If we are too narrow in our definition of coaching, we run the risk of commercial stagnation or simply being irrelevant outside the world of life coaching or the training other coaches. If we are too broad, we stand the risk of losing hold of the basic coaching philosophy and approach that evokes transformation and makes coaching such a powerful experience for clients.
I believe both these energies, and the people that represent them in the ICF and elsewhere, have been essential to get coaching to where it is today. And we will need both to maintain the uniqueness of coaching and fully realize its greater potential in the years ahead.
Practically, I have a very diverse practice. Some of my leadership and business clients greatly benefit from discussing various leadership competencies or specific, proven marketing strategies. Sharing that information in the context of a coaching call, where I am not consulting, diagnosing, prescribing, or otherwise taking the power of decision away from the client, adds a great deal of value and significantly accelerates the client on their agenda.
And I have other clients that come to me in the middle of some big life, career, relationship or spiritual transition, where they are best served by plain and simple powerful coaching.
The seemingly opposing forces present in professional coaching need not be in combat with each other. They can indeed complement each other, and serve the greater good. There is more than enough room in the world of modern coaching for the purist and realist energies, and I believe that the wise path forward is one of balance. We are better, and stronger, together.
The article originally appeared on the International Coach Federation Blog.