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