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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

Attending to Desired State

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


October 27, 2014

Costa and Garmston suggest that true mediators monitor themselves for three resources that serve to sustain the mediative process: reciprocity, intention, and desired state.

An overarching concept held in the mind of a coach or facilitator is, “What is the desired state for this person or group?” The States of Mind and Energy Sources provide a conceptual framework for listening for desired state and assessing future visions.

If the person or group is experiencing a feeling of helplessness, the vision would be to help him/her achieve a feeling of efficacy.

If the person or group were struggling with vagueness or a lack of clarity, the vision would be for clarity about goals, outcomes, vocabulary, strategies, or definitions.

If the person or group is unaware of how actions and values affect others, the vision would be to build greater consciousness of those actions, values and effects.

If the person or group is holding on to a rigid stance or narrow perspective, the vision could be for more flexibility in thinking, holding alternative perspectives.

If the person or group is experiencing isolation, the vision would be to develop stronger, interdependent relationships, connectedness, and a sense of affiliation and belonging.

This week consider a group you facilitate and/or a person you coach. What are some of your observations about what the desired state might be for the group or person? What is your evidence of this? How are you going to be intentional in assisting the group/person in envisioning the desired state and becoming more resourceful in moving towards it?

Source: Costa & Garmston (in press). Cognitive Coaching, 3rd edition. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

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