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Person in countryside

Walking into the future with confidence

An even more flexible format for Walkshops

Many of you will know that I am a passionate advocate for the power of walking and thinking outside.

I don’t need a scientific study to tell me that walking generates fresh thinking and boosts my mood because I know it works.

The walk itself can be something as simple as a walk around the block before a day working at a screen (the “fake commute” which is firmly embedded into my routine).  Real commutes also count.

Or it could be a longer and perhaps more challenging walk in the countryside and off the beaten track.

Walking and talking

For a number of years now, my favourite way of doing that has been with www.freshwalks.co.uk.  These are brilliant networking walks bringing together people from all parts of the business community to walk in the countryside with no need to worry about planning or navigating a route.  The conversations are invariably brilliant, there is always somebody to act as a sounding board and a genuinely supportive community has been built.

So it has been a pleasure to work with Freshwalks’ founder, Michael di Paola, and other great coaches on developing Walkshops – the intention being to combine that outdoor experience with coaching or training and with a particular focus on small, private groups, often teams from the same workplace or industry.

The original format for the Walkshops had the coaching or training taking place “on the hill” (sometimes on the flat – as the difficulty of the walk will always be tailored to the group’s wishes).  The idea being that we would stop and come together as a group to work on a specific point and then carry out guided discussions or activities on the move.

A focus on team-building

But recently, at a client’s request, we came up with a new format.  And it is particularly suited to the colder and less predictable weather of winter.

We started the day in a lovely country pub with breakfast rolls and hot drinks, then did a 90 minute workshop in the same venue.  This was followed by a 12km walk and back to the pub for a late lunch.

As well as enabling the walk to stay fast-paced, this meant that all of our brains were fired up and working before we started and we had the choice of carrying on with those topics or just relaxing and enjoying the scenery and the company.

This sort of format will work really well for teams who want to maximise their time together, to get some tangible learning outcomes from it, but also enjoy some easy conversations in the outdoors.

It’s an ideal way of supporting the wellbeing of your teams particularly when they may have been apart for a while or seeing each other much less frequently than before.

Coaching add-ons

Options include mini 1-1 coaching sessions on the walk or a facilitated discussion at the end but we can also keep it light and social and add in a follow-up coaching session afterwards for accountability purposes.

The themes for the workshop are also flexible and can be tailored for each group.  This time we were looking at digital overload and the power of boundaries (which you can read more about here).

And I designed the workshop so that the delegates were effectively acting as coaches to each other meaning that the benefit lasts beyond the workshop. (You can read more about coaching without a coach here).

Interested?

If this sounds like something you would be interested in for your team or your network, please do get in touch to see how it could be tailored for you.

You can contact me directly on cathbrown@skilfulconversation.com.

 

 

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