Coaching with nature can reveal surprising insights for leaders – not least through the availability of metaphors

Coaching with nature can be rich in metaphor, and offer surprising insights.

Imagine you are in a coaching session outdoors – connected to your coach by telephone. The sun comes out and casts long shadows through the trees. Perhaps nature is telling you something. That, as a leader, you cast your own shadow. That you have a choice in how you want that shadow to touch people, and how you could make all those interactions beneficial.

Sessions like this are common. Partly because being in nature enables us to be more creative.

Also because the natural world is a rich source of metaphor. Professor of Linguistics, Zoltán Kövecses, has shown that 4 out of 6 of the most used sources for metaphor are in the living and physical worlds.

These worlds include the human body (including health and illness), living things (e.g. animals, plants), the environment (e.g. heat, cold, light, darkness) and physics (e.g. space, forces, movement, direction). And it is these source domains that become rich material for the conceptual thinking we do to build new understanding in our lives.

Metaphor is just one of the benefits of coaching with nature that we will explore in our webinar on 22 July.

And as for the shadows we cast, research by Harvard Business School shows that good leadership is contagious. In fact, ‘developing self’ was found to be the most contagious behaviour.

Of course, coaching is excellent at developing selves.

(Photo by V2F)

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