Thursday 5 February 2015

Summary: The tools I use to facilitate and coach others

I'm not going to cover the category management, sourcing, supplier management and business tools I use in the work I do for Future Purchasing or other procurement consultancies today.

This post is more about providing you with a summary of the blogs I've written about the unique tools I use in group facilitation and personal coaching - in procurement contexts and more broadly in other business settings. Whether directly with clients or via the other consultancies.

These blogs also share the benefits delivered of using these unique tools - which can be summarised as helping groups or individuals to achieve one or more of the following:
  • Identify where they are
  • Identify where they want to get to (for example strategy development might be a session in it's own right)
  • Understand what's stopping them getting there
  • Release what's holding them back 
  • Take appropriate action towards their goal

More here on a pinterest board I developed on the benefits of coaching.

As I said in my "But I don't do soft fluffy stuff" post many of the reasons we're not achieving what we say we want can be found in the soft fluffy stuff. So just as it's no use looking for the car keys in the bathroom if you know you left them in your coat - it's the same with resolving what's holding you back - the answer often lies in the soft fluffy stuff and there's a number of ways of getting at that - some more comfortable than others - some certainly less intrusive than others. It sort of depends if you want to get to the root cause or not, or if you're happy just putting a plaster/band aid on it.


The language we use gives so much away about how we process information, our beliefs and our values. Which means it's also a great means of solving the problems too.

Landscaping Your Life (LYL)
I could write a book on metaphors - if a picture paints a thousand words then a metaphor paints a thousand pictures. One metaphor I use a lot is landscapes and nature. I describe it as 'using nature as our teacher'. Nature has been used for thousands of years as a tool of insight and it's still used as such for a reason - because it works.
I also use gardening as a metaphor for purchasing when training internal stakeholders what it's all about.
Postscript: a Landscaping Your Life website was launched in November 2015 - so for more on this effective process do please go and visit.


I only started using this tool in November 2014 and have been blown away by it's effectiveness in a business setting. I'd thought it was purely for personal coaching, and yet am finding it a great addition to the other business tools used.

Frameworks for Change Coaching Process (FCP)

This process is the business version of the tool below, and I've been successfully using it in business sessions since 2005.
Other card sets I have used include Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies and Roger Von Oech's Creative Whack pack. All tools that help you to explore a situation to gather more data about what might be holding you back.

Transformation Game

Of all the tools I use this is the only one that is only applicable in a personal setting. It's a game and takes 2.5 hrs per person to play and is hugely insightful. I'm not sure these blogs do it justice but I had to try

So far this week I've shared summaries of blogs written on soft skills, procurement and the rant's I have on our disconnection from what it is to be human!

Congratulations if you got to the end of that list - such a great reference for me and anyone wanting to know how I do that I do, and the benefits that I deliver as a result.

Do call me if you think any of these tools might be of interest +44 (0)7770 538159

Alison Smith
Inspiring change inside and out when what you're doing isn't working


  1. Great list, I see that I have missed quite a few! I shall get reading. Hope all is well.

  2. Thanks Sue - glad you find them useful/interesting