Home Marketing Trends The Marketing of Professional Coaching: An Eleven Year Perspective

The Marketing of Professional Coaching: An Eleven Year Perspective

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Executive Coaching Summits starting in 1998 have provided a forum for the advancement of the profession of coaching in its earlier stages. These summits will increasingly need to strategically address executive coaching as a mature product. We applaud the birth of this journal (IJCO) as an essential step offering a wider forum for this dialogue.

We, as executive coaches and as an executive coaching community, can’t be everything to everyone. As a community, we need to differentiate executive coaching from other types of coaching so that our clients understand that not all coaching meets the standards of executive coaching. This focus is required by the market maturity phase to differentiate our service from the myriad of other coaching disciplines that exist in the market.

Executive coaching needs dedicated leadership, distinct from the leadership provided by ICF, PCMA and other organizations that serve a broader coaching community.  Executive coaching as a profession needs a common purpose and standards around which we can align and move forward. Is the urgency of an inevitable market decline a compelling enough focus to unite our profession? Who will lead us to take the necessary actions to forestall such a decline?

2. Create specific credentials for executive coaches

As a profession, we need to take the necessary steps to ensure the quality of executive coaching services. It is critical that consumers uniformly have a successful experience of these services so that their word-of-mouth will support the continued expansion of the market, even if the rate of growth is reduced.

Many new schools of coaching are emerging and the existing ones are striving to differentiate themselves. Some coaching programs promote the idea that anyone with a coaching credential can effectively coach senior executives—whether or not they have experience in the business world or a background of working with executives. Unfortunately, the lack of standards specific to executive coaching means that some executives’ experience with coaching may not be positive and, thus, may harm the image of our profession. To ensure a consistently high level of service to our executive clients, there is a need for a credentialing process specifically for executive coaches.  Credentialing can help ensure that when executives hire an “executive coach” they can be assured of skills and experience either working in business or working with senior executives, and a thorough understanding of business and the boardroom.

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