I like, I wish, what if

My last post focused on how to encourage ideas and more effective brainstorming using “yes, AND!”. Now, I’m going to let you in on some language that will allow you to give more effective feedback. Three simple phrases, I like, I wish, and what if.

How often have you had someone at work (or home) say. “Why did you do that?” or “I don’t like this.” It’s easy to be on the defensive and potentially close up.

I like, I wish and what if is some more d.school magic that changes the posture of the conversation. Here’s an example of how I used this just the other day while reviewing a powerpoint presentation. Here’s how the conversation went…

“Hey, I really like that you were able to show this info in a graph instead of a table. I wish that we could make the text more readable. What if we inserted notes explaining what caused the inflection points on the graph.”

Can you see how using this language has changed the conversation? I could have said what I didn’t like and said, why didn’t you include notes, etc, but that would have been counterproductive. Also it didn’t take me any longer to use IL/IW/WI and the person on the other end is in a good position to take my feedback and make changes.

Try to use I like / I wish / What if this next week and report back. I am betting that you will be more effective at giving great feedback. You could even give me some comments on my blog using I like / I wish / What if!


pdf from the d.school on the method of IL/IW/WI.


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