This article is going to be a coaching exercise for me 😉. Why? I’m pretty good at spreading ideas and sharing my knowledge but I’m less good at celebrating success and showing great feedback received 😊. Sometimes I’m too busy and run fast forward, but many times, I’m simply having this kind of inner dialogue which you might know about modesty, temperance and letting things speak for themselves.
But this time, there is a special occasion. It is about coaches feedback received after the ‘Photography in Coaching. Making the Future Visible’ presentation at the EMCC Global Coaching, Mentoring and Supervision conference that took place recently.
Together with my colleague, Bara Belova who is a manager, mentor and coach we challenged ourselves to demonstrate a live coaching session on ‘The Most Important Photo’ – which is a coaching process that I’ve been developing based on the use of client personal photos and the model of neurological levels.
And here is what some of the conference participants shared:
This sort of topic can be filed under ‘Creative Stuff’ all too often. The use of personal visuals in our lives today is part of our everyday conversation; whether that be a visual or spoken exchange. This is so relevant to all natures and approaches to coaching.
My comment: Yes, indeed. The experience shows that clients personal photos are very useful in all coaching niches, i.e.:
- life coaching – think about personal resources that are visible in the photos,
- executive coaching – think of values that drive behaviours and leadership style,
- career coaching – think of profile photos that are our public messages about our uniqueness,
- relationship coaching – think of emotions and thoughts that relationship photos can evoke,
- wellbeing – think of taking photos as mindfulness practice or creative thinking,
- team integration and coaching.
Also, active taking of photographs is an excellent way to facilitate people communication and exchange of ideas, especially when there is a need to think out of the box and to speak beyond language limitations.
I found this very thought-provoking and powerful. I have been incorporating pictures and art into my coaching over the last year and will use ‘The Most Important Photo’.
My comment: It’s so nice to read that other coach also uses photos. Many use ready decks of photos to stimulate thinking and communication. I’m happy that you are inspired to use this process of the Most Important Photo. The use of clients’ personal photos is something unique in terms of connecting to the true self.
Learning a new way to help the client tap into his/herself was very helpful. Especially in this day and age of “selfies.
My comment: Well, yes. Memories and emotions triggered by our personal photos remind us of parts of ourselves that we might forget in a daily race. A simple photo from holidays, work, graduation, family home or the one we took and are proud of, can be very insightful in talking about what matters to us in life generally. And authenticity is a meaningful topic today.
Great appreciation to Bara for being willing to act as a coachee and great appreciation to Dorota for taking us through the coaching exercise. Using the personal photo was very inspiring. Thank you
My comment: It was an act of openness and courage. But we also benefited a lot from it. We learned a lot. I think that the session we presented was the most reflected one I ever had. Also, we were supported by the EMCC team in all the preparatory tasks, including the pre-recorded session, conference papers, promotional interviews. The work that was done by the EMCC team to organise this conference deserves the highest admiration and gratitude.
True coaching, thus very relevant!! 🙂
Insightful, innovative, valuable. Loved this session thank you both!
One more thing to share maybe. Besides the conference presentation, we also prepared a conference paper dedicated to ‘The Most Important Photo’ and the power of photography in coaching. I will be happy to share it with you. If it is of interest to you, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are some of my quotes from the conference paper:
Photography assists us from birth on in all we create in life based on our dreams and hopes, strengths, relationships and achievements.
Photographs mirror, materialize and document the experiences of human life – our biography. They make it easier to connect to what matters to us. They trigger memories and provide a lot of material for the thinking process.
The Most Important Photo connects you to something meaningful in your life and to the essence of who you are and what is your core life experience. It is one of the important photos that are kept to remember important moments and people in life.
When you ask your coaching client to look for his or her most important photo, they will reflect on what matters to them in life.
If you wish to learn more about photography in coaching, you can reach my book ‘ONE IMAGE – MANY WORDS. Photography in personal development, healing and education. Notes from a personal journey‘. It is available here
Thank you for reading this article.
Dorota Raniszewska – certified professional coach, EMCC Coach and Mentor – Senior Practitioner, accredited coach Izba Coachingu, certified trainer, author of the book “ONE IMAGE – MANY WORDS. Photography in personal development, healing and education. Notes from a personal journey”.
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