When you think of coaching jobs, do you think of the ancient cave dwellers? Why not? From the earliest days the older or more skilled taught the younger how to hunt, cook, paint pictures on cave walls, and any other skills that were needed to train others how to be useful and effective members of their communities. As people became older and more experienced, they rose to positions of leadership. Those who were effective at teaching were held in the highest esteem. And long after these elders were able to contribute physically, they were coaching others.
As language developed, people were able to share ideas in more detail. A more sophisticated form of coaching emerged, which focused on helping people achieve greater understanding and awareness. Early philosophy and mythology developed, and the leaders were sought out by those who wanted to gain insight.
Of course we can’t really discuss the modern concepts of coaching without mentioning sports. In the late 1970’s, people began to adopt the same ideas that gave athletes a competitive advantage in sports to business. After Timothy Gallway’s, The Inner Game of Tennis was published in 1974, people began to realize that the mental attitude and mindset was often more important than the physical skills. But the book was written 20 years after Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile barrier, at a time when the “experts” said it was impossible. Bannister himself trained only 3-4 days a week for 30 minutes. He relied more on self-analysis of his performance and training than on physical training, ignoring the more traditional coaching of that time.
By the 1980’s, coaching was the buzzword in many business circles, and people wrote books and articles in an attempt to define and promote coaching jobs. In the early 1990’s, the Coaches Training Institute and the International Coaches Federation was established to train coaches and ensure the integrity of the practice. About this time, gurus such as Stephen Covey helped fuel the desire for personal development and awareness.
Now most Fortune 500 companies hire coaches to work with upper management, and U.S.A. Today estimates that coaching is the second fastest growing profession in the United States. The International Coaches Federation has members in 30 different countries, and coaching jobs are dramatically growing world-wide.
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