Coaching and your Sat Nav (GPS)

With a family funeral approaching in the New Forest, we had a need to travel the two hour journey from Gloucestershire to Hampshire on many occasions. On one return journey I asked my 19 year old son if he felt comfortable to make the journey himself, since he’d just passed his driving test.

“I could Dad, but I’d have to have a Sat Nav” (GPS)

“Yes, Lewis, they do help enormously but once upon a time we used to make journeys like this without them”

“Like last Century Dad”

We drifted back into silence and I started to think about what would happen if we didn’t have Satellite Navigation in our cars.

And that made me think because not so long ago, I would use Microsoft AutoRoute to plot my course and imagine it through in my head, making a mental note of junctions and directions. When I was on the road I would relate my previous thinking to the current route, checking road signs and keeping an eye on my milometer and the time.

We were much more focussed on the actual route and concentrated more.

And we’d arrive safely enough with a copy of the map on the passenger seat just in case.

I thought to myself that Sat Navs replace all of this, they make us lazy, reliant on others i.e. the software and we have no ownership of the route.

In the same way this is exactly what coaching does. As coaches, we ask questions and help our coachee to think things through in the same way we’d think through the route the night before. We don’t tell the coachee what to do and how to do it. We help them figure it out and own the final solution. Sat Navs tell us what to do and we become so reliant on them.

How awful would it be if the Sat Nav stopped working in mid-flight? How would we cope?

Lewis asked me that same question, and my horrific response motivated me to buy a £2.99 map-book at my next petrol stop.