Volume 6, Issue 16 | September 3, 2010
www.shift-it-coach.com | [email protected]



  1. A Note From Christina
  2. Events Calendar
  3. Article: The 4 Methods of Interactive-Graphics Work
  4. Recent Blog Entries

Dear %$firstname$%,

Wow, its September ... can you believe it! The final cruise ships to Alaska are making their way past my deck and we got our first showers after a glorious summer of sunshine. Change is in the air!

I must admit, I do love fall shopping ... cause fall clothes are what we wear here in Victoria B.C. the most (thankfully our winters are generally mild).

spirit peopleDespite the weather I'm continuing to golf ... my new pastime to add balance to my life. And, painting continues to flow out of me too ... I am SO ENJOYING this new medium of personal expression!

The theme continues to be little swirly, spirit people (hybrids of my graphic recording doodles done over the years in my graphic facilitation work). My guess is the subject matter is also highly influenced by my adoration of the
Abraham-Hicks and Ask Theo teachings too. Sometimes I think they or similar energy is flowing through me ... I'm as surprised as anybody about what shows up given the spontaneity of how the paintings come out.

I have always gone into art stores, but now I am buying up paint tubes, canvasses and brushes – poking around in hardware stores and the like, looking for cool new tools I can use to get the effects I'm looking for. My favorite new finds are metallic paints ... went a little overboard with them on painting 7 but hey, what can I say --- sparkling things make me happy!

Given its officially fall, and my autumn Fundamentals of Interactive-Graphics courses are right around the corner (early birds end on September 10th so register now!) ... I've decided to write this issue's article on the four main ways of working visually with groups and individuals (giving you lots of visual examples to stir your creative juices and marker hands!).

Yours in graphic expansion,

Christina Merkley,
The SHIFT-IT Coach
and Interactive-Graphics Mentor

ChristinaMerk on:
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Mondays, 5pm Pacific (New Weekly Community... join today!)
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Join our growing SHIFT-IT Community! Weekly support as you SHIFT your work and life for the better. Apply SHIFT-IT, Law of Attraction and Soul Integration to your unique circumstances for satisfying results. Laser coaching, expert guests and leading-edge sharing --- all with like-minded souls from around the globe (you are NOT alone). Open to seasoned SHIFT-IT students and newbies alike – first month F.R.E.E.! Register Now

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Prerequisite: SHIFT-IT Online Group or SHIFT-IT Home Retreat Kit

Fundamentals of Interactive-Graphics
(two options to choose from)

* 9-Week Online Course: Oct. 18 – Dec. 15 (Webinars, Mon. & Wed. 12-1pm Pacific)
* 3-Day In-Person Workshop: Nov. 4-6, Victoria British Columbia, Canada

Early Bird Ends September 10th!

Statistically over 87% of your facilitation, coaching, training and consulting clients are visual thinkers – learn powerful visual skills to boost the effectiveness (and fun!) of your process work with groups and individuals. This 9-week online or 3 day in-person professional skills training thoroughly covers custom chart work, graphic recording, graphic facilitation and graphic coaching (the four main applications of working visually with groups and individuals) so you can add these powerful tools to your own consulting, facilitation, coaching and training offerings.
Register Now (Combo with SHIFT-IT Coach Certification available too)


The Biz and Life Accelerator (9-Month Elite Mastermind)
SAVE THE DATES: Oct. 18 -June 20, 2011 (1st & 3rd Mondays at 2:30-4pm pacific)
Plus 2 In-person Retreats (Nov. 19-20 Redondo Beach with THEO and May 6-7 Victoria, BC) ... mailed invites to advanced students next week!

Very excited about this new elite coaching program. This 9-month mastermind is for solo practices and small businesses at or desiring the 50-300K range. Take a quantum leap in your biz and life development, not to mention your bottom line! Biz building instruction coupled with deep inner manifestation work (the unique one-two combo that has resulted in my own success). Two 2-day retreats (L.A. and Victoria B.C.), twice-monthly online instruction plus 7 private tele-sessions (only way to get private coaching with me now). Launch begins with advance student invite – watch your home mailbox for more details in a few weeks!


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

Interactive-Graphics is a wonderful way to work – whether in a group or individual setting. I've been in the overall field for 17 years now – and have worked in all of the four main genres: custom chart work, graphic recording, graphic facilitation and graphic coaching.

As the field continues to expand and generate more and more interest, I find it's helpful for people new to the field (either as clients or new practitioners) to understand the four main applications of working visually and how they are related ... and also profoundly different.

Below is a large wall mural that I use in my Fundamentals of Interactive-Graphics workshop to introduce the four main applications of the work and their distinctions, particularly the level of 'interactivity' between them – ranging from very passive or 'push' type uses to very interactive or 'pull' type uses.

interactive graphics
Wonderful World of Interactive-Graphics Chart (four main definitions).

Click to view on Flickr

The most static or passive type of work is what I call 'custom chart work'. Custom charts are the various visual materials one can create ahead to time to convey information to a group or audience. Custom charts can vary from very practical and easy pieces, like welcome posters, models, or agenda charts (like the one below from an old workshop of mine) --- to much more elaborate 'information architecture' pieces that takes days/weeks/months to complete and deep corporate pockets to commission. See Grove Consultants, XPLANE and Bonfire Communications for companies who play in that space. Generally, custom charts are used to gather and push agreed upon information to viewers (there is usually little interaction or co-creation unless facilitation or interactivity is somehow built into the process to prepare them or to gather pushback or feedback afterwards).

custom chart
Example of Custom Chart Work (Workshop Agenda)

Click to view on Flickr

Moving up the interactivity scale, we proceed into the area of 'graphic recording'. Produced by 'graphic recorders' these large, wall-size documents are created live during gatherings and meeting venues – usually the Recorder is silently doing her best to 'cut' or 'cull' what is being spoken about into an attractive (and hopefully rationally useful) visual summary. This method is best used when the topic is a general and easily tracked nature (graphic recording is not good for highly detailed situations).

Graphic recordings are usually produced to the side or back of a room, off from where the main action is taking place. Having done this kind of work for many years earlier in my career, I am at liberty to call them a 'bit of a party trick'. Entertaining, fun to produce, and adding spice to an event --- they can operate as novel takeaways for event participants and conveners.

graphic recording
Example of Graphic Recording

Click to view on Flickr

Above is an example of graphic recording work, done for a women's funding conference --- it's the highlights of a talk on branding.

Next we move into the area of Graphic Facilitation – in my mind the most useful genre for group work. Graphic Facilitation can either be provided by a true Graphic Facilitator (someone who both contracts for and facilitates a client engagement AND takes the visual notes at the same time) or via a Graphic Facilitation team (provided by a lead facilitator and one, or several, Graphic Recorders).

Given the facilitative nature of the work, Graphic Facilitation has a more text-based and functional appearance than Graphic Recording and the charts are 'co-created' by the participants in conjunction with the facilitation team. It is by far the most interactive of the genres --- with the charts being created in front of everyone's eyes and through everyone's words (sometimes through everyone's markers when participants are invited to get in the mark marking as well!). Usually pre-constructed templates or large wall forms (like the Content map from Grove Consultants behind me in the picture below).

graphic facilitation
Christina Doing Demo of Graphic Facilitation Using Grove's Context Map

Click to view this and other graphic facilitation photos on Flickr:

Graphic Facilitation is excellent for detailed work that requires precise documentation – the participants are literally telling the Graphic Recorder what to write (rather than the recorder silently doing their own cut of the information as is the case in graphic recording). Strategic planning, visioning, brainstorming, scenarios, value proposition, conflict resolution, branding --- all are excellent venues for true graphic facilitation work.

And, last but not least, we come to the specialty niche area of which I'm a pioneering practitioner and teacher – Graphic Coaching (the use of interactive-graphics in coaching and personal growth with individuals, couples and/or families). Graphic Coaching is interactive at its core (like graphic facilitation work) but instead of a group you are working with just one person or partners (or a few people if working with a family group).

Mentee Allison Doing Graphic Coaching with Her Workshop Partner

Click Here to View Other Graphic Coaching Photos:

Graphic coaching can be spontaneous recording of a person's thoughts or it can be much more constructed – depending on the type of coach, therapist or counselor you are and the process you follow. After many years of doing group facilitation (primarily strategic planning and visioning) and coaching work (I am a CTI trained coach, hypnotherapist and energy worker) – I slowly created my own step-by-step process and suite of visual coaching tools … called The SHIFT-IT Graphic Coaching
. Through my SHIFT-IT Certification program I now empower other helping professionals from around the world to use SHIFT-IT with their own clientele.

As you can see, the world of interactive-graphics is rich … and holds something of value for most process leaders --- whether you are a consultant, trainer, facilitator, coach, therapist or manager. Interest in this field is growing in leaps and bounds and clients are increasing asking and aware of the benefits of working visually (greater clarity, more effective use of time and limited resources, reduced conflicts and tensions, etc).

Virginia Doing Great With Her Icons

May's Fundamentals of
Interactive-Graphics Class

I have extensive experience in all four genres of the work and have successfully trained professionals for over decade, from all walks of life and art abilities. You DO NOT have to be an artist to do this work– and if you are an artist, great! There is room for all to play in this effective, rational/emotional and client-pleasing methodology.

The autumn Interactive-Graphics trainings are right around the corner (including a 3-day workshop Nov. 4-6 in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, Canada as well as a brand new 9-week online training, starting October 18th). For more information on these plus other training options including private trainings, in-house trainings and SHIFT-IT Certification, click here. Early Birds in effect until September 10th.

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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 information visit: 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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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