I am an ICF PCC coach who has been a member for 12 years. I am also on the Faculty of The Hudson Institute of Coaching, one of the oldest Coaching schools in the USA.
I recently used Walter’s Choir of Brave Voices (COBV) to facilitate a Group Coaching session with ten mature leaders from an organization which is in transition. The request of me as a coach was to work with these leaders since their organization is going to be acquired during the next 12 months. Many of them are close to retirement age, and therefore we decided to facilitate a discussion on leaving a legacy, and what the next chapter of life might look like.
We looked at achievements recognized, achievements unrecognized, and achievements desired in the coming months. We also wanted to help identify what might be next as they prepare for “protirement” since none of these people were prepared for a classical retirement. All of them are in their 50’s and 60’s. While they were able to identify achievements, the challenge of thinking about the next chapter left many feeling somewhat “stuck.”
I had them read several articles on the Adult Journey and the Cycle of Change (developed by Frederic Hudson). We then used the cards from COBV to contribute to more reflection and it led to breakthrough thinking.
I had each member of the group select a card with an image or piece of art that called out to them. We then had each sit quietly, read the comments on the card, and answer the reflective questions. I then had them work in pairs to share their responses and ask questions to their partner in an encouraging manner. Each member then publicly shared an aspirational goal for their next chapter, as well as one tiny step they might take in the next 30 days to get closer to that goal.
The feeling of “stuckness” had been overcome, and the members also enjoyed sharing what it was that drew them to the particular card they had selected. It was a delightful experience to facilitate, and several members commented that they really appreciated the creative approach which contributed to some outside the box thinking.
I am now keen to use the concepts from COBV (and the cards, in particular) when working with a couple of individual leadership coaching clients who are in the Doldrums and feeling stuck and drawn into their own stories. I am confident that COBV will help contribute to more reflective and breakthrough thinking.