Carl Rogers has an interesting model about congruence and incongruence. He says that when we can close the gap between our current self and a future self by way of action, feeling and thought we have congruence.

On the other hand, when our current self is not towards a future self we have incongruence.

A training experience comes to mind.

On a few occasions I’ve asked a group of student leaders to stand in a circle, hold up their arms and walk towards the centre and grab the first hands they make contact with.

What ends up happening is that the connected ‘circle’ is now entangled and their task is to untangle.

It’s more an energizer then anything else but a useful one.

We can all get entangled in a way such that we miss the boat between our current self and who we seek to become at times.

Our job is to find ways to untangle.

A useful way to do that?

One of many…Woop (Wish, outcome, obstacle and plan).

Coming back to the example…part two of that exercise was asking student leaders to reflect on a wish (goal), outcome, obstacle and plan.

In pairs they sat at the front of the conference room and role played taking each other through the woop process.

The best response I’ve heard so far from having done this hundreds of times came from one student leader who was posing the woop questions.

“In fulfilling your wish there will be many processes ahead including outcomes, obstacles and plans”.


Writing a goal down or thinking about it is by itself not sufficient. It’s gonna get entangled and when it does you’ve got what it takes to bring back the congruence.

If there is a gap between the current you and who you want to become what can you do to close the circles?

You’re not alone on this. We all oscillate between congruence and incongruence. It’s part of the deal.

Your job is to continue to have overlap between who you are and who you seek to be.



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