• Chris

Where to Start: What Do You Feel?

In this series, Danny and I share some ideas, so you can get started with transforming your community. We will continue to share some of the insights we have gathered in our work with some amazing organisations. Get in touch if you want to work with us, or to find out more.

Check out 'Part 1: What do you See?' here.

The next step on the journey to bringing transformation is to pause to notice. ‘What do you feel?’ Or in other words, ‘What is inspiring you?’


Because when people are inspired they are willing to take a daring jump towards something great.

There isn’t really a secret to this. To be honest, in most cases, the ‘See’ and ‘Feel’ stages that we talk about go hand in hand. There is nothing special to distil, and no secret technique to try. But we encourage people to take their time. To reflect, and to notice what they are feeling.

There are lots of reasons why lots of us struggle to do this these days, but that’s a blog for another day.

When what we see moves us emotionally, (perhaps spiritually), something profound happens; we become inspired. Inspired people are motivated to catalyse change, because when inspiration truly grips us we feel our apathy begin to fade.

Our role with this is only to nudge, to encourage and to listen. Tom Camacho calls it ‘Mining for Gold.’ To get alongside the leaders we are working with, listening without assumption. This isn’t a one-time thing. It takes time.

We try not to get too practical at this stage. I know that in my own life, I can sometimes talk myself out of something, listing all the reasons why it would be impossible, instead of allowing myself to really be inspired. So we let the practicalities wait for another day.

Sometimes the people that we are walking with can feel stuck. That they are beginning to see what is going on around them, but still don’t know quite what to do about it, if they even still want to do anything, or instead to go back to not seeing.

So we ask questions, to raise their awareness, and to help them to unlock their thinking.

We might ask about what they have seen when they have been walking in their area; what groups of people they feel inspired to help; what it is that they are hearing people are struggling with; if there is anything that their team is inspired by.

Our goal is to bring clarity. What are their passions? Their motives? What do they feel as though they have been made to do? We want to bring the first steps towards momentum.

We try not to make judgments on what is possible, or otherwise, but instead ask the ‘what if’ questions…

If you had the time/money/opportunity to do it, what would you do?

What would you love to see happen?

What gives you (and your team) energy?

What are some of the ways you could approach this situation?

Sometimes the questions go deeper than that, as we try to release creativity and innovation.

We want the leaders that we work with to begin to discover how their unique gifts and experience can truly bring transformation. We want them to be inspired.

When we are inspired we see new possibilities, it transforms the way we perceive our own capabilities and it gives us the resolve we need to make our vision a reality.

It is important to note that this inspiration really doesn’t come from us at Sparkworks. We might share some ideas of what we have seen work elsewhere – but that is not the main focus. It is all about the individual journeys of the leaders that we are working with, and their wider teams. We get inspired when we see this inspiration!

Over the course of the next few weeks, we begin to establish what the next steps are, begin to strategise and plan. But for now, it's about daring to jump!

Sparkworks is a Project of the DGO Foundation.

DGO Foundation is Registered with Charity Commission for Northern Ireland,

Charity no. 104689, Company no. 604372, Registered Address 19 Culcavy Road, BT26 6JD

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