A Coaching Power Tool Created by Ana Claudia Mazzini e Drigo
(ADHD Coach, SINGAPORE)
You may be surprised if you take a moment to think about the real meaning of the words you use every day. This surprise may be even bigger if you try to describe a word that conveys important topics of your life; topics that constantly mobilize a large part of our emotions and thoughts.
Early in life we learn how to speak; how to construct sentences and consequently, how to tell a history, how to convey feelings and explain concepts. However, do we know what these words mean to us, indeed?
Have you ever thought of images, feelings, songs, poems and physical reactions when describing a word?
References regarding a given word are acquired through real life experiences. Such experiences can be brought to the present if we allow ourselves the opportunity to reflect, thus collecting such references.
In parallel, when it comes to an important topic or decision, we tend to rationalize and think of the best practical decision; instead of giving time and space to get in touch with the feelings related to that specific decision or situation.
Therefore, the concept behind my Mosaic power tool takes a word as a final product of a collection of different experiences and emotions. Consequently, words can work as references to explain feelings that we are not able to acknowledge before.
Common knowledge defines a mosaic as the art of creating images with an assemblage of colored glass, stone or other materials. Humans experience life with five distinct (and complementary) sensory capabilities. Therefore, my Mosaic (the power tool) gives meaning to a word by collecting non-verbal items (e.g. images and/or different sensory stimuli) instead of colored glass/stones. The final product of this exercise is the clarified image and integrated understanding of an important key topic for the coaching process and finally, client evolution. With this concept, the Mosaic process is an important tool that unlocks new self-discovery avenues for the client to explore.
By going through this process, coach and client discover previously unknown (and untouched) nuances of a situation in discussion. The Mosaic power tool allows the client to discuss the main coaching topics in a more ludic fashion, thus creating personal significance to what it is been said.
During the process of describing the items/topics brought by the client, many aspects will naturally be discussed in the coaching space. All sorts of feelings, thoughts, values and underlying beliefs become more evident at this point.
Why would I use Mosaic?
- To build up the significance of a word for a client, allowing all related aspects to arise naturally;
- To create a space for reflection of a subject that has been postponed, supporting the client to engage and face challenging subjects.
How do I know when is the right time to use the Mosaic tool?
- When the client uses a certain word repeatedly;
- When the coach notices that a word represents a significant part of the topic brought by the client or the main goal of the coaching process;
- When the coach realizes that the client is not moving forward with the topic.
How long does the Mosaic exercise takes?
The creation of a mosaic is very personal process, where collecting and selecting the items to be used is a big part of the exercise per se. Do not rush the client, give them time to think and pick each piece.
The creation of the whole mosaic may take a number of sessions and it may also be a parallel process that moves constantly during the weeks, as the client never stops adding images and other references to the piece.
The client will set the pace and the coach will support the client throughout the process with questions clarifying piece by piece over the sessions.
If applied personally: the coach can collect magazines, pictures, colored pencils, internet websites and a printer in order to offer a big range of resources to the client.
If applied remotely (through video call on Skype): the client will collect from their own resources and show it to the coach during the session. They may create a virtual document, instead of a physical one.
- Pay attention to words that may appear repeatedly during the discussions with the client.
- After identifying the repeating word(s), share with the client how you noticed the frequency that the word is being mentioned by him/her, clarifying if they are aware of what that word means to them.
- Invite the client to work on an exercise that will bring clarification on all that surrounds the subject by collecting references that make them think of the word they would like to clarify
- Ask the client to collect anything he/she sees that reminds him/her of that given word (let’s call it “IMPORANT WORD”): thoughts, images, songs, sentences, feelings (anything else that comes up for the client).
- With all items collected in hands, ask the client to start describing the reason that made them pick that specific item, explaining why it was selected.
- Explore each item, allowing the client to understand what role each piece plays in the whole “meaning” process.
- Make notes of words that are being said with more emotion or were said repeatedly.
As the client explains the reason why he/she picked each of the items, ask questions that will help them clarify even more, some suggestions are:
- What aspect of that piece (e.g. song, picture, text, book, or person) made you think of the IMPORTANT WORD?
- How do you connect that item to the IMPORTANT WORD?
- How important is that item for the IMPORTANT WORD?
Working with the results:
- The whole process of describing the items is per se a big result, once the client will gain awareness and get in touch with different aspects of the topic in discussion.
- Make notes of what you are listening and later, repeat it to the client asking about their own impression of what you read to them.
- Explore each item as much as you can.
- This exercise does not aim to have a tangible result such as a specific definition for the IMPORTANT WORD. The process of describing the items is the main goal, allowing the client to discover and connect topics (that seem unrelated at first) and elaborate them.