Four Rs Sequence

The 4Rs mean that a workshop, course, or other container for interaction employs group processes that start by creating conditions of Respect (e.g., participants have repeated exchanges with those who differ from them, listening to others and having the experience of being listened to), which in turn leads to it being more likely for participants to take Risks (e.g., staying with the process even when there is uncertainty about how to achieve desired outcomes), which leads to Revelations (bringing insights and feelings to the surface that articulate, clarify and complicate their ideas, relationships, and aspirations-in short, their identities), and, as a result of the previous three R's, leads to Re-engagement (participants' “gears” engage, allowing them to sustain quite a high level of energy, to engage actively with others, and, equally importantly, to be reminded of their aspirations to work in supportive communities).

Sequence of 4Rs

For example, the Five-Phase Format for Reflection and Discussion begins with Respect for oneself through Freewriting that allows each participant to bring to the surface and bring into play knowledge they already have about the topic before the views of anyone else could be asserted. Respect continues during Check-In and the turn-taking Dialogue Process when participants listen attentively to others as commonalities and differences are brought to light. Check-Ins also allow Risk when participants speak personally and share knowledge they have brought to the surface. This continues during the Dialogue Process, which also allows Revelation when, among other things, participants make their thought process, including tacit assumptions, visible. The phase of Gathering Thoughts continues the clarification of a participant's thinking with a view to focusing in on a do-able set of items to be Re-engaged with moving forward; the time away from interaction again is Respect of oneself. Taking the Risk to have one of the items witnessed during the Closing Circle makes the Re-engagement more likely to stick.

  Respect Risk Revelation Re-engagement
Dialogue Process  
Gather Thoughts    

(See also think-piece on Cultivating Collaborators, which elaborates on the skills, dispositions, and practices that contribute to each R.)