When a Smoker Tells You How to Quit Smoking

I used to be both a smoker and a personal trainer.  A weird combination I know.  This was when I worked for a sports centre.  I remember that on one shift, they asked if I would like to train as a smoking cessation coach – SOMEONE THAT SHOWS PEOPLE THE BEST WAY TO GIVE UP SMOKING.  Were they for real?

This company couldn’t see the problem with asking someone who has never managed to give up smoking to show another human how to quit.  But what was also weird to me was they asked people who had never sparked up a cigarette in their lives to become coaches.  But this weirdness is not unusual in the coaching world, I’m afraid.

It’s common to find gym instructors who love exercise and have always been naturally lean, who pride themselves on being “weight loss experts”.  Business consultants who have never run a successful business promise to get you to £10K income per month within 6 weeks.  And I’m sure that the absolute best people to give parenting or pet advice are the people who have never had either *heavy eye roll*.

Now, I’m not saying that these types of people always make bad coaches, there absolutely are some exceptions.  However, when clients of coaches without personal experience stray from the textbook rules of how humans behave, where can the ‘experts’ go then?

Textbooks are great.  But, in my opinion, experiences passed directly from one human to another are always worth a lot more.  When did we stop trusting one another’s stories and give over our lives to ‘experts’ with no tangible knowledge of what we are feeling?  Just something for you to muse upon.