The advent of workplace coaching has brought many of the techniques utilised in elite sports coaching to the work environment. It has in many ways overcome a general lethargy that used to be present in a number of companies and organisations. Many Australians, in my experience, did not like to stand-out from their peers at work and would feign indifference to striving for more success at work. These attitudes were often learnt at school and carried into corporations and business enterprises. The ‘I don’t want to show off’ syndrome was very prevalent in the Australian workplace in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

Coaching Winners in the Workplace

Coaching in the workplace came to Australia from America; where everybody is encouraged to show off. The whole thing was also influenced by the evangelistic tours of Billy Graham around Australia in the 1960s. This American preacher had the whole nation jumping up and down for God; and preaching and coaching have a lot in common. People were no longer too embarrassed to get enthusiastic about things. We began to throw off our culturally British fear of embarrassment and making too much of a song and dance about life.

Coaching winners in the workplace has become the norm now; a bit like sports betting. Both things were rare as hen’s teeth in the old days. Today, we are encouraging our staff to be the best they can in their roles within organisations. We are also equipping them with the skills and techniques to achieve their aims; and they are being rewarded within companies for their achievements with prizes and promotions. Sell more stuff, reach your targets, reduce expenditure, whatever you can do, people are being trained and encouraged to do so.

Life is more competitive now, in all aspects of our lives; women are competing with men and vice versa at work and at home. People compete to buy houses and to sell houses for the largest return. People compete on social media to have the most friends or likes or followers. People, especially women, compete to lose weight and to keep wearing skimpy clothes into their seventies. The footpaths are full of competing walkers and joggers, as soon as the sun comes up every morning on our city streets. Cyclists in loud Lycra costumes compete on our roads in races involving huge swarms of them that motorists have to swerve to avoid. Personal fitness coaches, life coaches and mentors are everywhere you look these days; a veritable industry has grown up overnight.


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