing that is so necessary at level V. In learning, sensitivity training, and therapy groups (depending upon the model being used, of course), there may be llittle need for consensus. Indeed, struggling for it in such groups is often a diagnostic sign of defensiveness and unproductive tension. Arriving at a consensus about how we all feel, how we see something that is happening in the group, or how we block our movement is often meaningless. It serves few significant purposes in the group and it works against the more productive aim of examining and celebrating the rich differences among us.

Groups, Like Persons, Grow

On the surface, groups seem very different from each other. Differences are so visible, persons' ways of expression are so varied, and groups start from such different places that the underlying similarities are clouded over.

I find it useful to view groups as having four basic modal concerns that are processed throughout the life of the group. Left in a free field of interaction, these four concerns, listed in Table XIV, generate intrinsic forces that reduce the concerns themselves and produce personal and group movement to fulfill the wants and natures of group members.

The acceptance concern has to do with the acceptance of self and others, the formation of trust of self and other members, the reduction of fears, and the achievement of membership in the group. The data-flow concern has to do with the flow of perceptual and feeling data through the person and the group, the communication system in the group, and the translation of these data into decision-making and choices.

The goal-formation concern relates to the determination of member wants, the integration of these intrinsic motivations into group actions and problem-solving, and the translation of this process into productive work, creativity, learning, or growing. The control concern has to do with our early wishes to control ourselves, the other members, and the process itself; and the translation of this protective need to control into some kind of satisfying flow of behavior, some stable and trust-able form. This process becomes the organization of the group, the form and structure of interdependence and mutuality.

What impresses one most about the early stages of group life are the many creative ways we devise to cover up our fears and distrusts. Column Two of Table XIV lists a few of these translations of fear. Initial fear is augmented by uncertainty, lack of structure, ambiguity, lack of clarity about the expectations others have of me, the facades we all put up to reduce any cues that might otherwise be apparent, not knowing what I will be called on to do in the group, and the evident fears of others which serve as a contagious force.

According to TORI theory, the most significant description of group life is an account of how these fears become superseded by trust. Column Three of Table XIV lists a parallel set of descriptions of how trust gradually displaces fear in these four modal-concern areas. These brief statements describe gradual trends that occur as growth happens.

Development of acceptance and membership. In the early stages of entry into a group there are many symptoms of distrust: persistent defense of one's public image; avoidance of feeling or of conflict; denial of the importance of the group or what it is doing; seeking knowledge of the roles and status of the others to determine how dangerous the turf is; suspicion about the motivations of other people; derogation of the powers and abilities of the group; maintenance of formality of behavior; keeping others at an appropriate distance; attempts to set up rules and protective structure; and a variety of other mechanisms used to gain acceptance and reduce risk in the group. The issue is complicated, of course, because neither the person nor the group is completely aware that the concern is largely one of acceptance of self and others. Not knowing what the problem is, the group finds it difficult to work effectively. Even if I know what the "problem" is, how do I go about getting accepted by others, let alone being accepted by myself?

TABLE XIV. DEVELOPMENT OF A GROUP

Model concerns

Signs of early phases of development

Signs of later phases of development

Acceptance
(Membership)
(T)

Concern for inclusion
Concern over motives
Paranoia, cynicism
Conformity
Fear for adequacy
Bartering personability
Testing of acceptance
Need for status
Need to define role

Celebration of diversity
Acceptance of motives
Trust, and OK to distrust
Ease in non-conformity
Being is important
Letting be
My space is fine
Role not relevant

Data flow
(Decision making)
(O)

Strategy, gimmicks
Facade building
Caution, sense of risk
False assumptions
Circumvention, grapevine
Deceit, dishonesty
Ambiguity, projection
Painful decisioning
Management of data

Spontaneous expression
Facade reduction
Impulsive expression
Realistic "theory"
Conflict, confrontation
Candor, frankness
Clarity, directedness
Flowing, decisioning
Flow of communication

Goal formation
(Productivity)
(R)

Apathy, withdrawal
Resistance
Persuasion, advice
Extrinsic motivations
Competition, rivalry
Managing of motivations
Atrophy of self
Frenetic work
Diffuse goals

Energy into work
Involvement, creativity
Allowing differences
Intrinsic motivations
Cooperative Behavior
Accepting motivations
Re-emergence of self
Satisfying work
Clarity of goals

Control
(Organization)
(I)

Cynicism on organization
Structure, channels
Rules and form
Bargaining, limited war
Concern for controls
Dependency, hostility
Power struggles
Concern for leadership
Legalism, rationality

Fluidity of organization
Informality, anarchy
No need for rules
Expression of wants
Controls unimportant
Interdependence, sharing
Power irrelevant
Little need for leaders
Flow of feelings

Members attempt to gain membership by exhibiting power or sophistication; by trying to prove adequacy; by showing knowledge of previously gained group skills; by displaying credentials in some subtle way; by pairing or handclasping with other members who seem adequate or influential; or by whatever means that seem to have worked for them in the past.

As trust grows with interaction, a number of behaviors change. Diversity becomes accepted and appreciated as potential strength. Members begin to accept attitudes and feelings in others—the same things that turned them off earlier. People gradually learn to be personal, rather than in role. People show their vulnerabilities with minimal concern for danger or hurt. Other people seem safe, seem to have acceptable and reasonable motives, feel like friends and less like potential enemies, and now seem exciting rather than threatening.

This trust transformation in the group and in most of the members seems always to occur. In some ways, it is miraculous, coming like a softening wave over the most bristly group as people discover each other for what they are, discover that people are basically safe, trustworthy, well-motivated, and human.

Data flow, decision-making, and the development of a group communication system. Movement on all four basic-concern processes occurs simultaneously, but there is an optimal sequence. Development of acceptance makes possible the opening up of feelings at a deeper level. The flow of data makes possible the integration of group-goal structures and permits the group to behave in ways that seem productive to the group. The formation of intrinsic and functional goals creates openings for the emergence of a satisfactory structure and order. This is not to say that the four processes necessarily occur in the named sequence. They flow together and enhance each other.

Honesty and candor are difficult to come by. Fear leads to caution, holding back, distortion of expression, filtering of feelings, building of polite facades, and the growth of grapevine and washroom conversation groups. In such smaller and safer subgroups the group members say what they would have liked to say, with more courage, in the larger group itself. We develop a repertoire of highly-evolved withholding skills and compensatory attitudes which sanction this filtering to ourselves and to others who might be willing to listen.

Members who have developed withholding skills are adept at fouling up the decision-making system, for if the group has difficulty in getting adequate data, it is almost impossible to make quick and effective decisions.

As trust grows, the fear-barriers that prevent candor and openness drop away. People become more expressive, impulsive, frank, and spontaneous. They say what they think and feel. They express opinions in brief and clear messages, with a minimum of preamble and apology. They make it clear how they feel. This process is what later makes EQ level VII possible and so effective.

As people become more open, conflict and confrontation occur, opening further doors to deeper communication and involvement. Congestion and blocking are reduced. Caution is less necessary. Groups get to "real" problems and issues more quickly without so much "warm up", which is usually a function of initial and unfaced fears.

The lack of open data about feelings and perceptions in natural work groups is frightening and confusing. It is also difficult to change, embedded as it is in old fears and habits, and in time-honored mechanisms so familiar that they seem natural and inevitable. When groups lack data, they obviously cannot help but make inappropriate decisions based upon incorrect assumptions: that silence means consent or dissent, that all of us like things this way, or that we must like these meetings or we wouldn't have them. A kind of unconscious conspiracy leads to hoarding of relevant feelings and opinions. The group becomes paralyzed. This collusive paralysis leads to the prevalent cynicism about all groups: that committees can't solve problems, run railroads, meet a bottom line, or do anything right.

With trust, groups learn to gather data quickly and to get out of "datalessness". They are then able to make decisions and make them more wisely than individuals could by themselves. Groups can be marvelous instruments of effectiveness. Some do run large companies, meet bottom lines, make effective decisions, and take strong actions.

Development of goal formation and various forms of productivity. Fear and distrust also result in partial data processing, which, in turn, prevents adequate integration of group goals.

Inadequate goal formation comes from lack of clear awareness of individual purposes, failure to process data, hurried agreement on partially formulated goals, lack of adequate consideration of alternatives, lack of appropriate resolution of the acceptance concern and a resulting tension that militates against productive work toward any goal, and over-abstraction of the goal so that the group is not clear on what members are agreeing on.

Quality of goal-formation is a distinguishing mark of effective group action. In poor groups or in early high-fear stages of most groups, compromise goal-setting sometimes results in group members feeling that they are doing something less satisfying than they would be doing if they were alone and not in the group. Members assert that they are going along to satisfy others, to appear flexible, or to avoid being seen as stubborn or rebellious. In our early research on groups, we found a high "reservation score" in early stages of group growth. When data were later gathered by better means such as depth interviews, members who had been seen by the rest of the group as consenting were found to have a number of un-verbalized, secret reservations about the decisions that were made by the group.

Apathy or frenetic work is a sign of early and unresolved tension arising from the goal-formation concern. Busywork can be mistaken for creative or productive work. It comes from duty motivations, the compulsive need to impress others, and the desire to prove to others that the group is effective. The feverish work may last for a time but has little relevance to real goals and does not lead to group commitment.

Apathy, on the other hand, is a form of resistance to goals which have been badly articulated and have not been understood. It may also come from persuasion and pushing by other members in creating goals, or from charismatic and "dynamic" people who are trying to lead the group. It may be a reaction to activities that the apathetic person has not chosen.

Groups in early stages make other kinds of goal-setting errors. Over-aspiration, for instance, can create vague and distant goals which are unattainable and turn people off before group effort even begins. Casual agreement on "apple pie" and "motherhood" goals is often an escape from facing decisions about more difficult alternatives.

The processes of goal-setting are clearly related to the quality of productivity. If goals come from deep assessment of member wants, open processing of relevant data, creative synthesis of expressed wants and are developed in an atmosphere of high trust, the goals agreed upon are an integrating force toward cooperative behavior, satisfying and sustained work, joy in group activity, and interdependence.

The development of interdependence, appropriate control, and effective organization. In the early stages of group growth, fear produces demands for structure, control, rules, leadership, role clarity, channels of communication, and other means of reducing ambiguity and unpredictability. Members may ask for a timekeeper to keep members from monopolizing time. Someone may ask for ground rules. "If we take turns talking around the circle, then I will know when my time comes, and I won't have to fight to get in." Someone may ask for ordered introductions to get acquainted. As one member said: "I know what nurses are like and if I know she is a nurse, I can respond to what I know nurses will do."

When I talk about structure, I mean recognizable patterns, rules, roles, channels, controls, contracts, laws, authority, accountability, formal agreements. In another sense, there is always "structure", such as sociometric preferences, seating patterns, and communication paths.

Group members ultimately find that these apparently secure constructs are made of sand. Structures apparently play little or no part in accomplishing the conscious purposes that people have in mind when setting them up. The demand for structure is to satisfy a need for predictability, order, security, freedom from turmoil, efficiency, fairness, protection of the seemingly weak from the seemingly strong, control of apparently dangerous or disliked minorities, a rational world, a rule of law, and other seemingly reasonable states. The problem is that structure simply does not accomplish these ends, reasonable or not. Without trust, structure instead produces circumvention, resistance, stagnation, delinquency and law-breaking, unfairness, new laws to correct old laws, inefficiency, disobedience, and a variety of counter-dependent behaviors. If there is high trust, structure is not necessary.

These generalizations about structure and trust seem to hold very well in small groups. Most "small" groups, as the term is used in the vast and growing literature, vary in size from six to twenty. All such small groups progress in trust over time.

As groups develop in trust they become more informal, less structured, less controlled, less concerned with power and authority, less dependent upon leadership, and more flowing and fluid in form. They show greater mutuality, sharing, and interdependence. They become more caring, orderly, safe, comfortable, and gentle, not at all like the fantasy of Lord of the Flies or of dangerous anarchy—the catastrophic visions of structure advocates, who view leaderlessness and emergence as "anarchy" and therefore as dangerous.

The Family as a Group

The most direct and immediately satisfying application of TORI theory is made in the home. I have seen a number of TORI practitioners apply TORI theory to home-building with their own families. Lorraine and I began using TORI theory in our home when we were married.

There have been five members of our family group. From the beginning we tried to create a TORI-group atmosphere. Larry, our first born, died when he was 7. All of us saw each other as persons, as close room-mates living together, rather than as parents and children. We all tried to be role-free and rule-free. We never consciously tried to make any rules, contracts or formal agreements.

There was no conscious and deliberate effort in our family to "manage" the four TORI processes: to manage the role relations, communication system, motivations, or controls. We made no conscious efforts to use rewards or punishments in the home, no deliberate efforts to influence the motivations of each other. Formal organization was almost non-existent.

We all tried to create an environment at the EQ VI and VII levels, with an emphasis upon a lot of love, physical touching, expression of feeling, candor, openness, warmth, freedom for what everyone wanted to do, privacy when desired, empathy, listening, and as much time as possible together as a family unit. This was the emphasis and the intent. The results were very positive. There was no emphasis upon responsibility, discipline, training, teaching, rewards and punishments, morality cautions, schedules, duty, obedience, obligations, controls, standards, and a number of classic child-rearing concepts that appear in the conventional textbooks.

Both Lorraine and I feel very good about the way our theory worked in the home. Of all the things that I have done in my life I feel best about my home life, and especially about the environment we created for ourselves. Especially, I believe that Larry, Blair, and John had the best starts in life that it was possible for Lorraine and me to help provide. I have examined the many applications of the TORI theory we have made in industry, teaching, community building, human relations training, and consulting—and I would change a great deal of what we did in each of these applications. But in our family living, I can think of nothing major that I now would do differently as far as applying TORI theory is concerned.

Others who have tried TORI theory in the home have reported similar positive results. They have also reported difficulties, especially when first applying the theory. The trust level of the persons applying the theory is critical, of course. The members of our family know that we can trust each other, and we know that trust is a powerful and necessary ingredient—the most significant factor in the home.

Another way of putting the matter is that freedom and love are the key ingredients to living. In the clinic and in the neighborhood I have heard parents talking about their children. One woman said: "I give them freedom because I can't control the darned kids anyway, so I might as well not try." If one "gives freedom" lone can't "give" freedom, of course) with reluctance, begrudgingly, or in desperation, then the freedom is not genuine. Allowing freedom and loving family members in a feeling of trust is a quite different matter. TORI theory "works" for those who deeply believe that it works. To become trusting is to attain a profound organic state. One cannot simply decide to be trusting or make it a matter of will. One becomes trusting and communicates this to others by behaving in a trusting way. I become more trusting by creating an environment for myself in which I have the opportunity to see for myself that people and the world around me can be trusted.

For me, my learnings about group building in the home have been profound:

1. It is very clear that, at least with a small family group, leadership and parenting are not only unnecessary but get in the way of home-building and child-rearing. EQ VI and VII environments provide a very satisfying climate that is especially good for the development of children.

2. High trust produces high trust. The dramatic and consistent finding in our home and in others where this has been tried is that children raised in this atmosphere become notably honest and frank. When children are not punished {particularly for telling the truth!), when they are trusted and loved, they become deeply honest with themselves and with others.

3. What happens to children raised in a radical, high-trust environment, with no formal rewards or punishment, discipline, moral training, rules, obedience-training, or parental controls? They seem to do well in the EQ II-IV environments they find in contemporary schools, churches, businesses, athletic teams, and social institutions. One factor that operates in their favor is that they seem to have exceptionally high self-esteem. They feel good about themselves and have little of the defensiveness and fear of authority exhibited by children who are punished, disciplined, and trained to obey.

4. I am especially impressed with how much Blair and John took responsibility for their own lives and choices. They decided what friends to make, whether or not to study, how much to watch TV, when to go to bed, what to wear, what to eat, how to spend their money, what schools to go to, and what to do with their time. They showed very little dependence and remarkably little counter-dependence.

5. One point in particular interests me as a psychologist, clinician, and personality theorist: Blair, John, and other TORI children are as close to being guilt-free as any persons I have ever seen. This seems to me to be of primary importance. I am very much aware of how painful and negative the effects of guilt feelings can be.

6. Building a family on such principles made family living remarkably pleasant and tranquil. It did not make family living trouble-free. For one thing, there were no automatic parental prerogatives that come with autocratic parenting. Up for grabs were group decisions as to where we go for a family vacation, what the main dish was to be for dinner, what program was selected on TV, who got the car, who took out the garbage, how loud the music got, and a host of things that might otherwise have been decided by parental "advice and consent". Freud may have been wrong about many things, and I think that he was, but however we name the phenomenon, "sibling rivalry" was alive and well in the Gibb home. Blair and John did have fights at many levels. Their rooms also often were incredibly disorderly, and it seems they never discovered the advantages of anal compulsivity. And they showed remarkable disrespect for my sacred preferences for Chopin music! They are delightfully human.

The Classroom as a Group

I recall with amazement what a powerful experience I had in my first summer as a staff member at the National Training Laboratories sessions in 1951. There I first learned from Lee Bradford and my friends at Bethel to look at my classroom as a group, rather than as a collection of learners. I had been teaching college classes since 1937, and I had earned something of a reputation as a radical experimentalist in the classroom. I felt very good about my "teaching", but it had never occurred to me to look at the class as a group.

In spite of the world-wide influence of The National Training Laboratories on education, the power of this concept is still unknown to some reputable and effective educators. Some effective teachers still see the classroom as composed of multiple pairings: the teacher and Bob, the teacher and Betty, the teacher and Joe. They are familiar with the idea that there are also student-dyads and that there are classroom climates, environmental variables, and the like, but they have somehow not seen, in the gut, that the transcending and enhancing reality in the classroom is that it is a group: a warm, live, throbbing, transforming, powerful, overriding organism.

Once it is perceived, this "group" can be frightening to the teacher and to individual students. Anthropomorphized and made into a scary demon, the class may be viewed with awe. The nebulous mass of resistant faces can be frightening to both student and teacher. Group pressure seems ready to overwhelm our own strength. But joined, owned, loved, and gentled, the classroom group can instead become for student and teacher a caring place, a supportive environment, a source of deep energy, a place to look forward to being in and to resist leaving.

Once the teacher sees this new "reality" and internalizes this transcending perception, all kinds of different feelings, attitudes, and perceptions occur. The teacher is no longer the "facilitator", motivator, model, or person responsible for the standards of the class; not the method-provider, character example, target, the one responsible for helping students clarify their values or negotiate their contracts, or to re-write their life scripts. The teacher simply joins the group, learns and struggles, has fun and pain, tries to make sense out of the world, appreciates the universe, assimilates the traditions of our forefathers, or builds a new world. Or tries, along with the others, to do these things.

A critical difference between the effective and non-effective classroom environment is the ability of the teacher to join in the process of inquiry, to become genuinely interested in discovering, to get out of the role of teacher, to give up the responsibility that belongs to each student, and to create a learning environment for himself or herself. This requires a high trust in the discovering process, in the persons that are in the learning community, and in the group itself.

Again, of course, things are not all this simple. Simply changing one's perception does not accomplish all of the things that the learner/ teacher/person would like to do, having accepted a professional position and the built-in responsibilities that accompany an appointment as a teacher in the contemporary system.

I have seen many teachers, at all levels of the educational system, who have accomplished this transition and are living together with other learners in classroom groups. Some of them are consciously applying TORI theory to their classroom groups. Others have not heard of Trust-Level theory but obviously have an instinct for healthy group work. They are the best teachers I know; enjoyed, respected, and appreciated by students, often respected and approved by administrators. And they are appreciated by parents. These teachers are living now in a better world which they are helping to create for all of us.

The blocks that I see obstructing attempts to create a classroom group include the following:

Block 1. Running scared, and expressing this by setting up a few controls that hedge all bets, putting subtle pressures on the students to set "realistic" goals, trying to influence decision-making and procedures that the group sets up.

Block 2. Getting locked up in the evaluation processes, draining energy into grade-getting, spending time meeting organizational standards, thus using up enthusiasm and energy that might otherwise be spent in doing, being, and problem-solving.

Block 3. Spending inordinate amounts of time in planning, preparing, building strategy, and the procedural aspects of community building, rather than in the processes that are more closely related to direct learning: doing a project, solving a problem, making a movie, conducting a research study, discovering something.

Block 4. Getting stuck in the EQ II-IV processes that are tied up so much with authority, power, and leader-related issues. In my experience, learning groups that are effective move quickly into EQ V and VI levels.

Block 5. Avoiding the emotionality, caring, loving, touching, and person-relating processes that are so important in building a feeling of community. In working with teacher preparation programs, I have discovered no easy short-cuts to learning how to be a person in a classroom. Good teachers have a good theory, for one thing, and then try out a number of theory-directed experimental classroom experiences. The key thing that happens is that the teacher learns—learns to trust, to be personal, to make errors, to let the process happen, to achieve a group-focus and an environmental-design focus, and to get comfortable in the classroom. The prospective teacher must discover early whether or not he or she likes being with children or adults and can enjoy the people he or she is planning to join.

Block 6. Inability to have fun in the classroom or to discover joy in being a member of a learning community.

Block 7. Getting into technique orientation. There are a number of games, techniques, exercises, gimmicks, demonstrations, and programs that are prepared for the use of teachers. Teachers sometimes need to use these until they gain the experience and trust that enables them to join in the free flow of direct experience and in the creation of emergent classroom experiences. Simulation games, value-clarification exercises, the magic circle, non-verbal exercises, encounter groups, cook-book projects, and a wide variety of educational aids are useful in certain situations, particularly for inexperienced teachers, as a transition between the conventional classroom and the learning community. But they have severe limitations. They soon lose their novelty. They enable the students to avoid taking responsibility for creating their own learning. They are, of course, created by the program designers as outside agents and not by the community. At the worst they become time-fillers, aids that titillate the learners for a time and afford a pleasant escape from listening to the teacher, on the one hand, and to engaging in the tough task of creating their own learning community, on the other.

The learning community is, to me, a transitional form of education —a weaning from the schooling system to a culture that will soon create a learningful life environment to replace the schoolroom. Teachers who wish to be part of the revolution in education will find it necessary to learn to learn, learn to join others in learning, to live and learn in community, and to make learning a part of the total process of living and being. This process of change is an exciting one, well worth the occasional periods of pain and confusion that come to those of us who are learning to live in a different educational system.

The Therapeutic or Counseling Group

Along with a number of other professionals, I have found TORI theory to be a useful orientation in doing group theory and counseling, and in consulting with self-help programs. Those who wish to examine the applications to therapy in more detail will find annotated references in the appendix. The key characteristics of the orientation are:

1. The therapist joins the other members of the group in looking at the trust level in the environment that the group is creating, rather than intervening in the lives of the "clients" to help, counsel, or do therapy.

2. The therapist and the clients become as "role-free" as possible. All members of the group are persons seeking a richer life at a higher EQ level, not clients being helped by a counselor or therapist. The therapist comes into the group as a person and full member, not as initiator, facilitator, guide, protector, counselor, or helper. He or she is in the group to learn, grow, be discover, and create with others an emerging and sustaining environment. I have seen a number of therapists and counselors who do this very well. (T)

3. All members of the group (including the therapist) are as open with each other as their fears permit. The therapist shares his feelings, perceptions, and problems in ways similar to those of the other members. (O)

4. Each member of the group takes full responsibility for his or her own discovering processes, want-determination, and all aspects of his or her life. For instance, the therapist does not take responsibility for the client's getting well or even for helping this process. The group is not a "help group", or even a "self-help" group, but a group of persons being together in search of various forms of transcendence. (R)

5. The group seeks higher levels of interbeing, awareness, and community for its members. It is assumed that the processes of interbeing and community as we have described them in this book are therapeutic in and of themselves. Such life in the group or community is enriching for persons who do not see themselves as sick or as needing help. And for those who do see themselves as ill or needing remedial help, such a group or community will be healing and remedial. (I)

I am assuming that a person who can get into interbeing relationships such as those defined in Table XII or who is able to be in family, work, recreational, or other groups at the EQ VI or VII level is not likely to need or to seek therapy or counseling. Living in interbeing relationships, emergent groups, and TORI-like communities is the process of healthful being. When the four TORI discovering processes are functioning well, trust is high relative to fear, and life is healthful and fulfilling. It is because I have found TORI-like states of interbeing and community to be attainable in everyday personal and organizational living that I personally have discontinued doing therapy. Instead, I am putting my energies into working with others to create higher EQ levels in work groups, living groups, organizations, and communities—ones that I belong to or consult with.

It is a growing cultural habit for people to defer dealing with conflicts and feelings produced in work and living groups until they get to their therapy or encounter group. In doing so, they drain off energy and feelings that might have been integrated into each life situation as it came up. Admittedly, in our transitional culture, group therapy can be very useful in helping people to deal with feelings, conflicts, and choices as they occur; yet as a more direct route to healthful living, we are learning how to create work groups that encourage feeling expression, want-determination, and interdependence. People are thus equipped to deal with conflicts and feelings as they arise, thus making counseling and therapy unnecessary.

The TORI concept of therapy and counseling is not nearly so radical as it was twenty years ago, or even ten years ago; but it still differs markedly from some other theories in certain key respects. For instance, the idea of each person taking full responsibility for his or her mindbody health is now widely accepted as a concept. However, the concept of teaching or training persons to take responsibility for self seems to me to miss the essence of the issue. If someone else takes the responsibility for getting me to take responsibility for myself, I am deprived of a key element in the life process. In the form of so-called autogenic training, for example, the practice is essentially a form of behavior modification. That is, the therapist gives the patient the instruction to repeat a phrase which is some variation of "I take responsibility for myself" and then rewards the client for doing this. When the therapist thus becomes the pump-primer, motivator, or prestige figure that guarantees the process will work, and finally the rewarder for "satisfactory" behavior, the client is abandoning responsibility for the key elements in his or her life process.

Missing in this flow are some essential elements. To be fully responsible for self, the client initiates the process, invents its form, builds up internal energy to keep it going, decides how long to keep it up, and takes full personal responsibility for the whole sequence, or, better, the whole flow. TORI theorists and practitioners are interested in discovering ways in which this full process can become autogenic. In the TORI community experience, for instance, self-initiated membership in a trusting community creates an environment in which a person shapes his or her own initiatives, feelings, perceptions, self-generated energy, and intrinsic rewards.

One fundamental implication of the theory is this: the most healing, remedial, and therapeutic environment is full, persona, participation in a leaderless group or community which is moving up in the environmental quality scale, at least at the E7Q VI and VII levels. This is a more healing experience than the classic or modern therapist-aided, EQ II to V level, group-therapy environment. I believe this statement is true and that it has powerful implications for the practice or counseling and therapy.

We have learned that the TORI Community Experience, which is not therapy-oriented or self-help-oriented, is a powerful therapeutic environment and a viable alternative to the conventional therapy group. The TORI community has more viable options, more opportunity for the provisional tries at effective living, greater impact, more risk, more resources for support or challenge, and greater model diversity than two-person or group settings. A number of research studies have examined this question of effectiveness with suggestive but inconclusive results. The evidence is powerful enough to convince me that the best hope for the future of therapy-impact on the culture is to move more toward community concepts.

The Training Group

Known variously as the T-group, the training group, the sensitivity training group, the encounter group, the process group, or by whatever name, the group has become an effective and widely-used medium for human-relations training, management and executive development, personal growth, race relations, religious education, and group work. Differing from both learning-community groups and therapy groups, the training group is focused upon behavior change, group process (rather than content), personal growth and group growth {rather than self-help or therapy), and the total person.

I have described my concept of the training group, invented by the National Training Laboratories in 1947, in Chapter XII of The Laboratory Method of Changing and Learning, by Benne, Bradford, Gibb, and Lippitt. The training group is undergoing many changes that parallel those described above pertaining to learning and therapy groups.

The original technology for conducting training groups was a powerful, well-formulated orientation usually restricted, in its pure form, to process interventions. This pure form and its multitude of emerging variations have been widely and effectively used in almost any setting where persons gather together in groups. Our early formulations of TORI theory grew out of our experimentation with leaderless training groups in the early 1950's. Our research showed that leaderless T-groups, therapy groups, and team-training groups were as effective as those led by professionals and in some cases more effective. This research, in turn, led to a variety of studies and demonstration projects between 1954 and 1975, which in turn led to the formulation of the EQ-level analysis presented in Chapter 3.

There are many approaches to the improvement of the training group. One has been to replace the leader with taped or instrumented instructions. The tape or instrument becomes the surrogate leader, and this process works surprisingly well. Another, derived from TORI theory, is to have groups meet on their own, without leaders, instructions, or programs. This procedure seems to work even better than using tapes or instruments. The research is well reported and highly relevant.

As with therapy groups, a professional "trainer" or "facilitator" who takes on the job of leading a training group following TORI theory would join the group as a member / learner/ person, attempting to become "role-less", exactly as he or she would as a member. This is quite practical and effective, and it is now widely known as methodology.

The advantages are that both trainer and group members are able to participate in the process of the leader giving up the leadership role and struggling to become a member. Breaking out of established role expectations is a necessary process for every person applying TORI theory as a manager, parent, teacher, staff member, therapist, politician, or in any other function in organizational life. The ambivalent feelings of the leader and the ambivalent demands of the followers/members/ workers form a sea of latent turbulence that creates ambivalent feelings and ambiguity in the process of transition from leadership to membership. If my analysis of the cultural trends in contemporary society is valid, this societal transition is a central happening of our day. Hastening the transition is a job for everyone. Professionals who pioneer this process of transition are performing a significant and historical task.

The Work Team and the Management Team

The gradual transition of the work group and the management team from earlier punitive and autocratic models through higher EQ stages is accelerating as we gain knowledge and awareness.

Each manager or consultant makes his or her own determination of how rapidly to move toward full use of TORI theory in team development or in operational management. The work of McGregor, Bennis, Argyris, and Likert has been courageous and pioneering in helping the process of institutional management move through EQ levels II through V, particularly in business organizations. It is my observation that business groups are often moving more rapidly through these levels than are governmental, educational, or religious groups.

Perhaps the assumption that this transition must be gradual is overcautious. My impression in consulting with a variety of top management groups, especially in the last three or four years, is that management is probably more ready for rapid change than is realized.

The appendix contains an experimental instrument that is a modification of the TORI Self-Diagnosis Scale. This Diagnosing Your Team instrument is designed to assist the consultant, manager, work group, or management team in examining the four TORI discovering processes, the key processes that will move each on the EQ scale and toward higher productivity.

It is the team itself that must determine the EQ level that is most appropriate for itself at the moment of examination. Management by objectives, in its early and more pure form, was an attempt to contrast "management by leadership" (EQ II) with "management by goal formulation", and its success is a well-accepted negation of the belief that everything has to be done by leaders and managers. Management by "acceptance and nourishing" {EQ III) has been tried many times. "Management by data flow", in one form or another, has been enhanced by developments in data processing and computer analysis (EQ IV) and has been tried in a TORI setting. It has been reported as a "consultant-less" team management concept. In several companies we were able to replace the consultant in conventional OD team-development sessions with a process in which the team formulated goals, translated them into terms that could be measured and fed into computers, and used these measures as indications of team development. Measures of process development (similar to the data on the Diagnosing Your Team instrument] were used along with measures of productivity and profit.

Experiences like these lay the groundwork for teams to move into EQ levels VI and VII. In practice, a number of managers and consultants who are TORI practitioners have tried joining the group as members and becoming, to the extent possible, "role-less". This has worked surprisingly well, considering the prevalence of classic management theory. Because of the greater availability of objective measures of productivity and team effectiveness in business, this application of TORI theory in business has proved more successful than it has in education, therapy, and the church. In addition, even though TORI theory is often more compatible with the implicit theory of the school, the clinic, and the church, the high fear low trust) levels in these non-business institutions and their insecurity about outcome measures have often led them to be more cautious in experiments with group management.

Many factors contribute to the difficulty of establishing a full concept of the team as a group, in the full sense of the term as we are using it. Especially in the work environment we still see intense commitment to individualism and competition as a contemporary value; distrust of committees and groups as effective means of doing anything, a distrust well grounded in experience with ineffective groups; a growing awareness of one interpretation of humanistic viewpoints as a "do your own thing" and "take responsibility for your self alone" trend and ethic; the lack of available skills in group participation, decision-making, and planning; lack of convincing evidence that group management leads to productivity, profit, or creativity; and a pervasive alienation and fear of groups and "togetherness". Many of these barriers are being reduced as we gain more experience with effective and satisfying group action. The high interdependence in modern organizations makes some kind of interfacing action very necessary.

Our work has indicated that the community is as much more effective than the group as a model for the work organization, as the group is more effective than individual management or individual action. We will discuss this concept in the following two chapters.

 

 

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