I’ve recently come back from a walking holiday abroad. The holiday was fabulous (though I may have been a bit too optimistic about my ability to do long walks in mountains in temperatures of 30 C and above!) We had great scenery, lovely food and a really nice group of people. But one of the things that made it so successful was the local guide.
Our guide was knowledgeable, experienced, and obviously a good walker himself. He recommended excellent restaurants, sometimes, but not always, coming with us.
He was also patient with those of us who were a bit slower than others – he allowed us time to catch up, and when we did, he often told the group interesting bits of information about the area or the local flora and fauna, letting us catch our breath before continuing. He offered alternatives for those who were struggling, offering the option to get a taxi back to the hotel at lunchtime rather than just not miss out on a walk that looked a bit daunting, or getting our driver to take some of us to the beach for the afternoon instead of walking down to the coast.
He was honest about some of the issues facing the area without pushing his own views. And he was always helpful and approachable.
Yes, a coach needs to know what they’re doing, and be familiar with the ‘terrain’ – the area of life that the client wants to discuss – but their attitude is also crucial.
As coaches, we need to be flexible – sometimes a client will want to talk about something entirely different from what we’ve planned. We need to be patient and let people move at their own pace, and not get caught up in our own issues or agendas. If something doesn’t seem to be working for a particular client, we need to be able to suggest other options. And of course, our clients need to feel they can approach us with issues and problems, and know that we will listen.
If you’re finding your journey through life tough right now, and would like someone to walk alongside you for a while and maybe come up with helpful suggestions, then please get in touch and we can have a conversation.
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