Wisdom Explorer™ is a tool used in leadership development and educational settings to promote reflective thought and dialogue in support of wise actions. Each of the 101 cards contains a wisdom quotation about leadership, learning, and life. Wisdom Explorer works by taking wisdom from around the globe and across the ages and putting it into the middle of a creative conversation.
Here is a sample of Wisdom Explorer cards …
By seeking and blundering we learn. … There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. … When the music changes, so does the dance. … We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are. … We meet no Stranger, but Ourself. …
In a typical session, each person selects one or more quotations in response to a framing question. For example, a framing question might be “What key insights do I have from this week’s program?” Participants are asked to choose one or more cards that respond to the framing question. A creative conversation about the question and chosen quotations ensues. Participants may then keep their cards as a memento, paste the cards into journals, paste them into a group collage, and so on.
A leader is a dealer in hope. … Those who do not move, do not notice their chains. … Don’t set sail on someone else’s star. … In the long history of humankind, those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed. …
Ways to use Wisdom Explorer:
- Reflection and dialogue in a leadership program. After receiving feedback from a variety of sources, each person browses the cards and chooses one or more in response to framing questions such as: “What am I learning? What does this feedback mean for my own leadership approach? What assumptions in life do I need to let go of or transform? What wisdom do I need to lead, learn and live the way I want?” Individual reflection and journaling precedes small group dialogue about the meanings and implications of the quotes.
- One-on-one coaching. The coachee chooses one or more cards about insights into the challenges being faced. A coaching dialogue emerges from the mutual exploration and interpretation of the selected cards. WE can also be used “solitaire” for self-coaching.
- Youth leader development. In classrooms or camps, ask students to choose a card for personal journaling and group discussion, in response to the challenges and lessons presented. Framing questions include: “What am I learning about myself? What wisdom do I need in my life? What wisdom do I live by now? Where do I want to go in my leadership, learning, and life?”
Wisdom Explorer™ may be combined with other Leadership Explorer™ tools. For example: use Visual Explorer™ to explore complex challenges faced by the organization and Leadership Metaphor Explorer™ to explore leadership culture and Values Explorer™ to discern the values required.