Tools and consultancy to help people listen to each other and work together better
Home Contact me Ezine sign up Biography Search Business

There is a simple way to be happier. Take turns sharing stories about times when you were happy and when you made someone else happy. Here are more Eye-Opening Conversation starters.
Browse Site
Links & Resources
New Stuff
Free half hour
Appreciative Inquiry
Core Process
Discover your Purpose
Case examples
Effective Meetings
For Consultants and Trainers
For Individuals
For Managers
Free E-book on Developing People
Interfaith work
Building Peace
Installing Love
Love is on the way
Loving Politicians
Releasing Creativity
Previous Page Printable Version
Core Process - Appreciating who you are


Consultants working with organisations using the 'Open Systems Planning' approach of Clark and Krone saw organisations as having a central 'reason for being' or 'core mission'. There had to be one answer to the question 'What business are we in? '.

Chris Bull, Robin Coates and Calvin Germain extended the idea of core mission to apply to a person. They created a method, using the 'Open Systems' approach and counselling, to enable an individual to discover his/her own core mission. They called this personal mission 'core process'.

What is the core process of an individual?

The positive centre of the individual is unique. As that person goes through life he/she will finds situations in which everything goes well. Under these circumstances the core process, which is at the heart of the centre, is operating freely. The core process is consistent through time for an individual. Thus the life/job that will best suit a person is one that is consistent with the core process.

Your core process shows you what you are here on the planet to do.

The core process describes the best way for the individual to handle any situation. It is very useful as a guide to management style and in team building situations. We find it remarkably hard to imagine anyone else working in a different way from us. It can also provide a guide when people feel stuck. Ask them 'What would you do if you were following your Core Process?

The form of the core process is a verb and a noun. Typical examples are Growing Life and Lighting Fires. The person gives a very rich meaning to these simple words.

Finding the core process

Step one. The client describes three or four peak experiences and how he or she felt then.The facilitator listens and draws out the feeling and meaning of the experiences.

A hypothetical example follows.

Family celebration

Rebuilt a team

Met my wife to be

First child born



Felt happy and safe

Felt proud and excited

Felt excited and happy

Overwhelmed with love and thanks


Step two.  The client picks one peak experience to explore in more detail. The facilitator elicits verbs and nouns that describe what the client was doing and what she/he was doing it to/with.


















Step three. The client picks three or four words from each list that appeal to him/her.









Step four. The client synthesises the words into a phrase that has strong personal meaning to the client. This can take quite a long time as the words are inevitably very positive. It helps to work with less than perfect words first before homing down on the final phrase. This will be an active verb with a noun and possibly a modifier.

This could be "Growing Harmony"

Step five. The core process is now 'checked'. If it is right the client will feel it inside her/him, often in the solar plexus. It will feel exciting and lead to the client making many new connections to their experience. The client will see how it fits all the 'ups' in stage one. She/he will see how to use the process as a life direction or a way out of a crisis. All core processes are two-way. They show our preferred way of giving and receiving energy. Finally, many see their core process as an aspect of a positive process that is going on the world

Results of using this method

Early work in an ICI course developed a great increase in energy, self confidence and willingness to be supportive. People reported they had less ups and downs and got out of the downs faster. One eighth of the people left the company or changed jobs within six months to do their own thing.

I have used it since mainly in one-to-one counselling when career counselling with CEPEC and independently. It is good at liberating energy, self awareness and imagination. It can help people find a new career or life direction. People also become more determined to make their contribution to the whole. It also works well in a small group. People then support each other.

Here are a few of the things people have said:

“A remarkable tool.”

“Helped me discover my unique gifts and how I best add value to the world, doing what I love doing.” 

“I had an extraordinary session. There came a point where I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. The more I think about it (my core process) the better it gets.”

“Brilliant. I now have a greater understanding of why things happened in my life and how I can make them better in the future.”

More Information

There is more information about how to do core process work here.

I also train people how to deliver it. If you are interested in this, please contact me via the website or email or call +44 1707 886553.


Please use any of the buttons below to share this article more widely.


I would love to know what you think of these ideas:

Your email address (if you would like a response):

Your Comments:

Select "I Confirm" this is an anti-spam measure:


Contact me

Phone +44 (0)1707886553, or +44(0)7879861525 email or Skype nickheap

Using these materials
I am entirely happy for you to use or draw on any these materials in any way you think will be helpful. I am keen to have my work, and the work of the people I have learned from, used.  


The language on this site is correct UK English throughout. There are differences in spelling and meaning between UK and US English. The context should make the material understandable in the US.

Further Information

There are free articles, exercises, designs, book references and links to other sources about many aspects of personal, team, management and organisation development on this website. I will add other resources as I learn what you want.

View Nick Heap's profile on LinkedIn
Previous Page Back to Top Home Printable Version
home, site map, privacy policy, site design by ltd, © Nick Heap 2004