"It" is drawing. Given what we know about the brain, one would expect to see much more drawing in meetings of decisions coaches with their clients. By decision coaches, I mean service professionals of all stripes, including physicians, ministers, dentists, mental health professionals, funeral directors, lawyers, and mediators.
In at least two ways, drawing can improve communication between decision coaches and their clients. First, it can help the coach explain factors that may be important to the client's making a good decision about matters for which he has sought the professional's counsel. Second, it can facilitate the client's explaining to the coach matters critical to the decision being made. Drawing can take understanding between decision coach and client to a new level of clarity.
Drawing also brings another bonus to decision making. Words are not always the most direct, efficient, and productive vehicle for accessing good ideas and sharp insights in the mind and brain.The fastest path to creativity often may be through drawing. (I've blogged about this before and explained why I frequently have attendees at my seminars draw the concepts we are discussing.) If the decision coach
If you want to learn more about the neuroscience of the value of communicating or creating with images instead of, or in addition to, words, I recommend these books:
- Opening the Mind's Eye: How Images and Language Teach Us How To See
- The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World
- The Divided Brain and the Search for Meaning
As I mentioned above, physicians are using pictographs (images or drawings) to explain procedures to patients:
- "Using pictographs to enhance recall of spoken medical instructions II" (Patient Education and Counseling)
- "Using pictures to improve health communication" (Notes from a talk by Dr. Peter Houts)
- "The Experimental Imperative" (Hastings Center Report)
- "The role of pictures in improving health communication: a review of research on attention, comprehension, recall, and adherence" [abstract] (Patient Education and Counseling)
Of course, trial lawyers use graphs, images, diagrams, and other pictographs in demonstrating evidence to juries. In what non-trial ways can lawyers use drawing to communicate with clients?
One example: Lawyers can explain to clients the steps of a marital dissolution through a series of drawings in addition to, or instead of, an explanation of the process via the spoken and written word. The initial meeting with a divorce attorney can create anxiety; having such a memorialization or artifact of the meeting for later reference can be of great utility and comfort.
There are many, many uses of pictographs and drawing in mediation, too. Lawyers are already making use of diagrams, etc., in presentations for mediation, but the use of drawing by mediators and the parties is where I will be focusing future posts about the use of images in mediation. We will look at the three uses mentioned above: mediators communicating with parties, parties communicating with mediators (and communicating and negotiating with each other), and both parties and mediators accessing maximum problem solving skills.
Note that I have added a new category over to the right: "Drawing and Images." Watch for many more blog posts about this full-brained Pictograph Path to inventiveness, inspiration, and enlarged vision!
PS Two aligned blog posts from idealawg: "Using mind maps for the challenges and dilemmas you confront with aging parents" and "Another way to incorporate images, pictures, drawings in conflict resolution."