Narrative Coaching: Why Your Story Matters

Have you ever paused to examine the narrative going on in your head? Most likely, you’ve noticed it during moments of self-doubt. Perhaps it was a story that “you were not worthy of a raise,” or “you’ll never be good enough to be an executive director.” Narrative Coaching founder, David Drake, believes that while your story may be holding you back, it also holds the key to a brighter future with more possibilities.

Refreshingly, it’s not about adding more tools to a toolbox we can barely carry, or another dreaded “to do” list. All that goes out the window with David Drake.

David’s experiential, highly attuned approach helps connect our inner and outer worlds in a non-threatening yet powerful way. Narrative Coaching often uses objects such as chairs and physical representations of metaphors to help clients to step outside the chatter in their busy minds to see what is actually unfolding in the moment as they ponder a challenge in their lives or work.

It is fascinating to listen to David Drake. For example, during a live demonstration in class, a fellow student shared her struggle with losing her job and being uncertain about the next step. Most coaches would have launched into a series of questions, but David listened, allowed for gaps of silence and let the story unfold. At one point he asked, “If your stress were sitting across from you right now, what would it look like?” Not the question I expected at all, but exactly what the client needed. It was her sadness. In ten minutes, David had gotten to the heart of the matter.

Narrative coaching is about creating moments of truly being seen and understood, looking for possible openings for change and, when a new path emerges, making sure the scaffolding is in place so clients can get there successfully.

After attending his workshop at Harvard and completing his course, I have begun to understand the impact of unpacking our personal stories in a safe and supportive space with a skillful coach. It is like shifting from a passive autopilot mode to truly being aware and present for the ride.

Last October, David Drake launched the Moment Institute to deepen our understanding of how to foster real change in real time. Its mission is to develop integrative practitioners who can work in transformative ways with personal, organizational and social narratives. It is based in the belief that our stories are the source of our suffering and the opening for our liberation.

If you’d like to explore how to work this way, come join us for the next retreat with David that I am co-hosting in Miami, May 4-6th. For more information, visit Space is limited, rsvp soon if you’d like to join us.