Volume 6, Issue 8 | May 8, 2010
www.shift-it-coach.com | [email protected]



  1. A Note From Christina
  2. Events Calendar
  3. Article: Attract Visual Thinkers in Your Clientele
  4. Recent Blog Entries


Dear %$firstname$%,

We’re busy bees here at SHIFT-IT Coach, Inc. preparing for the arrival of our “Fundamentals of Interactive Graphics” participants … arriving from all over on May 20-22nd – 2 spots left if you want to slide in under the wire and gift your inner doodler a spot!

Markers, pastels, miles of wall-size paper, handbooks, cool erasers and other special goodies --- all are checked off on our preparation list. I’m looking forward to introducing another batch of fantastic folks to the power of working visually. And connecting you to each other … our graphic tribe!

Ahhhh, a fresh pack of chalk pastels …
so yummy you almost want to eat them!

Since I’m all in ‘graphic mode’ this week, I thought no better time than to share a graphics-related article with you --- for those of you who are consultants, facilitators and coaches (and other process leaders) who have an untapped opportunity to attract the Visual Thinkers in your own clientele. By learning powerful, effective and fun methods to help your groups and individuals think, reflect and make good decisions. It’s a fantastic way to work!

Hope You Enjoy!

Christina Merkley,
The SHIFT-IT Coach

ChristinaMerk on:
Twitter @christinamerk

Christina Merkley on:
Facebook Fan Page

See Me on:
SHIFT-IT SCHOOL (Upcoming Events):

3-Day Professional Skills Training

May 20-22nd, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Learn Fundamental Visual Skills to Work with Groups and/or Individuals: Graphic Recording, Graphic Facilitation & Graphic Coaching Just 2 Spots Left!

Add the power of working visually to your own consulting, facilitation or coaching practice! Strategically build your foundational skills – no matter where on the visual spectrum you want to play. Apprentice-type training draws keen attendees from across the globe (our graphic tribe). Learn easy, doable tricks to immediately improve the efficiency and range of your work with groups and/or individuals. Treat yourself to this extremely productive (and fun) skills building workshop in a beautiful location. No previous art experience necessary. Full Details and Easy Online Registration

F.R.E.E. “Soothing Saturday” Tele-Seminar:
False Myths and True Realities in Making a Living From Your Art
Guest: Aletta de Wal, Artist Career Training Institute

Saturday, June 12, 10-11:30 am Pacific

The “starving artist” myth is just one of many about how artists live and work. When the “real job” of being an artist is devalued, so is the art. These tenacious myths are so deep-rooted in society that many artists believe them. Artists who shed these misconceptions release trapped energy and free up mental and emotional bandwidth for their life’s work. Access to the truths of the art world frees artists to create their own reality of making a living making art.
Register Here.


(Now Recorded!) To Listen to My Audio of This Article, Click Here)

I have been exposed to a lot of techniques and approaches over my career and I have made a very conscious decision to primarily work in the ‘INTERACTIVE-GRAPHICS’ medium (meaning I use graphics and visuals to help facilitate reflection and decision making for groups and individuals). I’ve made this decision because working graphically is so effective and rewarding.

Christina Merkley's Facebook profile

Why Graphics?
Brain researchers and learning specialists have identified that different people learn in different ways (called learning styles). A learning style is the manner in which a person best receives and processes information.

Most learners fall within one of more of the following styles: Auditory, Visual or Tactile.


Auditory learners receive information best
by listening; they tend to learn best during
lecture and audio-based instruction.



Visual learners tend to learn better when a variety of visual aids, such as blackboards, overhead projectors, and films, are used during instruction. They often use imagery to learn complex subjects.



Tactile learners prefer to learn by doing. They usually learn best when they are allowed to use their hands and sense of touch to learn new information and apply new skills. An extension of this style is a “kinesthetic” learning style. Kinesthetic learners enjoy not only using their hands in the learning process but benefit from all types of physical movement while learning.

“Visual learners tend to prefer books or videos, tend to speak quickly and somewhat high pitched, stare up when they are thinking and use language like “I see what you mean”. In the US, 60-72% of the population prefers to learn this way. Auditory learners tend to prefer speeches, discussions, tapes, tend to speak slowly and quietly, stare straight ahead when they are thinking, and use language like “I can hear what you are saying”. They make up 12-18% of the population. Finally, kinesthetic (tactile) learners tend to prefer to try something first, speak quickly and with great changes in intonation and body language, stare down when thinking, and use language like “I get it”. Across the general population, 18-30%.”

The Majority of Us Are Visual Learners:
As the quote above demonstrates, the majority of the population, 72% (and higher in some studies), are estimated to be visual learners! Followed by kinesthetic/tactile and then auditory learners. This means that the majority of people learn best when some sort of visuals, graphics or shapes are used:

The Visual Learner (the observer):

  • Scans everything; wants to see things; enjoy visual stimuli
  • Store visual images – and good at recalling visual images
  • Enjoys shapes, colors, patterns, maps, pictures, diagrams
  • Can recall words after seeing them a few times
  • Not pleased with lectures

The beauty of graphic facilitation and graphic coaching is that not only does it benefit visual learners (the vast majority of us) it also benefits kinesthetic (tactile) learners (by writing and filling templates out), and even auditory learners (if you share your work with others by talking, showing and explaining your maps to them).

Not Just Pretty Pictures:
Using visuals in facilitation or coaching venues, while attractive and fun, are also deceptively simple learning tools that benefit ALL the types of learners. So much more user friendly than the majority of typical facilitation or coaching methods, which are almost exclusively auditory (the smallest group in the whole population!).

The wisdom, insights and ahhas of the group or individual are captured and written down in graphics and words, instead of flying off into thin air. The large visual displays act as a big mirror, helping people SEE what is going on inside of them, so they can objectively view their thinking and assumptions and make better, clearer, more informed conclusions and decisions --- around their work, life or whatever it is they are focusing on.

Using Both Sides of the Brain:

Graphic Facilitation and Graphic Coaching methods also tap into both sides of the brain (both logical and creative), using the best of both sides of a group’s or person’s personality and resources, instead of just being limited to one – as a result the level of thinking and the ability to handle complexity just sky-rockets.

“There has been a great deal of research done on brain dominance, which includes right and left-brain behaviors. Your left-brain’s job is words, language, analysis, order, logic, numbers and sequence. Your right brain’s job is music, rhythm, imagination, and patterns, challenging mental models, appreciation and synthesis. Different people prefer to reside predominantly on different sides … The real power comes from combining the two, when the right and left brain are combined, the most long-term learning occurs.”

Tony Buzan, Mindmap Pioneer

Memory and Communication Aids:
Another beauty of working graphically: the documentation is created as you go. Now with digital cameras, scanning and photo editing programs, it is easy to create paper and electronic files of the displays that are created. Just take photos or scans of the charts and weave them into handy reports and PowerPoint presentations.


This documentation helps you remember the process of your facilitation or coaching experience and the outcomes that were generated. So you can see and remember key concepts, ideas and breakthroughs as well as any dates or accountabilities that were addressed. Also, since its all depicted in handy visuals, it makes sharing the material with others easy and enjoyable – like my graphic coaching clients who share their personal visioning and planning maps with those close to them (family, friends, business colleagues, financial and other helping professionals).

Win Them Over:
It’s not everyday that your clients get to see their thoughts and feelings written out in front of them with lots of color, formatting and images. Just walking into a room prepared for graphic facilitation or graphic coaching is a unique experience. Oh, and the skeptics that are won over by the end of day --- the folks who come in thinking its all pretty pictures and not really getting it, who upon leaving, shake your hand and express their thanks and appreciations --- another one won over to the power of working visually!

Not only is graphic facilitation and coaching a unique method, it is a very fun and enjoyable one to boot. Haven’t we all had enough of the typical, boring, stuffy, hard-to-keep-awake-and-on-track meetings and coaching sessions? Pull interactive-graphics into the room and you really hike up the energy and efficiency levels – helping people think out what they need to think out in a pleasurable and effective way. Proving that reflection work, whether done within a group or with just one person, can be fun as well as rewarding!

Get Equipped!
Appeal to the Visual Thinkers in your own consulting, facilitation or coaching practice. Learn from my 17+ years experience (with corporations, not-for-profits and individual coaching) in the company of other like-minded people from around the globe via ‘The Fundamentals of Interactive-Graphics' … 3-day professional skills training. Or, book your own private training or in-house workshop.

Learning customer chart work and graphic facilitation.

Note: You DO NOT need to be an artist to do this work! Trust your resonance with this fantastic way of working --- if you are attracted to it, you can do it … and I can teach you! Two spots left in the May 20-22nd training in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

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© 2010 Christina L. Merkley

You can, as long as you include this blurb and a functional link to my site:

Christina Merkley, "The SHIFT-IT Coach" and creator of the SHIFT-IT System®, is a Visioning and Strategic Planning Expert specializing in Visual Thinking and Law of Attraction techniques. Based in charming Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, she works deeply with individuals, partners and conscious businesses to define and manifest what they truly want. And, trains other helping professionals in her innovative ways of working. For more www.shift-it-coach.com


Looking for more rich, SHIFT-IT content? Check out my blog for recent ramblings, resources and general interest features:

Besides the Blog, there are plenty of articles to read in the Ezine Archives. Browse past issues here.

Click Here to Read SHIFT-IT Blog



Ready for your SHIFT? There is a HUGE TRANSITION going on in the world today both at a spiritual and physical level. Many people are feeling the call to ascend to a crisper, cleaner and more soul satisfying life - are you one of them? Enlist me as your personal transition aid. Define your vision, bust through your interfering resistance and start taking action. Pioneering Graphic Coaching and Law of Attraction methods.

Coaching Options




Are you a helping professional with a creative bend? Are you intrigued with the visual way I work with my clients? I've trained hundreds of facilitators, consultants, trainers and now coaches, counselors, social workers, etc from around the globe. Learn fundamental graphics skills that you can use in your own work with groups and individuals. Come join the graphic tribe!

Training Options



Do you use or want to use visuals in your professional work with individuals? Working graphically is an extremely powerful way to boost the effectiveness of your craft. Come join my complimentary Facebook group called The Global Community of Graphic Coaches (GCGC). Communicate with like-minded peeps, post and share photos of your work, and receive feedback and support. Great way to stay connected!

Click Here to Connect with GCGC



Christina Merkley
The SHIFT-IT Coach

Christina Merkley is The SHIFT-IT Coach. Creator of the SHIFT-IT System®, she guides individuals, partners and conscious companies in defining and getting what they really, really want.

A teacher of Law of Attraction, she is also an expert in visual meeting techniques, strategic planning and visioning: having worked for such notable companies as BBC, Readers Digest Funds, eBay and Stanford University. After a move from San Francisco, she now lives in charming Victoria, British Columbia, Canada - where she maintains a vibrant coaching, facilitation and training practice.

Full Bio

Copyright © 2004-2010 Christina L. Merkley. All rights reserved.
60 Dallas Road, Victoria, British Columbia, V8V 1A2, Canada