Resources > Exercises > Growing The Heart of Your Business

NOTES FOR ALL THE GUIDED VISUALISATIONS:This is an exercise that you use as a coach or with a group even to allow them to explore in a different way. It draws upon the imagination but is a contained exercise.

Be prepared with some blank paper and some coloured felt tips, pencils; crayons are even better! Find a place you won't be disturbed for a little while. Give yourself time to try this out and know that there is no right answer and no problem if you get no image at all. Just stay curious about what happens in the process without judgement.

If you are using this as a coach with a client explain you would like to experiment with a different way to explore. Allow some time to do the short exercise and time to draw and to debrief the exercise together. If your relationship is a trusting one the client will probably be more inclined to give it a go, even if this is far from your regular mode of working. Encourage the person to do with eyes closed,just to get rid of outside visual stimuli and go into the imagination. If you are reading the visualisation out loud do it slowly and pause appropriately for them to explore while you are quiet. 30 seconds might seem a long time to be silent as the reader but it is tiny amount of time for the person doing the exercise. When the exercise is over make sure you invite the person to mentally return to the room and to open their eyes and in so doing leave behind the imagined scene they were in.

To help capture the essence the exploration and to ground the images for future talking and reflecting it is very useful to ask them to draw what came up for them, whatever it was. If they are shy about drawing, as many people are, remind them that whatever appears on the paper only stands for what the image is for them and so anything goes. If they are really concerned ask them to do the drawing with the hand they do not normally write with as all the 'rules' can be abandoned about drawing ability.

THE HEART OF YOUR BUSINESS

Close your eyes and take three or four deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Be aware of yourself sitting where you are with all the sounds of life around you.

Imagine your business thriving and being in an optimal state. Ask yourself what image stands for your business, or your work, or even your organisation. Whatever comes - and don't evaluate or analyse it until the whole activity is concluded. When you have done that, now add what stands for the heart of it.

Consider for reflection