When I work with participants in my leadership development programmes, I remind them that leadership at its core has two basic elements. It involves having a vision and being able to influence others to follow you in making it a reality. I also mention this to my coaching clients as I remind them to develop a clear and precise vision of the future that they want for themselves.
Some people find it difficult to articulate what they are thinking. Sometimes, they are embarrassed or uncomfortable when asked to talk about something that they see as intensely personal and private. For some there is also the fear that they may be ridiculed or told that they do not have the right to dream the way they do. To help the process along, I developed a short workbook to help my participants to create their personal vision statement.
This workbook uses a step by step approach where participants are asked to complete a series of segments designed to get them thinking creatively about what they want. It also offers them the opportunity to take different pathways to arrive at their destination. The following outlines the series of questions and tasks that they are asked to complete in order to arrive at their statement. They are:
- Take a minute to reflect on and then write down, what you think it takes to achieve the level of success you envision for yourself.
- Think of the best example of anyone who has been able to achieve a similar kind of success. What do you think made them such a success?
- What is impossible for you to achieve now but if you could, it would fundamentally change the way you live or work and would help you to achieve the success you want?
- What is the best thing that could happen for you in your current situation at work or in your personal life?
- Draw an image that represents your vision of who you want to be when you have achieved the success you desire.
- What are some of the words that you would use to describe this image you have created?
- Develop a statement that outlines what you envision for yourself.
The point of this activity is to use a non-threatening manner to get your mind into a state where it can dream of the possibilities for your life. Using a process means that you do not have to tackle the hardest part first; you can build up to it. Asking you to draw an image engages another part of your brain because there are times when we cannot clearly articulate what we want but we can use images to communicate it. This process has helped many of my clients to get to a point which at first seems daunting and overwhelming. I hope it helps you too.
Try it and let me know how it goes for you. Share your vision statement with us. Your insight might be what someone else needs to achieve their own breakthrough.
Marjorie Wharton is a trainer, facilitator and coach who works with individuals and organizations to help them improve their performance. She is based at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business in Barbados. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. For more of her writing visit https://marjoriewharton.live