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Setting a Course

Action planning is an integral part of coaching.

Where are you? Where do you want to go? How are you going to get there?

These are simple and yet very effective inquiries that help create an outline for action. As a business coach, one of my jobs is to keep reminding my clients of what their intentions are and to check in during the course of action and ask; “How are you doing? What else do you need to succeed in your plan?” The list of questions can be endless; “What resources do you need? Who is the target market? Who will you have to depend on?” As I said, the questions can be numerous and one can be derailed or overwhelmed by answering too many questions.

Enter the Mind Map. Mind Mapping is a lively, quick and effective way to doodle your way around an idea, a plan, or a dream. You can leverage every thought, doubt, and desire to find out sooner rather than later what you need to succeed, and what potential road blocks exist.  There are many different forms of mapping and brainstorming ideas such as; spider diagrams, concept mapping, tree mapping, etc. What they all have in common is visual value.

My choice is the classic Mind Map. Place your idea in a circle in the center of a page and draw lines to new branches or bubbles (use different colored pens)  giving them names that connect their importance to the center circle theme. Then each of the new branches generate new lines to new bubbles and so on until you have fleshed out your idea in every direction.  This can be done with teams who are brainstorming new ideas. It is a quick paced, creative approach for new actions.  I often do this during plane flights before or after I have met with clients. You can use this process in your personal life as well. And for those of you who must sit at a computer there are mapping soft wares available too. http://www.thinkbuzan.com/intl/

Next time you have a challenge or idea, doodle it out. Set your mind free to map the course!

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