Home Tools and Applications Personal & Life Coaching Ten Trends in Personal/Life Coaching

Ten Trends in Personal/Life Coaching

36 min read


David Skibbins and William Bergquist

Agendas in personal and life coaching focus on hope, meaning, aspirations and the future. This form of coaching concentrates on what could be, even more than what currently is. When we ask people to “follow their bliss” or to search for what in their soul or heart is most compelling, coaches are looking beyond their current-day assessments. Similarly, as we were preparing this article and considering the trends in personal and life coaching, we decided to anticipate rather than merely observe. The authors of this article decided to take a risk and suggest where we project these endeavors will be moving during the coming decade. Rather than reflecting on where the state of personal and life coaching are right now, we are looking at trending that has been done over the past five years and projecting these trends forward. Through focusing on the future of coaching we are taking some leaps into new territory. Much as Taleb (2010) has noted with regard to other trends in our society that look like unpredictable “black swans,” (unexpected events) we are inviting you to consider some new ideas that we base, at least in part, on our own accumulated experiences over the past thirty years as coaches, consultants, therapist and educators –experiences that are admitted biased, opinionated and hopefully provocative.

We have identified ten trends in personal and life coaching. We offer examples of how each of these trends has manifest itself in recent years, and we take a glimpse into what each of these trends might look like if it were to fully unfold.

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One Comment

  1. Rey Carr

    June 9, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Something about this article left me thinking that I missed the connection between coaching and any of the 10 items mentioned. For example, all the three points that neurobiology is allegedly responsible for in contributing to knowledge of human behaviour (and changing behaviour) were clearly known prior to the advent of the current craze to quote brain research. I don’t think that neurobiology has contributed at all to improving the coaching relationship. And as if to strengthen my point, the authors give no examples or evidence of how coaches have actually used these principles to make a difference in their interactions with clients.

    The same holds true for the nine other trends mentioned. Cognitive psychology (via Jerome Bruner and others) as well as solution-focused work and the work of William Glasser and Albert Ellis and countless others are all cognitive approaches that turned traditional psychotherapy on its head and dumped it from working with dysfunctional individuals.

    I wish the authors had provided more direct evidence of the way in which these trends have actually influenced the work of coaches.


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