Wooden representatives for constellations
These bespoke wooden constellation representatives provide a practical tool to support systemic interventions for coaches and consultants working in a wide range of contexts. You will already know from your training, from your own practice and from reading ‘Systemic Coaching & Constellations’ that there are a number of ways you can enhance one-to-one and team coaching through the application of mapping and constellations with physical objects as representatives. There are multiple contexts which include:
Use the wooden markers to map your relationship with a particular client or your coaching business. Use them to represent your true sense of the inner distance and direction of your energy and attention, simply allowing yourself to stand in the ‘what is’ of the relationship dynamic. From there you can explore options like testing the impact of particular resources to strengthen you, the client or your business. You can also experiment by expressing different ‘sentences’ that name a truth, make a request or invite resolution. When you do this ensure you make physical contact with your representative as you speak, and then with the client’s representative, connect with them to see how the sentences ‘arrive’. This simple reflective practice, working alone with a client or other relationship issue that’s challenging you, can be very insightful and revealing in a short space of time.
When you are invited to meet a potential client, in a ‘chemistry check’ meeting, and want to support them to get to the heart of their issue try offering them the representative pieces and invite them to create a relational map, an outer expression of their inner image. You can talk about the difference between doing this and their place in the organisational hierarchy, about the difference between systemic hierarchy and the one shown on the ‘org chart.’ Alongside that insight about systemic ‘place’, they will also get to see their current challenges, key relationships and the hidden dynamics and so be ready to work with you at the core of their need.
In any executive, life or leadership coaching you can make good use of these wooden representative pieces. Following the three questions included in the training and adding your own as you develop you can support your clients to make a map of the relationship systems around them, then facilitate change and growth as appropriate, using all your training in systemic coaching and also the other coaching methodologies that you are already familiar with.
Preparing for team coaching
If you are seeking permission for a team coaching intervention in the future you can use your wooden representatives in a number of ways, with the leader and with each team member. Simply invite the team leader, in a private session, to map the team from their perspective, using the wooden markers to clarify distance and direction. This will help the leader, and of course you as their coach, to identify the key dynamics in the team and enable a larger conversation to be had. It will also support clarity around the team intervention that is most needed and appropriate and enable the leader to see their place in the team and see the team as a whole in a systemic way. You can also prepare each team member, before a team workshop, by working with them and the wooden representatives in a similar way, allowing each individual experience and truth to be seen and heard.
The representative pieces are ideal to use in one-to-one or group supervision sessions. When working with another coach you can support them to gain fresh clarity in their coaching work and working relationships as well as facilitate resourcing constellations to better enable them to work with full access to their resources. If facilitating group supervision you can start on the table-top with the wooden markers then move the constellation into the working spoke, replicating the map and replacing the markers for the group supervision members. Then facilitate a constellation with the live representatives.
This page will develop over time and that growth will be informed by your sharing, comments and questions that you leave below. Please feel free to share your own experiences of application so that the growing community of systemic coaches around the world can develop and learn together.
Markers for one-to-one constellations
Wooden markers made exclusively for Coaching Constellations & Business Constellations
Following design, trial and development work we are now able to provide coaches and others who use systemic mapping and constellations a unique set of wooden markers. These wooden constellation markers provide a bespoke solution for coaches and consultants working in a wide range of contexts. Each set is packed in its own natural cotton storage bag.
Price for a set of 10 markers and bag – including post & packing:
UK: £60.00 (+VAT) | International: £70.00 (+VAT)
Share your experience and ideas on application of the Wooden Markers and/or the Mapping Kit
The mapping kit has become a much used part of my coaching practice. I’ve used it with potential clients, new clients and existing clients. Each time it has helped take the conversation from a cognitive, rational place to a much deeper embodied place. Each time I use it I’m astounded by the space it creates in the coaching for fresh insights and unconscious patterns to emerge. The different colours and shapes of the post-its create useful insights too. I’ve had a client tell me that they don’t like structure, only to rearrange their post-its in colour order and size which in itself was really useful data in the coaching. The kit looks very professional and is so simple and easy to use.
I am now using the ‘mapping kit’ with all new coaching clients – to map their role/team. This simple exercise often provides deep insights, and invariably highlights areas where the client wants to focus their coaching. I ask the client to keep their map – sometimes I pose questions for consideration before the next meeting and ask what else surfaces for them. I have also used the wooden markers as a way of mapping relationships at work. Having a focus ‘outside their heads’ gives the clients a different perspective, and the tactile nature of using the markers provides an opportunity to talk about ‘feelings’ and a way of experimenting with different options/potential solutions. These tools are simple, effective and easy to transport!
I had a good day yesterday! I met three prospective coaching clients and used the Mapping Kit for the first time. In all 3 meetings, I explained how they could use the kit, then sat back as they laid out a map of their issues. That’s virtually all I had to do and it opened up new perspectives for them in a very effective way. Two asked me back to discuss scope, fees and timelines. One hired me on the spot. Thank you.
I’ve used the Mapping Kit for a chemistry session, a co-coaching session and a coaching session. It’s beautifully convenient and easy to use and transport, and for a client (or potential client) who has no experience of constellations, it allows familiar objects to be used even though the constellations approach is unfamiliar. In the chemistry session the potential client was able to use the Mapping Kit to clarify what the real coaching issue was and how it related to other elements in their story, so the coaching objective became much clearer. In the co-coaching session we were both working on business strategy, and we both used the Mapping Kit to tease out the relationship between our values and beliefs and our aspirations, and then to develop next steps. In the coaching session I used the Kit together with floor markers, which allowed highly charged emotional issues to assume a different – and more manageable – perspective. I love the variety of colours and shapes, and the size of the Post-Its means that a constellation need not take up much space in the area being used. The Kit now accompanies me to all my coaching sessions and chemistry meetings.
Both the wooden markers and the mapping kit are providing great insights for my clients. In two recent examples, “something unknown” emerged which begun to unfold powerful content for both clients. One said that he would “never have got that insight by just talking about it.” I do find I have to work with my clients to encourage them to stay with ‘acknowledging what is’ and not rush to solution versions of the maps too quickly, and that the shift to solution really happens once they can truly be with what is, first.
The ‘mapping kit’ is a handy tool to have nearby when coaching via phone or Skype. I have used it twice in a few days simply because it was on my desk, easy to grab and scribble on. The first time, I was coaching a client. We were working somatically/systemically, and as she was sharing, I found myself peeling off stickies and mapping her system. It was neat, compact, and such an effective and convenient way for me to experience her process. Enormously powerful. The second time was during a supervision session. I had a spiral notebook, a scanner app which takes photos and can create multipage pdf’s (Camscanner), and the mapping kit. It was so easy to go deep quickly without the hassle of looking around for ‘reps’ and to track the movements step by step. Each time I added or moved an element, I took a picture of the page and emailed to my supervisor. She was seeing what I was seeing almost instantaneously (we only had audio). Eventually, I ended up with a 7-page constellation journey in one document. It was simple, profound – and supremely convenient! Thank you John for a great design.