I ran a coach training course this week and, during a practise session, one of the participants drew coloured symbols on post-its as an aide memoire. They were familiar symbols – the kind you might see on a CD or DVD player: rewind, play, pause, fastforward, stop:
*Rewind: e.g. ‘Let’s remind ourselves of the outcome you’d like to work towards. What stands out to you now as most important in this?’
*Play: e.g. ‘Say more..? How would it be if you were to draw that? How are you feeling now as you talk about this?’
*Pause: e.g. ‘Let’s just pause for a moment. Where are we now? What do we need to do next?’
*Fastforward: e.g. ‘OK…moving forward…what will your next step be?’
*Stop: e.g. ‘Is there anything else we need to do today? Are we finished?’
They also drew a cup of hot tea as a useful reminder that, sometimes, it’s good to step back from the issue, have a break and return to it with fresh energy if needed. I loved the idea of using these visual symbols as simple prompts. What prompts have you found useful?
Nick is a psychological coach, OD consultant and trainer, specialising in critical reflective practice.