Sabbat­ical: Execu­tives in nature

Executives need to be agile and flexible – concerning body and mind. An office or an air-conditioned conference room is not entirely sufficient for gaining new ideas and impulses. Therefore, more and more executives discover the power of nature which helps them gather their thoughts, together with a coach. Learn more.

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Sabine Strobel
Travel Guide
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Coaching in nature, with fresh air, as an efficient break between the daily office routine and meeting marathons. We all know by now that permanent sitting is not healthy. “Sitting is the new smoking”, is an often-quoted phrase. Meetings are held while standing – or even walking: While coaching in motion a client is sorting his thoughts, reflects about ideas and reviews his decisions.

The coach acts as a sparring partner. Individual single coaching is supporting the development of self-management skills. But also, in the area of teambuilding “Walk’n’talk” is a common and successful tool for managers to give each other feedback. When exchanging while walking, it is easier to give negative feedback, problems become clearer, the view is directed forward. Breaks to think are not a burden for the relationship and can better be dealt with.

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Coaching is capacity building. Coaching supports the clients in finding solutions and strengthens the self-management skills. In a process regulated by the coach, the coachee is self-reflecting or reflecting about others, tries to understand his/her problems in depths, sets goals and thinks about how his/her situation can be actively changed. The good thing about coaching in motion, also called “Walk’n’talk”: Thoughts can move freely and conversations – while moving forward – are directed into the future.

When coaching takes place outside of the enterprise (for example during lunch break), this is already an intervention. The coachee or client is leaving the familiar surroundings for a short break and starts to explore something new, aims to achieve new ideas. Coaching is about leaving old habits behind, throwing away dead weight and to open up for new perspectives.

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What is special about “Coaching in Motion”?

The old Greeks already knew about the positive effect of walking and thinking. This is why Aristoteles wandered around in the old walking halls of Athens to activate his philosophical thinking. The Greeks did also believe that movement would disperse melancholia. Fact is: Regular physical activity and sunlight pushes the creation of serotonin, a messenger for happiness. “When the body is in motion, your thoughts get in motion as well” is what Austrian author Thomas Bernhard discovered in his book “Gehen” as well.

Five key elements of Coaching in Motion (and the difference to the classic coaching):

  • In some companies the air can be stuffy. There are managers who decided to go outside to catch some fresh air, because rooms, topics and objects are restricting them to much. With Coach2go they can open up and work on new ideas and thoughts.
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  • While sitting, the body is compressed and the inner organs are pushed together. When someone is walking the upper body is straight, lungs pump in oxygen, the heart beast faster, blood is circulating quicker, with more pressure then when the body is resting. Walking gives the body energy, which the develops out of the movement of the body.

  • When walking the eyes are facing forward. This allows the client to have more time to think. Because during longer thinking-breaks tension is not building up when the body is in motion.

  • The client can let his/her view wander around and does not need to look the coach in the eye. The environment and changing nature while walking give new impulses for thoughts.

  • Positive side effect: Coach2go means an extra input of light. Vitamin D is essential and important for your health – especially during winter time. Managers who participated at coaching in motion speak of an extra energy input when they have spent their lunch break outside.

Almost two and a half thousand years ago, Greek philosophers such as Platon, Aristoteles and Socrates said “the mind forms the body”. Today we know that the opposite is also true.

Author: Sabine Strobel is a Coach2go expert and is training managers in Hannover and Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Following the phrase “Out of the meeting room – into nature!” she offers teambuilding and seminars in mountain huts in the alps. More information via www.strobel-coaching.de.

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