It is ironic that professional coaches often work with clients who are organizational leaders (and are aligned with the managerial culture) or are seeking to find new purpose and meaning in their life (and are aligned with the alternative/developmental culture). While working with clients aligned with these other cultures, coaches often tend to remain aligned with the professional culture and embrace the resistance in this culture to the other five cultures.
The Role of Supervision and Training
What does all of this mean in terms of the life and future of professional coaching? Does the role played by being an autonomous “professional” hold any implications for what coaches now do or could do? Part of the answer to this question resides in results we obtained from analysis of one response to Question Three: “How capable do you feel to guide the development of other coaches.” The mean score for this item was relatively high; however, the variance scores were either the highest (survey two) or third highest (survey one) of any Question Three item.
While survey respondents consistently agreed that their own development is very important (“How important to you is your further development as a coach?”), many of the respondents were less confident that they could be of assistance to other coaches in their development. This is a major and perhaps disturbing finding. Yes, we are committed to our own development as coaches, but we are not so sure about our guiding of development among other coaches.
A dialogue regarding these results is warranted — especially given the recent emphasis on mentoring and supervision in the field of professional coaching. [see Issue Six of The Future of Coaching locating in this library: the Library of Professional Coaching] Who does the mentoring and supervision? Do we need to re-examine the reasons why some coaches agree to work with other coaches on their development? What are the reasons that some coaches want to remain independent and autonomous in their work? If coaches feel confident in their own work, finding little difficulty in working with clients, and do not need much assistance from other professionals, then why is there any concern about and interest in either mentoring or supervision?