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Commitment Cleanout by Clinton Callahan

This process was invented and documented by Clinton Callahan (Revised 26 November 2013 by Clinton Callahan)


This process is useful when:

- You notice a lack of authentic loving commitment to one another

- Relationships and projects seem stuck, frustrating, or superficial

- Quarrels, doubts, general downheartedness or lack of enthusiasm are present.

This process completes essential but often-avoided radically-honest communications. By using Commitment Cleanup, suddenly stresses are eased and a whole new level of commitment is instantly established.

Set UpEdit

This is a whole-group process from Possibility Management, done in dyads. People sit in chairs or on cushions facing each other in two parallel rows. Reserve 2 hours for this. You may want to go longer after a break, depending on how many people are involved. You may want to have tissues available. You will need one extra chair at the left end of Row A. The facilitator can also participate in the process but must keep track of time.Write the first section of your page here.


(Facilitator says:) Please sit as close together as possible without touching. This side is Row A. That side is Row B. Row A, imagine that starting tomorrow morning we will put all of our money, possessions, projects, time and energy together. We are moving in together and will be living and working together.

Please tell the person sitting across from you exactly why you cannot commit to them.

Be personal and precise. Give them practical examples of what you are talking about. Row B, you listen. No explanations. No discussions. If you wish you may take notes.

If something hits you and you want more precisions, say, "Could you please say more about that?" Please begin. (Give Row A about 4 minutes to explain why they cannot commit to the person sitting across from them. Then say:) Please come to a stop. (Pause a moment to let people finish up.)

People in Row B, if you want, you can say, "Thank you." Now change roles. Row B, it is your turn to tell the person sitting across from you exactly why you cannot commit to them.

Row A, you just listen.

Please begin. (Give Row B about 4 minutes to deliver their communication to Row A. Then say:) Please come to a stop. (Pause a moment to let people finish up.)

People in Row A, if you want, you can say, "Thank you." People in Row A please stand up and move one chair to your left then have a seat.

If you are at the end of Row A or Row B and there is no one sitting across from you please wait this turn out. Row A, it is your turn to talk to Row B again. Row B, just listen. Please begin. (Keep repeating this process, but alternate between Row A and Row B as to which row moves to the left. You will figure this out.)

Wrap UpEdit

This process does its own work on people within a day. There is not much to discuss. What a person cannot commit to in someone else may reflect more about themselves than the other. Ask for any personal sharing about the process for a few minutes but then end it and let things take their course. This process is a miracle worker.

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