Everybody is a coach now!

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I look around me and everybody is becoming a coach. And as the number of coaches,  coaching schools and dedicated programs are rising so it’s the cynical and judgemental narrative of a lot of people against them. And while I tended to go with this flow in the beginning, as I went deeper into my coaching practice, I changed my mind for the better.

The questions we should ask ourselves:

  • Why is this a bad thing?
  • Why is this so worrying?
  • Who exactly is this trend against?
  • In what way is this harmful? And what may be the solutions?

And I realized that the answer is not in not doing it. Or abolish coaching. But in making it better, in professionalizing it. And that most people judging this, as I was doing at first, have no clue on what it is about.

I didn’t hear people saying – Everybody is becoming an IT engineer now! Who will build our bridges?

Well, maybe I did a little 🙂But not at all as emotional as I hear it about coaching and psychology.

As the economy is developing and markets are growing and the growth in the numbers of IT engineers is associated with normality. And so should be the growth in coaches!

If we are looking at coaching as a skill everybody could benefit from it. I didn’t hear people complaining about skills like “Working with Excel”. Neither on the trendier AI driven skill: “Prompting Chat GPT”. On the contrary! We are all acknowledging that we should learn it. It will be inevitable at some point. So courses and programs and a lot of people are embarking on this journey.

Anytime a bigger trend appears, a counter-trend follows!

Coaching is following a similar trend with its ancestor, psychology. And their growth and importance has much less to do with psychology or coaching themselves than with the subsequent economical development of countries and the associated human awareness overall. Or the other way around, but this is a deeper subject to be treated separately.

If you’re thinking about the underdeveloped countries where survival and basic needs are the societal endeavors, coaching and psychology are non-existent. Moreover they seem so far away from popular awareness that they will be judged as “fads”, “witchery” or “luxury”. And to some extent it’s true. They are “problemes des riches” as the French would very well observe.

Let’s take a look at medical development.

As far as traditional medicine is concerned, psychology is not science. And doctors in developing countries are still being taught this. Only psychiatry as a medical specialization is scientifically recognized while psychological therapy still stands in an acceptance limbo as “alternative intervention”. And, for a long period the psychological aspect in patient treatment facing a disease is still disregarded completely in underdeveloped and developing countries.

But if any of you reading this has had the fortune of bringing their kids (or yourselves) to a top tier medical clinic you have for sure observed that a trained psychologist is part ot the multidisciplinary treatment team and empathy and kindness are not only a personal trait of some members in the medical team, but an important ingredient in the overall healing process. And even if its effects are hard to be proven scientifically, yet, their importance is not disregarded anymore.

So, coaching is still a “luxury service” when viewed from a low income & awareness posture. And the reflex of judging it, or even demonizing it, is a normal part of this domain’s development. as it is in any change process. We may still be at the denial stage.

What we can all agree on is that there is still a lot of room for improvement and professionalism in coaching. But as this develops as an occupation, one thing is clear:

Where you see peak performance, there is a coach involved!

You can clearly see that in sports where the individuals and teams have assigned coaches and psychologists. This will become the norm in professional performance also.

I am a strong believer that any leader at the top of an organization should have regular psychological support, coaching & mentoring. And these are not competing but complementary. I believe that organizations would look better and can be less toxic with self-aware and supported leaders at the top and middle. Facing the VUCA business world is coming with similar challenges as a sporting competition and we should be more mindful as leaders while going through these challenges.

Coaching is, before all, a skill! A skill of self-reflection and self-awareness. If you are asking yourself better questions you will get better answers. And when the environment is so complex, as it is today, and there is barely such a thing as “the right answer”, this skill is a key self-leadership skill.

And if everyone making a career out of coaching is what’s frightening you, fear no more. From my experience, only about 10-20% of the participants in a coaching school class are actually coaching as professionals (and only 7% are doing pure one-to-one coaching – ICF Study says). All the rest are using this as a skill in their day to day job or in managing themselves in their personal life and role: friend, partner, mother, father, etc. And we are all benefiting from it.

Also, coaching is practiced mostly as a side-hustle. The full-time professional coaching being very scarce or earning very little. So know that you will not get rich as a coach. Making money from coaching is similar to any other domain. You will do well financially if you are performant 🙂

The study below is proving this point.

2023 ICF Global Coaching Study

So I will encourage anybody to invest in a good coaching school. It is a powerful, personal, transformational journey itself. All my family is doing it also. It’s like you are learning communication but this is about having a better relationship with yourself, and thus a better internal dialogue and being better in communication in all of your life roles.

But, if you are already on this journey or want to better understand the domain and market, I will be glad to respond to any of your queries you may have. I have committed personally to help towards the professionalisation of this field.

So, I can help you directly with the following:

Mihai ZANT

Mihai ZANT

Mihai ZANT is an Executive Coach, Trainer and Managing Partner at CoachingAfterSchool.com, Humanistic.ro and CareerShift.ro. Having over 10 years of experience in leading teams and communities he concentrated his work in building Learning Organisations.

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