Problem to Solve? Walk in the Park!


I walked in the park with a client today.

I do most of my coaching this way. We put on some boots and weather-appropriate clothing, and we get outside.

We talk about what’s going on in life and in the workplace. We watch the weather. We observe the trees, the wildlife, maybe boats on the canal. We keep silent quite a lot.

And we solve problems.

It’s like magic really.

The magic when bubbling up from somewhere inside come a few words which make the breakthrough. They might come from either one of us. But they are a product of our listening, of our talking, of our experiences, and of our environment.

And here’s the other bit of magic. They represent a thought that neither of us had ever had before, and we both know we have found a way forward.

And we stand there and we say, somewhat amazed at ourselves:

“That’s not bad! In fact that’s really good. Where did that come from?!”

A very good friend sent me this quote recently:

“I suspect that the mind, like the feet, works at about three miles an hour”.

Three miles an hour is about right. These days I might admit to 2.5. For both feet and mind.

It’s great of course if we get the chance to do this with somebody else. But that’s not always an option.

So just take the walk in the park anyway. Alone.

Leave the desk, the mobile, the interruptions, and just walk. Round the block will do. Parks are great. So are canal paths. But blocks are all some of us have. So choose blocks.

And be distracted from the problem. Be mindful – of the people you see, the stuff around you. We don’t have to think about the problem to solve it! Humbling that isn’t it? The brain will often solve the problem for us if we just give it time to catch up.

We try too hard sometimes. If we look the other way for a while, the solution often just comes.

Problem to solve? Sounds like a walk in the park to me.