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Empower Your Group Sessions: How Pictures and Check-ins Can Make a Difference

Building a connection with coaching clients or participants can be challenging, especially at the beginning of your session. However, creating an open, safe environment that encourages sharing and communication is crucial.

One practical approach to achieve this is by incorporating pictures and check-in questions. This blog post will explore how pictures and check-in questions can positively impact your coaching sessions, training and workshops.

Using Pictures to Access Emotions and Thoughts

Pictures are powerful visual tools that allow participants and clients to access and express their emotions and thoughts. By choosing an image that resonates with them, individuals can convey their feelings and experiences without relying solely on words.

It is especially beneficial for those who struggle to express themselves verbally or are hesitant about sharing their thoughts.

Check-in Questions to Foster Connection

Check-in questions are vital in establishing a strong connection with clients or participants. By asking simple questions like "How are you feeling today?". Moreover, you can refer to the list of check in questions at Steps in Facilitating "Pick a Picture for How You Are" Exercise section below.

Coaches and facilitators can create a safe and supportive environment that encourages open communication and sharing. For example, when combined with pictures, check-in questions become even more effective in facilitating the expression of emotions and thoughts.

The Power of Combining Pictures and Check-in Questions

Pictures and check-in questions create a powerful combination that helps coaches establish meaningful connections when used together. Ask the participants to choose an image that resonates with them and follow up with a check-in question.

This approach enables individuals to access and express their emotions and thoughts more effectively. Consequently, it fosters a safe and supportive environment that encourages sharing and communication, leading to more productive coaching sessions and workshops.

How to Use Picture Cards for Online and In-Person Sessions

Online Sessions

  • Get a free account on
  • Choose different virtual card decks and set up a session in 3 minute

In-Person Sessions

  • Use a set of collected postcards, printed images or curated card sets from
  • Choose cards with light/friendly motives or darker ones, depending on the associations desired

Steps in Facilitating "Pick a Picture for How You Are" Exercise

Spread picture cards in front of your participants.

  • Choose a set of 20-60 pictures and spread them out on a table or the floor.
  • If working online, use a platform like to select a card deck and share the invitation link with participants.

Ask a check-in question

Start with open-ended questions such as:

”How are you today?”

”How have you been lately?”

“How would describe yourself today?”

”What was the highlight of your day or week?” 

“What are you most looking forward to today or this week?”

What inspires you lately?”

What are you most grateful for?”

What excites you most lately?”

“What is something that made you proud lately?”

“What have you learned about yourself for the past few weeks?

Give time to reflect and select a card

  • Ask participants to answer the check-in question by choosing a card representing their response.

Invite participants to share

  • Please choose the first person who can effectively role model, share their chosen card, and explain their selection.
  • Encourage the first person to nominate the next speaker to maintain engagement.

Keep an eye on the time.

If you work on a tight schedule or with big groups, you must limit the time each person speaks to their image. There are different ways to achieve that.

  • Ask your participants to keep it short. (Admittedly this only works well in some cases as they lose track of time!)
  • You can set a transparent timer that everyone can see. Set it to 1 minute per person. The timer on your phone already does the job.
  • Let your participants write down the answer to your question and read it out. You can even limit the number of words or sentences your participants can write. This limitation helps participants to condense their thoughts.

Transform Your Approach with metaFox coaching tools

Incorporating pictures and check-in questions into coaching and workshops are a powerful approach to connecting with clients or participants. Discover metaFox coaching tools and see how it can help transform your practice and lead you to more productive coaching sessions and workshops!

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