If you see an opportunity to coach, but have little time to spare, the technique I'm about to describe is an effective way to get tangible results in 15-20 minutes.
As a practising coach, you'll know the need for readiness, so it pays to carry a set of pictorial coaching cards. If you do, you have everything you need to make this work when the opportunity arises.
You'll also need a quiet space (not overlooked) and a cafe sized table.
This technique involves a number of steps, and a series of simple questions.
The first step is to ensure your coachee is ready and willing. Then spread out all the cards face up on the desk. Ask the client to spend little time taking in all the images and - without over-thinking - to choose just one. Use the series of questions in the order they are listed, and give the coachee time to respond before moving to the next one.
- Question 1. 'What drew you towards that image?'
- Question 2. 'What thoughts does it bring to mind?'
- Question 3. 'Of those thoughts, which do you want to pay attention to?'
- Question 4. 'What comes to mind as a goal or action to move things forward?
You can see where I'm going with this - the questions are simple and yet they do the coaching work effectively. Keep it clean!
N.B. Clear expectations need to be set. If you are not likely to see the client again, contract accordingly. Or, be clear about how and when there might be an opportunity for a longer follow up session. Stay within a clear ethical framework.
Early on in my coaching career, I realised that images have the power to 'unstick' a client when straightforward coaching questions aren't working. I also realised that quirky, more metaphorical images work better than photographs.
The truth is, you can use almost any selection of images - early on, I used photocopied clipart. Now, I want my clients to work with the best that I can give them.
If you'd like to add a set of my hand-illustrated cards (there are 44 of them!) to your coaching toolkit - have a look here. You can use code Linked 20% to get 20% discount on any products in my shop right now.
Best wishes - Pete