Head space, the final frontier


Rupert Cornford reflects on the value of head space, and why it matters now more than ever

It’s October 2016 and I’m sat waiting for a coaching client. It’s 9.30 in the morning, and after a coffee and a swig of water, I’m there, present and ready…

Ready for this…

‘To be honest, I don’t really have time for this today; I’m just back from holiday – I have a stack of work to do and I’m stressed out.’

He was bristling…

At this point, I couldn’t really tell if he was going to walk out, or talk to me. This was the first time we had met and it was a careful situation to manage.

But he sat down, and began to talk.

And talk, and talk…

Over the course of the session his tense, fraught frame began to relax into the chair. With each exploration and insight, his body language opened, the periods of reflection increased, and the outlook became brighter (for both of us).

It was a privilege to be part of; it was the first time I’d seen such a change in someone’s thought process in such a short time.

After 90 minutes, he had a plan to deal with a challenging situation at work, and we were talking about other things; things he wanted to talk about.

In fact, he didn’t want to stop talking.

And that’s the point. I share this story because it illustrates something I’ve heard a lot – ‘we just don’t get time to talk like this at work’.

The more we hear about productivity and mental health, the more it sounds like a good idea to create space for people to unblock themselves, support each other and move forward.

This can be done in many ways, and we can all be part of it – giving space to people to talk, be listened to and supported.

Because ultimately, clear headed, clear thinking people will be happier and more productive.

Some months later, my client sounded like a different person. There were many things in his life which had supported this change, and a letting go of stress, and I was pleased to be able to witness his story changing for the better.

Is head space the final frontier for some of the challenges we face?