Ask the Right Question Reframe Metaphor
Apple Orchard Challenge your assumptions
Ask the right question
Sometimes we keep doing things and get nowhere. And sometimes we should stop and think about whether the reason we are not getting an answer, is because we are not asking the right question.
This little metaphor story illustrates the point nicely. Tell it to your client and just leave it hanging there. The client's subconscious mind will work it out for you. And maybe find the right question.
The Apple Orchard
My father told me that when he was a boy there was this woman who lived near him on the outskirts of town. She had an apple orchard, and she never could get the result she wanted. She pruned the trees right, fed them the way they should be, tried everything she could think of. But never got the big, healthy apples she longed for.
There was always something going wrong. One year the wind blew the blossoms off the trees, and there was no fruit. Then next year she got a few but the birds pecked holes in them. Then it rained for months and the apples rotted. The following year it was insects. And so on. It seemed she just couldn’t get any luck.
She was near despair. One day an old man came to her door and asked for something. He had a limp, and a twisted back. Clearly, life had not treated him kindly, and yet there was an energy about him. She asked him where he was going, and he said ‘All the way to the end’. "Where have you come from?" And he said ‘We all come from the same place’. She thought his answers were strange.
Then, she told him about her apple trees and how nothing worked for her. He thought about it for a while, and then said ‘Your problems may not be where you think they are’. ‘Have you considered whether you are asking the right question?’
And he went on his way.