Friday 17 February 2023

Thinking about Place - and Humilty

I participated in an excellent session sponsored by the EMCC and led by Claire Bradshaw, who shared both her passion for, and some research about, outdoor coaching.  That is something I have practiced for many years, and so it was fascinating to hear her take, and to compare notes with other coaches.

One theme that emerged was the impact of impressive natural landscape, which evokes a sense of awe - and a corresponding humility - in us and our clients when we work outdoors. One of the words that was used about this was perspective, and we discussed how valuable that is.

Certainly I think an appropriate degree of humility is valuable as a coach; moreover, I think the same is true for some of our clients - that, and a sense of perspective. Big egos and a too intense focus on a particular work issue as all-important are both potential interruptors of good thinking.

I was reminded too of the excellent C W Metcalf, and his advice: 'take your work seriously, but don't take yourself too seriously...'  Perspective is very helpful in that context, too.

And then I reflected on Nancy Kline's take on place, as a component of a Thinking Environment: place is a silent form of appreciation, so we try to choose a place that says 'you matter.' 

But working in the grandeur of nature?  Perhaps that says 'you matter - but not that much.'

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