What is The Jelly Baby Tree?
The Jelly Baby tree has been in use for many years as a way of helping people think more clearly about a current challenge. It's helpful because it takes the pressure off thinking about the emotions behind any situation and allows people to express ideas and aspirations without worrying about being judged or feeling exposed.
Why use this tool?
If you’re trying to have a career conversation with someone you manage, and you’re not getting a clear idea of their goals and aspirations, or if the conversation happens but doesn't seem to lead anywhere, this could be a good way of bring some creative new ideas to the surface.
How to use The Jelly Baby Tree to help someone create a career development plan
- Print out a copy of the jelly baby tree and get some coloured pens
- Ask the person who is developing their career development plan to look at the picture carefully and use one colour to circle in a jelly baby that represents where they see themselves now, and another colour to circle the one that represents where they would like to be in say a year from now or five years (or different colours for both short term goal and a longer term one)
- Ask them to describe why they have chosen each jelly baby and how the interpret each picture. Try not to offer your own opinions or comments. Just listen with out judgement to their thoughts.
- Ask them what they would have to do to achieve the position indicated by their chosen jelly baby.
- Use this as the starting point for setting objectives and making plans for training or gaining new experiences that will help them progress on their way.
This tool is included in The Smart Solution Book - 68 Tools for brainstorming, problem solving and decision making by David Cotton.