During various training programmes, I often play a game which involves asking participants to write down the first word that comes to mind when I say a certain word. This is the beginning of an exercise in creativity and the purpose is to show individuals how differently we link words with perceptions. For example, if I say ‘set’, some people may write down ‘tea’, others choose ‘tennis’ while ‘maths’ is often given as a response, too.
In this first step of the game, another word I sometimes use is ‘model’ and here again, examples of the first set of responses from different participants could be ‘car’, ‘ramp’ or ‘coaching’. Let me clarify: you could be thinking of the ‘model’ of car you wished to buy, the ‘model’ showing clothing on the catwalk or for those of us who are integral coaches we might instantly link to the ‘models’ we almost unconsciously use in assessing our clients.
So we need to stretch our minds and see how differently others are seeing the world. And the words we use can often be a clue to this. And of course we express ourselves in so many other ways, too. To many of us, colour plays an important part. So when I see an excellent example of an advert using words, colours and ways of appealing to different senses through different sets of words, I find this very exciting. Below is an example of a poster which I find particularly appealing.
But going one step further, I had an ‘aha moment’ when I walked into our neurologist, Dr Zaheer Sacoor’s newly decorated rooms and found that his wife and their decorator had incorporated this magnificent concept into a mural covering a whole wall in their waiting room. This is visually appealing and so appropriate with the work he does. Well done, Dr Sacoor, you are not only a brilliant doctor, but you are thinking outside the box and ‘modelling’ the work you do. Thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration.
It might be a bit difficult to read the words on the image above, so here are the words:
I am the left brain.
I am a scientist. A mathematician.
I love the familiar. I categorize. I am accurate. Linear.
Analytical. Strategic. I am practical.
Always in control. A master of words and language.
Realistic. I calculate equations and play with numbers.
I am order. I am logic.
I know exactly who I am.
I am the right brain.
I am creativity. A free spirit. I am passion.
Yearning. Sensuality. I am the sound of roaring laughter.
I am taste. The feeling of sand beneath bare feet.
I am movement. Vivid colours.
I am the urge to paint on an empty canvas.
I am boundless imagination. Art. Poetry. I sense. I feel.
I am everything I wanted to be.
As integral coaches, we use different models in assessing our clients in order to get a clearer picture of how they are seeing the world and how their ‘issue’ is impacting on their ‘way of being’. And while the concepts embedded in ‘left brain/right brain’ are woven through other models, I have used the beautiful image above as a screen saver to remind myself to question my clients around these concepts. This just could be my ‘missing model’!
For more information on Executive Coaching or training in communication skills please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +27 82 4993311.
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