Creative Consciousness in Coaching: Shades, Shapes and Metaphors

The client that was sitting on the other side said – ‘ Sunil, I am stuck. I can’t seem to find any answers.’

After a series of questions exploring what ‘Stuck’ means to the client.. We were back to the feeling of Stuck.

It was visible on (to) the client, that sense of deep frustration and blankness.

We were coming back essentially to the same loop. I asked the client – We have tried the logical approach so far, would you be interested to try something different and see if it opens up anything for you’…

There was a nod.

I asked them to choose (bring) a sheet of paper, a set of colour pencils and quietly draw whatever came to them.

5 minutes of silence, nothing happened… Then slowly they began to draw, colour and slowly show a spectrum of emotions… 15 minutes of energetic silence and five pages of drawings later, they looked up and said – ‘Thank you.’

Some more silence…

Slowly the client shared about what each drawing meant for them, each colour and what it represented for them. And that feeling of being Stuck was slowly replaced by their own version of ‘Release’.

It was a beautiful experience for the client, and also for me as the coach.

Looking back, all of us were operating from the scope of the unknown. The creative consciousness that carries wisdom far beyond the logical side had been called upon by the client and that wisdom had given them answers..

It was thus the beginning of something beautiful for me. Coaching meets Creativity – two of my passions had found a place to come together and coexist.

For those who don’t know, I am a poet. I have been dipping into the ink of the cosmos to write my poems. Around 12 years, 5000+ poems later is when coaching made it’s way to my life.

And with time, Coaching meets Creativity has evolved to add more activities that enable the client to open doors to the world of the creative consciousness.

I call upon these magic set of tools when the client is going in a loop, not sure of where to go next, what to do.

Sometimes it also happens via the metaphor exploration, giving the client a deeper insight into the story they are telling themselves. So many beautiful experiences, sitting across the screen to see the client move their giant jigsaw puzzle and find their way out of the maze with thoughts finding a medium of creative expression.

I have learnt to trust my intuition a little more as a coach, share without attachment, some of the metaphors that also come to me naturally at a point in the conversation. I have learnt to enable the client to heed to their inner Storyteller.

This has helped me unlock the value systems, beliefs, limiting beliefs and more.

Sometimes, when the creativity tools are born in the session, they come from a source deep inside of me… I call it the ‘Swayambhu’ wisdom.

For those clients who find a lot of resonance with logic, structure and order, these tools have been effective and mostly liberating even. (Using the clients’ words here – like a good coach)

For those who have already opened the creativity portal – the creativity tools help them go deeper and jump up a gear.

Colours, Numbers, Images, Metaphors, Storytelling and a load of other tools are in my arsenal of tools now. It’s a magic world when it comes to Creativity meets Coaching.

My challenge has been to hold my horses and not use these tools everytime but in judicial use only.

I would suggest that coaches also dip into using creativity as a tool/mechanism for coaching. Do it themselves first and then experiment with it in peer coaching and once confident move that to real clients.

With Coaching meeting Creativity, I have grown as a Coach to be unattached, unbiased and be like a reader approaching a mystery novel, letting the adventures for the characters unfold… Maybe a gentle nudge somewhere in between.

Let me know, what you do when the client is stuck?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

You can connect with Sunil- Click Here

Sunil Sathyendra

Sunil Sathyendra goes by the name Nimma Coach, meaning Your Coach. He is Your Coach for all things Coaching, be it Leadership, Relationships, Career or more. He specializes in using Creativity, Exploring the stories we tell ourselves and how it impacts our lives. He hails from Bengaluru. He is a poet, sustainability enthusiast, podcaster and Volunteers to raise funds for charity. You can connect with Sunil– Click Here

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3 thoughts on “Creative Consciousness in Coaching: Shades, Shapes and Metaphors

  1. Sunil, such a powerful post and personally so timely. I’ve always tended to focus on the logical/analytical tools in my coaching conversations with clients. Your sharing made me realize that while I’ve found imagery and visualisation very useful for myself, I’ve rarely tried these with my own clients (even in stuck situations). While I’m still not sure how effectively I might be able to use these (that inner voice :)), you’ve inspired me to experiment & explore outside my comfort zone – thanks for sharing!

  2. We have to be creative in everything we do,
    When you are creative you get more positive energy to move forward, we also become more persistent
    The cochee is also happy as he has something new to look upon, a new experience

  3. Suba Lakshminarasimhan

    Coaching can be joyful for both the coach and coachee. Such creative nudges will sure bring in different perspectives and new ways of looking at the topic.

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