Coaching is one of those disciplines that struggles with itself to be defined. When I talk to prospective clients I find that there are many varied understandings of what coaching is and of what it does. Often the term “coach” is, in my mind, inappropriately applied to trainers, consultants and many other professions.
I often hear it said that coaching is the latest in a long line of management speak, or the latest fad in organisational development. In fact, coaching is not new and could be said to stretch back as far as Socrates in 400BC, whose philosophy was founded on asking questions with the aim of building insight and awareness of any particular issue.
Coaching as we know it today developed through the schools of psychology of the 60’s, sports psychology of the 70’s and into widespread business use in the 80’s and 90’s. A tennis coach, Timothy Gallwey, is often credited with popularising the coaching approach to learning through his seminal text in 1974 “ The Inner Game of Tennis” and subsequently “..of Golf” and “..of Work”.
Core to inner game coaching is an understanding that awareness, and in particular self-awareness is the key agent of change.
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