I have been using the Power of Six as a reflection tool for a while now. I find the repetitive questions very powerful to get me out of my current way of thinking. Through repetition, we are forced to dig deeper, explore other aspects of our knowledge, take new perspectives, and make connections that are, at times, unexpected. The Power of Six is one tool to facilitate Emergent Knowledge, a process that supports thinking outside of the box and accessing our own knowledge.
In the Power of Six, the questions are very simple. The first question follows the identification of a goal, desire, or exploration topic: What do you know (about that)? For example, you may be reflecting on a decision you need to make (e.g., should I take this job?). You then ask yourself, “And what do I know about that?”. This question is then followed by five times, “And what else do you know about that?”. After these six questions, the set is concluded with “and NOW what do you know about that?”.
While the questions are simple, the process of iteration and repetition is potent and allows for interesting connections. To make this reflection even more powerful, we can add movement through space. I have just completed a course on “Gaining insight through movement,” where I learned a variation in which we encourage participants to explore the space around them as they explore repetitive questions. The key idea behind moving through space is that our interior and exterior worlds are connected, and by looking at things from a different angle, we actually gain different perspectives. A colleague of mine suggested that it is like taking a question for a walk.
With this technique, we start the same way by accessing “what do you know about that?” and then proceeding with movement (about six times).
“And is there another space that you could go to from that space there?”
“And what do you know from that space there?”
After six times, we conclude with, “And what do you know NOW?”
In my daily reflections, I employ this method formally and informally. Formally, I follow all the steps until I am satisfied with the results. Informally, when I am stuck, I ask myself: And is there a space that I can go to that knows about that? And I most often than not, find a new thought that helps me move along.
Give it a go!