As a life coach you have probably heard, from your clients, their barriers described in a metaphorical way. A metaphor is our insight to a person’s subconscious mind – a picture paints a thousand words, as does a metaphor.
Metaphors are often less untouched by life coaches, but using a metaphor to relate to the clients, not only increases rapport but makes faster and long lasting change.
A metaphor helps a client explain a complex process of communication into a more simplified answer that most people can understand agario
“I feel stuck”
By exploring the client’s metaphor, you will find new metaphorical options, the clients subconscious will help them find the answers they need to move forward. Often as a coach, you may not fully understand their real life situation, as you explore the metaphor. But what is more important, is that often something falls into place, a new learning from the clients, which allows them to overcome their barrier.
As the client explores the metaphor, they will find their own solutions, sometime subconsciously. All the elements of the metaphor could potentially be a resource to help the client unlock their problem or barrier.
As a coach you need to explore the client’s metaphor through questioning.
Questions to explore Metaphors
Gain details of the clients metaphor – don’t think about what they say, use ‘clean language’ when exploring, and don’t be tempted to add your own details/images this is the clients metaphor not yours.
The example is a real metaphor that a client of mine used and is there to give you a guide.
1- What kind of “client’s words” is that?
Example question: is the floor made of quick sand, or is it a floor that feels like quick sand?
Example answer: Erm.. yep the floor looks like quick sand and I’m sinking into it.
2- Whereabouts are you/is “the clients words”
Example question: where are you and where is the quick sand floor?
Example answer: I’m at work, in the office and the quick sand floor is in the middle of the room.
3- Is there anything else?
Example answer: No, just my colleagues pointing and laughing
4- Where did “client’s words” come from
Example Question: where did the quick sand come from?
Example answer: It’s mine, I bring it to work.
5- Are there any connections between “client’s words” and “clients words”?
Example Question: are there any connections between you sinking and your colleague’s laughter?
Example answer: Yes, if I wasn’t sinking they wouldn’t be laughing, they’d just get on with there work and I could get on with mine.
Give options – you need to go with what the client is telling you and test the different options.
6- What would happen if you changed “client’s words”
Example Question: What would happen if left the quicksand at home?
Example answer: I would feel good-everything would be OK
7- What would happen if you “did something different”?
Example Question: what would happen if you could make the floor solid?
Example answer: that would be good, I can see some strong cement in the corner of the room I could use that to stop the quick sand.
8- What needs to happen for you to achieve your goal?
Example answer: Its funny but the company name on the cement is called “go for-it cement” I think I need to just be me when I go into work and not to worry about what people will think-this will make me more confident.
9- How would you feel if you made this change/”client’s words”?
Example Question: How would you feel if you went into work being you?
Example answer: I think people would like me-I’m easy to talk to
10- Is there anything else you need to think about/look at?
Example answer: No, I just need to take a deep breath on Monday morning and “go for-it” I think people will really like me.
11- What are the consequences of you achieving your outcome?
Example answer: I would feel more confident, people would like me and I would enjoy going to work every day.
With the metaphor technique, you need to listen to what the client is telling you and ask clean language questions, as it is their subconscious that will give them the answers they need.