On the way to the airport this morning, I was musing over the subtle difference between these two sentences, “¿Por Qué Tirar Su Basura?” and “Do Not Litter!”
I was pondering and laughing about the exact same intention and purpose behind these two sentences, and yet how different Mexico and the USA are in their natures.
While the goal is the same (stop littering), the nature of these two sentences is completely different. Using this analogy, I will compare Coaching and Personal Training. While the intentions to feel better are the same, the two approaches are exactly opposite.
An excellent way to explain this example might be to answer this question, “What is the difference between Coaching and Personal Training?”
Personal Training has been a valid profession since the mid-80s. Coaching has only recently seen a huge growth as the 76 million Baby Boomers began to search for the way to live well and die better.
Personal training is mostly about understanding a person’s needs, limitations and physical goals followed by instructing and explaining how to get there. I call it “wearing the expert hat.”
Coaching, on the other hand, is collaboration between you and the coach. A coach is a guide and mentor rather than an expert. A coach is on your team while you discover your deep personal motivations and desires. These discoveries are found by answering questions like “what do I want now, why do I want that and will this be possible?” A coach supports you as you find your own answers.
After finding your answers, you may need the assistance of a trainer to show you the way. However, I firmly believe that long lasting motivation and personal success begins with finding your deepest hidden answers to “¿Por Qué?” or “Why?”
Like a Personal Trainer, the USA tells you WHAT to do, “Do Not Litter.” While México gently coaches you to ask, “WHY do you throw trash?”
Stop for a minute, ask yourself which way invites you to examine your motivations and seek your own solutions before you take action? Coaching followed by going to a training expert might be a good idea. Yet, wait until you have discovered your answer to WHY.
I firmly believe that hiring a trainer before discovering your truly deep reasons for wanting to change is like putting the “cart” before the “horse.”