The Five Big Themes in Coaching for 2022
As the short Christmas break quickly recedes into the memory, and we continue to negotiate the vagaries of inconsistent rules and regulations, we take a brief look at what 2022 will mean for the world of coaching and some of the impacts and implications for the future.
This year will continue to be transformational for the coaching industry. The speed of change is accelerating. A combination of technology, the pandemic and the changing world of work is creating the ‘perfect storm’ or maybe ‘perfect weather’ is more appropriate, for the growth and development of coaching.
Five themes shaping the coaching industry in 2022 and what they mean for clients
Online coaching platforms will continue to grow exponentially. The amounts being invested in platforms, the increase in the number of coaches being trained and accredited and the reduction in prices will benefit the clients and coachees around the world. The democratisation of coaching continues apace, and more and more people will be able to work with a coach and it will no longer be the preserve of senior executives. The shadow side is the ‘commoditisation’ of coaching which may lead to a focus on price rather than quality with some coaching platforms not paying their coaches much at all.
A coaching culture goes hand in hand with continuous learning, high feedback and high performance. In practice, it may include a cadre of internal qualified coaches, managers as coach, staff openness and external provided coaching solutions. The challenge for the HR team is no longer to ‘find a coach’ in response to a ‘one off’ coaching request but to develop a coaching strategy that is right for the business then deliver it effectively.
Time and Place.
Only two years ago I would typically be asked by a client, do you have a coach in Frankfurt (substitute any place in the world)? What if the best coach for this industry, this profession or this person was in a different place? There has been a paradigm shift. For the HR profession there is the opportunity to find great coaches for individuals and teams wherever they are based in the world. This opens up the opportunity to develop bespoke global coaching programmes for leadership groups around the world.
Coaching goes Mainstream.
For many companies (not for all) coaching has been a minor specialised activity handled by the L&D team. Low volume, occasional assignments often remedial in nature. Increasingly, coaching is being managed by specialists who develop strategic coaching programmes and can now measure and control the coaching activity using technology. Gone will be the days when a London based HR Director will find out about a coaching assignment in Hong Kong or Zurich because the finance team forwards on an invoice! In house coaching specialists will manage internal and external coaching resources as part of the talent strategy.
To avoid commoditisation there is a parallel move to ‘specialisation’ of coaching. Coaches will specialise to find a niche to beat competition and to add value to themselves and their clients. Whether it be sector, profession, discipline (career, wellbeing, resilience) and coaching models (gestalt, NLP etc). Specialisation also includes team coaching which can create even greater impact that one to one coaching, group coaching which can be an economic way of scaling and teaching coaching skills. There will be increasing ‘stratification’ of coaching. At the most senior levels, mimicking search firms in the recruitment industry, there will be elite coaching practices working with Board and C Level Executives and then there will be more generic online coaching solutions at lower prices for employees in general.
The implications for HR, People and Culture Teams?
Organisations in the post pandemic world are looking very different to the ones we left behind in 2019. Hybrid working, increased technology, different leadership styles required amid the changing aspirations of employees. The HR strategy needs a refresh. Within the broader HR strategy, for most organisations, coaching has an important part to play – developing emerging talent, supporting wellbeing, providing a confidential safe space, enabling staff through the transition of parental leave, developing effective teams and underpinning leadership development programmes.
Chris Woodman CEO Leadenhall
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