Why individual coaching can be more about what’s the same, rather than what’s different…

If you want to help someone reach their potential then understanding them as an individual makes sense.  In sport they talk about, coach the person in front of you, and trying to avoid a one size fits all approach.  But in acknowledging people as unique, it’s important to remember that as human beings we are 99% the same as each other in terms of our DNA.  And not only in terms of arms, legs, lungs and brains.  Also in how the different systems in our body work.

Individual experiences do have a profound shaping effect on how we think, feel and behave but the point here is that taking time to understand some of the key things that make us THE SAME – human nature, hormones and neural networks for example – can be just as useful in coaching as understanding what makes us different.

Why?  Because if you view everyone as being totally unique, it can be overwhelming in trying to work out how to help them improve. Recognising the ways we think, feel and behave that are part of being human can not only help you more accurately understand the coaching challenge ahead, it can also help give you the confidence to take the challenge on.

In practice this means asking yourself, is this an us issue or a them issue – is it something we all do as part of human nature that I need to help them manage, or is it something more unique to them and needs a more tailored approach?

To help answer these questions a little bit of knowledge goes a long way so what do coaches need to know?  As much as they can ideally and if you’re interested, I would recommend the book The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene as a good (but quite long!) place to start…

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