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Yesterday, I spent the day in a beautiful old country hall at a conference for coaches. I ran a couple of workshops in the morning at the far end of an enormous dining room. I can’t say I recall ever presenting before in a room where I put my notes on a grand piano, but I think I could get used to it.

The workshops were on the subject of using creativity in coaching, and centred around the themes of metaphor, storytelling and images. To start off, each person was asked to introduce themselves by referring to an object or picture they had chosen from a selection. I never fail to be amazed at how some people struggle at the beginning, saying they can’t see any connections at all between themselves and the object or image, and then proceed to eloquently create some wonderful, almost poetic, metaphors for how they see themselves.

“Metaphors express patterns that would be hard to articulate in other ways.” (Martin & Bell, 2006)

I subscribe to the idea that lofty surroundings help us to think lofty thoughts. It certainly didn’t hurt yesterday. As Nancy Kline wrote in her book Time to Think:

” … I have found consistently that Thinking Environments are places that simply say back to the people, ‘You matter’.”

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