Home Research Coaching Surveys Sherpa Executive Coaching Survey: 2011

Sherpa Executive Coaching Survey: 2011

43 min read
Executive Coaching Survey

Cutting Through the Confusion

Some people say executive coaching is a maturing industry. While it has been around for years, there’s still a lot of confusion about what coaching is. Anyone can call themselves a coach, or define coaching in a way that fits their interests.

An Australian coach offered this: “There are still many people in consultancy businesses that claim to offer coaching but really don’t deliver effective coaching.  The coaching industry is still suffering from the issues of a fast growth, ‘flavor of the month’ approach.”

If you call yourself a coach, does that make you a coach? The name is not necessarily the game, and the real coaches haven’t yet ‘captured the robes’. A coach from the UK feels that “Coaching is a highly effective service that needs to appreciate distinctions between psychology/therapy and other counseling/mentoring  skills.  Coaching  needs  to  up  its  professional  game. People  with  consulting, therapeutic or teaching backgrounds have re-badged themselves as ‘coaches’ without proper training.”

Cutting Through the ConfusionPerhaps coaching companies try to be too many things to too many people. In our research, we ran across one coaching firm that claims expertise in “organizational development, Gestalt, group dynamics, psychology, neuroscience, emotional and social intelligence, sociology, leadership development, and change management. ” Can anyone be at the top of that many games?

Anyone can call themselves a coach. There are no licensing or legal requirements in the coaching business yet. A coach in the Southwestern USA said the business is still rife with confusion, calling the business: “The usual free-for-all . . .  with no entry barriers.”

There are clear signs that executive coaching is getting closer to a real identity. A coach in Reno, Nevada (USA) has watched the industry over many years, and describes the business for us:  “The industry is maturing, with more qualified coaches available.”

The word ‘coach’ has been applied to many endeavors, some of them far removed from what executive coaches do. Only over time will the phrase ‘executive coach’ be clearly understood by most business people in the same way.

A university educator addressed the current state of affairs: “People know to call a doctor when they’re sick. People know to call a mechanic when their car breaks down. But when a team or an organization is being crushed under the weight of bad business behavior, people don’t yet know that they are supposed to call an executive coach. In time, that will come.”

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