Using Drawing in Coaching

On May 17th, not only did the members of the Resilient Minds coaching network celebrate Norway’s National Day, but we also had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to partner with the incredible Sona Agopian and do some true generative work on using drawing in our coaching. Sona’s background in both coaching and as an artist makes her uniquely staged to explore this exciting area.

We met at the The Hive, in Thonglor, Bangkok, all of us excited as children for the workshop. I think many of us feel that we are not good at drawing, but as coaches we embrace change. Sona had us open up with a short inhibition-releasing exercise which got us all laughing and ready to go further.  Sona gave a short introduction about how drawing is a door-opener and told us a story of a client who was juggling many balls at the same time and afraid of dropping one.  Together we came up with:

“I feel like I am on a hamster wheel”

“I’m worried about time”

“My vision of the future”

“I’ve planted seeds and I need to water them”

“A box full of surprises”

Drawing in Coaching 10

We made the connection between the use of metaphors, clean language and drawing. We learned about how most of our learning is visual which the use of drawing supports. We talked about how art and music can help the right-brain develop non-linear thinking, creativity and intuition. Doodling and drawing help keep people engaged as well as contributing to new solutions, new ideas and new perspectives. Drawing enhances listening. All of this is relevant and applicable in coaching. We talked about where we might use the simple drawing techniques in our coaching: individual coaching, team and group coaching and workshop facilitation.

We all left the workshop full of ideas and inspiration on how to both develop and use drawing in our coaching practices.  Besides Sona’s ability to connect her two passions, we have found inspiration in several places: Coach Masters Academy, the book “Picture Your Business Strategy” by Christine Chopyak,, Facebook pages Graphic Facilitation and several YouTube videos on graphic facilitation.

Thank you Sona from the entire Resilient Minds coaching network!


The Integrative Listening Model

Mini-blog series 3 of 3
The Integrative Listening Model – a model for learning listening.

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This model can be used to learn to listen more effectively. You will recognise the points in Stage 2 from the HURIER model.

How and where can you work on your listening skills?

By a team at Alverno College: Kathleen Thompson, Pamela Leintz, Barbara Nevers & Susan Witowski.

If you are interested in learning more, the article I used for this blog is one chapter in this book:…/…/ref=reader_auth_dp

The Skills of Listening-Centered Communication

Mini-blog series 2 of 3 on Listening


With the understanding of the difference between hearing and listening arises a curiosity in how we actually listen. Some people are appreciated for their listening skills and some are criticised for their lack of listening skills. I find it interesting to reflect on what makes a good listener good.  Judi Brownell breaks down the listening process for us and offers the HURIER model for learning to listen.


Take a few minutes next time you are in a conversation or participating in a meeting and reflect on how you listen.  Do you recognise your own behaviour in the HURIER model?

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If you are interested in learning more, Judi Brownell has several books available on Amazon. The article I used for this blog is one chapter in this book:

Professional Devp: Group Coaching

Resilient Minds continues its professional development series. Today’s session was about Group Coaching.


We discussed the advantages and challenges of group coaching from both the client and the coach perspective. We reflected on the coaching process in a group, especially compared with individual coaching. We penetrated in detail the art of determining the agenda in group coaching. Above all, all the participants are thankful to Tatiana Skovoronskaya for sharing her expertise with us and inspiring us!

The Culture Map

Welcome to post 3 of 5 in a mini-series on cultural intelligence. So far, we have looked at what culture is and the five stages of developing cultural intelligence. This post is about learning to eat an elephant in small bites. Culture is a very broad concept and can be analyzed by looking at it’s component parts. There are many models out there for analyzing culture and many of them use the idea of dimensions. Our favorite model is presented by Erin Meyer in her book called ‘The Culture Map.’ Erin proposes 8 dimensions along which cultures can be placed and analyzed. Especially relevant is one culture’s placement relative to another.

The eight dimensions are:

• Communicating

• Evaluating

• Persuading

• Leading

• Deciding

• Trusting

• Disagreeing

• Scheduling
Can you define each of these dimensions? Which dimensions are related to each other? Where is your culture or cultures on the different continuums? What kinds of challenges can arise from different placements?

I have to say that personally I feel that there are aspects of life which are not covered in these 8 dimensions. Two examples are: attitude towards money and dealing with problems. There are others as well. I would love to meet Erin Meyer and discuss someday!

Join us for our workshop called ‘Opening Doors Across Cultures’ on May 19th in Asok, Bangkok to learn more!

Sign up on Eventbrite here:
#culturalintelligence #resilientminds

The 5 Stages

Welcome back! In this post, I will share with you 5 stages of cultural intelligence development as presented by David C. Thomas and Kerr Inkson in their book, ‘Cultural Intelligence, Surviving and Thriving in the Global Village.’

Let’s imagine that you find yourself participating in a multi-cultural environment. That could be any number of scenarios: you are living in a cultural not your own, you work in a job where you interact with people from a culture not your own or even possibly you are involved in a community/volunteer group related to immigrants to your own home culture. In any of these scenarios and many more, you will be more successful at achieving your goals with increased cultural intelligence (and, by the way increased emotional intelligence!). The good news is that you can learn new cultures with cultural self-awareness and focused intentional change.

The following is taken more or less directly from the book referenced above:
Stage 1 – Reactivity to external stimuli. Here we don’t even realize that cultural differences exist and mindlessly adhere to our own culture.

Stage 2 – Recognition of other cultural norms and the existence of a motivation to learn more. The individual is curious and wants to learn more and may find a foreign culture very complex and hard-to-understand.


Stage 3 – Accommodation of other cultural norms in one’s own mind. We deepen our understanding of cultural variation and start to understand cultural norms in their own context. We understand how to behave, even if we find it uncomfortable.

Stage 4 – Assimilation of diverse cultural norms into alternative behaviors. Individuals have a broad repertoire of behaviors which can be used depending on the situation. They are able to function almost as if they were in their home culture and members of other cultures accept them and feel comfortable interacting.

Stage 5 – Proactivity in cultural behavior thanks to an understanding of cues that others do not notice. Individuals are attuned to the nuances of intercultural interactions and can automatically change their behaviors.

What do you think of these stages? Where would you place yourself? How can you intentionally improve your own cultural intelligence?

If you find this topic interesting, consider joining us at our Opening Doors Across Cultures workshop on May 19th in Bangkok.

Sign up on Eventbrite here:


Hi! In preparation for our next session of Opening Doors Across Cultures, I thought it would be interesting to discuss the topic of cultural intelligence. Please join me for the next 5 blog posts for a discussion on this exciting topic.

Understanding and being able to thrive in cultures other than your own is a critical skill in today’s interconnected and globalized world. We are living in a time of dramatically increased opportunity and need for interacting and understand people from around the globe. We see, hear and experience people from around the globe with diverse beliefs, attitudes, values and assumptions. Understanding each other’s culture will greatly improve our ability to get things done and to build better personal and business relationships.

What is culture? We all carry in us patterns of thinking, feeling and potential acting. Most of this is learned early in life and established as our patterns. These patterns can be considered ‘software of the mind.’ The sources our mental programs lie within the social environment in which we grew up, our family, neighborhood, school, youth groups, sports teams, activity groups and in our community. In the field of social anthropology, these patterns are referred to as culture. Culture is collective because it is almost always shared with others from the same social environment. Culture is learned, deriving from our social environment. One our patterns are established, it is very difficult to unlearn them and to re-learn new patterns. Culture is different from human nature and from individual personality, as is shown in the diagram. *

What are your thoughts? What is your best cultural difference story? How would you define your own personal culture? What is culture comprised of?

There you have a brief overview of what culture is. Join us in our workshop ‘Opening Doors Across Cultures’ to find out even more about increasing your own cultural intelligence!

Sign up on Eventbrite here:

*From: Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, Third Edition, by Geert Hofstede, Gert Jan Hofstede, Michael Minkov

#culturalintelligence #resilientminds