Planning a night on the town.
A couple who had learned the game at work were driving the hour or so to Seattle for a date. She turned to him and said, “So, Matt, what is one thing that would make this evening wonderful for you?”
Realizing that Veronica wanted to play, he responded, “To dance to some live music.”
V, “How is that important to you personally?”
M, “I love letting it all go and grooving with real musicians.”
V, “And how might that be important to us?”
M, “Dancing together makes all forms of intimacy easier.”
V, “Thank you.”
M, “Veronica, what is one thing that would make this evening wonderful for you?”
V, “To find a great Greek restaurant.”
M, “How is that important to you personally?”
V, “I love the taste of Greek food and the music they always play.”
M, “How might that be important to us?”
V, “We both need to catch up on our baklava intake.”
M, “Thank you.”
Veronica and Matt played the game, going back and forth for about twenty minutes, committing to nothing and filling the space with outrageous possibilities. (Among other things, they ended up eating Indian, watching a French flick and exploring their desires of living in a world that made more sense while they watched the Vashon ferry.)
Connecting produces personal fulfillment. The Segue allowed Veronica and Matt to shift the attention of the evening from finding the right activities to finding ways to engage each other in exploratory conversation during whatever else they were doing.
The above game is an example of a vision-building Segue. The project was their date; and every project needs to begin with developing a compelling vision, whether the project is a night on the town or building a day care center.
Planning a Family Vacation
Imagine the excitement of a family of four planning for a two-week vacation on Maui! Mom, Dad, Bud (13) and Sis (16). What could be more fun? Really?
What could be more stressful is more like it. Each member of the family has different needs and expectations and different agendas for what will happen once on the Island of Aloha.
Here’s the setting for a vacation from hell. The condo is not within walking distance to anything of interest. The golf course (Dad’s agenda) is far from Lahaina (Mom’s shopping agenda), is far from the sandy beach (Sis’s agenda) and is far from snorkeling (Bud’s agenda). But no one realizes this until they reach the condo and begin preparing for their first afternoon in paradise. Anticipation turns to anxiety and protection replaces generosity as each person prepares to fight for his and her expected outcome.
An alternative vacation planning strategy is to spend perhaps half an hour with the family conducting a Segue around the three questions,
What is one thing that would make this vacation wonderful for you?
What would that do for you personally?
What would that do for us?
This would let everyone know what each others’ desires were and eliminate surprises and power struggles. Everyone wants everyone to have a good time. Strategies can evolve as conditions (weather, car rental options, unexpected expenses, etc.) change. Yes, teenagers can align on and support their parents’ needs being met!