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Reach and Withdraw

With an understanding of confusion and the need for good control to bring order, one can easily observe workers and executives who cause confusions with bad control. There is a very simple, but extremely powerful, method to improve a person’s control. This is called Reach and Withdraw.

REACH means touching or taking hold of something. It also means to get to, come to or arrive at some place.

WITHDRAW means to move back from or let go of something.

You would not expect a person to have much control or understanding of, or skill in, something he is not familiar with. The most important part of being familiar with something is to be in communication with it.

When a person is not communicating with something, he is withdrawing from it and he is not about to reach out to or contact any part of it.

If a person cannot reach and withdraw from something, he will not be able to be in control of it.

For example, if someone is out of communication with a car, he will have difficulty driving it properly and may have an accident.

But if a person can reach for something and withdraw from it, he can be said to be in communication with that thing.

To be in communication with something is to be in a position where you can control it.

The Reach and Withdraw procedure helps a person to get into communication with, and be more able to control objects, machinery, people, spaces and areas around him.

In helping someone improve his communication with objects, machinery, spaces and areas, it is best done by actually making physical contact with those objects and spaces.

Reach and Withdraw is a valuable tool to use in getting a person into good communication with his work area, especially the machinery and things he uses to get his job done.

An airplane pilot would do Reach and Withdraw on all the objects and spaces of his airplane, including his hangar where he keeps his airplane and even the earth. A secretary would do Reach and Withdraw on her computer, telephone, chair, desk, etc.

Feeling comfortable with the tools you use to get your job done is a very important step in doing your job well. You can tremendously increase the amount of work you get done just by doing the Reach and Withdraw procedure.

For example, an air force officer used the Reach and Withdraw procedure with his team of pilots and for one whole year there was not one single accident, not even so much as the touch of a wingtip to a wingtip. It is probably the only team of air force pilots in history that went a whole year without even a minor accident.


The Reach and Withdraw procedure is easily learned. It can be done on any object or area. It can be done on an individual’s workspace, on a new piece of equipment, a machine, anything. It is done until the person is in good communication with his area of work.

1. Take the person to the area where you will be doing Reach and Withdraw and explain the procedure.

2. Tell him the directions to be used and make sure he understands these. The directions to use are as follows:

A. “Reach that ______.” (naming and pointing to an object or person or area)

B. “Withdraw from that ______.” (naming and pointing to the same object or person or area)

3. Give him the first direction. For example, “Reach that big red button on the front of the machine.”

Always point to the object (or person, space, etc.) each time you give a direction so there will be no mistake made by the person doing it.

4. When the person has carried out the direction, thank him for carrying out the direction by saying “Thank you,” “Good,” “All right,” etc.

5. Give him the second direction. For example, “Withdraw from that big red button on the front of the machine.” Thank him when he has done so.

6. Continue to alternate the directions A, B, A, B, etc., thanking him each time he carries out the direction you give him, and have the person touch different parts of the object or area.

7. Continue doing the Reach and Withdraw procedure until the person gets a small improvement in what he is doing, feels a bit better about the object or area, or simply feels good about what he is doing.

8. Choose another object, space or person in his area and do the procedure again until he is happy with that item or space.

Don’t make the person do Reach and Withdraw endlessly on the same part of anything that is being used. Do it on different points and parts of the object being touched.

Walk around with the person doing the action, making sure that he actually does make contact with the points or areas of the objects, spaces or people.

Choose objects in such a way as to increase from smaller objects to the larger objects, touching different parts of each one in turn, until the person feels good about doing the procedure or until you give him the sets of directions A and B three times and there is no change. When doing Reach and Withdraw, also include walls, floors and other parts of the area where you are doing the procedure.

When doing the action on a space or a room, rather than an object, have the person walk into the room and walk out of the room over and over.

9. Continue until the person feels better about his workspace or items in that space and is very happy about the whole area he is doing the procedure on. If the person has a large improvement, such as a new awareness of his work area or a certainty about his job, Reach and Withdraw would not be continued past that point.

Reach and Withdraw on the machinery, objects, people, areas and spaces of a person’s job will greatly assist his control, familiarity and understanding of it.

NOTE: In order to continue, you must complete all previous steps in this course. Your last incomplete step is
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