How does travel relate to coaching?
I recently travelled with my fiancé to Greece on a two week vacation. It was a spectacular trip, with stops in Athens, Santorini, Mykonos and Crete.
While authenticity is typically high on my list of experiences I crave when traveling, these islands (and Athens) fall short in this regard. These islands have been inundated with tourists, and cruise ships dump even more herds into these spaces.
Some of the smaller islands may provide more pristine experiences.
But what the Greeks do well, is service. They are an extremely friendly, proud and accommodating lot. Invariably, almost every experience we had in meal service, touring taking a cab, or shopping was punctuated by smiling, concerned, happy to serve people who took pride in what they were providing, and seemed genuinely happy when we were happy.
In my coaching schooling, we were taken on a field trip to the Little Sisters of the Poor. The tour was conducted by a septagenarian woman who had pledged herself to the Church over fifty years ago. As she toured us around the 100 bed facility, she gave a discourse on how each of the sisters had a job to serve the elderly residents, until the day they departed the Earth.
Some had to go out into the community each day and procure donation food staples. Others had to procure to $2200 a day to keep the doors swinging open each day. Others tended to the spirits of each of the residents. And still others sat vigil with he dying until they left this Earth.
It was teamwork at its apex. Each member understood the gravity of their assignments. Each person understood the mission and cause of what they were accomplishing. and each member relied on their teammates to execute their plan, day in and day out.
They fed their denizens three times a day. They made Holidays special. They provided community. And they gave shelter, safety, and hope to each of their wards, until the end.
Experiencing this, talking to the committed people of the cloth, and the residents, gave me a new perspective on what service is all about. About the joy and the responsibility of feeding ones spirit. About making the experience of being present to someone the best one possible. And about the pride in seeing someone happy and contented with something that one has provided.
We, as Americans, can learn something from the Greeks in this regard. And, in turn, the Greeks can learn something from the Little Sisters of the Poor. And in coaching, as we co-create with our clients to build a committed and bold future for themselves, we can take to heart the honor of serving others.
We can look at the joy, the self-esteem and the sense of accomplishment these special people live, and aspire to their mindset.