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 realized 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 people’s experience and narration in the field
3. A direct use of their narrative material as the primary resource and narrative pattern recognition as the primary skill
4. An appreciation of identity as situated in communities and their discourse in supporting sustainable shifts in behaviors
5. A commitment to deep, generative listening based in understanding narrative structures, psychologies and practices
6. A process of raising awareness, focusing attention, taking new actions and increasing accountability in yourself and others
7. An approach to helping people, individually or in groups, make transformative shifts in their narratives and their lives
I look forward to you comments and your views on what you think narrative coaching is all about!