My View on the Coaching Industry

The years have swooshed by since I embarked on my coaching journey 10 years ago.  It just doesn’t seem possible that all that time has gone by.  But when I think about all the change that’s happened in the past decade, the attack on the World Trade Center Towers on September 11, the demise of Enron a few months later, and now the implosion of the world’s most highly respected financial companies – I am staggered by just how challenging this period has been in the lives of people, no matter what their lives are like.

These events, and the fundamental changes they have caused in the business world, make the coaching profession more important – and necessary — than ever before in my lifetime.  The rules in corporate America have changed.  Sometimes there don’t even seem to be any rules.  More people have decided to own their own business.  The structure, the security, the traditional paths to success don’t exist anymore, and the individual needs to make his or her own way through what sometimes looks and feels like chaos.  It’s pretty hard to do that all alone.

Because the need for coaches is so great, it’s critical that the coaching industry step up to the plate with all of its potential for making a lasting, positive impact on peoples’ lives.  It needs to offer clarity as to its purpose, to state what it will do for its clients and what it will not do, and it needs to govern itself openly, with ongoing transparency.

I am passionate about promoting the highest standards in the coaching industry.  As a member of the International Coaching Federation, I subscribe to guidelines that set a high standard for our profession.  I’d like to summarize those guidelines for you.  Review them.  Have them with you when you engage in the process of selecting a coach and commit mutually to follow them when you begin your journey.  They will get you to the border!

  1. Discuss the ICF Code of Ethics with your coach and get your coach’s perspective on them.
  2. Understand what is required in your interaction and agree on the process you will follow and the parameters of your relationship.
  3. Your coach should create a safe, supportive environment that produces ongoing mutual respect and trust.
  4. Your relationship should be open, flexible and spontaneous.
  5. Your coach should be attentive and focused on your agenda (not the coach’s agenda).
  6. Your coach should ask questions that are evocative, creating insight and inspiring action.
  7. Your coach should be clear, articulate and direct in communicating with you, clearly stating the objective of your coaching process, setting up agendas for meetings and stating the purpose of techniques or exercises used.
  8. Your coach should facilitate broader awareness, helping you to observe your concerns, habits, beliefs and perceptions.
  9. Your coach should create opportunities for ongoing learning through brainstorming, exploration of alternative ideas and solutions and through experimentation.
  10. You and your coach should develop and maintain an effective plan that is attainable, measurable and specific.  It should have a timeline and should be adjusted along the way.
  11. Your coach should discuss your progress with you and hold you accountable for what you say you’re going to do.


One Comment on “My View on the Coaching Industry”

  • Rajesh January 14th, 2013 1:02 pm

    What an amazing story piitnong out how animals can mirror and teach so precisely and straight to the point. I am glad to see that the author doesn’t leave it by the description of a beautiful story, but also emphazises the role of the therapist/coach at this moment. It’s a very important question to ask: How far should we let the animal mirror and where do we have to intervene to protect someone from either physical pain or just too much feedback to handle at that moment?

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