Facilitating Templates


Use these templates in your workshops with your clients or team for quality engagement. Consultants and facilitators save time with this collection.

current future state and path example

Path To Desired State Board

This tool can be useful in coaching and consulting. In coaching, the future or desired state is where the client wants to be at some given point in time.  The current state represents where the client is now. The Gap area are obstacles that the client sees they will need to overcome and milestones they will need to accomplish on the way to their future desired state.  

This can also be used as a strategy tool for a team or organization to move from some current state to a more desired, future state.

In order to get the most of this tool, it is helpful to ask thought provoking questions:

  • When assessing the current state:  “Where am I (or we)?”, “Who am I?”, “What do I do?”, “What assets and strengths do I have?”, “What do I have that we don’t want”, etc.   
  • When designing the desired state:  “Who am I now? “, “What do I have?”, “How do I feel?”, “What am I doing?”.
  • When brainstorming obstacles and milestones:  “What skills must I acquire?”, “Who do I need to help?”, “What limiting beliefs will I need to overcome?”. 

Use the multi-select tool (hold down shift key and then click or draw a box around multiple cards) and the left card menu in order to delete the sample cards that are.    

Cardsmith Pro-tip: Use the Zoom Slider Bar to make the background image larger or smaller in order to fit your screen. 

desire possession matrix example cardsmith

Possession And Desire Board

This is a useful matrix for gaining self-awareness and generating inputs to the goal-setting process. When we can clearly see what we want (or want more of), along with what we have and don’t have, patterns emerge. Then we can identify small and large changes that might be effective in improving our job, relationship, or any situation we’re dealing with (or simply our entire lives).

Choose an area to focus on from your life (such as your work situation), and then add items via cards to the matrix, positioning them along the spectrums of the X and Y axes.   

X-axis: This is the spectrum from Don’t Have (any) to Have (lots). Keep in mind that with some items, it may not be a clear “Have” or “Don’t Have.” For example, take money. You probably have some money. Do you want more?  How much more?  If you want lots more money, place the card far to the right. 

Y-axis:  This is the Don’t Want/Want spectrum. It starts on the left with Don’t Want (at all) to Want (somewhat, or badly) on the right.  

What to place in each zone of the matrix:

  1. Want/Don’t Have. These are potential goals to work towards.
  2. Want/Have. These are things to be grateful for and to protect. As you set goals, you may want to consider these items and make sure you don’t sacrifice something valuable that you already have in the pursuit of something new.
  3. Don’t Want/Don’t Have. You can ignore these items for the most part. However, when considering new options or steps to take, you can look to make sure you don’t take on things that are in this category.
  4. Don’t Want/Have. When you consider changes to make or steps to take, try to design them in a way that will eliminate some of these items. 
  5. Zone of Ambivalence / Ambiguity. These are things that you may want sometimes want but not at other times. This can be subtle. You may be using internal “protection strategies” to avoid wanting something that you deem yourself unable to obtain or accomplish. Take money again as an example. You may want more money, but don’t believe you can get it. Therefore, you’re afraid of wanting it. So then you tell yourself things like, “Money is not important to me.” or “I can live on very little money.” The items in your Ambivalent/Ambiguous zone are worth thoughtful attention. Reflect on them to get more clarity about what you want and don’t want.

Viewing all your items in relationship to each other can reveal new insights and synergies. For example, you might see that you would be very happy in your current job if you could just make a small change. Sometimes, a small change can remove things you don’t want (which is good!) and bring in things you do want. 

So this is a great tool to use BEFORE using the path to a desired state template.  

Cardsmith Pro-tip: Use the Zoom Slider Bar to make the background image larger or smaller in order to fit your screen.    

ansoff matrix template example cardsmith

Ansoff Matrix Board

The Ansoff Matrix is a strategic tool often used by senior management teams to brainstorm, categorize, discuss and decide on the best strategy for future growth.

A team might already know they want to apply one of the growth strategies:  Market Penetration, Market Development, Product Development or Diversification, or they may want to explore a few of these strategies.  Cards with different ideas can be placed into each of the four boxes of the Ansoff Matrix: For example:  Placing a “Decrease the price of a loss leader” card under Market Penetration.

A key feature of this model is that as you move up and to the right, the strategies take on higher risk which will need to be mitigated and managed.

For more information, here’s the Wikipedia entry about this framework.

Cardsmith Pro-tip: Use the Zoom Slider Bar to make the Ansoff Matrix background image larger or smaller in order to fit your screen.    

swot analysis template cardsmith board

SWOT Analysis Board

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. SWOT Analysis is a technique for assessing these four aspects of your organization, team, or project.

When creating a new strategy, the SWOT Analysis can help by encouraging a team to brainstorm and assess the organization’s internal strengths, opportunities in the marketplace, internal weaknesses and external threats.

Ideally you will then use this information to help craft a strategy that will position your organization uniquely in the marketplace and thus build a competitive advantage.  This blog post discusses some ideas about how to create a unique strategy.  

You can also use the SWOT analysis to evaluate a personal decision, such as should I hire someone to remodel my home, or hire a contractor. Doing a SWOT for each option can reveal things you may not have considered such as opportunity costs, hidden risks, etc.

Cardsmith Pro-tip: Use the Zoom Slider Bar to make the SWOT background image larger or smaller in order to fit your screen.    

driving forces brainstorm template example board

Driving Forces Brainstorm Board

Often we want to dive in and start brainstorming solutions to an existing problem. However, it might make more sense to initially figure out what’s driving or causing that problem. In brainstorming terms, this process is called a Drivers Analysis.

The first step of a Drivers Analysis is no different than any other brainstorm session: identify the problem.

Once you’ve done that, rather than focusing on coming up with solutions, try to work out the reason this problem exists. It can be helpful to ask the group questions that address who, what, when, where, why and how. For instance, if sales are down, you might ask, “What are our competitors doing more effectively?” Or, “How have we changed our sales processes lately?”

As brainstorm participants offer their answers to these questions, you will see possible solutions coming to light. Continuing with the example above, you might realize that your company cut back on advertising around the same time your competitors released a popular new commercial on social media. It quickly becomes clear that reassessing your company’s advertising strategy is a solution to the problem.

team coaching engagement process tracker example

Team Coaching Engagement Board

Communicate your unique process to new clients and as a Project Tracking tool during team coaching and consulting engagements.