Sport, family, work... why are more and more of us calling on a coach?

Sport, family, work… why are more and more of us calling on a coach?

“If Gabrielle only falls asleep in your arms, it’s because you want her to!” » This sentence from his doctor is still stuck in Lou’s throat. At 8 months old, Gabrielle still spent every night in her mother’s arms.

Plunged into an abyss of perplexity, exhausted, Lou felt judged by her family and her doctor. She started following the advice of people specializing in raising children on Instagram before contacting an infant sleep coach. The two women called each other by video and then communicated by message for three weeks. “It was very reassuring,” says Lou, “she helped me move forward, to find other keys to understanding Gabrielle, she offered me solutions adapted to my daughter and myself and, above all, she ‘soothed. It also made me stronger in the face of family criticism! »

There is a mentor for every need

Type “coach” on the Internet and you will see hundreds of proposals appear: sports or family, parental or school, professional or “life”, health or even retirement, coaches are no longer reserved for high-level athletes and executives in companies. In twenty years, they have spread to all sectors of our society. And since the first confinement, in 2020, they have even offered remote help…

“My coach is a bit like a big brother to whom I can tell everything,” explains Violette, who founded a law firm in Lyon. I confide everything to him: my lack of confidence; my fear of others; my relationship concerns; my failings. » At 49, she uses three coaches: one for her role as manager, the other for “her sport”, the third is specialized in nutrition…

“The rise of coaching reflects, in its own way, the transition to a new era, marked by the primacy of personal development, the psychologization of experience and the right to affects,” analyzes the philosopher Pierre Le Coz. The triumph of the “psych” vein in all areas of life? “On the contrary,” adds this ethics specialist. This trend announces the exhaustion of psychology understood in its classic modalities, that of the 1960s and 1970s, which was strongly influenced by psychoanalysis. The attraction for coaches expresses the need to use another psychology, less intellectual and more pragmatic, less curative and more effective, in order to meet immediate objectives of improving performance. »

The art of questioning

This is what Marie, 48, felt after eight years of psychoanalysis. “After having done dozens of fixed-term contracts, I wanted to find lasting employment but I didn’t know how to go about it. I was reluctant to use a coach because this profession seemed vague to me, she says. One day I met someone who seemed honest and I decided to try. My surprise was great when, after some breathing work, she asked me to draw! In seven sessions, she helped me regain awareness of my resources. Thanks to her, I understood that I had a great need for freedom and intensity in my work. I managed to assert my needs and this is how I was able to obtain my first permanent contract at 50! »

But how do you find a “good” coach? The choice is vast because, since the beginning of the 1990s, this profession has sparked a growing number of vocations, as evidenced by the emergence of numerous training courses, more or less certifying: around 250 people trained in coaching in the second half of the years. 1990, we have grown to almost 10,000 today. Not everyone has the same seriousness and the same efficiency.

“Word of mouth remains what works best,” assures Blandine de Paillerets, ex-stylist, coach for five years. From the Enneagram to non-violent communication, from the systemic approach to neurolinguistic programming, the personal development tools used by coaches are multiple. But above all, they know how to handle the art of questioning, caring listening and reformulation.

An illuminating mirror

“We are not magic wands,” warns Blandine de Paillerets, “the “coachee” is our best tool: when he pushes open my door, he has already gone half the way. » The coach “plays the role of a mirror, in which the coachee becomes aware of the way in which he functions, analyzes Pauline Goater, author of Coaching and spiritual life, we offer him different pairs of glasses to watch himself think and watch himself do. »

Putting oneself at the service of a person, helping them to take a fresh look at their concrete situation, enlightening them with a neutral and uncompromising look, assisting them in their objective: these are the words used by most of these professionals, who all share the same passion, support our humanity in search of meaning. In our society which suffers from a lack of reference points and weakened social bonds, the use of coaching reminds us how much we need each other.

From “coach” to “coach”

The word “coaching” comes from the English to coach, which means to train, to accompany. This English word itself comes from the French “coche” which in the 16th century designated a carriage pulled by horses, itself driven by a coachman.

Today, “coach” means to set in motion, to support, to guide in the right direction. When the term appeared in the 1950s in the United States in the American football sector, the coach was then a leader responsible for stimulating the minds of athletes through a practice of concentration. By spreading to other sports, coaches have elevated the work of the minds of champions to the same rank as their muscles.

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