Search This Blog

Friday, 15 December 2017

Purchasing Coach: Advent Window 15: Intention

25 coaching and facilitation tools to surprise and delight



As I wrote on LinkedIn earlier in the week, one persons unconventional is another person's weird. I should have added, one person's conventional is another persons unconventional.

Today's coaching and facilitation tool is very conventional and ordinary for many, and yet for others it's straying into weird.

It's a tool I've used since the late 90's. I remember hearing a number of years after I'd left Lloyds Bank, that the team still used this tool when they were struggling in a meeting, usually after someone had just asked "What would Alison have done?" It's also something we often start workshops with.

Setting an Intention.

Yep - it's simply about starting the day/meeting either thinking about the qualities needed to make the session a success, or about the outcome, in terms of how you'd like to feel, or what you'd like to be saying, or doing, at the end of a successful session.

You can do this on your own or as a group.

You can do this logically - thinking of your own answers to the question.

You can pull a word out of a hat/bowl.


You can ask others for a word for you.

You can open a book or magazine and pick the first word you notice - like we did behind window 12.


You can have one word, or many.

You can even have sentences.

You could add a picture or two.

You can build it up over a week - reinforcing the intention every morning


No rules as such, just a desire to focus your mind on how you'd like the outcome to be. Because rushing about like a headless chicken, and worrying, and focusing on the negative, or even worse what you don't want to happen isn't helping your mind support you in getting to your desired outcome.

As with all the tools in this advent series, it's going to make much more sense if you try it for yourself.

Do please let me know how you get on.

Alison Smith
Unlocking procurement potential - using conventional and unconventional tools
Procurement and Business Speaker, Coach, Trainer, & Facilitator
alison@alisonsmith.eu +44 (0)7770 538159

Earlier in the year I applied some of the unconventional tools shared in this series of advent posts to common procurement challenges - more here.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Purchasing Coach: Advent Window 14: Collage II

25 unconventional coaching and facilitation tools to surprise and delight

Today I'm taking collage in a different direction than earlier in this series of posts.

It's the first ever process I used for Landscaping Your Life, a tool I developed over 20 years ago using landscapes as metaphors for our lives, and is one I return to often with clients.

You can follow along with me if you want - to do this you need some magazines with images in, and a situation you'd like more clarity about.

Now pick an image that represents the current situation. No need to logically understand just get a sense of an image that feels, looks or even sounds right!


and now reflect on what changes you might want to make to the image - cut way parts of this image, add other images, and develop another image.

and keep making changes

You may end up with none of the original image but it's informed by that first image. Keep going...
and again and again
until it feels just right
and then reflect on the original situation and notice what you notice.

For me, what felt like it was in a permanent state of uncompletion now feels whole. Only time will tell what impact that has on my words, thinking and actions in the situation.

Did these images shift anything for you? Or perhaps you're intrigued to have a go yourself - it's certainly going to make more sense if you choose the images yourself.

Do let me know how you get on.

Alison Smith
Unlocking procurement potential - using conventional and unconventional tools
Procurement and Business Speaker, Coach, Trainer, & Facilitator
alison@alisonsmith.eu +44 (0)7770 538159

Earlier in the year I applied some of the unconventional tools shared in this series of advent posts to common procurement challenges - more here.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Purchasing Coach: Advent Window 13: Do nothing

25 unconventional coaching and facilitation tools to surprise and delight

Following on from yesterday's insight I'm reminded of another tool - Do nothing.

Here, I don't mean do nothing about the problem and do everything and anything else instead.

I mean, DO NOTHING - zilch!

Put your phone down, turn your laptop off, or at least walk away from them all, and have a quiet few moments to your self.

A few minutes walking, or sitting with no talking, no thinking, just being in the moment, and taking deep breaths.

And then, and only after your few minutes away, notice what you notice.

Alison Smith
Unlocking procurement potential - using conventional and unconventional tools
Procurement and Business Speaker, Coach, Trainer, & Facilitator
alison@alisonsmith.eu +44 (0)7770 538159

Earlier in the year I applied some of the unconventional tools shared in this series of advent posts to common procurement challenges - more here.