The Iceberg Idea Tool has been developed as a resource to stimulate thinking and discussion with regard to that which may have previously been hidden or un(der)- explored.

The ‘tip of the iceberg’ represents that which is already known, the tools suggests that we can use attentive noticing and curious questioning to go ‘beneath the surface’ and find out more about a person and what is important to them. The Iceberg Idea Tool is offered as a way of engaging in discovery work that links with personal outcomes approaches within health and social care.



Beginning with what is already known about the person, the tool suggests a careful noticing of what it is that is important to the person, and also importantly the fostering of curiosity as to why that is important.

In situations where people are initially getting to know each other, the prompts below the iceberg are suggested as additional avenues for exploring in order to build up a full picture of what is important to the person and how they like others to engage with them.


Where it could be Used

Ideas for the contexts in which this resource could be used include:

Getting to know new residents/relatives/staff

Care plan review meetings

Activity which supports residents/staff to get to know each other


Resources to download

Iceberg Tool Jan 2020