releasing the energy for change

"The evidence concludes that the image effect connects with both the voluntary part of the autonomic nervous system and the involuntary part, not normally under conscious control. For learning, the most important finding is that images create a bridge between conscious processing of information and physiological changes in the body. These changes provide the energy and will that precede action... when clients visualise what they want to achieve, success is more likely."

Learning Theories and Values

image and the emotional brain

When teaching others to use the GROW coaching model, I've noticed that novice practitioners often feel tempted to skip over the first 'GOAL' stage. Spending time visualising the ideal future seems a little 'pie in the sky', dreamy, fuzzy... It can also seem an effort of faith to reach beyond the known and challenging REALITY, and we can feel eager to get into sharing the details of our troubles to a trusted, confidential ear.

In practice, when checking-in on these coaching sessions in progress, if the conversation feels heavy, if the thinking feels lacking in creativity and inspiration - like a rocket failing to break through the earth's atmosphere and instead being pulled back down into status quo thinking by gravity - i ask: 'did you spend time visualising what the goal would be like?'

My experience is that time asking questions like the following, leading the client to imagine and visualise, is time well spent: it unleashes energy, optimism and creativity that is crucial for thinking differently.

Questions to help with the GOAL stage:

What would it feel like? what difference would it make to you? how might it improve your enjoyment of work/home/rest/relationships, etc? what difference might it make to the other person? what difference would it make to the company? imagine walking away from a successful meeting / event / etc... what would that be like?

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