Seeking Hope and Honesty

We cannot afford the luxury of despair

Person centred planning using group facilitated processes such as MAP and PATH were originally created in North America and Canada by Jack Pearpoint, Marsha Forest, John O’Brien and colleagues. These planning processes have an amazing way of and eliciting honest exchanges and mobilising hope in the most difficult and challenging of situations. We at Inclusive Solutions after learning and facilitating such processes for over 20 years are still feeling the privilege of trusting a way of working that can truly engender hope and honesty. What other processes can really be relied upon to do this with any degree of success? How does this come about? What are we learning?

Hope it seems, is nurtured through the powerful nature of shared dreaming and visualising a good future for an individual, family, group or team. The forward focused direction that all present are encouraged to hold seems to elicit strong feelings of optimism. The MAP and PATH processes tend to strengthen and bind the individuals present into a more coherent gathering, a group with shared purpose -a real team.

Honesty is encouraged through direct use of questions and accurate recording of what is said. Facilitators will directly ask for the ‘elephant in the room ‘to be named -if it has not been -during the ‘Nightmare’ section of the MAP and in the ‘Now’ section of the PATH. Facts and feelings are both asked about and recorded. Participants sit in a semi-circle and are encouraged to address each other and the facilitator directly –with no hiding behind laptops, tablets, phones or files.Face to face we tend to be a little more honest? Some questions do seem to help with the honesty.

Tell it like it is! What do you want to see happening? What would you hate to see happening? Who will do what action in the next few days?

An open honesty and hopefulness is also modelled by the facilitators in their best endeavours to bring the best out of any gathering.

At a time of deep dishonesty, distrust and despair we need to embrace ways of working which in the words of Gandhi –‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world’.

Colin Newton

Inclusive Solutions


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Colin Newton

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