I am lucky enough to live near a big London park. I also find that I often have the best conversations when I am walking next to people, rather than face to face. There’s something about the rhythm of walking, a shared destination, and not having to eyeball each other across a desk.
I decided to join these things together by holding my last coaching session with a start-up client in the park.
As I suspected, it’s a great way of talking through complex and challenging issues. The fresh air almost certainly helps. The physical movement ensures that ideas and revelations flow.
And interestingly, it can be helpful for some people to transfer different types of issues on to the physical world. A blockage in thinking can be compared to a fence, or fallen tree trunk. Physically finding a way over or through can become a breakthrough in thinking about the problem.
There’s even a branch (forgive the pun) of coaching called “biomimicry” (I will certainly blog about this another time) where coaches deliberately invite the client to look for solutions to their issues by finding comparisons with the natural world around them. It sounds pretty far out, but when I’ve seen it in action, it has worked surprisingly effectively.
So: next time you need to work a problem through, get yourself outside, and take a walk with someone you trust. Or better still, a coach.
By the way, the client has asked to have the next session in the park too. And I won’t be refusing.
The outdoors: a fine place to think things through with a coach