My Top 5 Movie Coaching Moments

   One career I’m exploring is personal coaching.

If the past few months in retail have taught me anything,  I like working with individuals: the company goal of “adding joy” to customer experiences is one that resonates with me strongly, because I enjoy creating meaningful human connection.

Meaningful connections aren’t only good for business, they’re what we look forward to in our daily lives, whether it’s with a job, our social outings, our daily transactions, or even just when we’re out buying a coffee.  The type of connection you get from coaching not only helps you build stronger connections with others, but also helps you get in touch with yourself, your true identity, your grandest wishes, your fondest dreams.  It’s hard not to get excited at the prospect of true self-actualization: it’s why most coaches I know can’t resist speaking in bumper-sticker.

Coaching is a far more personable form of teaching, of a kind that I’m far more attracted to than merely lecturing in a classroom.  For myself, I get to use my speaking and people skills, as well as my own knowledge and life experiences: in short, I can largely be myself in this line of work.  For my future clients, I would do all I can to help them find themselves, which sounds oxymoronical: why do you need someone on the outside to find yourself?

In reality, not everyone needs coaching, the same way that not everyone needs a physical trainer or a therapist.  But those that do tend to be looking towards a bigger future than what their vision can currently accommodate.  When you reach the limit of what you can do on your own and recognize that, this is where a personal coach can show you the rest of the way.

What I didn’t realize was that many cinematic moments I’d previously thought of as “teaching” moments were, in fact, “coaching” ones of the kind that you find in this business..  Here are five of my favorites:

A literal coaching moment.  Still, nobody nails an inspirational speech like Pacino.

The classic Miyagi: suddenly all of those seemingly useless tasks that your coach asked you to do without explanation are revealed for what they are.

Harsher and more corporate, for sure, but no less true than it was back then.  Every connection you make with another human being in a sales environment goes exactly the way Ben Affleck’s character describes.  Do what he says, you’ll succeed.  Bonus points, as Affleck’s corporate trainer walks his talk: he already did everything that he’s asking the trainees to do.

For me, the iconic image is at 0:28.  That one frame between Alex and Albert captures what I feel is the essence of personal coaching.  “Wrap your mind around this…”  Of course, not every coach will go as far as simulating a kiss goodnight, but at the level that Hitch operates at, nothing’s beyond the realm of possibility.

But my all-time favourite movie coaching moment, ironically, does take place in a classroom, only Mr. Keating’s English class in Dead Poets Society is not just any classroom.  When one of his quieter students fails to find his inner poet, Keating helps him to find his “inner YAWP”.

(By the way, I don’t presume to own any of the video or audio content in this entry.  I’ve merely provided the links.  All materials here are copyrighted to their respective owners. SOPA advocates can collectively kiss my brown Canadian ass.)

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