The road of self-reflection and self-development is often a long winding journey. What drives our behaviour and decisions are layers upon layers of our own upbringing, our personality, DNA, culture and much more; sometimes even multigenerational trauma patterns.
I have met many amazing people and embarked on more than hundred training and coaching programs during the last 25 years. Since I started in 1996 in the international management program of Mercedes-Benz through my years as an entrepreneur, cabinet minister until today, where I serve as an education activist within the UN Family, very few have influenced and deeply impressed me, like Christine Kranz and her work. Stepping into the world of Symbolon has been a magical transformation journey for me.
You grapple with a decision for months or years; you just don't understand what is going on in a complicated, complex relationship with a colleague. Your team dynamics are a bit off, and you just have analysed the matters hundreds of times. Then, by looking at a painting by Claude Lorrain, in which he depicted a harbor, and asking a few pointed questions, a sudden “aha”-moment occurs. Suddenly what was hidden comes to light, and you have your answer.
"A picture is worth a thousand words ", goes the saying. Indeed, Symbolon as a coaching method helps you convey complex and sometimes multiple ideas by a single image. I have never experienced anything that helped me understand the meaning and essence of what I struggled with more effectively than a Symbolon reflection session. With masterpieces by artists such as Monet, Kahlo, Rembrandt and Rubens, it is easy and fascinating to develop visual, intuitive, and analytical approaches. Hidden obstacles are resolved, and potentials uncovered.
For years I was yearning to move beyond being a "user" of the method to qualify to use it in my leadership and advisory roles. My intense travel for work and mothering my two girls had hindered me from committing to a residential course that would have involved me travelling to Vienna.
So, when the Symbolon-Reflection-Training was available as an E-Training, I said yes immediately. In the Symbolon-Reflection-Training, we explored and developed our inner treasures and potentials with exciting reflection dives. The combination of theory and practice was powerful. We had a few individual work situations where we explored challenges and dilemmas, and the magic hit again. Using an art masterpiece as a canvas for our own reflection supported by various tools and questioning techniques, we all came to meaningful and often surprising insights within 15 to 20 minutes. Key findings and their visual anchors bring about a powerful acceleration in finding and implementing solutions.
I understood why I did not feel comfortable in a particular environment and that the solution was to leave it behind. I recognised how I could support my collegue by giving him the space he needed. And I became aware of the different strengths within our team and what qualities we needed to develop further. It did not need hours upon hours of talking with a professional—only an image and the empathetic questions of Christine and my co-students in the course.
We live today in a world with global challenges such as climate change, a health pandemic and a new economy that need multi-faceted and multi-sectoral solutions. We also have to embrace our humanity as our own USP in a world that is becoming more driven by technology and AI. The Symbolon-Method® is a powerful approach at the intersection of art, psychology and business that mirrors the above challenges and can help us navigate this new world while strengthening our humanity.
Thank you, Christine and Symbolon, for enriching my inner and outer worlds. Your guidance and support over the last 25 years have been invaluable, and I dare say, lifesaving.
Dr. Amel Karboul
Photo credit: Nikki Hill