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Our Student Shares Reflections On Erickson Coaching Tools

written byMarilyn Atkinsonon 14/11/2017

As I travel the world facilitating Erickson programs, I have the great pleasure to observe how quickly people take up their own quest towards personal wisdom. We coaches provide a visionary center for many quickly evolving communications networks. We assist individuals, corporations, and cultures to reinvent new lives, shucking off old stories, and holding a steady course for the ocean of wisdom.

I was truly happy to see this journal entry from one of our Module I students, Mickey Hinman, as it so closely describes some of the great value that Erickson Coaching provides. I hope you enjoy reading Micky’s insights into the power of Ericksonian Coaching tools and frameworks as much as I did!

Marilyn Atkinson


End of Quest 3 Reflective Journal
After completion of Session 9, Module I online
Facilitator – Tania Walter Gardiner

Question – Which exercises or models that were used during this Quest have been most significant for you and why?

I found the work we have done around Values and Visioning in general, to be very powerful, particularly considering the depth we went into in using the various frameworks. I have done a lot of work previously with consulting clients involving helping them develop a vision, both at the individual level as well as at the collective level. At its core, the work done before was based on creating a mental picture of a future state that the client could to some degree “see” and then begin to make the incremental changes that would allow for the achievement of the vision. In reflection, while this was fine at the surface level, it clearly missed the foundational underpinnings that make it such a more powerful tool.

The key frameworks we used during this Quest can be very impactful when viewed separately, but their real value and potential for positive change lies in how they are so well integrated. This integration provides for both a depth of exploration to support a client in their journey as well as provide a lot of flexibility to meet the client where they are. These tools and approaches collectively focus on:

  • Focus on the positive of what has or can be done, particularly in the context of qualities. The Value Based Self Image tool really builds the vision out in a very connected and personal way for the coachee
  • Seeing the vision in both an in-person frame (Associated) and from an external frame (Disassociated). These allow us to understand both the “feeling” and the “doing” respectively of the vision
  • The Levels of Thought, or Logical Levels, provides a very linear path from each of the levels to the other, whether moving toward a vision or having a vision and moving toward the actions to be contemplated. This is also linked to our Brain System, particularly in creating alignment in the Reactive, Feeling, and Creative segments.
  • The As-If Frame questions can provide a valuable way to allow the client to create the experience in their vision by exploring differing perspectives that might not have been considered previously. Again, there is a lot of flexibility here to go in the direction that will be of greatest value to the client.

During our class sessions, I particularly liked the structure around the using levels of thought. The value to the client is that they can literally use this tool to help to provide clarity to their vision by building it from the foundation up (environment and behaviors), and then going from top to bottom to actually build out the potential next action steps.

The VBSI, when it was introduced in the readings and then through the video demo before our live class session, certainly seemed to extremely helpful in creating a lot of positive energy and focus for the client. The concept of visualizing some of the key qualities associated with what the client is seeing to achieve provides a strong platform for the client to begin to then formulate their respective actions. The dyad we did in class using this technique really amplified the impact this approach can have, specifically in the clarity of the descriptions of the visualizations that were developed. These would provide a strong positive reinforcement for the actions to be worked on and be very supportive to embrace the required changes, vs. being intimidated or overwhelmed by the potential change. Great stuff!

The other tool that I found very helpful was the As If frame questions. Again, this provides a lot of flexibility to explore opportunities with a client that really puts them in a potentially different perspective. I have used the Values shift and Time shift before, but really liked the addition of the others, particularly the Point of View shift and the Doorway Question.

- Mickey Hinman