People, Culture and Inclusion

A Summer Coaching Walk.


A Summer Coaching Walk.

It seems like an age ago when I wrote the Spring Coaching Walk blog, in which I described how my plans for a series of coaching walks around campus linked to the seasons had been put on hold. At the time I had every confidence we would be back on campus for when Summer came around. That feels like a naïve view now, but such was the transitory feeling of the moment.

Summer is well and truly here and yet our return to campus, for the most part, is not. So I offer you instead my “at home” summer coaching walk.

We are allowed outside with more freedom than when I last wrote. However, I invite you to participate in whatever way you are able – whether that be a ramble in the woods or along the beach, an urban wander in your local streets, a potter in your garden (if you have one) or simply a poke about your home. Distance is not the key thing here, but movement is – do not stay rooted in one spot like you are in one of those endless Teams meetings we subject ourselves to. Get up and move about!

To start we slowly, purposefully, tune into our surroundings, using each of our senses. Last time we used sound and touch, so today let’s use smell. In my experience, Summer provides a breadth of fragrance like no other season: wafts of honeysuckle and lavender as you walk past gardens; smoky barbecue scents drifting in from the neighbours; the salt and vinegar tang of the chip shop – they all may be vying for your attention. Close your eyes briefly if you can, and focus: what aromas are drifting toward you right now?

As I discussed in April’s blog, Spring offers metaphor of renewal and exploration. We need to find Summer versions of these, and so I invite you to walk with me, and let’s spot them together as we go.

Firstly, find something that indicates growth, literally or metaphorically. What does this have in common with the growth you have made over the last few months? What do you know now, can do now, are aware of now, that was only germinating in our Spring walk?

Now search for Summer vibrancy, perhaps colours or brightness, energy, joy or movement. How does this relate to your energy now? What difference would a shot of vibrancy make to your wellbeing and performance?

Next we are searching for warmth; of the sun, your home, the Summer of love. How have you reached out to others recently; what warmth are you in need of yourself and how might you find that?

Finally, we are on the lookout for generation. Possibilities, positivity and potential all come to life in Summer. What can you see that will help you think about your next steps, the possibilities of the bright path in front of you?

Perhaps those prompts have catalysed thoughts in your mind, or maybe you just enjoyed the wander or the challenge of finding your own responses to the words. Whatever impact it may have had, may your Summer be bright and full of love.

Juliet Flynn, Organisational and People Development

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