by Court Gould
Professional Coaches need a satchel of client-serving tools. Often overlooked is among the most powerful resource of them all. A source that is free and available … NATURE.
How might NATURE serve you, your coaching and your client?
There are many ways to put NATURE to work. Any coach can do it without going native. The power of NATURE comes wrapped in all sizes and experiences. Its potency can be summonsed through the most subtle of observation or through grandiose experience—from noticing the twinkling frost on a diminutive bud to scaling a high mountain peak. The attentive coach simply needs to make the introduction and to guide the way NATURE creates her nurturing capabilities for mindfulness and self discovery. The end result is the mind, body and spirit working together as one.
Expand your portfolio of coaching venues and see what blossoms. Consider opening the door at the very beginning by putting gateways to NATURE in your coaching agreement. Season it up with options to be held in the outdoors. How about enhancing the coaching experience by walking while talking, sitting in the park, or biking or canoeing together? You might also try visualization by inviting your client to create a mental image and sensation of a favorite spot or outdoor experience. One of my long distant clients enjoys sitting in a park when we have phone sessions. I find myself more animated and focused when leaving the office behind in favor of the backyard water garden when conducting a coaching session. NATURE’S cathedral creates a freshness and buoyancy among coach and client. For being present you can’t beat natural settings.
You’ll find NATURE provides coaching props at every turn along the path. A gust of wind, a woodpecker’s laugh or a squirrel’s scolding comes remarkably at just the right moment to punctuate the coaching conversation. They arrive as gifts for metaphor, voices for calling forth, queues for powerful questions or points for a reflective pause. When going to nature, the senses move outside of purely intellectual mode to active listening and feeling. That’s where we want to be in service to our clients.
NATURE also provides the lesson and promise that everything is connected. Neither coach nor client need to be a scientist to casually observe the water cycle, the change of seasons or the symbiosis of flora and fauna. Drawing on NATURE’S intelligence and promise of renewal can create awareness of one’s place and purpose, give meaning, lift spirits and spawn creativity that opens up new possibilities.
So coaches and clients, GO OUTSIDE. Tap into the Mother of all coaches. Give NATURE a chance to show her magic and give your coaching excellence new ways to shine. May your client’s search through NATURE to find his or hers true self.