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The coach a clown?
Are there parallels between carnival and coaching?

Today is Shrove Monday, and in the region of Germany where I live, everything revolves around the Carnival, Fastnacht and Fasnet. Everyday life has to wait until Ash Wednesday.

The main focus of the carnival is undoubtedly the welcome opportunity to forget worries and be merry. Although this does not apply to coaching sessions, there should also be room for relaxation and laughter. Otherwise, learning and development would not be possible either.

An essential characteristic of carnival, be it the political carnival or the Alemannic carnival, is wearing a mask, the assumption of a different role in which one can then spend a night or a day gaining experience from an alternative perspective.

Coaching is also about trying out alternative perspectives and alternative actions in a protected space, outside of everyday life, to decide whether they are suitable for everyday use.

The critical rethinking of contemporary events and the role of political influencers, as cultivated in the Rhenish carnival, also finds its parallel in the fact that in coaching, whatever the coachee wants to rethink as a „problem“ can be put on the „programme of the session“.

The clown, the jester, is the moderator in the carnival who, as a catalyst, enables and influences what happens. This is also similar to the coach.

In carnival, as in the old days, the jester has the privilege of telling the truth, even if it hurts. In my mind, the coach does not have this privilege because, in my mind, there is no such thing as „the truth“. In coaching, there is only the truth of the respective client, over which only the client has the power of disposal and which has to be clarified in the process.

Since today is Shrove Monday, I have no objection to working with a bulbous nose like my honourable colleagues, the clowns and fools, as long as I am not expected to know the truth.

I believe that it is possible in coaching, just like in carnival, to deal freely and also with humour and self-irony with the open questions and problems of life.

You, too, can, if you want and are interested, set about developing your life with curiosity and appreciation for yourself.

As one of the few active coaches with over 50 years of experience, I offer you my entire repertoire of competencies.