The bus stop and Leary’s Rose

Sunday morning the group came back together and to begin Sandra introduced the model Leary’s Rose. Leary was a psychologist from the 1950s who developed this model which helps to categorised observed behaviour and provide a way of interacting to help influence the behaviour of others.

To begin the session Sandra gave each participant a character and a type of behaviour. The participants were then asked to roleplay, forming a queue waiting for the bus and interacting with each other in the based on their character and behaviour. The group was able to observe the different kinds of behaviour and interactions.

Introducing Leary’s Rose

Sandra explained Roos Van Leary and his rose model (Leary’s Rose) of behaviour to the group. The model divides behaviour into eight areas and says that individuals can occupy any of the areas at any time depending on their situation – these are not fixed.

Leary's Rose

Leary’s Rose

The models divides a circle with a vertical axis with dominant behaviour at the top and submissive behaviour at the bottom, then horizontally with individual behaviour on the left and collective thinking on the right. The circle is then divided once again diagonally producing eight areas shown in the diagram which are leader, helpful, cooperative, subsequent, withdrawn, rebellious, offensive and competitive. Sandra explained that the words were not to be taken too literally but were more of a label for the type of behaviour that is being displayed.

Influencing with Leary’s Rose

Following the first part of the Leary’s Rose explanation Sandra and Snez went on to explain that you can use the model to influence the behaviour of others by moving between behaviour areas.

They did roleplay of a conversation between a fictional couple planning their annual holiday. They played it out on the taped off “Rose” on the floor, and as they exchanged comments and the conversation developed they moved from area to area. Because different behaviours in us provoke predictable responses from others, we can use our behaviour to influence the outcomes of situations we find ourselves in.

The roleplay also demonstrated that the model is very flexible, and that we all have the capability to operate from any of the eight areas on the rose. As youth workers and youth trainers, the more areas we can behave in, the more effective we can be in influencing the behaviour of others.

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