I often get asked, ” So, what is narrative coaching, anyway?” I had occasion recently to put the essence of it on one slide for a client. I found this process very helpful, particularly because so much of what I have done and taught since I midwifed narrative coaching is so experiential. In putting this together, I realised that narrative coaching is as much a philosophy as it is a set of practices, and it is as much about spiritual development as it is about practical change. In some important ways, it is a way of Being more than acts of Doing. I offer these to you, not as the definitive scripture, but rather as an invitation to a conversation.
Narrative coaching is:
1. A sacramental approach to holding space and working with the relational field as it emerges
2. A non-directive, real-time attention to the experience and narration, focused largely on the other person
3. A dynamic use of narrative material as the primary source and narrative pattern recognition as the primary skill
4. An appreciation of identity as situated in communities and embodied in discourse in supporting sustainable shifts in behaviors
5. A commitment to deep, generative listening based in understanding narrative structure, neuroscience, psychology and practice
6. A process of raising awareness, focusing attention, taking new actions and increasing accountability in yourself and others
7. A methodology for helping people, individually or in groups, to make shifts in their lives one story at a time and with increased agency
I look forward to you comments and your views on what you think narrative coaching is all about!