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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Increasing the number of coaches available or including the increased number of persons who call themselves coaches in the worldwide pool of coaches is not necessarily a bad thing. The problem arises when individuals expect to easily find clients. Instead, they learn that the number of coaches already in practice has been significantly and consistently under-estimated, thus making it much more difficult to generate the revenue necessary for a satisfactory career.

In addition, many coaching schools and marketing specialists have stepped in to make the coaches think it is their own fault for not having proper or sufficient business and marketing skills to gain clients. Literally, dozens of these services are now generating considerable revenue off disappointed coaches. These practices can easily lead to charges of deception and misrepresentation.

The Rise of the Nouveau Niche

Marketing specialists have made significant inroads into the coaching industry, seeking to convince coaches that if they want to make a living with paying clients they need to, among other tricks and techniques, distinguish themselves from their coaching colleagues. The primary way this differentiation has been implemented is through ‘niche coaching.’

More than 60 distinct niche areas have been identified by one study, and many coaches have added multiple niche areas to their statement of practice.

[A website devoted to a satirical review of the coaching world has identified more than 60 niche areas currently being promoted by “coaches.”]

Boundless Scope

There is hardly a challenge faced by a human being that a coach will decline to coach. There are birthing coaches, death and grief coaches, coaches for kids and teens, coaches for retirees and the elderly, and coaches for hospice and recovery. There are even coaches for our animal companions such as feline, equine and doggy coaches.

While the pioneers of coaching often would make a point of distinguishing themselves from sports coaches, that distinction is no longer appropriate as more and more life and business coaches now claim the niche of working with athletes.

What’s more, the previously taboo land usually populated by clinical psychologists and psychiatrists now has coaches dealing with the wide variety of disorders, crises, syndromes and addictions mentioned in the DSM IV. Some coaches attempt to cover multiple niches. Their websites or biographies read as if they were worried about leaving out a niche that might result in a potential client searching elsewhere for a coach. Instead of narrowing their scope of practice to a particular niche, they have expanded their practice to include multiple areas of practice.

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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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