A recent visit to Brooklyn has encouraged me to explore the use of images in coaching conversations. New York City’s dramatic and uncompromising skyline lends itself to discussions about power, energy, barriers, self-reliance, resilience, outsiders and much more.
Images can provide a useful starting place for discussions, or a jumping off point as coachees relate the image to their own context, and an opportunity to explore emotional responses to what the image represents.
Having introduced images in your sessions the next step could be to ask your coachee to select their own image to represent their goal or issue as preparation for your next session.
Here are some examples from my recent visit to Brooklyn which could prompt some useful discussions:
I took these 2 photos from the same place – a community farm situated next to Williamsburg bridge. The first is a close up of the fencing through which we can see East river and Manhattan. What is your response to this picture? Do you get the sense of being kept out? Does the barrier overwhelm everything else when you look at this image? The next image of Williambsurg Bridge suggests there is a way through after all – we don’t have to remain behind the fence, we can use the bridge to get to Manhattan. Perhaps we can even enjoy our time at the farm before we leave and learn to view the barrier as necessary for our safety.
Work and Play in NYC
The next two images capture something of the 24 hour lifestyle and frenetic pace of NY life.
The street image prompts me to reflect on the complexity of organisations, and the
need to focus energy in busy work roles, whilst the second image of the rooftop bar, is a reminder of the importance of down time for our own well-being.
Do you use images in your coaching and mentoring conversations? We would love to hear from you. Get in touch via twitter @clarathecoach and look out for a tweetchat about using images in coaching conversations coming soon.