Having been reviewing the original edition of Donkey Bridges (Hay, 1995) for ideas that first appeared then, I realised that I had written about M&Ms previously but only briefly within an article about ‘donkey bridges’ (Hay, 1993).
As far as I can see, the first time it appeared in more detail in a publication was the 1995 version, with the same wording appearing in the 2nd edition of that book (Hay, 2012).
M&Ms were suggested by me as an alternative to the ubiquitous SMART, often presented as standing for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-based, seemed to me to include duplication - how is specific different to measurable, and how is achievable different to realistic?
As an alternative, I stayed with the idea of the small sweets but shifted them from Smarties to M&Ms on the basis also that M&Ms can be lined up with ego states. As with Smarties, it is possible to buy small bags of M&Ms that can be given to participants – if you do this, avoid the ones with peanuts in case any of your participants have a nut allergy. And have supply of some other sweets just in case any of your participants do not eat chocolate.
What I wrote to explain the connection with action planning and ego states was:
I also explained that the M&Ms manufacturers also make plastic dolls, hats and other merchandise with the letter M on the front. These can often be found for purchase at airports. They make a fun ‘prop’ for training courses. I have used the baseball caps to wear a series of three as I explain what each letter M stands for. Alternatively, a set of three of the small figures can be used. The manufacturers also make larger figures with a movable arm; as you pump the arm up and down the other hand gives out small quantities of the sweets. This can be great fun as participants line up to get their reward for having written their action plan using the M&M guidelines – I often add to the fun by insisting that another participant must have checked out their action plan and confirmed that it really is worded to fit MMM.
Hay, Julie (1993) Eselsbrücken INTAD Newsletter 1:4 3
Hay, Julie (1995) Donkey Bridges for Developmental TA Watford: Sherwood Publishing
Hay, Julie (2012) Donkey Bridges for Developmental TA 2nd edit Hertford: Sherwood Publishing
© 2018 Julie Hay
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