In conjunction with RSVP Design, Ei4Change has produced a toolbox to support training, personal development and coaching around resilience.
Images of Resilience contains multiple copies of 16 carefully designed images drawn in an attractive cartoon style. The images are metaphors, representing a range of experiences and emotions linked with the theme of RESILIENCE. They facilitate the exploration of different facets of resilience and its connections with stress, change, challenge and learning.
Images of Resilience is an extremely powerful tool for use in one-to-one coaching. It can also be used in small group discussions (of up to three people). Here is a detailed example of how you can use Images of Resilience in coaching.
- Explain that the images represent a range of aspects of resilience: some of the skills, behaviours and attitudes that are required to develop the personal resilience and deal with challenges, pressures and stress in both personal and professional environments.
- Explain that this process is intended to help individuals to think about the responsibilities and pressures that they are currently facing and to consider their own strategies and approaches to managing themselves.
- Begin by giving an example. Select the image called ‘Drive and Motivation’– the picture of migrating animals and birds. Describe how this image represents an internal drive that motivates the animals to undertake long, demanding and potentially dangerous journeys.
Ask the questions:
“What is it that motivates you?
“What is your internal drive that makes you want to commit to something that might be difficult and stressful?
- Listen to the answers, then show the card called ‘Risk’ – the person entering the radioactive environment. Describe how a challenging management role has risks attached – for both the manager and the people being managed.
Ask, “What are those risks and what do you think you can do to prevent or overcome them?”
- When you have worked with these two examples, spread the remaining cards (with supporting notes) randomly on a table and ask the coachee to choose two or three further cards. Each of these cards should represent an aspect of resilience that the coachee feels is important to demonstrate and strengthen.
(Allow enough time for the coachee to consider the cards and think about what they might mean – a minimum of 5 minutes of reflection time).
When the cards have been selected, ask the coachee what the cards mean to him / her.
Explore two aspects:
- Why the coachee selected this card and why it is an important skill or quality.
- The extent to which the coachee feels that they have, and can rely upon, this quality.
Can they give examples of how and when they use it?
For example, if the coachee selected the image entitled ‘Bouncing Back’ – the wobbly toys, can he / she describe situations in which he / she has taken knocks or criticism and been able to bounce back in a positive way?
- Finally, ask the coachee to select two cards (these may include a card or cards that have already been discussed).
The first card should represent what they feel is their own most valuable ability in relation to resilience (ie, what they think they do best and find most useful). For example, this might be endurance – a willingness to work with uncertainty and ambiguity or an ability to find creative ways of dealing with barriers to progress.
The second card should represent what they believe they would find most difficult. For example, keeping focus when there are many distractions and being flexible about a process when under pressure to deliver results or overcoming their fears.
- Explore the coachee’s choice of cards and then ask them to summarise their thoughts and discussions through effective questioning.
This process will explore various dimensions of personal resilience within the working environment leading to a depth that may have taken many hours within an ordinary coaching session.
Images of Resilience can be used in education to help students explore specific skills valued by employers and to manage work as a part of life to find their own personal coping strategies when under pressure.
A video giving more details about resilience and Images of Resilience is available on YouTube:
For more information, and to order the toolbox Images of Resilience, visit www.rsvpdesign.co.uk