Over the years I have combined my coaching hat with my artist’s beret by introducing drawing, sketching and painting as a way to enter into new and important conversations.

On a very simple level using painting combined with collage to kick-start, augment or crystallize a visioning process works in often stellar ways. The most objective elaborate strategic plan can be brought to life when images amplify the story into full colour.

Solo-preneurs, professionals and individuals in management and leadership positions have used a day of creative exploration to reflect, re-imagine futures and reconnect with passion and purpose. People have returned annually using the opportunity for creative self-expression as part of their overall strategy to keep their engagement to their work true to their original passion and intent.

I have seen how art levels the playing field in intact teams and cross-functional situations. There is also a kind of magic that happens as the occasional reluctant participant realizes the shift in thinking that occurs when the brain is informed with images as well as language. This is not the same old output that discussion alone typically produces.

Leading Full Circle is a two day intergenerational leadership event for women that fully integrates arts-based experiences into the program design. One of the participants describes this program:

Leading Full Circle invites you into: conversations that uncover the thoughts and emotions that are guiding you, individual reflection that makes it easier to hear your inner voice, artistic practice that opens your imagination to the future, kinesthetic exercises that cultivate a more powerful presence, and self-assessment that helps you identify practical next steps.

The women who attended were from all sectors, interests, ages and types. Some of the descriptors used in describing the impact of artistic practices include:

revealing, freeing, re-connecting, immensely helpful, powerful

Injecting an artist into your next workshop, training or meeting may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Drawing, sketching and painting experiences can shift conversations from endless problem solving loops to making connections that deepen meaning and harness inspiration. Action that arises from this level of awareness flows out of alignment with a larger purpose. And that is powerful indeed.

Category: creativity / Leadership
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