Getting Unstuck

October 2011

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This is audio only— no slides this time.

This month was focused on where people were getting stuck. We talked about a whole range of things, from starting to practice, to the differences between using the tools face to face and online, to incorporating them into classes.There are lots of great tips on the recording.

Michelle R sent in a great set of questions. The last part of the call was focused on talking about a whole range of issues members raised (some might not be applicable to Michelle, since we didn’t have her on the call to get any clarifications.)

During the last few sessions I’ve felt a little awkward, as if I’m not giving them the help and insight they expected. I’m not sure if it’s a matter of managing their expectations better or honing my coaching skills further, or maybe both. I basically tout the advantages of the ImageCenter as being the way that images quickly get to the heart of an issue in a way that the analytical and logical mind can’t, and say that people are often surprised at the insights they gain from a session.
During the actual session, they’re engaged and animated when telling me about the images they chose. I’ll thank them for sharing the story behind the collage . . . and then there’s this awkward silence when I’m not sure what to say next, and they’re just waiting. I can notice overall patterns, such as “the way you’ve laid out the pictures suggests that you’re pretty right-brained and creative,” or “I notice a lot of parallel straight lines, which could indicate all kinds of things–do they suggest anything to you?” but there is often another awkward pause, where I feel like the person must be thinking, “Wait a minute, I booked this session so you could tell me insightful things. Why are you asking me?”
Maybe I’m just projecting this out of my own insecurity, but that’s where the conversation has fallen flat a few times now, so I don’t know. When we first get on the phone I frame the ImageCenter exercise as something they’ll do and which we’ll then look at together, but maybe there’s a way I could clarify that? Or maybe there’s a way I can do better during the discussion of the image collages? Umm . . . probably both. :o) But I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
I asked clarifying questions: As to the issue about silence, I will talk about it and see how others are doing around it. It’s a really good question/topic. My questions—- have you asked people what their experience was? Or if they got anything from the session?

And she responded:

The issue around silence–cool. You managed to distill all my rambling into a single phrase. :o)
And no, I haven’t asked about people’s experiences, although a few have taken the initiative to send me thank-you emails!
So if you want to add to your list of questions one about how best to solicit honest feedback without feeling like you’re just asking for pats on the back, that would be cool too. :o)

Technical Notes

The free webinar platform we have been using, Anymeeting, updated their software recently. We had a few people who had difficulty getting into the system as a result, and we had to update Flash plugins.

A special note to Mac users– you and your participants need to have Snow Leopard or Lion for operating system. Older systems don’t seem to work.