Rose Thorn Bud Technique for Asking How You Really Are

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The Rose Bud Thorn Technique is a Great Way to Find Out How People are Truly Doing

Or yourself. A great way to ask yourself those questions you don’t always want to answer. With the world emerging from the dreaded C-Word, mental health is becoming increasingly important. As we find out that engaged us, engaged employees and relationships need to go beyond ‘How are you?’, and onto work, and more, ‘No, really how are you doing?’. The rose thorn bud technique does just that.

In a team meeting, this technique is the perfect opening exercise. At home, it can add enough structure to the ‘How was school kids?’, to illicit just a little more information that may lead to a better conversation.

Instructions for Using the Rose Bud Thorn Technique

The Rose Part

Beginning this part might sound like, ‘What was your rose today?’. Obviously, you’ve explained the concept which most people not only understand easily but also like the simplicity of the metaphor, and then warm to it.

You are looking for someone to highlight a success, or a small win, or something that happened positively that day.

The Thorn Part

‘What was the tricky part of your day?’. Or the ‘not so good’ thing?’. You are wanting to find out what has ticked them off, or upset them that day.

The Bud Part

‘What are you looking forward to?’. This part is all about a new idea, or something that will happen that is good.

Infographic with purple rose and labels explaining the Rose, Thorn & Bud check-in from MBM to great people
Use this technique to find out how people are truly doing


An Example of the Rose Bud Thorn

A person might answer the above with the following:

  • A child: ‘We had a great day because it was double P.E. and we played tennis. The not so good part was that Mikey stood on my toe in the playground. Tomorrow, I’m going to squirt him with my water pistol.’
  • An employee: Today, I won a new client, which is fabulous. Though they did beat me up on price. Though, we’ll manage that. Tomorrow, I hope to approach them with our add-on services’.

For a team meeting, each question may be answered in turn. For example, a group may discuss each of their rose for that day, and then they do the thorn round, and so on. Or, each person can answer all 3 together. They are no hard and fast rules.

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May I be so Bold?

I’d prefer to end the exercises on a high, so I’d like to call it the Thorn Rose and Bud technique because we start negatively, then move into the positive, finishing with some hope.

Just a thought 🙂

Related Articles:

Communication and InfluencingCommunication Skills TipsEffective Communication

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