Illustrated Coaching is a unique combination of transformational business coaching and visual storytelling.
With Illustrated Coaching the key themes arising from the coaching conversation - the metaphors and symbols, the dream images and ideas - are captured pictorially.
These images bypass rational thinking, making the unseen seen, creating fresh insight into behaviour patterns and beliefs.
They encourage richer self-reflection, enhance clarity of purpose and reveal hidden potential.
Like all good coaching relationships the process starts by exploring themes of particular interest and importance to my client.
These themes are expressed as images - as stories, symbols and metaphors - which I capture in sketch form.
The images in turn trigger fresh reflections, insights and intuitive leaps.
Over time, the sketches are refined into vivid representations of the client's thought process.
In this example (right) my client explored his sense of career drift, of feeling overwhelmed by the options and decisions facing him.
He described images of branching paths, of his uncertainty over which path to choose, and of his desire for a "dashboard compass to show me where I need to go."
Click the navigation arrows for other recent examples of Illustrated Coaching work. Click on the images for larger views.
Tracy Sinclair, coach, supervisor and former chair of the International Coaching Federation shares her experiences of working on an Illustrated Coaching project.
"This has gone from something almost dreamlike to a statement of who I am and who I want to be."
What are the benefits of Illustrated Coaching?
For some it’s an opportunity to uncover patterns of thinking and to approach professional and personal challenges with a fresh, creative perspective. For others it's a fun and intuitive way of finding meaning in the random, like looking at ink blots or tea leaves.
Using a visual language instead of a verbal one disrupts habitual beliefs and ways of thinking. We literally see things differently, understand things from a different perspective and notice different options
How should I prepare for a session?
Spend some time thinking about the issues or themes you’d like to explore. What you see when you think of the topic? What is happening? Does it take the form of a static object or is there movement and action? Have you recently dreamt about it? Do you use certain recurring metaphors? How do you feel when these images appear and what actions spring to mind as a result?
Or simply think about images that attract you - representational or abstract - free of meaning or interpretation.
How will a session work in practice?
At our first session we will explore these themes and associated images as the building blocks of the Illustrated Coaching process. They will then be loosely incorporated into the first draft of a digital illustration.
The draft will be shared and the process continued in a spirit of genuine shared creativity. As the illustration evolves, its meaning and significance will come into focus. Unexpected connections will emerge, ‘aha’ moments of self-discovery.
What if I have no visual imagination - or don't like the picture?
We all have powerful visual imaginations. Sometimes we just don’t realise it. Illustrated coaching builds our awareness of the constellation of imagery we all carry in our heads.
If the picture fails to capture what you see, you are billed only for the face-to-face coaching sessions that have already occurred and not for the time incurred in creating the drawing.
Why is the drawing done digitally?
Using digital drawing and painting tools is ideal for creative collaboration. These tools provide the flexibility to make rapid and substantial changes to the pictures. And it allows for much easier sharing of high-resolution imagery.
Who owns the copyright for the drawing?
The copyright is retained by Illustrated Coaching as is the right to use images, or sections of them, non-attributably for promotional purposes (as on this website).
A drawing is never re-purposed for another client. The coaching client has the right to make unlimited physical or digital reproductions for their own purposes as long as Illustrated Coaching’s copyright is acknowledged and the items are not resold.
I am an experienced business coach, corporate trainer and illustrator. I trained as an illustrator before moving into marketing consultancy, followed by a series of senior in-house strategy and planning roles.
As a coach I now deliver high-impact experiential training programmes to large commercial organisations, focusing on leadership, creativity and teamworking. Illustrated Coaching combines my passion for creative self-expression with transformational coaching and personal development.
Contact me on the email above to explore how this combination can benefit you and your team.
"Meirion Jones is an exceptional artist and an exceptional coach. The marriage of the two is remarkable and rare. He works with sensitivity and skill quite literally to ‘draw out’ aspects of ourselves to whom we feel especially drawn at this stage of the journey, to discover what may have been hidden, to speak what was unspoken, to grow, to change and to heal."
Andrew Machon Phd MA MCC
Coach, Supervisor and Author
Copyright 2022 Tongues in Trees Ltd. No imagery to be reproduced without written permission of the copyright holder.