Planning descends from vision and values. If we take as part of our job, the Fool's role, of uplifting clients values, what tools or techniques might work?
- A text that resonates with the client's deeper beliefs and personal history.
- An open ended question that leads the client to see his or her journey in a new light.
- A site visit that opens the client's eyes or heart.
- A conversation between client and a friend who is passionate about a cause.
- A conversation with an issues advocate or domain expert.
- Attention to the themes of a client's life, with special attention to those that seem to emerge from a deeper core of memories and commitments, often submerged. (Can often be sensed when the language changes from prosaic to Biblical or other sacred or humane source. Can sometimes be heard in the silences or seen working in the client's face between confident assertions.)
- Active listening as the client tells and retells a life story that seems to reach a knot that remains tied.
- Active listening as the client becomes an instrument of grace, or inspiration, or whatever wells up in us at our most self-transcending moments.
To say that clients come to us with their values and that we implement strategies and tactics is safe enough and represents the worldly wisdom of our guild. But helping clients gain perspectives and become who they really are seems a higher calling, though few have embraced it. I know I have a daily self, and every so often, my better moments. I think we owe clients a chance to transcend their everyday self. A few will.
What will be remembered of us? Our daily self? The self we show at our worst? Or, the higher self that we reach upon rare occassions? We can plan with clients for any of those, but to plan for the best we must create an opening where it can show itself.