Make new and decisive choices: the challenge and the climax in the coaching tales

on BLOG, Career Coaching, Coaching, coaching tales 18 Set, 2012

La sfida e il climax nei racconti per il coaching

In two previous posts I talked about the competence of the storytelling in coaching and how to create a proper setting of the coaching tale. Today I want to talk about two other key elements of the coaching tale: the challenge and the climax. They both attract the listener's attention and awaken in him feelings that will remain long in his memory.

Without a challenge, a question mark, a dissonance, a dilemma, a conflict, a suspense, the coaching tale does not have a grip on the coachee, who consequently will not place himself in the tale itself and not draw the right lesson for future choices. The challenge prepares also the ground to the tale’s climax, from which the reflection or a shift in the listener’s point of view will emerge.

The climax is much more than a simple story end: it is the tool that helps the coachee to "move", that accompanies him in new and unexplored lands, thanks to its symbolic and analogic strength. The climax, if realistic and reasonable, brings the listener on the other side of his challenge, to the solution, towards crucial and new choices. I emphasize the concept of realism and sense because the coachee has to use the story as an opportunity for learning and development, without censuring it because too childish or too fictitious. If the coaching tale is well designed and if up to the climax the listener can still see several conclusions, the coachee can live an experience, with the feeling that the story makes perfect sense and belongs to him.

As already described elsewhere in the blog, the coach ends the story with a pause, leaving the coachee enough time to digest the tale, to go over it again, to draw the necessary lessons and to contextualize them in his real life. Only after that moment of reflection and creativity, the coach can guide the coachee through his questions, that act as a bridge between the story and reality.

Here below I propose a very nice coaching tale about the power of motivation and the way to tackle difficult problems. The tale has well-designed and little predictable climax and end.

In the hands of fate

A Japanese warrior gathered his army to attack the enemy troops, that were much more numerous than his soldiers. This imbalance produced many doubts in his faithful soldiers, who began to show clear signs of fear.

Therefore, the warrior decided to stop and pray in a temple. When he came out, he informed his soldiers that he intended to question fate. He would have flipped a coin: if heads, he and his men would have won, otherwise they would have been beaten by the enemy. Heads came out and the enthusiasm of the soldiers was so great that they just ran towards the enemy, that was defeated, despite their numerical superiority.

After the battle, a soldier told the warrior "It is absolutely true: no one can change destiny". And the warrior, showing him a coin with two heads, nodded.

Here are some coaching questions:

– Qual è la tua battaglia?

– Chi sono i tuoi soldati?

– Quali scelte faresti se uscisse testa?

– Qual è la tua moneta a due teste?

– Dove trovarla?

– Come fare uscire sempre testa?

– Immagina ed assapora la tua vittoria: come ti senti?






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