Coach retreat #1

Last Sunday a couple of strange people gathered up the strength to get up early enought to drive to Ghent and meet up around this new concept we have called a coach retreat. The main idea behind this gathering was to share knowledge and experiences about our work as coaches, be it personal, team or corporate level coaching.

The day started off with my first real time using the core protocols in group. I had already read about them and even had some conversations with @yveshanoulle on how to start using them. So that was a really good way to start my day. We used the check in protocol to tell each other how we felt using only the basic emotions (mad, sad, glad, afraid). This really created an basic level of comfort for everyone.

After that Yves and @JurgenLACoach explained us the basic principles behind an openspace with some really cool visuals. Here are just a couple of them.

A couple of the things that surprised me most during this day was the fact that I’m really starting to like drawing and even painting. One of the challenges I loved most was the painting room. This room had a special rule applied to every conversation in there. When you are talking you also have to paint. So no talking without painting. At first it really scared me because of that fact that I don’t really like to paint. It took me about 2 minutes to change my mind. During the first session I already let my imagination take over and I ended up with a drawing that a couple of people labeled the phoenix. I really need to draw and paint more.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention that we got to take our partner and kids along for the ride. I think this was one of the first initiatives where you can share the experience with your family. I love this concept and I’m really inspired to try and apply this idea to other events as well. It was a cool experiment and I believe we really need to continue doing that. We tend to be apart from our family a lot during the week, this way we can share our experiences and we don’t have to miss out our family one more day. We still need to find the best way to let everyone collaborate throughout the day but we’ll come up with a good one for this, I’m sure.

Big kudos go out to Jürgen and Yves for setting this up. I’m already looking forward to vNext.

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