Creating AWE

I will admit to misusing the word “awesome” and I’m about to do it again here.
The acronym “AWE” probably won’t fill you with “A feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder” but you may find it helps achieve the following:

  • Deepening awareness
  • Delving past automatic thinking, forcing you to dig deep
  • Increasing the pool of ideas at your disposal, increasing your chances of hitting on a great idea
  • Encouraging creativity

And it is super simple.
All you need to say is:

And
What
Else?

Here’s how to apply it in a brainstorming session
Think of an issue you are facing.
What action could I take to solve this?
Idea #1…

And what else?

Idea #2

And what else?

Idea #3…

And what else?

You get the drill…but here is the thing, whilst the first ideas might come thick and fast, after a while they start to dry up. This is where the “AWE” magic happens! This is where you move from your automatic preferences and start experimenting with new ideas, new perspectives and new ways of thinking.

Make yourself a little uncomfortable.
Push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Similar to drilling down with the five whys, this iterative inquiry approach is a powerful coaching tool.
We’ll get to the challenge of implementing all these crazy new ideas in a future post. You will probably be filled with a lot of “I can’t do that!!!”. One step at a time, my friend! First, let’s work on unblocking our usual thinking and opening the floodgates of creativity and opportunity.

So try out the “AWE-some” (I warned you!) question this week and let me know what new insight or ideas you gained from applying this approach in the comments below.

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