Coaching Outdoors – 2 days of
I’ve spent the last couple of days on a summer coach’s collective and it’s hard to find one word to say what it was – a training event, a gathering, a mastermind, a retreat – so I think it shows that it was all of the above.
The central focus of the event was coaching outdoors, using a countryside setting, which we did up in the rolling hills of Lancashire. I can’t express how happy I was that an event like this was happening in my home county.
Coaching outdoors – what..?
Now you might think that coaching outdoors is like coaching indoors, just outside. And you’d be forgiven for following that thought process.
But when you bring in a new, dynamic, and uncontrollable environment into the process, by being out in green space or walking through a city for example, there’s much more to consider and work with.
That’s what these 2 days were about. How we make use of the great outdoors to enhance the coaching experience for our clients. How it contributes to a brilliant experience that delivers the desired results.
Instant results for me – yeah!
And the beauty of being a coach on a coach’s training event is that you not only get to learn and practice, but you also receive coaching, because we practice we each other. What a bonus.
The whole experience for me was inspiring, relaxing, and energising. I’ve walked away feeling fully refreshed and motivated, with deeper insight, knowledge and tools about so much, new connections, and with 2 new business ideas solidified and in progress.
Now there’s a return on investment – happy Deborah!
Sometimes the only way forward is to retreat
The last 6-9 months have been full on, busy, relentless even. Business is thriving and I couldn’t be happier about that. But it’s also meant that I’ve been using up my reserves, and my ability to get creative and move some project forward has been hindered. A rest was in order.
Many people might think that heading off on a 2-day training event isn’t exactly a holiday, but let me tell you, within a couple of hours of arriving, soaking up the environment, and immersing myself into the event, I felt like I’d been plugged in. The batteries were re-charging.
You’ll already know this, but slowing down is often the way to speed up. It’s true for me and it’s true for my clients.
And therein lies the direct link to coaching outdoors. It’s a restorative process to be part of.
Coaching clients outdoors
Over the last year I’ve started to integrate the countryside space into my work with clients, where location and opportunity allows. Whether that’s simply been a walk and a chat to help my client transition into a good headspace for our coaching session, or taking the coaching session itself outdoors.
Unsurprisingly, it makes a positive difference to how clients feel, to their capacity for thinking and creativity, and to their energy and focus on whatever we’re going to talk about.
I may not be very woo-woo, but I know without doubt that the connection with nature in those moments enhances the experience and the outcomes for my client. It could be clarity of thinking, ability to problem solve, resolving problems, getting “unstuck”, making decisions with confidence, and so much more.
Combined with my personal love of our beautiful countryside, it’s therefore no surprise that the option of incorporating some outdoor coaching into any coaching programme is available when you’re working with me.
The event in pictures
Sometimes it’s easier to show you my experience – enjoy a few snaps I took.
Day 1 – getting started in a recognisable way – within 4 walls, lots of visual aids, and being guided by the brilliant Claire Bradshaw who designed and hosted the event. I’ll pop a link to Claire’s site at the end of the blog – she’s a coach, a coach trainer, and leads the coaching collective and numerous events. She’s well worth a follow.
I was drawn to the swings and had to have a play. I did it for fun, which it was, yet the side effect was a mindful moment, a quiet mind. I’m trying to resist the urge to buy a swing for the garden at home …
On the evening of day 1 we all had a wander to the Singing Ringing Tree in Rossendale, Lancashire. The sculpture is constructed of metal tubes and the wind blowing plays you tune through all the pipes. The sound is mesmerising. It’s 1 of 4 panopticons across Lancashire.
And this became a special place for gathering, chatting, laughing, exploring, learning, and more. You can’t see the fire pit well on the photos, but it’s there. There was morning yoga here too.
So what comes next?
The integration of outdoor coaching is an evolution of my coaching services, not a radical shift or change. Saying that, I’m almost certain that more clients will want to try it on for size to see what benefits it offers.
If you’re considering enquiring about coaching with me and want to know more about this, don’t hesitate to ask. If I think it’s right for you achieving your objectives, I’ll always put the option on the table.
In the meantime, here’s your invitation to explore how the outdoors in front of you today can help you with … whatever you want it to.
Other Info & Links
Claire Bradshaw was the event designer and host – you can find out more about her events here along with links to connect on social.
We stayed at Rossendale Holiday Cottages, a lovely place based in the small village of Water, high up in the Lancashire hills. A family run business and super-friendly and helpful.