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The Context of Coaching

F Hudson International Journal of Coaching in Organizations 2008

It is becoming more and more difficult to connect the chapters of our lives to one another—from childhood, through the adult years, to elderhood. Likewise, it is more difficult than it used to be to navigate through careers and marriages and community connections. Our adult lives used to be programmed by more or less stable, linear convoys—careers, families, neighborhoods, churches, community organizations—that connected us as individuals to our entire life cycle. Our careers used to be linear progressions from apprentices to experts. Our organizations and communities used to feel “permanent”. Today our lives have increasing amounts of instability, tentativeness, discontinuity, transitions, and cynicism about the future. The 1998 movie “Pleasantville” depicted a town that evolved from a one-dimensional, Donna Reed environment of innocence and rules to a sophisticated, multi-dimensional city of diversity and complex choices. Today, as Frederic Hudson notes in this article, everyone on earth is being drawn into increasing amounts of diversity and complexity. This sets the stage for new and challenging professional coaching strategies.

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