Sometimes coaching clients can get stuck internally. They're only thinking about the possibilities inside themselves. As a professional coach your intuition and coaching spider senses probably start to tingle as you notice it may benefit them to help to 'get things out of their head’.
So, here’s a simple, creative way to play with this coaching scenario. Be aware! It's not a pattern to follow exactly, please use this post as inspiration and not a strict format!
Ask your client to clear a small space in front of them and to grab 3 objects that are close by. They can be any objects, no need to be specific. Then ask:
“which one of the objects represents you?”
Notice what happens and be curious. Be lead by the coaching client before asking:
“Pick another one of the objects to represent a challenge / opportunity you have at the moment, and add it in"
Notice what happens and be curious. This is where stuff gets interesting 🤓.
“What direction are the objects facing?”
“Is the object that represents you looking towards or away from the object that represents the challenge / opportunity?”
Explore proximity of the objects
“What about the space between them? Are they the right distance apart?”
“What would you like instead?”
“When have you been closer to the object?”
Time to introduce the third object now by asking:
"if the third object represents the thing that can help you most with the challenge / opportunity, then where would you place it?”
Notice what happens and be curious. (Yeah, again...). Feel free to explore feelings and proximity some more, before moving on to:
“what happens if you change perspective i.e. looking at the from above, or underneath?”
Do you need to add any more objects into this picture?
Do you want to change any of the objects for something different?
Observation: every single time of using this coaching constellation activity and asking this question, I have NEVER had a client say that they wanted to change to objects. Clearly what the objects represent is the key, but the objects themself are pretty irrelevant.
Ask your coaching client to pick up and hold the object that represents the problem / opportunity. Wait a few seconds and then provoke them with:
What effect does that have?
How heavy is it?
What do you have the urge to do with it?
Observation: This can be quite triggering. When we ran this activity during a recent creative playground for coaches session I had the urge to CRUSH my problem; someone else ATE theirs; and another participant decided to put it in their pocket for later.
As we move towards concluding the coaching session it's important to take the client to the gift shop and see what they would like to take home with them.
What would be the best / ideal scenario for these objects
Be curious if they would to re-arrange them, then:
So..what comes out when you look at this now?
What small step can you take towards making this a reality?
This super easy and fun constellations activity never fails to bring creativity, curiosity and playfulness into a professional coaching conversation. For Fede and I, this is where we flourish - how about you? What's your experience with this technique?