Are Mind Maps Effective Coaching Tools?

I’ve been interested in mind maps since experimenting with them as a teacher in the early 1980s.

Of course it was pencil and paper back then – which made editing colored maps a real pain.

Still, there remains something uniquely creative about the low-tech way and I continue to use it for my own impromptu idea sessions.

Nowadays there are a fair number of free and commercial mind mapping software tools available for use on a PC – with MindGenius as my software of choice for business planning, product creation and some client coaching exercises.
(Aug 2014 Update: I now use the open source software, FreePlane:
http://www.freeplane.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page )

Here’s an example of a very simple MindGenius map I created which outlines a coaching process used by a fantastic business coach, Christian Micklesen:

Your-Career

With face-to-face career coaching, I’ve noticed that a paper or software mind mapping approach can be very effective for those clients who are ‘visual’ and/or ‘kinesthetic’ learners.

For example, we can explore the personal vision and goals the client is most interested in, gather this information in a simple mind map format – and then use that for client fieldwork (fancy name for homework lol!) and follow up.

However, when the client’s on the far end of a telephone is where the laptop or A4 mind mapping approach has a teeny weeny problem…

There are tools available to share mind maps online in real time and the image below is something I created in 5 minutes while checking out http://bubbl.us

Online-Mind-Map-Bubbl-Us

This is not (AFAIK) a collaborative real-time product where client and coach can share and update the same map.

If you know of any online real-time collaborative mind mapping tools, please leave a comment and let me know.

Here’s to exciting times ahead for online collaborative coaching tool!

– Mark McClure

PS – March 2012 Update:
This short video about mind maps and self-coaching may give you some ideas:

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About the Author
Author: Mark McClure writes fiction about life, reality and worlds unknown. Based in Tokyo, Japan. My work embraces elements of (hard) science fiction, space opera, science fantasy, quantum fiction and speculative fiction. Click for info: My Books

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