Coaches I work with will not be surprised by the main image for this blog post!

I love creating visual images and using them in different ways. Recently, as more of my coaching and supervision has been online, I’ve been developing visual resources to use in the sessions.

Where I might previously have used coaching cards, when working face-to-face, I now have image slides (like the one above) which I’ve created.


So what’s a ‘Check-in’ Activity?

This is a short activity at the start of a coaching or supervision session (I also use them in training sessions), used as a type of warm-up.

It also has other purposes and many benefits, including:

  • encouraging a greater level or ‘presence’ from the start of a session, focusing attention on the task
  • helping group members (as in group coaching, group supervision, or training) to ‘find their voice’. It works well with members who are a little shy, or those who don’t tend to say much when in a group set-up
  • also with groups, it helps create a level playing field and feels inclusive

There are different types of ‘check-in’s, and for the purposes of this blog, I’m focusing on the use of images.

Many image cards that you can buy come with accompanying questions.

For example, here are some sample check-in cards:

Image cards

On the back you may find questions such as …

  • What’s made your heart soar this week?
  • How well have you navigated your challenges recently?
  • What ingredients go towards a successful day/week for you?
  • What have you been contemplating this week/since we last met?

There are different ways of using such cards.

For example:

  • you can choose a card because of the image, and say why you’re drawn to that card
  • you can choose a card based on the question on the back, and answer the question
  • or you can do both! (which may involve the same card … talking about the image first, then answering the question on the back)

Everyone will have their own interpretation of an image and a question. There is no wrong answer. And that’s one of the beauties of this activity!

When working online, you could present someone with a set of images (like the main title image or the one below) and ask them to choose one or more images based on a question you ask.

So, for the following set of images that are on the theme of ‘Confidence’, you may say …

“Choose one or more images that reflect your confidence levels this week”

Confidence images

And you could follow that up with …

“What more can you say about that?”

“What else does this image say to you?”

… and so on!

Use your skills of asking great coaching questions to maximise this activity for your coachees 😀

So … which image would you choose from any of the examples above, and why?

Pop your thoughts in the comments below!