Last spring I attended the American Society for Training and Development International Conference in Washington D. C. It was an incredible experience and I felt like a kid in a candy store with so many tempting choices of trainings and interesting seminars to choose from. There was a vendor in the exhibitors hall that truly captivated my attention.  I saw a group of people group engaged in a dyad activity. They were holding cards with provocative and interesting images. Each card had a word on it.  Some of the words and pictures seemed disconnected; other images were un-nerving and made me uncomfortable while some brought a quick, easy smile and a sense of delight. I just knew I wanted to know more about what they were doing with those cards!

I was invited to participate in an exercise with a partner. We each picked a card and were then asked to dialog about what the picture and the word represented. Here is what I came to learn from the “Coaching Game – Point of You.”

Associative playing cards give participants absolute freedom to shape the game as they see fit, thereby encouraging them to develop an independent and creative approach to their lives.

The photos for each card were carefully selected with the sole agenda of presenting the topic using a visual that isn’t normally associated with the topic, in order to optimally-activate our spectrum of thoughts and feelings. The word represents the logical-analytical thinking that was and is still considered a traditionally male mode of thinking, with the left brain being in charge. The photo represents the emotion, creativity, and intuition of our “female” side, led by the right side of the brain. The polar combination between qualities that are considered female and qualities that are considered male, when joined create a harmonious whole.

The photographs directly appeal to our intuitions and feelings, and occasionally even bypass rational thinking, which screens out those things we’d rather keep at a distance. This quality, considered characteristic of images, enables them to evoke reactions that we find hard to express with words – thereby giving them a magical quality. Just like works of art that affect the observer merely by viewing them or dreams we recall in the morning yet find hard to describe in words, we connect with images on an unconscious, emotional level.

As an organizational consultant and an executive coach, I thought the “Coaching Game – Point of You” was a fabulous tool to help clients explore, focus, and take action. I was so enamored that I decided to become certified as a “Point of You” coach as well as a certified “Train the Trainer.” I am part of an international team of participants and will become one of 80 international certified Train the Trainers by spring of 2015. I am so excited about this tool and would love to share it with you. If you have any interest in experiencing it, please let me know. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate fall than to have time for a cup of coffee, take a moment to pause, have a chance to challenge some of our perceptions, and learn about other possible “Points of You!”