When you think about coaching, what do you think about it? – Probably two people working intensively on one or more topics. One is the coach, the other is the coachee. The whole thing usually takes 1-2 hours and takes place in a nicely furnished room with two armchairs or similar. This is probably the way most of us imagine it, isn’t it?
Now the questions arise: Why actually? Who says it has to be like this? And even more important: Is it the most sensible and effective way at all?
My experience is that the most important thing is that the two people, coach and coachee, can work well together, that there is a relationship of trust between them and that the coach is a helpful sparring partner for the coachee. It is important that the coach asks the right questions and tackles them, even if the topic is sometimes unpleasant for the coachee. In addition, it is the coachee’s task to stay tuned and thus inspire the coachee to new ideas or exciting, different points of view or simply to bring more structure and clarity to his “thought carousel”.
Hardly anyone will deny that this should be the basis!
But what I do question is the rigid concept of time and place. Often it needs only a short moment to sort one’s own thoughts or to look at a topic from another side. Another time it takes 1-2 days to get to the deep buried topics behind the problems on the surface. Depending on the personality, it may also take some time until the coachee has the feeling that he can really open up and actually allow reflections that go deep.
Therefore I am convinced that it is necessary and helpful to loosen the rigid “We meet every week for one hour” concept and to think in formats adapted to the needs. As far as the time aspect is concerned, you can, for example, use a contingent of hours for this, which the coachee can use relatively flexibly, depending on the availability of the coach of course, by telephone (also only for a short question, etc.), video call or of course also for a personal conversation.
Also the place of the coaching may adapt to the needs of the coachee. Sometimes the coach accompanies the coachee during a business trip by plane or train – why not use the travel time for intensive conversations when the topics and the private sphere are so important. Sometimes one withdraws together to an inspiring place, in order to come there completely to itself, to recover and to come at the same time with the relaxation to other topics and resources. This can be a tree house hotel, an Airbnb in the countryside, a hut on a mountain, combined with a hike (often thoughts flow even more while walking…) or on a houseboat.
There are hardly any limits to creativity. The only thing that matters is where the coach and coachee feel comfortable, what the time and financial budget is and which topics need to be clarified. Why not combine the useful with the beautiful? Especially since we have already learnt from many studies that we have particularly good ideas, work successfully and can tap our full potential when we are in a relaxed atmosphere and feel comfortable. So… what are we waiting for?! The mountain, the tree and the lake call…