‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to’

As a child, my Disney experience was limited to those Disney Time compilation programmes broadcast at Christmas. Thus I’ve sung ‘Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go‘ along with the dwarfs, I’ve heeded Baloo’s advice not to ‘pick the prickly pear by the paw‘ and I’ve seen Tramp and Lady share a bowl of pasta but until recently I hadn’t seen a Disney film from beginning to end. A friend at work is seeking to deal with my deprived childhood by lending me her collection of Disney DVDs.

Over Easter, we watched ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and I was struck by Alice’s conversation with the Cheshire Cat –

Alice talks to the Cheshire Cat

`Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’

`That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.

`I don’t much care where …’ said Alice.

`Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.

`… so long as I get somewhere,’ Alice added as an explanation.

`Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, `if you only walk long enough.’

We all want to get somewhere, don’t we? We may not be entirely sure where that is right now but we’d rather avoid walking round in circles. I was coaching Clare recently and she was feeling a little like Alice and was somewhat overwhelmed. We worked through the Appreciative Inquiry process to help her find her way at work.

In short, Appreciative Inquiry is a positive, solutions-focused approach which builds on what is already working well rather than trying to fix problems. It’s based on four words all beginning with ‘D’ –

Discovery – what’s working well now? ‘What is’

Dream – what are the possibilities? ‘What could be’

Design – so what are our plans? ‘What should be’

Delivery (or destiny)  – Time to take action.  ‘What will be’

Rather than wandering around with no fixed destination, Clare left the session with a plan for her next steps.

Today’s pebble for you to ponder: do you know where you are going?


ps If your answer is ‘no, I don’t think I do’ and you’d like someone to help you work out your route, why not email me to see how we can work together?

Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching. 

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