I know I completed an article on this topic about 10 years ago and for the life of me I cannot find where I have put it in my computer – how frustrating is that! I knew it was a good concept, but life moved on and I didn’t follow it through, maybe I should have had a coach at that time!
So, what do I mean by “walk the talk”? I have just completed a coach supervision session walking across Tunbridge Wells Common, so I asked Sean, my supervisee, what he thought. We started off by talking about getting clients out of their office, definitely their own office, with people popping their head around the door or the telephone ringing. Even if these distractions are taken away there is still all of the files on the desk or the task which the client needs to do before the end of the day. So, we both get our clients out of their own office, but then it might be the Boardroom of a corner office somewhere which is very clinical and has a sterile feel to it – not conducive to free thinking or thinking out of the box or coaching.
So, what does “walk the talk coaching” do for clients?
Relax – getting away from the office stops you from just thinking about work. I had a client recently who has managed to get his work/life balance a lot better by delegating more and giving him more time to think, which has made a massive difference to the way he works and has re-energised him at work too. By walking and talking away from the office, gives a real time to reflect and consider things you wouldn’t have normally done. In some ways this is similar to walking the dog, going for a run or cycle ride it is giving you space to relax, reflect and recharge the batteries at the same time.
Freedom – the shackles are off, you are in the fresh air seeing many things you wouldn’t normally see which trigger your thinking. Sean saw houses and we had a different conversation owing to that trigger. I have known other coaches use an avenue of trees to set timelines and goals for future successes.
Absence of pen and paper – this helps both parties focus more on the conversation and the free flow of discussion. When we stopped for breakfast we did record the key learnings and action points out of the coach supervision session, but the pen and paper came later.
Mindset – Being in the fresh air particularly on a nice day somehow opens up the mindset and can put issues into a different light. Sometimes we find ourselves in a “no win” situation but with an open mind there are normally options which we might not have considered without this freedom, openness and fresh approach. It might not be quite the same if the rain is hammering down but in the sunshine things can be seen very differently. Sometimes we don’t see how lucky we are and take too many things for granted.
Listening – As a coach or coach supervisor, listening is so important, maybe the listening is even more acute in the open surroundings with only natural distractions to support the conversation?
This “walk the talk coaching session” has reopened my mind and I will be offering this opportunity going forward at my normal 2-hour rate but I will buy the breakfast (don’t tell Sean!) If you fancy this different approach whether it be coaching or coach supervision please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or have a look at my website www.nvwsolutions.co.uk