Coaching is a hot topic these days. As a profession and as a way to approach leading, managing and other relationships, it’s been on the rise for the past couple of decades. Why is that? There are five really good reasons why our culture is so open to coaching.
1. People need support. So maybe this one has always been true, but that doesn’t make it any less true today. Everywhere you go, people need help with real issues that prevent them from living the life God wants for them and the life they want to live. People are designed to flourish, but they aren’t. Coaching is a response to the real gap between what is and what could be.
2. We live in a DIY culture. These days people tackle kitchen remodels, diagnose their flu using online resources and repair their iPhone following a video they found on YouTube. We like figuring things out and being our own expert. Coaching taps into this sentiment by drawing out solutions from within and creating deep sense of ownership for the solutions.
3. We are drowning in options. With our access to information via the internet and other media channels, we are at no loss for knowledge, data and possibilities. We can book a flight to the other side of the planet, learn calculus from a Stanford professor, or watch Indian sitcoms with Spanish subtitles. At no time in history have humans had more options available so easily. But in the midst of option overload, people need help processing and selecting the options that fit them. Coaching is really about creating new awareness about options and making good decisions with those options.
4. Customization is king. The one-size-fits-all mentality of the postwar industrialized era is gone. Good riddance. The notion that each of us should use the exact same process for choosing a career, managing a direct report, or deciding where to live is silly. God is at work with us as individuals and coaching allows for significant custom tailoring of solutions to fit the exact circumstances each of us is in.
5. Trust in institutions is diminishing. This is especially true in the West, and is an alarmingly rapid trend in America. Since the 1960’s, we have less and less and far less trust in schools, churches, corporations, and (especially) the government. Trust in big organizations with big ideas and big solutions is gone. Instead, people trust their own instincts and the wisdom gained from talking with a trusted partner. People hire a coach in order to tune out big brother and tune in what God is whispering.