from Karen Buchanan-Bird on 11 May 2016
After spending a year focusing on the needs of someone else (my baby daughter), my time with Karen provided a space to think creatively about my own needs and wishes. It helped me to identify different priorities in my life and ways to incorporate these into my career and life plans for the future.
I was able to stand back and assess my current and future position in a more objective way. As I look back now, I realise that the sessions marked the start of a journey as I became more focused on my ambitions and life priorities. I have since taken practical steps to realise these ambitions and feel like I continue to move forward.
from Ken Hodgson/Kim Breckon of The North London Coaching Community on 11 May 2016
We’re all familiar with the notion of taking a ‘walk in the park’ to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life so we can be with our own thoughts. Open spaces often seem to have a magic effect on both well-being and our ability to focus on particular issues that need to be resolved. Sometimes these walks can lead to some life changing experiences!
So it’s not totally surprising that life and performance coaches have often taken to the open air to coach their clients in achieving their ambitions, whether in their personal lives or at work. Karen Liebenguth of Greenspace Coaching is a keen advocate and practitioner as we learnt when she met members of The North London Coaching Community recently.
Karen took us for a walk in Barnet Park to demonstrate her approach. As professional or aspiring coaches we were keen to see how it unfolded of course but we were also hoping to experience it as if we were being coached. On both counts Karen did not disappoint! She showed how coaching in open spaces can help us get into the ‘zone’ and ‘flow’ of thinking and being. In other words, by creating space to really focus on our particular issues whilst experiencing how creative thoughts seem to come to us in a very natural way.
We learnt to appreciate how walking can both be relaxing whilst allowing us to really experiencing what’s going on around us. We become really aware of what our five senses are telling us (seeing, hearing, touching, tasting & smelling). For example how multi-layered and dynamic sound can be (children shouting, different bird sounds, the rustle of the wind in trees, cars in the distance, aircraft flying overhead etc.This experience lead to a sort of relaxed attentiveness, where we had left behind the pressures of everyday life whilst being really attentive about what’s going on around us.
Karen then showed us how this enhanced state of mindfulness puts us into much better place to focus on problems by using creative thinking to resolve them. Not to mention focusing on our aspirations and ambitions.
We then had some co-coaching practice to understand how to use this state of relaxed alertness to have really effective and productive coaching conversations. Through these experiences we could then begin to realise how coaching in the open air through regular participation and practice could make so much difference to our sense of well-being and help us to achieve our goals and dreams.
So well done Karen for leading such an interesting and rewarding evening!
from Hannah, London on 11 May 2016
Thanks for your coaching. Without it I probably wouldn't have made any different plans, but I left the country with definitive ideas of what I wanted to achieve, which have already been surpassed!
from Female client, London on 24 Jan 2016
Karen's advice and guidance got me through that project - no small feat - and also massively improved my personal life too. I only had a few sessions - a couple over the phone and one in the park (highly recommended as there's nothing like fresh air to blow the cobwebs away) but they literally changed my life. I am forever indebted to Karen and hope other people are able to benefit in the way that I have.
from Anita, London on 06 Jan 2016
Thank you so very much for your coaching. It was a wonderful experience and has really stayed with me. You seemed to strike the perfect balance for me, of providing plenty of space and asking just the right question when needed. And I am very excited by the experience of coaching outside. It has given me much food for thought. The dynamic is different, for example, to face to face, because we are not facing each other. But the thing that really struck me was in having the conversation, while very present, in a huge open space as opposed to a small contained one. It really makes a difference.
from Gulnara - Almaty, Kazakhstan on 30 Nov 2015
I'd like to thank you for our coaching session one more time as it was very insightful and helpful. Within the next couple of hours after the session I managed to develop my full to do list and then... I was simply doing and doing and doing things.
from Lucie, London on 16 Aug 2015
I wanted to tell you again how appreciative I am of the time we spent together and how much you helped me start to understand what's important and to start to learn to know myself. It's been life changing and my outlook on my future has changed for the better.
from Julie Daniels, Editor of E9 magazine, London on 14 Jul 2015
Great coaching session with Karen this morning. Wow did she make me think. Incisive and productive. HIGHLY recommend her!
from Mark Williamson, Director, Action for Happiness on 28 Apr 2015
Karen has had a profound and positive impact on my life in just a few coaching sessions. She is very insightful and has a wonderful way of helping you get to the heart of what really matters. Karen's unique approach to coaching - which involves walking and talking together outdoors - makes the whole process feel natural, relaxed and enjoyable. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking to make positive changes in their lives.
from Jess Rousseau on 14 Mar 2015
Karen's approach is refreshing. It is like taking a walk with a well informed friend. You almost forget that you're having a session until suddenly you have an 'ah ha' moment, and Karen makes it feel like you came to it by yourself; which you did because you were given the tools to make the discovery which is far more meaningful then being handed the answers on a platter!
from Eilish Kavanagh, Director of Operations, Friends of the Earth on 06 Feb 2015
I worked with Karen for several years at Friends of the Earth. She has always been dedicated to improving the wellbeing, communication and development of our staff members. I have seen Karen in action running team workshops and facilitating project reviews. She is excellent at engaging and involving people in the task, at drawing out the best in people and help them look at things from different perspectives.
More recently I experienced coaching while walking in a London Park. I found Karen’s approach fresh, relaxed and interesting, inspiring creative thinking as the world went on around us. I really valued my coaching session and would recommend Karen to anyone who wants to get out of the office to think things through, to take stock and to gain clarity about what matters most to them, defining an appropriate course of action going forward in the short and longer term.
from Su, London on 20 Jan 2015
I found Karen's gentle questions and reflective empathy extremely helpful with identifying and expressing the issues and conflict I found myself struggling with.
She listened effectively and with sensitivity. Karen gave me space to reflect during the session which supported further processing of thoughts and feelings. This allowed me to gain perspective. I would have no hesitation in recommending her and will certainly consider further sessions should I need them.
Karen's approach is refreshing. It is like taking a walk