Home Concepts Strategy Future of Coaching The Future of Coaching: Trends that Illustrate the End is Near

The Future of Coaching: Trends that Illustrate the End is Near

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At the same time the promotional claims that so many of these schools make regarding their place in the coaching industry can be confusing, unsubstantiated, and close to deceptive. There are dozens that claim they are the ‘first,’ ‘number one’ or ‘only’ group that does X, Y or Z. These promotional claims often contradict coaching practice since most coaching engagements include a survey of the horizon in order to determine current reality prior to embarking on the rest of the journey. If the school did a Google search on X, Y or Z, they would likely find others also making the same claim.

In addition, the coaching associations appear to act as enablers of these claims in that they do not require any evidence of such claims when approving or accrediting the school’s offerings. Our review of the relationship between coaching schools and coaching associations could not identify an instance of a coaching association expressing any warnings, cautions or reservations regarding the practices and policies of any coaching school. Nor does there seem to be any record of a coaching school losing its coaching association accreditation or approval status as a result of the school’s policies or practices.

This ever-multiplying system of credentialing does little to protect the public from incompetence, shoddy practice and exploitation. Credentialing in coaching continues to grow with minimal credible oversight and accountability. This not only serves to confuse and exasperate the public, but it has also contributed to considerable skepticism from experienced coaches as well.

We’re It and You’re Not.

Another trend that will have a negative influence on the future of coaching is what can be called exclusionary policies and practices. These are actions, mostly associated with the 15 current coaching associations, to limit, restrict or control the evolution of coaching. On the surface their restrictions seem like a good idea: they raise standards, improve competence, identify best coaching skills; increase precision of coaching definitions and terms, and encourage on-going practitioner education. However, the associations typically exclude each other when making changes, and seldom, if at all, refer to the existence of each other. In their start-up phase most associations had membership policies that were inclusive—virtually anyone with an interest in coaching could join, but their current or pending membership policies are much more exclusive and require more extensive (and costly) training or other requirements.

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One Comment

  1. Glenn Allen

    December 30, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Fabulous article. As a 20+ year organization development professional schooled in the NTL methods, I’ve been, well, disgusted, to see work taken from my plate by “coaches.” Where I would have listened, offered (not required), and helped with feedback on various approaches for setting and achieving goals (or not goals), I’ve been told I can’t “coach” in some Federal Agencies because I’m not “ICF certified.” Meanwhile, some of the folks I’ve met in the “coaching profession” seem woefully unbalanced and bereft of use-of-self skill. What a mess, and you captured it. Thank you.


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