The Coach's Coach: Personal Development for Personal Developers

by Alison Hardingham with Mike Brearley, Adrian Moorhouse, Brendan Venter
published September 2004

Our aims

This is a book with two aims. The first is to help people who coach coach better. The second is to help people find better, and more, coaching for themselves.

Interest in coaching has grown phenomenally over the last decade or so. The idea of coaching used to be confined to the worlds of education and sport. But now we have introduced the idea of coaching into every aspect of life where people strive to do better and make the most of themselves; and that turns out to be, nowadays, every single aspect of life. Maybe this extension of coaching reflects our increasing preoccupation with achieving our full potential here on earth. Maybe it reflects the individualism which dominates current western societies : individuals need individualised help to achieve their goals. Maybe it is just a new word for what has always been an important part of human experience.- one person helping another through conversation to achieve their hopes, fulfil their wishes, and live their dreams.

I don’t want to get side-tracked in this introduction into a lengthy debate on how to define coaching. Coaching relationships evolve over time as each party understands the other better and understands what can be achieved through a particular coaching relationship and what cannot be. In a similar way, I hope the understanding of coaching which I and my fellow-contributors to this book have will become apparent through the pages of the book.

However, it’s a good idea to have a little clarity at the start. A coach is someone who helps another person or group of people articulate and achieve their goals, through conversation with them. Coaching happens whenever that happens; and it happens all the time, not just in meetings with people who carry the title of ‘coach’. When I ask groups of people to think about those in their lives who have coached them most effectively, they often mention their mother or their father. And equally often, they mention someone who said something once which helped them move forward, even though their path may have never again crossed that person’s.

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