Organizational Consultation XXII: Empowerment (Part Two)

Organizational Consultation XXII: Empowerment (Part Two)

Since each dimension is related to the others, it is possible to translate statements about one dimension into information about other dimensions. When information is generated about the situation, target information can be elicited by such questions as:

“If you could change the present situation, what would you want to accomplish?”

“What’s missing in the present situation that you want?”

“What would be your goal in improving the situation?”

Proposal information can be generated from that same situational statement by such questions as:

“What might be done to improve that?”

“What kind of action does that seem to require?”

“What plan would use that resource?”

When a target is identified, situational information can be elicited by questions as:

“In what ways does the present situation fall short of that goal?”

“Why does the present situation fall short of that goal?”

“What forces for improvement are there for reaching that goal?”

“What obstacles stand in the way of reaching that goal?”

Proposals can be elicited from the same target statement by asking:

“What might be a possible way to accomplish that?”

“What steps might lead toward that goal?”

In a similar manner, when a proposal presents itself, situational information can be elicited by asking:

“What might that improve in the present situation?”

“What part of the problem do you see that dealing with?”

“What resources are there for doing that?”

And, finally, target information can be elicited from that proposal by asking:

“To accomplish what?”

“In order to do what?”

“What objective does that proposal aim at?”

Problem solving often seems to wander aimlessly from topic to topic without ever actually coming to grips with the problem at hand. By categorizing statements according to situation, target, or proposal and by using statements in one dimension to bring forth information in other dimensions, an appreciative leader can become more effective and efficient in her group problem solving efforts.


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William BergquistWilliam Bergquist, Ph.D. An international coach and consultant in the fields of psychology, management and public administration, author of more than 50 books, and president of a psychology institute. Dr. Bergquist consults on and writes about personal, group, organizational and societal transitions and transformations. His published work ranges from the personal transitions of men and women in their 50s and the struggles of men and women in recovering from strokes to the experiences of freedom among the men and women of Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent years, Bergquist has focused on the processes of organizational coaching. He is coauthor with Agnes Mura of coachbook, co-founder of the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations and co-founder of the International Consortium for Coaching in Organizations.

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