In the first quarter of 2014 I am excited to be working with a new organisation that wishes to co-create their annual strategy with me as consultant.
During our sessions together I will be contributing a series of progress focused interventions, questions and tools. In this way the client will benefit from our cooperation by receiving a new view on strategic goals and very concrete actions for the next year. Furthermore they will also be learning something about Solution Focus, an interaction approach and conscious way of behaving.
One of my favourite interventions is the miracle question. The question wonders (pun intended) how the client’s desired state would look like if all the problems had disappeared, or the goal accomplished. The question has a myriad of concrete versions.
Every client, interaction, discussion being unique, during a personal coaching session I’ve experimented with wondering: I asked the coachee, a senior manager, the miracle question straight at the beginning of our conversation. At that point I hardly knew anything about the client’s desired change. It was amazing what instantly started to happen, i.e. she did solution building off her own bat within a split second. All I needed to do was to keep silent enough (nodding, humming, maintaining sufficient eye contact,…), harvesting what she said and then ask supplementary questions based on her last answers.
I’ll ask the miracle question in a customised way; I’ll ask it sometimes more hypnotic, like in the Insoo Kim Berg version, sometimes shorter or more business like.
You can ask the miracle question at the beginning, during or even at the end of a one-to-one or one-to-many situation. For instance at the end of a team meeting:
‘Suppose that all of us are completely successful in taking our agreed steps. We took them timely and in the best possible way imaginable. What would be the first sign telling us that we were successfully taking these steps?’ and then build further on that to close the meeting, with even more trust that the agreed steps will be taken by everybody.
My miracle question to you: imagine that we would up wake tomorrow thinking less in terms of problems and ‘goal’ them into a desired state, into something we want rather than don’t want. How would that be helpful for all our identities (as a colleague, lover, parent, sibling, volunteer, guest at the local pub,…)?