Perfecting the Dyad Technique

  1. The receptive partner should not change the wording of the instruction, give it sloppily, or put his own emotional content on the instruction to lead the active partner. The instruction is given clearly and cleanly.
  2. The receptive partner should not use facial expressions, nods, body language, "vibes," or any other means to express an opinion or evaluation of what the active partner says.
  3. With cycle change-overs, never change-over (reverse roles) until an understanding is reached.
  4. Whenever either partner does not know what to do next, he raises a hand to get help from the coach.
  5. If the active partner finds he does not understand what he is being asked to do or what the purpose of the instruction is, he should raise his hand for help from the coach. The dyad should not continue while there is confusion about what the active partner should do to comply with an instruction.
  6. If the receptive partner cannot remain neutral about what the active partner says, he should raise his hand for help from the coach.
  7. When the receptive partner does not understand what the active partner said, he can say,

· "Clarify that", or "Clarify the part about <...>."

· "Give me that again."

· "Say that again, louder."

· "Summarize your answer."

  1. The receptive partner must not use the queries listed above to convey an opinion about what the active partner said or about what his own response to the instruction would be. (He should not be doing the instruction along with the active partner. He remains receptive.)
  2. When the active partner feels he needs to, for whatever reason, he can say, "Give me the instruction again." This is done within an existing communication cycle; it doesnít mean that they are starting a new cycle.
  3. If the receptive partner is certain that he is in no way caught up with the active partner's process and is certain that he can interact with the active partner without contaminating the active partner's process with his own mental material, he may make up an appropriate query to help arrive quickly at an understanding of what the active partner said. He should keep such queries simple and to the point.


Key information about the dyad instructions and compliance.

  1. It is an instruction directed to the active partner, not a question. Itís not, "What is help?"; it is (You) "Tell me what help is." The instruction should be delivered with the expectation of a compliance. The difference between giving an instruction and asking a question is that an instruction is directed toward the individual. A question tends to go directly to the mind, bypassing the individual.
  2. The instruction is something the active partner can do. If he does not understand what to do, or just canít do it for whatever reason, it is not a valid instruction for him. The active partner must grasp the meaning of the instruction. If not, he will either go silent or respond with something other than what is intended.
  3. The instruction must be clear to the receptive partner as well. Just saying the words will not work, because he will not know if the active partner complied or not, and he will communicate some of his confusion to him. The receptive partner must know exactly what he wants the active partner to do. Donít begin a dyad until both partners understand the intent of the instruction. Get help from the coach if either loses this conviction.
  4. The receptive partner has the responsibility for getting the instruction across to the active partner, and for deciding that the cycle is complete when it has been complied with. Of course, the active partner must also be satisfied that he complied with the instruction. The receptive partner is "in charge." (No authoritarian role is implied, however.)
  5. The instruction is something from the receptive partner, not from a sheet of paper or part of the receptive partnerís memory storage in his brain. It is a live inquiry.
  6. Give the instruction each time as if it were the first time -- fresh. It is not connected with a previous cycle nor does it anticipate a later cycle.
  7. The active partner does the instruction. The receptive partner does none of it.
  8. The active partnerís response should be due to the fact that he has understood what it is you want.
  9. The active partnerís response must in some way comply with the instruction. Otherwise it is a "non-compliance." It is the responsibility of the receptive partner to make sure there actually was a compliance. (With the enlightenment questions, there is an agreement to say what comes up as a result of contemplation. Although this might not sound like a compliance to the instruction, it is accepted. But, in a clearing communication cycle, there must be a compliance to the instruction.)
  10. Fixing up what seems to be a non-compliance to the receptive partner takes some tact. The receptive partner says, "Tell me how that complied with the instruction," in a non-blaming way. Donít change-over until both are satisfied that an understanding occurred. Ask the coach to help if it starts to get complicated.
  11. The active partner is never wrong (i.e., bad), for not complying with the instruction. Just correct the non-understanding and proceed. Get help from the coach if necessary.
  12. The receptive partner should have the active partner continue explaining about his compliance until the receptive partner is sure he, the receptive partner, understands.
  13. If the active partner says, "I said some things, but I donít know if I complied with the instruction," the receptive partner accepts that, acknowledges, and give the instruction again.
  14. The receptive partner doesnít have to agree with the active partnerís communication. He just has to understand it. The receptive partner must see that it is a valid response in the active partnerís estimation and can understand how it is an answer for him.
  15. There is no right answer to the instruction. There is only the receptive partner's understanding of how the active partner sees that his response is a compliance and how the active partner sees that it is a compliance.
  16. If the receptive partner has a lot of unconscious confusion or charge in his own mind or emotions in the area that the instruction addresses, he will have more trouble understanding the active partnerís responses. This will slow down the process, but it can still work.

The Communication Cycle - Shoot for this idea


It may not be possible to get a communication across. It depends on the receiver as well as the sender. One must be able to tolerate not getting a communication across to another.

There are just a few alternatives:

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