Though originally less distinguishable from its human service relatives, coaching has become more differentiated from therapy, counseling and consulting. As coaching has matured, practitioners have enhanced and innovated on service provision – team coaching (for team leader and the entire team), group coaching (for non-team members receiving coaching on same areas of interest), shadow coaching (directly observing the client during interactions and providing real-time feedback and coaching), and many-on-one coaching. Across all delivery modalities, coaching continues to be a forum for judgment-free, provocative dialog that fosters reflection, insight, choice, new action, learning and self-leadership.
Coaching is increasingly in the trade and public press, speaking for its demonstrated value to clients. This positive boost to brand image has made it a more desirable service. Leaders within the industry have responded by creating situations where coaches can volunteer their coaching services which are then provided to needy clients, including not-for-profit boards.
As coaching has expanded (from 2100 in 1999 to approximately 47,500 in 2012 according to the 2012 ICF Global Coaching Study), so too have ancillary services for coaches. It’s our impression that these artifacts have increased in number and availability:
• Coaching journals,
• Coaching-related blogs and newsletters,
• Coaching organizations that serve particular coaching populations,
• Sponsoring organizations and their coaching conferences (Sherpa Coaching and its annual EXCO, WBECS and its annual Summit and pre-Summit workshops, NeuroLeadership Institute and its annual Summit, Institute of Coaching Professional Organization/McLean School of Medicine and its annual Coaching in Leadership and Healthcare conference), even
• Learning networks to provide continued professional development and connections (like Gopal Shrikanth’s ExecutiveCoachingIndia.org).
Coaching as a “Regulated” Industry
For good or ill, professional coaching is now a field in which there is a growing consensus about skills, knowledge and ethical guidelines needed for effective practice. These could become the bases for standardizing and regulating the industry. However, this ignores unanswered questions about what regulatory agency (or agencies) for what entities (states/provinces, countries, international entities) will provide oversight. In addition, there are unanswered questions about what differences make a meaningful difference between specialties such as leadership coaching, executive coaching and business coaching. Though some university programs offers credentials in executive coaching and the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches (WABC) offers credentials in business coaching, there is no consensus on accepted standards and no agreement about who should be able to pass judgment and apply consequences that go with regulation. We don’t foresee one happening anytime soon.Download Article 1K Club