Where Are Our Heroes?
Very few voices raise concerns and speak out about the coaching industry such as The Coaching Commons and before that the Coaching Insider, edited by Ken Winston Caine. These analytical sources are no longer available to provide forums for journalistic level critique, public commentary and independent editorial opinion.
What Thomas Leonard and other coaching pioneers started as an innovative and unique practice is exemplified by the majority of coaches today who have studied, trained, and continue to educate themselves. These coaches also honour the ideas and principles that Thomas created by recognizing the need to distinguish what they provide in order to attract clients and earn a decent living. Their progress, however, has slowed because the coaching industry is so overloaded with multiple certification schemes (at least 65 now available); is rife with the misuse of accreditation principles and practices; is beset by the unwillingness of coaching associations to cooperate with each other; and is suffering from the proliferation of highly disparate coach training schemes. The unfortunate result is that the general public has become even more confused and baffled by the coaching industry.
The trends identified in this article are all well-meaning, reasonable and make sense for individual practitioners to engage in order to survive in a highly competitive market. But seen in a ‘big picture perspective’ they appear to form an unintentional whole that is larger than the sum of its parts. Rather than increasing the public’s connection and celebration of coaching and coaches as a way to achieve greater life happiness as well as business and career success, the trends identified here may signal a bleak future for coaching.
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