Is there a difference between American and British development?

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We had people over for dinner last night and enjoyed far ranging conversations that wasn’t all about kids and schools and politics. The topic of coaching came up and the question was raised about whether there are differences between American and British perspectives. The easy way to go here is talk about American optimism vs British cynicism/realism.

This got me to thinking about the goals of coaching and whether Americans are more open to self-development than the Brits? Once again, the easy answer would seem to be yes, with the seeming cliché of American’s being all about self improvement and pursuit of happiness and all. But then I looked around at my local park where loads of Brits are doing their British Military Fitness regimes and the explosive growth of places like The School of Life and all sorts of adult education classes and programs.

And I wonder if the difference is about Brits being more open to developing physically or mentally, but maybe a bit more suspect towards Self development? I was having lunch with one of the owners of a very successful business the other day and we were talking about this and he was saying that he is noticing much more acceptance and even valuing business people who have a coach or are being coached.

My experience is any sort of development we do is an interesting reflection of ones attitude towards what they find easy to spend time and money on in their lives and what they find harder. It’s fascinating when a client notices they will think nothing of spending £10,000 for just one year of private school for their child yet they would have a difficult time investing that much on themselves for a six month program in midlife to create something they deeply desire in their life.

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