LPScocoon®: A virtual constellation tool to enhance e-coaching
by Christiane Grabow
LPScocoon® is a coaching tool, which enables coaching clients to visualize their thoughts and to simulate their developmental process. This simulation tool is designed for use in business contexts. It exists since 2007 as a physical application, used in face-to-face coaching. Since 2008 it exists as interactive 3D software in German and English, and it is used during remote coaching sessions.
LPScocoon® consists of 13 symbolic, lava stone sculptures in different shapes. Their abstract and archaic forms support clients in finding their own meaning and interpretation for each sculpture. The online user handles the application intuitively via comupter keyboard and mouse. Special features of the software, such as soft and natural motions enhance the illusion of cyberspace.
The coach moderates the client´s simulation process via telephone. If the internet connection is stable, voice over IP is also possible. Both partners can see the same screen, and each change will simultaneously be transferred onto the partner´s computer, allowing the figuratively presented issue to be examined by both partners.
LPScocoon® allows visualization of systemic relationships in business environments, through Systemic Change Management Simulation. Based on the principles of systems theory, Systemic Change Management Simulation has been used in family systems therapy with the name “family constellation”. Meanwhile it has established itself in commercial enterprises as Systemic Change Management Simulation. Previously applicable only face to face, new technical solutions enable its use in a virtual environment. Classified somewhere in between serious games, e-learning and second life, the LPScocoon® software is used for strategic coaching and consulting via online communication.
The LPScocoon´s® strengths lie in supporting visualizations of conflict or problematic issues and in clarifying complex relationships. Although clients are not restricted in the topics they simulate, the software is mostly used to simulate issues that require a strategic solution, thereby equipping the client with new options for action. In effect these topics may refer to career planning and possibilities, decision-making in business processes, meeting preparation, conflict situations at work, analysis of team and management constellations and questions concerning the organization.
The e-coaching process.
With the coach´s support, clients work through their coaching issues and formulate a question on how they can solve these issues. Examples of such questions may include the following:
“How do I get my team to work constructively?”
“How can we streamline our production processes, without sacrificing quality? ”
” How can I get reliable and in time the information I need? ”
Clients are usually most successful in finding an answer, if they have formulated their question openly and actively, by including themselves in their question using the words “I, me, myself”. This might be the first criterion in measuring the quality of the coaching process: Have you answered your question? Yes/No.
After formulating their question, clients are asked to identify possible factors, such as personal blocks, or values, or anything else that might be preventing them from solving their issue. This requires the coach´s support in helping clients focus on the most influential factors, which as experience shows, should not exceed ten factors. Up to this point the coach´s competence and skills are crucial. From this point onwards LPScocoon® plays an important role in the process.
Subsequently, clients select a sculpture to represent each of the factors they defined. The stones don´t resemble anything familiar and thus, clients use their intuition to make associations. As a next step, clients select a representative figure of themselves and position their own representative in relation to the following sculptures, also indicating the direction of their supposed gaze.
Deciding on the sculptures´ spatial relationships and on the direction they are looking, indicates clients´ personal viewpoint on things. With the support of the coach, thus, clients become observers of their inner visualized image, and increase their awareness of the situation from these simulated systemic relationships. The coach understands the perceptions and viewpoint of the client, free from interpersonal misunderstandings and enters mentally into the situation of the client.
The meaning of visualizations in 3-D.
The visualization of coaching issues in 3-D has several advantages. Firstly, our brain produces images of what we experience. For how long these images are stored into our brain depends on the emotional significance they have for us. Through a virtual simulation we can represent our internalized images in a time-efficient way. In addition, clients´ visualized ideas can be easily understood by the coach. The coach has direct access to the visualized thoughts of the client and thus, is able to see through the client´s viewpoint and provide support. In the coaching process, this also means time effectiveness. Thirdly, the 3-D systemic constellation allows an examination and analysis of the coaching issue from different perspectives. The client´s developmental and goal- oriented coaching process is thus, facilitated through the 3-dimensional digital visual process that the LPScocoon® software offers.
Downloading the Software
The client version is free of charge and can be downloaded from www.LPScocoon.de onto the user´s computer, minimizing this way data transfer and allowing high resolution graphics. Furthermore each user can chose his favorite language. The coach purchases a license for the application, which allows invitations to online sessions. Licenses are available from CSG Medien.