The basic concept of taking coaching conversations outdoors stems from Anna-Marie's childhood love of outside amongst nature. This initially became intertwined with coaching after observing transformational change in clients whilst leading trekking expeditions in Nepal and the UK; then venturing outdoors with open-minded clients eager for some fresh air and movement within their otherwise sedentary daily routine. Further personal interest around the disciplines of neuro-science and behavioural management provided the scientific evidence that kinaesthetic action supports improved cognitive function. It's not exactly rocket science that we generally feel better and our head is clearer after a decent brisk walk outdoors!
Our global business organisational culture has evolved so that a third of employees eat at their desk and four in ten reply to emails or take phone calls within their lunch break. The average British lunch break is now only 25 minutes and 24 seconds (The Food Programme, Radio 4, February 2017) and only 29% of workers take their full lunch break (HR Review, 12 May 2015). This phenomenon is completely counter productive as, despite the intention to increase output, this tends to leave employees are generally less efficient and less effective later in the working day. Lee Biggins, Managing Director at CV-Library, the UK's leading independent job board explains:
"Longer hours spent at the desk doesn't necessarily equate to more work being completed. It's only natural that employees will become less productive if they haven't had time to stop for a break."
"I've always been at my most reflective while out for a walk. Being in the fresh air whilst gently exercising the body is a good time for thinking through whatever is playing on the mind. I didn't realise how significant this was until a few years ago whilst out in Chamonix with Anna-Marie.
Chatting through the challenges of work, the distractions of a time consuming hobby and the fragile nature of family relationships in an environment untouched by the trappings of modern life enabled me to order my thoughts. The realisation that I could take control of my life was a key moment for me. Inspired by Anna-Marie's approach, her unloaded questions and her ability to make me see things a little differently."
Emma, Regional Collaboration & Improvement Officer, Newport
The simple act of regularly moving beyond our confined work space and spending time in natural open spaces improves creativity and productivity, reduces stress, aids mental clarity and encourages a wider appreciation of different perspectives. Learn more about the science behind the benefits here.
Sessions can be a lunchtime urban adventure, a wander along the Avon Valley canal, an exploration of the Cotswolds Way, further afield into the mountains of South Wales or an overseas venture. Wet weather options can always be arranged due to the temperamental British weather if necessary though an element of common sense is kindly requested to ensure correct clothing and footwear.
Anna-Marie has the following outdoor recognised National qualifications to support all of these options:
Mountain Leader (Assessment) Summer
British Mountaineering Council - Member
Outdoor 16-hour First Aid Course
Over the last ten years Anna-Marie has lead expeditions in the UK, Europe and further afield to Ecuador, Morocco, Nepal, Iceland and South East Asia. Be in touch to create your own bespoke coaching adventure in the great outdoors.
Think about the coaching experience you want to create.
You’ve taken the positive step to reach out and invest in your successful future.
You’ve been working non-stop against tight time lines on the most important project of the year, your eyes glued to your computer screen; barely time to draw breath, let alone grab a sandwich. Life has pretty much been sustained by caffeine for the last two weeks.
Your performance coaching session is scheduled in the diary for the afternoon…
You are actively looking forward to switching off your computer, stepping out of your office and soaking up the outside world.
You know from previous coaching sessions being outdoors and walking heightens the senses, stimulates the mind and conjures new perspectives.
You reach beyond the project. Your thoughts, emotions, behaviour, beliefs and values shift slightly in their orbit.
You know you’ll return back from the performance coaching session feeling refreshed, revitalised and reenergised. Your project work will be far more efficient, effective and focused.
"When I approached Anna-Marie for her support I wasn’t even sure what it was that I needed help with; I simply knew that it was time to seek guidance. Our walking and talking sessions have helped me focus on the areas in both my personal and business life that I can build on to enhance relationships and improve my work/life balance.
Anna-Marie has helped me find my own solutions and inspired me to firstly clarify and then take action to move me towards my goals. In just a few months, the obstacles I now face seem less significant. She has a remarkable ability to prompt a moment of sudden revelation or self-realisation!
I always return energised and focused with a renewed enthusiasm for tackling the challenges ahead."
Kay, Maristow Chiropractic Clinic
Anna-Marie chats to Sky Sports presenter Tony Wrighton on his podcast Zestology. Episode 45, 'Connecting with Nature' is all about taking coaching conversations outdoors.
Anna-Marie encourages other coaches to look beyond the usual office, coffee shop or hotel lobby and hold client coaching sessions outdoors. The article "Walking and Talking in the Great Outdoors" was published in the International Coach Federation online quarterly magazine "Coaching World".