The coach: the Socrates of modern times?

Coaching at work or fitness coaching, the re-looked charming coach, without forgetting the intensive coaching by SMS ("This lunchtime, refuse the table that doesn't suit you"), the ability for all to access an individual personal trainer has spawned a multitude of formats more or less whimsical. But there is a sometimes fine line between the coach and a guru. The source of the phenomenon is the result of the blossoming market for everyday diversions behind and the escape from everyday hassles.
A coach all to myself...

Far from the epoch where a personal trainer was reserved for the elite or the stars, today it has been made accessible and anyone can claim their right to their own coach at their disposal. It is considered an acceptable substitute to a shrink including quitting smoking, for the eccentric they always find a buyer. But, these self-proclaimed coaches, closer in reality to consultants, hardly have any more legitimacy than fortune tellers, in addition to the risk of disappointment (exorbitant charges, programmes not adapted to the individual).

2500 years of coaching?

It seems the first coach ever was the ancient Socrates. His maieutics, this ability to liberate the spirit in order to discover our inner truth, would indeed be quite a good definition of modern day coaching. We all know what happened to Socrates sadly but today's coach, by mastering the art of questioning and supporting, incurs less risk. The initial idea of coaching is actually very simple: support the coached person to a better level of success and self fulfilment by encouraging the development of his potential without disturbing his autonomy. This philosophy is paradoxical since helping an individual with his work on himself, one risks to influence and deprive him of this precious autonomy.

From professsional to private life coaching

In the beginning it was the reserved to the purely professional domain and carried out by "supporters" experts in coaching techniques and masters of the world of affairs, business coaching had extremely high ambitions: help managers and directors to more effectively manage their teams, to develop public speaking skills or support an employee, teams, in their new roles in the organisation. Logically, coaching very soon moved into sports where it was discovered that mental strength aided performance. What happened next was more uncertain. Slimming, seduction, savings etc...there are now more and more domains of our lives where zany and inexperienced coaches are rife. That makes us regret the existence of some basic standard by the government. As a consequence stay vigilant when it comes to prices (between €80 and €150 per hour), consider the duration of the course (around 15 sessions should be enough) and find out about the coach's past and his qualifications that should help shed light on one's choice. Trust will do the rest...
Décembre 2007