I came across the concept of the ice cream boomerang when I was on a lecture with the Swedish coach Kjell Enhager.
Kjell told a story about when he was supposed to go on a holiday with his family. He drove from one place to another and his only goal was to get there as quickly as possible. After driving for 10 minutes a voice came from the back seat. His daughter wanted to stop for ice cream. Instinctively, Kjell replied no, killed the mood in the car, and kept driving. A few minutes later, his daughter said the following.
I know we can’t get an ice cream, but if we could, what flavor would we then get.
A few minutes later the family had stopped for ice cream.
I am sure you are familiar with a boomerang, it is a weapon that you threw away in one direction and then it comes back from another direction. This was exactly what happened with his daughters’ question – hence the name of the concept.
The ice cream boomerang can be varied infinitely, and the purpose is taking you from obstacles to opportunities.
In all it´s simplicity I think it is a brilliant tool.
The structure of the boomerang is to first follow “I hear that you say that it can’t be done”
and then turn the focus toward something new “but if it could be done”
and help the person come up with the solution himself “what solutions are there”.
Below a few more examples:
- I understand that the problem is difficult, but if it could be solved, what is the first thing you need to do?
- I know that I don’t have the strength to train right now, but if I did, how would I feel afterward when I am done with the training.
- I know that you are bored and don’t have anything to do since it is raining outside, but if the sun was shining, what would you be doing then?
The power of the concept lies in pretending to be someone else. Piece of advice though is to only use the boomerang with good intention and not use it in intimate situations – “I know that you don’t want to have sex, but if you…..”
You get the picture.
The next time you face a problem or feel stuck – try the ice cream boomerang to find the solution.
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