Monday, November 23, 2015

Six Ways to Bring Visuals into your work with groups and teams

For many years now I have seen the transformative power of integrating images in my coaching work
Team and Conversation Sparker(TM)Decks -
with individuals, teams and groups. It led me to launch my own photo deck called Conversation Sparker(TM) in the spring of 2014, a product which is now being used by coaches and leaders in industries as wide ranging as music, health care, financial services, the legal profession, publishing and transportation.

Visuals can create a new entry way into insights and ideas. I continue to hear from and group members I get to work with how the photos unlock new ideas for them, as well as help them articulate their ideas.

there are many ways we can be using images in our work. From visioning, to using images as an opening activity or closing activity, visuals can deepen awareness for an individual, create synergy in a team, or lock in the learning from a workshop or retreat.

Here's six different ways you may want to use visuals - taken from a brochure that accompanies the Conversation Sparker Cards (a 72 card deck which includes 50 photos and 22 questions. You can download an 11-page brochure here and enjoy these different ways to use visuals.

My blab this week - on Wednesday November 25th from 930-10 will be focusing on real-time ways to work with cards (so drop in a be ready to play and perhaps glean some new insights). You can find out more about this week's blab here.

Six Quick Activities for the Conversaton Sparker(TM) Cards - Jennifer Britton, Copyright 2014.

The Conversation Sparker Cards™ can be used by team leaders, facilitators, coaches and trainers. Just as the name implies, it is our hope that the Conversation Sparker Cards™ will create the spark for deeper dialogue. The cards can be used in a team meeting, workshop, retreat or coaching session. This brochure includes six ways you may want to incorporate the Conversation Sparker Cards™ into your next program.

1. Select a Card
The facilitator/leader, coach or trainer will lay out the cards on a large table or in an area where all the cards can be seen by participants. It can be useful to lay them out on a freestanding table so people can move around it and see the photos from different perspectives. You may want to include cards with photos or also include the cards with questions.

A virtual twist - Have group members select a photo from those that you have shown on your whiteboard, or sent as PDF form. A digital license can be purchased online at
Give each person a few minutes to select the card. For those that have purchased the deck, you can download a Worksheet to use with this activity.

 2. Create a Vision:
For individuals - Have individuals select a photo which represents their vision (for their work, leadership, business, career etc). Give them time during the session to make notes on it, dialogue around it or have them journal their ideas before your next conversation point.

For a team - Have a team create their own story line using the photos included in the deck. What are significant milestones in the past and/or future?  Team members can also create their own drawings of their vision using blank index cards.

3. Conversation Sparking Questions
The main Conversation Sparker Card deck comes with 22 questions , some with photos, some plain. You can use these questions in several ways:
1. Have each person pick a card for individual reflection
2. Team leaders can select a card for the team to be in dialogue around that week at their staff meeting
3. Each team member can select a card which they want to spark conversation in the team around.

4. Creating Connection:
At the start of the program have individuals select the card which represents what they uniquely bring to the group. Have them introduce themselves to the larger group sharing the card they selected and  providing their story behind it.

5. What’s Possible?
If you could make a change right now and follow your dream, what would be possible? Select the card which represents what’s possible! Have each group member select their own photo and share their story. What would it take to make this happen?

6. Celebratory Closure
The old adage says “All good things must come to an end”. Our group and team members remember the start and tend of things. As part of your closure activities, get people to select the card which represents what they are leaving the program with. Alternatively, you can have them select a Question card which they want to carry forward.

I hope that you have as much fun as I do in bringing visuals into your work. I'd love for you to check out the Conversation Sparker Cards here, or our Teams365 Team Sparker Deck - 52 questions for team leaders and others to bring into conversations with teams. You can order either deck here. Coming in the next week or two is a new digital product which will include 40 Different Ways to Work wtih Visual Cards. Stay tuned!

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC
Group Coaching Essentials | Potentials Realized

Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)

Join us for an upcoming CCE approved program including the Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar starting December 1st (Tues/Thurs Dec 1, 8, 10, 15, 17 - 8.75 CCEs with the ICF) - 4 spots open

Did you catch my announcement in this month's newsletter about our newest on-demand course? Earlier this month the Coaching Business Builder was released. Just like our other on-demand programs, the course includes several hours of video based content and more than a dozen worksheets and activities to support you in growing your coaching business. Both experienced and new coaches growing their businesses will find the program of interest. You can learn more about the Coaching Business Builder here at the Learning Lab and Design Studio(TM), our new online portal for all of our on-demand programs.


Coach Donna Ward said...

Wow! Jennifer, I've never heard of this - Very interesting - and you're laying it out for us helps catch on to it a bit more - See ya in Denise' group :)

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