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Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Choice Map

This is the 3rd of several posts this week on Change Your Questions, Change Your Life by Marilee Adams, Ph.D. (Berrett-Koehler, 2009). A recommended read for any leader.

Adams has created a neat visual called the Choice Map (need to buy the book to SEE it--well worth the purchase).

What she shows is a diagram of a person at a decision point…a place we’re at many times a day. We get hit with thoughts, words, ideas. Sometimes we knee-jerk react to them, and other times we take a more reflective posture. She discusses two distinct paths: the Judger and Learner paths.

1. The Judger Path is often a knee-jerk reaction to a circumstance, event, or challenge we must face. When you start down this path immediately, you find yourself often emotionally bound, over reactive, in place of blaming others, finger pointing…and looking often for a scapegoat. In the end, this thinking spirals into what Adam’s calls “The Judger Pit,” not a fun place and often a place of despair and dysfunction.

2. The Learner Path takes a positive inquiry approach and asks questions like “What are the facts?” and “What can I learn form this situation?” Such questions keep you, the leader, centered and able to respond with an open and inquiring mind, much less likely to cause people to clam up…rather be open to mutual solutions, not blame.

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