I love trees. Walking through woodland does something good for my soul, whatever time of year it is: the springtime promise of fresh green buds, the dappled sunshine of summer, the rich colours and scrunching leaves of autumn, or the elegance of the bare branches in winter.
I’m fortunate to have a few, small, wooded areas not too far from where I live – appropriately for a place whose name means “at the oaks” – and I’ve gratefully made the most of them during this strange lockdown year.
Oak trees are amazing: living for hundreds of years, one of our most familiar and identifiable trees, they are woven throughout our history, providing shelter to outlaws, the ink that wrote the Magna Carta, the wood for the ships that sailed our seas.
So when I came to give the coaching arm of my business its own identity, it felt appropriate to have an acorn attached to it.
There is a saying “mighty oaks from little acorns grow”: it is a bit cheesy maybe, but it is true!
It is such a powerful image: that inside this small brown nut is a seed that will grow into a tree stretching up to 100 feet tall.
It is not hard to see how this imagery fits with what coaching is about: helping you find that seed within you, and growing it into maturity.
There are so many other parallels!
- The process is organic: oak trees don’t grow overnight. And whilst coaching certainly has its “lightbulb” moments that can make a huge difference to people, true change happens when we weave it into real every-day life over a sustained period of time.
- The acorn has a clear purpose, and it doesn’t try to be anything else: it’s written into its DNA. Similarly coaching isn’t about you becoming a different person (though if you want it to be, that’s ok!) or artificially grafting someone else’s solution onto you: it is about finding what is right for you, right now.
- The oak tree supports more life than any other native tree species in the UK. Coaching is not necessarily a selfish thing: when we live to our best potential, we are usually happier and less stressed and more able to be there to support others.
- Oak wood is valued because it is both strong and malleable, making it useful for everything from house building to whisky barrels. When we combine strength with the ability to change and adapt, we are equipped to deal with what life may throw at us.
Strong, supportive, long lasting, useful, adaptable – descriptors I’m sure many of us would be happy to be able to apply to ourselves.
Why not see what coaching could help you grow?