Wednesday 6 December 2017

Purchasing Coach: Advent Window 6: Collage

25 unconventional coaching and facilitation tools to surprise and delight

Window 6: Collage

Level of unconventionalness out of 10 = 5

  • Identify a situation you'd like more clarity about. 
  • Put the situation to the back of your mind.
  • Explore a collage - logically first, as that might identify some insight. (see my festive one below although Pinterest is a great source for collages - here's my board with some pretty way out options.) 
  • Explore the collage more intuitively - what would the advice be from the collage, or certain aspects of the collage ie what would it/they say to you?
  • Follow any and all tangents - as they're your subconscious's way of showing where the solution may be found.
  • Keep going - sometimes the real juice comes after the obvious has been exhausted. You may also find that on a different day with a different challenge that you will notice different aspects of the collage - which means you may also notice different things from me in the example below.
  • Pick another collage. 
  • Or maybe, make a collage to express the current situation and/or the desired outcome (I now have about 120 that I've made that I use in workshops, meetings and coaching sessions.)   
  • Return to the original situation and consider what advice you have given yourself.
  • What action will you take, and when?   
Festive/Holiday season example: 

Here's a collage I made for Christmas:

You may want to reflect on your own observations before reading mine.

Logical observations

After making the collage, I realised there was a lot of pairs in it - so one piece of advice might be not to try to do everything on my own. What would partnership look like in the situation?

Another element I notice is the light, and am reminded to follow the light - ie follow my passion not that which brings greyness to my day.

One picture is of a chocolate cake, and eating a slice would certainly give me great joy - so there's also something there about following our bliss too. Not making it all about the shoulds, oughts and musts.

These are observations that I am making based on my current life situation. When applied to your life or another situation these observations might not make sense. It's why, as with many of these tools, it's always useful to apply it to a situation you'd like more clarity on rather than just reading about mine.

More intuitive reflection

Relax, and the fun will come to you.

Let even more sparkle into your life.

Mind, body, heart, and soul isn't an either/or - they can and do coexist! (Blimey - that's something for me to reflect on), and also perhaps a link to the insight from yesterday's blackout poetry.

When reviewing the other collages I'd used here on my blog I found this one.

Whilst I think it reflects much of the advice I've obtained from the first collage, it has more of an energy about that I can take into 2018 with me. Perhaps using it as a screensaver for a time to remind me might be helpful. 

As a result of reading these thoughts, and observing the collages what insight(s) have come to mind for you at this time? What action can you take to help the insight enlighten the current situation? 


Benefits: Helps us tap into the part of ourselves that does know the answer. Helps to bypass resistance to hearing alternate views.

Uses: Strategy and Vision Setting, Coaching, Problem Solving, Creativity & Innovation

Participants: Procurement, internal stakeholders, external supplier stakeholders. (It never fails to amaze me how open business leaders and other participants on workshops are to using this process, and the level of insight gained.)

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

Here's a post I wrote after facilitating a session using the collage cards I've developed at the Scottish Institute for Business Leaders.

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

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