Once you have identified a question that is pressing, you can use a tool called the systemic pizza to understand the issues that lie behind it. The pizza is simply a round circle made of card with 4 arrow shaped post-it notes that helps us to see the relationship between various aspects of an issue. Ask the mentee to write on each one of the post-it notes • their name • goal – the thing they want to happen • obstacle – the thing which is getting in the way • resource – something that could help them to reach their goal
Explain – ‘With this exercise you’ll need to go slowly and thoughtfully.’ Firstly, place ‘you’ and ‘your goal’ on the pizza, attending to the distance between the two post-its and the direction they are facing. Ask – ‘What is it telling you?’ Now place ‘the obstacle’ post-it note on the pizza. Look at how it relates to the other two post-it notes. They might want to move the other post-its in relation to it. Have a discussion about what it could be meaning to them. Ask – ‘What is the pattern suggesting to you?’
Now place the final post-it note ‘the resource’ and look at the pattern made by the four post-its again. Look at how close or how far apart they are; which way they are facing. Ask – ‘How do the four parts connect with each other?’
goal re u so e rc
ta c obs
Use the post-its and their initial thoughts as a beginning for a free-flowing discussion to understand the question even better. Questions you might ask could include… • ‘How are you feeling as you look at this map of the question?’ • ‘How important is achieving this goal to you?’ • ‘What timescales are you thinking of in achieving it?’ • ‘What might the obstacle be?’ • ‘How might you deal with the obstacle(s)?’ • ‘Are you able to deal with them by yourself or do you need support?’ • ‘Do you know what might be a help or a support to you?’ It could be a particular person, a group, a place, money, some learning… Remember to be patient. At this stage you are only trying to get a better understanding of what lies behind the question – its nature, causes and consequences. Once understood, the next phase is about finding answers by developing ideas to resolve it.
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ÂŠ nowherefoundation 2010