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Coaching 2007: The Industry Is Headed In Completely the Wrong Direction

Posted by Julia Stewart

OK, my coach put me up to this. But it's true.

The Coaching Industry is headed the wrong way. Not coaching, mind you, the industry.

It blows my mind that coaches who should know better don't get this. Maybe it's time I let you in on it!

Coaches like to think they're all on the leading edge, that they know stuff the rest of the world doesn't get, yet. We're oh, so precious about what we do.

Don't get me wrong. Great coaching is incredible. That's why it's so surprising that so many coaches don't see what has happened.

Hello?? We've had an impact. We've been coaching world leaders for 20 years and our clients influence a lot of people. A large chunk of the world does get it and they're quietly passing us by. We've done such a great job of coaching that non-coaches have picked up the banner and they're running with it!

I know a coach who is training 10,000 employees of the City of Seattle to coach each other. I know another coach who's helping her husband write a Broadway play about coaching that will soon open in NYC.

Meanwhile, the majority of coaches are still obsessing about how to get enough clients. No wonder they're missing the boat! Coaches think too small.

Most coaches are still hung up on the entrepreneurial model of coaching, thinking they have to get enough clients to make that work. If you've been a coach for more than a few years and you've never had a full practice, maybe you're just not cut out for that. Maybe you're a coach, but you're not a coach-preneur.

I just did a job search at 76,771 jobs that require coaching skills came up. That's more jobs than there are coaches. These days, even engineers are required to coach and they're the most left-brained people on the planet!

If people can get coaching from their managers and team members, what do they need to hire you for?

Coaches are still waiting for coaching to go mainstream, as if that will make it easier to have a coaching business. No, that just means you'll have a lot more competition.

Coaching already went mainstream and now everyone is trying to coach everyone else. Most of them aren't doing it well, but that will change soon enough.

The biggest advances in coaching are currently going on outside the industry and that's a great thing. Imagine what the world will be like when coaching is the default communication skill, when every child grows up being coached by their parents and teachers, when employees are coaching and getting coached everyday on the job? How will people evolve then?

Pretty cool, huh?

I just met a coach who works for a suburban school system. Every student's family in that system gets up to three coaching sessions per year to optimize that child's development. This is a tradition-bound school system. They didn't go looking for a coach. She developed the program herself and her results are very impressive.

Coaching is showing up everywhere: in banks, the military, the government; but the people doing it aren't always called coaches. They're called financial advisors, chefs, principals, HR directors.

Coaching didn't just go mainstream, the mainstream is now coaching!

Okay, I'm inspired and I know what I'm going to do about this. The real question is: What are you going to do about it in 2007??

Copyright, Julia Stewart, 2007

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