Home Research Neurosciences: Brain & Behavior Memory is Memorable: Coaching and Remembering

Memory is Memorable: Coaching and Remembering

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Visual Image and Narrative

We know that while schemas are often founded on visual images, they are likely to be sustained (and will even evolve) through the presence of narrative. Furthermore, procedural thinking typically involves some ongoing visualized process (such as swinging a golf club or driving a car) and this process is retained itself as an implicit narrative. I can “see” myself performing a skilled act and typically accompany this visualization with a verbalized narrative ((“first I do xyz and then I do abc”).

Given this powerful partnership of visual images and narrative, I am inclined to use graphics and accompanying narrative to portray more complex concepts such as bifurcation, tipping points and change processes. I wish to spend a time of time and space in this essay describing a process that engages a visual image, a metaphor and an ongoing narrative to make a set of important concepts not only understandable, but also memorable for my coaching (and consulting) clients.

I borrow a graphic from one of the books I published quite a few years ago (Bergquist, 1993). I am specifically making use of a metaphor offered by Conrad Waddington (1977) regarding what he calls “epigenetic landscapes) or chreods (warped plains). Here is a graphic portrayal that I often provide to my coaching and consulting clients:

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