Imagery Coaching

A methodology for creating positive futures

“Imagery: creating the view that will help you achieve your goals.”

Would you like to have the power to create the reality that you want to live in?

I was shocked when Celia connected me with Joana Grover-Watson, CEO and Founder of Imagery Coaching and member of the International Coaching Federation and the Harvard Institute of Coaching.

Celia didn’t give me a lot of details, she told me that I needed to meet someone incredible and see what we could do together. She mentioned a methodology that has been developed based on 20-year research that helps us make better decisions and enhance performance. I am an open-minded person and so I trusted Celia and accepted the opportunity to learn more about it.

In this meeting, Joana presented herself and invited me to be part of the Future Imagery Training (FIT), a powerful program that has a unique approach to imagery as the driving force for sustained behavioral change.

Characteristics of Imaginary Training:

  • Guiding, more than directing;
  • Dancing, rather than wrestling;
  • Listening;
  • Collaborative conversation;
  • Evoke from a person what he/she already is?.

That sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

We had one week of training and my view was completely changed! Now I feel that I have the tools to pursue my goals and lead my team towards achieving our goals.

Dear reader, I want to share my learnings from this training. Would you like to follow me?

Sometimes we know that we need to change, but we face a lot of resistance…

  • I can’t be bothered…
  • I don’t see why I should…
  • I’m too busy…
  • It’s my life…
  • It’s too much hassle…
  • I can’t do it right now…

If you are the person that is giving these excuses, be mature and stop right now! You need to have one thing clear in mind: “you are the only person that can change yourself”. But, if you are leading someone and the person isn’t collaborating, don’t argue! Start to use reflection, emphasise personal choice and control, and shift focus.

You need to identify where the individual is in the Stages of change:

  • Pre-contemplation: unaware of behavior or need for change, not planning to make a change;
  • Contemplation thinking about changing. Seeking out support and information;
  • Preparation: Planning to make a change. Gathering confidence and resources.
  • Action: Taking positive steps to make a change and putting plans into practice
  • Maintenance: Achieving results and behavior becomes part of daily life.

There is a potential technique, called OARS, to start a conversation and engage the person. Take a look below:

  • Open questions: what would you like to talk about? / Can you tell me more about that?
  • Affirmations: that sounds good! / You did well / That must be difficult for you.
  • Reflections: can be simple or complex / make follow-ups.
  • Summaries: inform the person that you are an active listener / Check clarity and details
Mental imagery supports behaviour change and decision making.

It’s extremely important to align values with beliefs and events!

Focusing on a long term goal, create a timeline and locate medium term goals. You can ask this questions to tease the imagination:

  • How does this long term goal link to your beliefs/values?
  • What will be the obstacles and setbacks that may occur?
  • What do you need to refine?
  • What are your strengths?
  • How committed to the goal are you?

You can use LAP to support your conversation:

  • L: Locate cue
  • A: Activate Imagery
  • P: Perform/ Perseverance

If LAP doesn’t work, apply SLAPP:

  • S: Stop and Breathe
  • L: Locate cue
  • A: Activate Imagery
  • P: Park unwanted thoughts
  • P: Perform

Time to practice :)

What are your drive, your goals, the future that you want to create? If you have no idea, no worries, this article is for you! This is the time to figure out: you can give your first step answering these questions:

  1. What is your purpose?
  2. What are the changes that you need to make to achieve it?
  3. What actions could you take today?

Now, take a long breath and think about a long term (purposeful) goal you would like to achieve, write in one sentence and imagine it happening in multisensory detail.

The Four Process Model:

  • Engage: Time for introductions; main concerns discussed;
  • Focus: Permission to discuss specific topic;
  • Evoke: Importance and confidence to change;
  • Plan: Elicit commitment and SMART goals.

We need people who can help other people imagine a different future.” (Joana Grover-Watson)

Graduated in International Relations, Amanda undertakes PerifaSustentavel, is the presenter of Direto da Base, columnist for Agência Jovem de Notícias and Um so Planeta. A Forbes Under 30 leader, Amanda aims to mobilize young people to build an inclusive, collaborative and sustainable planet through the UN Youth Ambassadors, Global Shapers Community and United People Global networks.

#ForbesUnder 30 | Jovem Embaixadora da ONU | Ecofeminista Antirracista