Una's Blog


Happiness 14. What Walt Disney Knew

by Una Hearne.

Walt was successful, right? He had big dreams and created beloved movies and theme parks, innovating all the time. His method was modelled by Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) expert, Robert Dilts and I learned about it when I was studying NLP. See what you think.

Walt used three separate rooms with his teams for creating a Vision and a plan to make the Vision a reality.

  • The Dream (Vision) room – in here the team would dream up new ideas and projects. In this space you can imagine as freely as you like and no one may criticise the dreams. Once a dream is chosen the team moves to…
  • The Planning room. In here everyone applies themselves to setting out the steps to make the dream a reality. No one may criticise the dream and crucially, it is assumed to be possible. When the Plan is complete the team moves to…
  • The Critique room. This is where all possible problems and obstacles are aired. No one may criticise the Dream. The point is to improve the plan. The Plan is taken back to the planning room and steps are added to deal with potential problems. It continues between the two rooms until it is as robust as possible.

Robert Dilts suggested this process would work in a coaching setting to help people’s thinking. I agree, it mirrors the process I created in my Designing Your future course. What’s really brilliant about this is the rules in each room. And the overall rule that you may not criticise the Dream. What this does is separate out the three different kinds of thinking involved, so they don’t interfere with each other. All of us have a preference or a strength in one area. You will probably already be aware of your own preference having read this far. However we are capable of all three kinds of thinking.

You will also most likely be aware of what usually happens in groups trying to create a Vision or a Plan. Typically each person will contribute from their strength and so you get some people coming up with new ideas every five minutes, some people attempting to pin down what’s needed and how that can be done and some people criticising every suggestion made by the others. Getting agreement when all of this is happening simultaneously…. well, lets just say we’ve all seen things designed by committee! If you divide the session into three spaces as above, you harness the collective strength of the group in each area. You generate far more options and far less confusion and finish up with a workable Plan.

Using this process for your own Vision and Plan can be very effective. You can use three different rooms or spaces on the floor, or three chairs to physically anchor yourself in the process. As ever, don’t take my word for anything, try it out yourself and see how it works for you.


Pic credit:.Mysticsartdesign, Art Dreams, Parker West   Found on pixabay

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