I run a local coaching “Meetup” group called “Coaching – A Call to Action.” The group consists of many coaches and professionals in the area of transformation and personal growth, as well as people interested in coaching. Recently, I was approached via e-mail by Marc Bar-Or, a fellow in Israel, about having an event to introduce to New York coaches and therapists “Points of You – The Coaching Game,” a coaching game, or tool, created by an Israeli coaching couple, Yaron Golan and Efrat Shani. The game was recently introduced at the ICF event in Montreal, where it was received quite favorably. I was intrigued after looking at the website, and then Marc clinched it by sending me a courtesy copy of the game by international courier. The title is a bit of a play on the phrase “points of view.” The point of the game, as stated on their website, is:
The Coaching Game is a personal coach that we can pull out
whenever we find ourselves having to cope,
make a decision, or just at any point along the way.
It allows us to explore significant issues in our lives
from different perspectives, to achieve clarity, to
form insights and to decide what actions to take.
Ah, a personal coach in a box! I opened the package with anticipation. My first reaction was how much it looked like a beautiful gift. The game, which consists primarily of gorgeous photographs on “Points of You” cards with single words on them, along with a book of quotes and action cards, is contained within a simple, yet elegant, burlap-type
fabric that closes with a bow. The fabric has some colored dots in some spots, sort of like colored fairy dust, that is quite appealing. The effect is warm and inviting, and with a bow fastening it closed, it brought up the feeling of opening up a new present.
Once you open the bow, you’re presented with the contents:
My event, which was held at the Ripley-Grier Studios in Manhattan, a favorite rental space for many in the New York creative arts, as well as for people leading small seminars and workshops.
I welcomed the 19 guests and introduced Yaron Golan, stifling my urge to introduce him as the family who owns the Golan Heights. Yaron started by gave some of his personal history, how he came to the coaching profession, and how the game was created. Then he had us take a “timeout” — about 10 minutes of meditative silence with the lights out, and our eyes closed, optionally sitting or lying on the floor, while he had some Israeli music play out of his laptop. The timeout allowed us all to calm down, let the day’s stresses and tensions fall away, and clear our heads for what would come next.
With the lights back on, Yaron described the game more fully, then put the deck of cards into the center of the room. He requested that we each take a card at random, choose a partner whom we did not know very well, and had us speak about what was working in our lives, connecting that to the word and picture that was on the card. Each pair took turns speaking to the other. This was the start of a terrific process that allowed the people in the room to open up with each other and feel more connected. We did about three or four processes, each with different partners, and we’d trade cards with the new partners so that we could have more starting points for new points of view.
After these, Yaron spoke about some other aspects of the game. The burlap cover is actually a sort of game board when opened up and turned over.
This aspect of the game brings the coaching aspect in play, and reminds me a bit of using Tarot cards. Here, you can ask a question (to your partner or to yourself), and pick three cards at random. and place them in the three rectangles on the board. You can then look at different points of view based on the words and pictures on the cards, and your responses will create answers to your questions.
We finished the workshop with a standard paper and pen exercise to gain clarity on any insights we got, and what would be our next action steps into next month. Yaron offered the game for sale at a significant discount to the participants.
As I utilize this tool personally and with clients, I will be able to write further here about what kinds of results can be expected from this game.