In the 2020 pandemic lockdown, we produced a creative coaching tool called the Reality Coach to free the mind and imagination.  The first volume brings together tools and prompts in a deck of cards. The Reality Coach spans creative methods of speculation, critical reflection, imaginative quests, alongside coaching techniques such as, challenging normalisations, and creating change.

The Reality Coach also explores a curiosity of ours: how the inner mind-scape reflects and influences the outer-body world-scape (and vice versa). To explore this, each card features questions for inner and outer reality change.

As we make plans for the New Year, we thought to share some of our favourite tools from the Reality Coach. So, deal yourself new worlds and ways of thinking.

Want to find out more about the Reality Coach? Please visit: burtonnitta.co.uk/realitycoach/


A tortoise embodies a change in perspective, from destined downward gaze to upturned eyes to the sky. Immobilised on its back, the creature takes a moment to see the world differently.

The two globes showing the magnetic poles of the Earth flank the tortoise. These show a flip between the north and south poles in the planet’s magnetic field. This flip is a periodic event with the last taking place about 780,000 years ago. Scientists think the next flip is due in the very near future. Even what we take for granted, like the magnetic north and south poles, can flip our world on its head.

In flipping our perspective on reality, can we unlock solutions to problems, or other ways to perceive the world? Are we seeing the world with a ‘glass half empty or half full’? We can use the flipping technique to change our position and see from a different direction. This flip can be physically or through fresh eyes and lenses of interpretation. The flip tool also invites us to play on opposing ends of a scale; for instance, up and down, hot and cold, abundance and scarcity, past and future.

Some features of the flipping tool include creating some distance (either in space or time); checking your beliefs and changing your position.

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The skeleton of an idea chooses a skin to take flesh and form. It constructs personas and identities to play out scenarios. It probes what potential futures may be like, if manifested, from the inside out.

Protoplay is a tool to prototype future artefacts, systems, or worlds. Through play, we can try on our prototypes, use them in a range of situations and spend ‘a day in the life’ in a new world. This allows insights and details to refine and hone ideas - and to discover unexpected revelations.

By protoplaying, we can imagine how an idea may affect the wider world. We can try out realities and embodiments of other ways of being in future times.
The card asks you to test, reflect on findings and adjust to the outcomes. It is a provocation to make or fake, to mock-up, make-up and prop-up other possibilities on the stage of reality. It is a proactive stride into potential changes. It is a move from an idea to an outcome that can push and pull the direction of the future. Try, embody, act, and embrace the realities you imagine.

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A question can be a powerful tool. It’s the way we learn and form models of reality from the world around us. We can unlock exciting potential future directions by crafting the formation of a question.

They are powerful and yet we often overlook them. A question can be an outstretched hand to invite someone to explore imaginary worlds. They invite someone to share their experiences and personal perspectives. Questions can open the mind, stir realisations and be catalysts for transformation. On the flip-side they can close-down a conversation, belittle others, mislead, and shroud agendas. With this in mind, crafting a question is a powerful tool.

We ask: Can a question, in its most effective form, lead to new world views and ways of thinking?

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During the development of Algaculture, our first collaborative project as Burton Nitta, we realised the power of changing the question. The work started life as considering future food. However, the project made a transformational leap when instead of asking: “what might we eat in the future?”, we instead asked: “are there alternative ways to fuel the body?” In challenging our presumption of food and zooming-out to the function of food to power the body, we gained another perspective.

Questions form the basis of talking therapies and coaching. And asking questions in a sequence can facilitate realisations and change. When you next ask a question, take a moment to consider if there are other questions to ask that act as catalysts for development.

... (Volume2 coming soon)

Take home...

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