William Bergquist and William Carrier
The Future of Coaching is concerned with the very heart and soul of professional coaching—it addresses the challenge of coaching’s future status, direction and long-term goals. It also offers the strategies and tools needed for this challenging future. Much as individual professional coaches assist their clients in focusing on their own individual future and the future of organizations with which they are affiliated and often lead, so it is important that the field of coaching itself address this fundamental coaching question: what will the future be for this human service field?
Vulnerability – do we even dare touch this very delicate topic. The vulnerability of our coaching clients: how hard do we push and are we at all responsible for the stress and potential emotional responses of our clients when we address difficult issues? Are we entering into the domain of psychotherapy when our clients become vulnerable? And what about our own vulnerability as coaches – as human beings? How much of this do we share with our clients? And when do we ask for support ourselves when faced with a difficult client or with a situation that provokes our own emotions (what psychodynamically-oriented therapists call “counter-transference”)?
We weren’t sure when planning for this issue of Future of Coaching if this is a topic to be broached in a publication about coaching practices. Then we looked at existing essays in the Library of Professional Coaching and found many that addressed the issue of vulnerability (one of which we republish in this issue of Future of Coaching). So, we decided to move forward with this theme and have provided you, our reader, with some thought-provoking essays for your own reflection regarding vulnerability in yourself and your clients.1K Club