Written by
Changeboard Team

01 Oct 2014

Rise of the coach (coaching series, part 1 of 3)

01 Oct 2014 • by Changeboard Team

Why is coaching on the rise?

The credibility and usage of coaching as a profession in the corporate world has dramatically grown over the past ten years, and this trend continues. One of the reasons we believe that coaching is proving to be a highly effective solution is that it gets people to look at their life and professional talents in a way they haven’t previously. Coaches are there to serve the needs of the client and to witness them growing as they develop a self-deterministic mind-set and gain greater levels of awareness and responsibility. 

Coaching offers multiple wins because it develops people who contribute to the purpose and bottom-line of the organisation in a positive manner, both in terms of quantitative and qualitative measures. Coaching is about going on the inner journey first, rather than seeking to get people to change external behaviour alone – this I believe to be a superficial approach to personal change.

People are also starting to realise that working just for the money is meaningless if the work fails to connect with their deeper needs, wants, values and purpose. The accessibility of global media combined with our ability to travel and see the world has helped people see how fortunate they are and how much freedom we have.

From an organisational perspective, the decline of trust with big organisations and their leaders has highlighted an imbalance and increasing need for people and organisations to walk their talk. When the reputations of organisations come into question, it has an impact on their people and employee brand reputation. The negative consequences of this can be very damaging to morale and engagement in companies and industries. Equally, it gets leaders and their people to ask themselves deeper questions about why they do what they do.

When did the coaching movement first start?

The seeds of the profession started on the west coast of the US over 30 years ago, with Sir John Whitmore and Tim Gallway being some of the early pioneers.

The Association for Coaching has developed coaching standards in the UK, and there are other bodies who have not only been instrumental in the industry’s development, but will be increasingly involved in cementing the coaching’s professionalization, credibility, and reputation.

How has coaching matured over the past decade?

In the past, there was a small community of coaches seeking to establish a credible space for coaching; at that time people didn’t differentiate between coaching, consulting, training and mentoring. That’s no longer the case.

Coaching is now a global profession, which means that different markets are at different stages of growth. When The Association for Coaching began, there was little emphasis on localised coaching in the UK; now it’s celebrating 10 fantastic years. 

The following achievements highlight the burgeoning growth, influence and positive impact the global coaching profession is increasingly having within society and corporations.

  • There are academic programmes dedicated to learning about becoming a coach, books in the thousands, and academic journals dedicated to the subject, events across the globe and online that seek to teach people about coaching
  • There’s an estimated 30,000+ professional coaches in the world not including the practitioners working in organisations
  • There is a clear professional pathway to accreditation
  • The leading bodies are collaborating and working together in the best interest of the profession and their communities
  • There is an increased emphasis of coaching in education and other parts of society
  • Coaching is seen as the number one professional development intervention in corporations.

How is coaching being used within organisations?

Coaching is now the leading intervention for CEO, executive, leadership and management development, often used in combination with training and development. Over the past three years, coaching has broken through in terms of credibility and recognition of its impact on developing talent and coaching cultures.

Some of the key trends for coaching within organisations include:

  • CEO and top-team development, enabling senior teams to align and engage to build high performance team and cultures
  • Cross-cultural coaching to support globally diverse and geographically disbursed teams to work effectively together to maximise their market potential
  • Leadership and management development programmes (coaching is increasingly used to reinforce training and development programmes and initiatives)
  • Companies are building their internal coaching teams,subsequently reinforcing and enhancing the use of highly credible external professional coaches
  • Many organisations are building a coaching culture because they see coaching as a means to build a new way of working that enhances the talents, skills and strengths of their teams
  • Social innovation: organisations are using coaches to help them build a meaningful legacy and CSR strategy that really makes a difference on a local level
  • Virtual coaching is utilised to ensure that a coach with the right skill set and experience supports a leader and their team through transition.

What does purposeful coaching mean?

Purposeful coaching means to use coaching philosophies, skills, techniques and capabilities to help someone discover their life purpose on both a professional and personal level. The more aligned a human being feels to their deepest conscious and unconscious drivers, the more their life feels aligned. As a result they often feel a greater level of energy, happiness and commitment to their professional life.

That’s not to say that a purposeful life is without highs and lows, it simply means that a person understands why they do what they do and can then live their life on purpose.