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Lesson Nine: Planning to Three

Incorporating this innovative three person practice into any context takes both an understanding of Threeing and a sensitivity to the context.  The initiator of this group exploring Threeing is the most likely candidate to come up with a plan.  Over the course of the lessons, other people may emerge as more suited. For lesson nine, if the initiator does not present a plan, someone else need to take that responsibility.  Others can present revised plans in subsequent meetings.  In as detailed a way as possible, prepare a presentation to the group of your plan for implementing Threeing. Study the cases given in chapters five and six of this book.  Here is the plan that was developed for implementing Threeing in the context of worker training. 

  • Define clear objective for the workshop.  To help workers help each other get jobs using the SCANS Skills.
  • Find the elements in each SCANS skill that enable you to analyze that specific skill into the three generic skill sets. Example: negotiation is a SCANS skill that beaks down into:

first skills set- inventing options
second skill set- focusing on interest
third skill set – referencing standards

  • Develop exercises targeted at getting work in the new workplace using the three generic skill sets in such a way that the exercises incorporate one or more of the SCANS skills.
  • Sequence the exercises in an intensive two week period, 24 hours each week.
  • Determine the number of participants. (15)
  • Determine space and dates for workshops.
  • Determine staff.
  • Determine and  implement training for staff.
  • Determine and implement recruitment strategy.
  • Determine follow-up and assessment.


  • All study chapters five and six.
  • Designated person prepares a plan.


To prepare a workable plan for implementing the three person solution for the assembled group using Threeing.


  • Tables with three chairs each, enough for the group. 
  • Writing materials for everyone. 
  • Triadic Talking Sticks.
  • Copy of plan.


  • Divide the group into recombined teams of three.
  • Planner presents plan.

10 minutes

Give out copies of the plan to each group.  Each group will discuss the plan using the three skill sets.

Red reacts to aspects of the plan she does not like.

Blue mediates between the reaction and the plan.

Yellow tries to image better alternatives.

(Use advocacy protocols if necessary.)

30 minutes

Change roles.  Red becomes Yellow. Yellow becomes Blue. Blue becomes Red.

Yellow offers a revised plan.
Red responds.
Blue mediates.
Use advocacy protocols if necessary.
Blue formulates a set of recommendations for changes. 

20 minutes

Blue members of each team report their recommendations to the group at large. 


30 minutes

The designated planner takes the recommendations under consideration and resubmit the revised plan to the group.  The group can then provide another round of feedback.  This process continues until the effort is dropped or there is agreement on the plan.

End Of Lesson

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Lessons in Threeing: Lesson 9






















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    Paul Ryan
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