Picture of Context

Picture of Context

The picture of context is a simple and useful tool to analyze, evaluate and define every situation, problem or project, helping to define strategies and to decision-making. Its application is universal in any field, from the personal to the professional, and as tool for coaching and Autocoaching (especially in the first session) is invaluable.

Advantages of the picture of context

  • Gives a snapshot of the problem, of the goal or solution to be achieved, of the difficulties and the aids.
  • Draw a clear and objective route, from our current situation to the final goal.
  • Prepares and makes our mind be concentrated in analyzing problems and proposing solutions.
  • Extracts important details from our mind that would otherwise be lost in oblivion.
  • Transforms something ethereal and intangible that exist in our mind into something physical and tangible.
  • Allows us concentrate on the problem and focus on the goal.

Making the picture of context

Preparation and composition

  • Take a blank sheet and place it in a landscape position. The size of the sheet would be advisable A3.
  • Draw a big arrow scrolling the page, from left to right.
  • The left side (tail of arrow) represents the current moment.
  • The right side (arrowhead) represents the future.
  • The bottom side represents the difficulties.
  • The top side represents the aid and support.

Present

  • Write the current date in the upper left corner of the page.
  • At the bottom left side, draw the current problem or the issue about you want to work on. It can be yourself in front of the problem.
  • At the upper left side, draw a T. It represents the CURRENT SITUATION.
  • At the top left of this T, write a hyphen “-“. Below, write the negatives points of the problem or of yourself. List the weaknesses, shortcomings, faults or defects (minimum 1, maximum 10).
  • At the top right of this T, write a cross “+”. Below, write the positive points of the problem or of yourself. List the strengths, advantages and capabilities (minimum 1, maximum 10).

Future

  • At the bottom right, draw the result you expect. You can draw to yourself enjoying the solution.
  • At the upper right, draw a rectangle with the heading “Results”, and enumerate, inside, those things you consider most important you want to achieve or gain (minimum 1, maximum 5). Try to stand out, with a larger font.

Difficulties

  • At the bottom, in the center, draw a large T.
  • Draw, at one or both sides of the T, a major obstacle that prevents or undermine the result you expect. A generic drawing could be a fence athletics, a wall, a rampart…
  • At the top left of the T, write “INTERNAL”. Below, enumerate those difficulties or obstacles that you consider important that come from inside you, from your company, from your organization or from your circle of influence (minimum 1, maximum 10).
  • At the top right of this T write “EXTERNAL”. Below, enumerate those difficulties or obstacles that you consider important and come from outside your internal scope or from outside your circle of influence (minimum 1, maximum 10).

Aid and Support

  • At the top, in the center, draw a large T.
  • Draw, at one or both sides of the T, something which can help you to achieve the results you expect. A generic drawing could be a person helping to another person, a DIY tool, etc.
  • At the top left of the T, write “INTERNAL”. Below, list those things, inside yourself or inside your circle of influence, which can help you achieve your goal. It may be the acquisition of new skills, acquire positive habits, get a degree, improve something, get support, etc.. (minimum 1, maximum 10).
  • At the top right of this T, writes “EXTERNAL”. Below, enumerate those things outside of you or outside of your circle of influence, which can help you to achieve your goal (minimum 1, maximum 10).

Target Date

We have a picture of context, but we lack the most important thing: define the target date. Without this date, we have only a picture with intentions, but no commitment. To do this, at the upper right corner of the page, write the estimated date for achieving the goal. Be realistic.

How to effectively use a picture of context

To be effective, the picture of context have not to be only a kind of brainstorming, but also a material with which to work. Having always visible this picture and take a few minutes each day to watch and review the picture, will help us to motivate us, to engage us and work in order to transform this statement of intents into a roadmap with the tasks and milestones for its implementation.

Perform regularly the picture of context, will allow us to evaluate the progress and deviations we are taking to achieve the goal. In real life you can not predict something static, because everything that happens, happen dynamically. The circumstances change, and with them the problems, the goals and the context perception. You may identify new difficulties, new supports or new results, more or less ambitious than we had intended. Adapt the picture of context is even advisable in order to obtain realistic results.

 

 

What do you think about the picture of context? Do you identify some other utility? Have you created your picture of context? How do you use your picture of context?

 

 

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