Why Is Personal Coaching So Popular?

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Personal coaching might be most easily described as customized self helpbooks and tapes, brought to life. Coaching is the equivalent of attending amotivational seminar where the speaker only talks about you and how to makethe most of your gifts and talents. Coaching creates an environment whereyou stay positive and charged up–not for a day or two–but week after week.Ask 10 different coaches why this burgeoning profession is coming intoprominence and you’re likely to get 10 different answers. If we take a longview of where society has taken us as individuals over the past 100 years,the need for and benefits of personal coaching start to become apparent.Decline of the FamilyAt the turn of the last century, we were dependent upon one another for ourvery existence. In spite of our pioneering spirit–or maybe because of theenormous risks we were taking in blazing trails across this new country–weneeded each other for our most basic of needs. As we skip through thesubsequent decades and observe the morphic changes of society, we notice agradual disconnection of the tight bonds previously necessary to survive.The traditional family unit shrinks from the supportive environment ofmultigenerations living under one roof to the scarce reality of singleparents barely able to make ends meet… both financially and emotionally.The answer to the question “Why Coaching?” could be a simple one. It may beour attempt at partial restoration of the safe environment we once enjoyedas an interdependent family unit.Sense of CommunityEven if multigenerational families under one roof are not the answer intoday’s society, you’d have to agree the pendulum certainly has swung theother way just a little too far. We interact with grocery checkers, banktellers, and convenience store clerks without so much as looking them in theeye. We see neighbors who have lived near us for months or even years and wedon’t even know their names. This conscious disconnect is often justified bythe pace of our lives and–ironically–the needs of our family. This fast foodequivalent of Family and Community–with fries on the side–is not nourishingour body, nor our mind, much less our soul.We have read the self help books and listened to the self help tapes.Unfortunately, they have been of marginal assistance, or at best, less thanwe had hoped. We can pat ourselves on the back at our efforts to improveourselves and admire those titles stacked in our bookcase. If we are honest,however, we must admit they are now more ‘shelf help’ than self-help. In thedark recesses of our mind we recognize, we cannot do this alone.Fortunate FewFor years, serious athletes, actors, and politicians have all used personalcoaches to help maximize their skills and abilities. These professionals areoften at the top of their game, yet wouldn’t think of ‘going it alone.’ Manyof us are now recognizing the value of this unique relationship and areadapting it to a personal level.Personal coaches are more than a friend with whom to share problems. Theyare a sounding board for solutions to the challenges we face on a dailybasis. They are mentors in some cases, cheerleaders in others. Partconsultant, part family. Coaches unleash the power of partnership. With acoach, we do more than we would do on our own, go further and faster towardour goals, and take ourselves more seriously. We have an accountabilitypartner who shares our best interest and keeps us moving forward. Personalcoaching is about taking action and making things happen.Taking It Up A NotchLeft to our own devices, we can often justify our average existence with thethought we are coping well considering all that the world is throwing at us.A personal coach helps us catch what we need, deflect the unnecessary, andtotally disregard the irrelevant. We don’t have to do it alone, but we arechallenged to take responsibility for ourselves and to take action on ourown behalf. Former Dallas Cowboys coach, Tom Landry, sums it up this way, “Acoach is someone who gets you to do what you don’t want to do, so you can bewho you want to be.”The time for personal coaching is now. The reasons are the ones bouncingaround in your head at this very moment. The question now becomes, are youready for the rewards that come with taking the game of life to the nextlevel?