Triad Use Interviews

These interviews were answered by people who have known about and used triads for varying periods of time. Some of the interviewees have answered this same questionaire twice, with a space of nine years in between; this gives an interesting comparison of the how use of triads changes and evolves. We will have more interviews on this page as time goes on, so check back again.


Date: June 2000

Name:  Rodger Doncaster

Age: 46

Comparing answers from 1991 to his answers of today

1. How long have you known about triads?

1991: Four years

Today: twelve years

2. How often would you say you use triads?

1991: Daily

Today: Several times a day. Triads are so basic to my thinking that they are always there. I don't always use them in new situations, or as often as I could, but good basics are there.

3. Do you feel triads are helpful to you?

1991: Yes. Makes me think more about the project I am involved in, i.e. makes me consider more aspects than just one or two. Lets me know what the focus of my day is. If I have two things, I try to find the third to go with them.

Today: Yes, helpful in basic interactions, in making plans, and in planning basic move when I'm in a tight situation.

4. Do you use basic triads in your everyday life?

1991: Sometimes. I use them more as I practice using them.

Today: Yes, practically unconsciously, possibly too unconsciously. I seem to use better / worse / the same a lot, as well as describe / compare/ evaluate. Also closer / further away/ or same distance to what my goals for the day are. I try to set at least once a day what my 3 priorities for the day are.

5. Do you use triads in planning projects or how to reach a goal?

1991: I use them in planning projects , not in reaching goals. i.e. To use the generator on the boat I built a shelter where it was: Sheltered from elements/ Not going to start a fire/ Easy to access

Today: Yes, the big stuff. At times it is hard to overcome inertia, or figuring out what is next. Triads will help me get over that hump, if I take the time to use them. I don't always, sometimes I just soldier on through. I try to figure out what 3 things are the most important parts, or what 3 things make up my goal. Is the work I'm doing satisfying them? A project will be broken down into 3 parts, (layout / painting / collecting) or (initial contact / gather the info / decision )

6. Do you use triads to assess your position or progress?

1991: Occasionally, I still rely upon emotional reaction most often.

Today: Yes, mainly, Am I better/ worse/ or the same?

7. Do you use triads when confronted by difficult life problems, crisis, or confusion?

1991: Yes, I do, but usually with the help of others.

Today: Yes, gives a focus to the problem and therefore easier to work out. What is it I'm trying to do, what is extranous to the situation, how much weight do I give each important factor. Is this a positive / neutral / negative chore. What are the consequences of the situation, (what is the best possible outcome / what is the worse / what lies

between them.) When confused I try to break the situation down into manageable parts, and deal with each part, examine how real the problem is, and can I solve the problem,

get around it, or do I need to find a new course.

8. Does using a triad ever help you to change your way of responding?

1991: Yes. I use it to remind myself what it is I'm going to do. When placing objects I look for the third force. lt reminds me to take a second look at what I'm doing, and ask am I done?

Today: If I have time to think, then usually yes. In a situation, usually not. When I take the time to think about the situation and examine it rather than just respond to some part of it, I can do better. Giving myself time to examine is essential. I think a big part of this help comes from reprograming your response in advance. For example: I want my response to be a loving response, rather than a money centered response, so by thinking ahead about this I am better able to respond the way I actually want to, rather than the way I've previously been programmed to respond.

9. 1991: Do you have a life triad? No

Today: Do you have an inner triad(what we used to call a "life triad")? Do you know what your top three desires or priorities in life are ( your outer triad)?

[footnote: Your inner triad is a triad of qualities or attributes which you are trying to incorporate into your daily life and being, e.g. Courage, Clarity, Love; your outer triad is the one you arrive at by asking yourself, if you could only do one more thing before you die, what would it be? and then naming the second and the third thing, thus defining your top three desires, priorities, or goals in life. Simply put, the inner triad has to do with being, the outer triad has to do with doing.]

Courage/ Clarity/ Love is a major internal triad for me. Also Love/ Creativity/ Freedom

External Triad – Exploration (internal and external)/ Self-supporting/ Aid to others

10. Are there any other triads you use often or find helpful, which have not been mentioned?

1991: When I make a time to create a triad for the day, I aim to include three centers (three parts of self) - Imitative, Emotional, Intellectual. I may also try to make it one for Me, one for the group, and one for the Community.

When I have something to do I try to break it down into its component parts i.e. to tie up the boat: tie the lines/ check the lines/ get approval for the ties.

[Note: A problem with a lot of Rodger's triads at this time was that although they covered three points, they often were not all connected with the forces involved. His triad about tying the boat is based on having tied the boat under someone else's directions, and has little to do with the forces involved in securing a boat. A better starting triad, based on the forces involved, would be: To secure the boat against: wind/waves/tide. By looking at these three forces, you would determine all the lines needed, placement, tension, protection, etc. Another example of poor triad making was the triads he made for fire safety. At that time he was crew on our raft and as a safety measure, a triad had to be made each time a fire was started –whether for the heater, stove, etc. Rodger's triads generally had two points involving fire safety and the third related to what the fire would accomplish e.g. Clear the area/ Have fire extinguisher nearby/ Heat the room. I give this example to show the difficulty many people face, at first, in coming up with three points or forces all related. On the other hand, his triad for the generator housing was very good.]

Today: No. For me the biggest problem is to motivate myself to use them, to remember their usefulness. Effort is an ongoing issue for me.


Date: May 2000

Name: Donna Londagin

Age: 47

Comparing answers from 1991 and today

1. How long have you known about triads?
1991: Fifteen years
Today: 24 years

2. How often would you say you use triads?
1991: Daily
Today: Whenever I want to map out a plan of action, business strategy, project; try to understand from a deeper point of view or from other than my first response; often before making a quick decision or in helping someone else make a decision I try to scope out three possibilities or reasons for making that choice.

3. Do you feel triads are helpful to you?
1991: Yes helpful - defines my goals and how to approach them. Helps me to problem solve in a practical way. Helps me locate myself internally.
Today: Definitely

4. Do you use basic triads in your everyday life?
1991: When confronted with something new or confusing; but largely the basic triads -Block/Assist/Neutral; Participate/Redirect/ Leave - I have internalized into quick responses and decisions that I do not "talk" to myself beforehand.
Today: Yes. More automatically than consciously unless a situation arises that I want to be careful how I respond to, then I try to see the triadic possibilities.

5. Do you use triads in planning projects or how to reach a goal?
1991: Definitely. I find it gives me balance and perspective.
Today: Very often yes. In fact I usually end up making sub-triads of larger more broad based ones in order to see the details and order.
i.e. For our Flower Business

  1. Management
    Goal & labor setting,working as partners/ Crop planning/ Business paperwork: accounts, licenses etc.
  2. Production
    Supplies needed (seeds, soil mixtures, pots etc.)/ Labor (planting, watering, weeding, etc.)/ Harvest (when, how, storage, transporting…)
  3. Sales (there are various ways and places to do each of these)
    Direct to public/ Wholesale to Nurseries/Regular Clients (i.e. restaurants, B & B's)

6. Do you use triads to assess your position or progress?
1991: Yes. but I probably don't evaluate as often as I should. It is usually triggered by an emotional high or low.
Today: Yes, it is easy to check in, say with the flower business, by referring to the triad above to know which areas are strong and which are weak. For myself personally several of the basic triads are automatic and it doesn't really take time to stop and ask " Am I better/worse/same?" I know most of the time where I stand.

7. Do you use triads when confronted by difficult life problems, crisis, or confusion?
1991: Yes. Especially then, originally mostly then.
Today: Yes, especially if there is time to think. If it is an emergency I think my long term use of triadic thinking kicks in and I see a bigger scope of possibilities and make decisions quickly without really stopping to make sure I've covered all the bases. i.e. Is this situation getting better/worse/staying the same? Is the problem minor/major/unfixable? I see these answers and respond without having to stop and ask the questions.

8. Does using a triad ever help you to change your way of responding?
1991: When I am deeply struggling and can remember the triad it allows me to change myself.
Today: Yes but sometimes I go with my gut feeling about something and ignore the triad. Sometimes it seems more important to respond from that level and risk making a mistake. I also believe that sometimes there is information available to a person that is beyond understanding through a triad at that particular moment and that it should not be ignored.

9. 1991: Do you have a life triad? Yes. Deep personal relationships/ Power, Communion, Security (these are from the nine points)/ Emotional Clarity Also: Being /Gallantry/Preparing for death
Today: Do you have  an inner triad(what we used to call a "life triad")? Do you know what your top three desires or priorities in life are ( your outer triad)?
[footnote: Your inner triad is a triad of qualities or attributes which you are trying to incorporate into your daily life and being, e.g. Courage, Clarity, Love; your outer triad is the one you arrive at by asking yourself, if you could only do one more thing before you die, what would it be? and then naming the second and the third thing, thus defining your top three desires, priorities, or goals in life. Simply put, the inner triad has to do with being, the outer triad has to do with doing.]

External Triad: To write and publish good stories, especially for children/To balance Power and Freedom in my life/To be of value to others
Internal Triad - see below (I answered out of sequence)

10. Are there any other triads you use often or find helpful, which have not been mentioned?
1991: They are endless and used by me to approach all problems, emotional upsets, goals and life evaluations. My use of triads is based upon the emotional necessity to understand what is happening - otherwise I am in flow and motion and do not stop to analyze or define triadically. I use triads especially when worried about failure, when related to security, at times of major 'forks' in my life.
Today: Although the triads for the external world are really helpful I find the most value in making triadic statements about my internal world. Whether in trying to describe the life I want, or being grateful for the life I already have. I use these as a prayer or personal mantra as often as I can remember to say them (usually several times a day) and especially when upset about something. These triads evolved over a period of several weeks during a time of stress and I have had the same ones for several years now. I believe this has helped me a great deal and moved me closer to being the person I am capable of being.
I surrender my fear of the unknown, in this life and hereafter/I trust my eternal self to guide and counsel me/Absolute Absolution
Thank you for my mental and physical well being./Thank you for the love and support of my friends and family/Thank you for the freedom and space for choice in my life.


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Last revised: May 30, 2006