There is a natural fear of the unknown inherent in our society and in many respects this kind of work relies on people being curious and excited about the unknown rather than scared of it.
Professional training and development work is often equated with fact gathering and information giving and coaching is based in a more experiential form of learning.
Put another way, a great deal of organisational learning is designed to impact on task competency where as coaching is designed to impact on organisational behaviour.
The former aims to provide relevant information to enable individuals to do their jobs better and the latter aims to promote insight and personal realisations.
In terms of whether or not people have to bare their heart and souls or not I can only comment that in my experience, participants of this kind of work are often so excited about the things they start to realise and the ramifications both in terms of their own life and the lives of those around them that they are cannot but help themselves from sharing this news with those that are present witnessing their sudden awakening.
The rumour and fear around ‘heart and soul disclosure’ relates to this aspect of group coaching and is by no means one that is uncomfortably forced upon people. Rather it is one that people choose to engage in them selves due to a natural desire to communicate to others what they have discovered.
And, as well, some people choose not to.
However, it must be said, that as every coach’s secret agenda is to promote more harmonious relationships in the world so that people are happier in all aspects of their lives, it is not surprising that they spend hours and hours engineering the right conditions within which clients will feel safe to open up and connect with others because this is, in their view, the only way that any truly authentic and deep democracy will ever emerge within our organisations and communities.