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Walk’n’coach into summer

When I first started coach training, I set myself the goal to offer walking sessions for my clients. My thinking is that pretty much all of my favourite coaching and mentoring conversations happened when walking, either outdoors or pacing up and down in my office.

I like moving whilst thinking, and I like talking and walking… . I take walking meetings, and walking catch ups, so walking whilst coaching feels like a natural extension of that. As a bonus, it means even virtual coaching can move away from the screen, at least some of the time, enabling everyone to spend less time sitting, staring at their reflection on Zoom.

My first formal mentor, Margaret, and I had incredible conversations whilst clocking up the miles in the parks in and around Oxford or sometimes also Sheffield, and I often felt elated when I came back from one of our rare days having unlocked a knotty problem. Plans were made, visions shaped and things shifted as we walked and talked.

However, when I first started formally coaching clients two in 2021, I realised pretty quickly that I needed to gain a lot more practice with the mechanics of the work of a coach, from building rapport to keeping the session on track, before I could hold space effectively on the move. Video calls offer me the chance to listen deeply to my clients, to focus on them fully, rather than be distracted by things around me… and it didn’t want to jeopardise the quality of the coaching in favour of heading outside too soon.

This summer then is my first season of offering walk’n’coach sessions as part of my formal offering, starting with my established clients (with whom I already have built a rapport and a sense of trust). Usually, this would be coaching via a phone call, or, geography permitting, we might also meet in person. 

I am really looking forward to exploring this mode of coaching, and starting to plan and prepare for offering these sessions from May onwards.

If you’d like to learn more, listen to the podcast episode about walking and coaching:

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