The future of coaching has been informed by the unexpected changes in recent times. Coaches have had to adapt their mode of engagement as they support their clients in navigating business unusual.

Coaching is defined as a skilled, artful conversational methodology, intent on enabling a client to see in a new way and to act consistently in the direction of realizing his/her self-stated goals (D. April). Coaching also has a specific element of care.

The change in coaching

Now that face-to-face sessions are not always possible, engagement has to evolve. Therefore, online contact has become more prevalent. For group coaching, we have to consider the size of a room and how many people it can fit, but now it has become a norm to ensure that a Zoom meeting is also setup for those to join from home.  After experiencing a global pandemic, uncertainty prevails. It’s difficult for anyone to commit or make concrete plans. The way we make plans has completely changed. During uncertainty, people are less concerned with Maslow’s higher order needs, and more concerned with the lower order needs. Thus they turn their attention to looking for more basic needs, food, shelter, water. Rather than self-esteem and achieving full potential.

Trends in the future of coaching

According to Coach Training World, they have identified trends that will impact the future of coaching. Firstly, an increase demand for coaching services. As people find the impact of coaching, the more people buy into the need for it. And with the greater demand for it, greater coaching opportunities within niche sectors arise. The next trend is a recognizable credential to “prove” qualifications. This entails making sure that your experience and reputation are backed up by relevant qualification.

Of course, the next trend mentioned is – measurable results. Although this is not a new trend. This is an increasing ‘need’ in many companies. The way companies measure results are different. Is it how your employee has grown by providing them the means and ability to do the task? Or do you simply look at if the target is met? Certainly, it should be the former. Providing the means and ability for your team to perform their tasks has changed. The effects of covid-19 not only affected the workplace, but the employees. Showing care for your employees during a crisis, shows them that their wellbeing is important. Take a look at the Care & Growth Model to see how you can improve your organisational dynamics, and provide your team with the care, means, ability.

Digital delivery as communication has become the infamous trend of 2020. Now that we’re in 2021, technology has become a friend rather than an enemy for many. Another major trend is content marketing and social media marketing. This kind of marketing will promote and differentiate coaching services.

Experience Coaching will become an asset for forward looking companies. With the younger generation starting to take on more positions in the company, skills-transfer will become a requirement. Lastly, there will be a growing interest in positive psychology. Positive psychology is study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. Positive psychology is based on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives. And they want to cultivate what is best within themselves.

One aspect of coaching that should be amplified during these times is listening.

Coaches should put greater emphasis on giving clients the time to tell their story. Allowing them to shape the narrative and the meaning of their story by processing the impact it has had. Having the opportunity to share their thoughts and experiences with the coach (an attentive ear), has the effect of validating the individual and liberating the mind space. This would allow new thoughts to come in. It is a given that coaches begin with listening to clients needs and goals. Thereafter, asking questions to lead to the next step.

In these times, an attentive ear could allow employees to liberate themselves through active listening. There are different kinds of listening. Listening is the act of giving one’s attention. It is the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages. Active listening is providing full attention and involves listening with all senses. Following the GROW model can be useful. This will help to guide the questions and direct the conversation. The culture of active listening can be promoted and encouraged from the start.

As the value of coaching is experienced, companies will increase their internal coaching capabilities to create a more supportive context and environment. Companies may create coaches within teams that can be in the business and assist more employees to feel heard. To enhance learning and behavioural change, internal coaching capabilities will be applied. This will take form in the 70:20:10 training model. 10% formal training, 20% informal training and 70% on-the-job training. Where people need support when they are in real time and performing the tasks.

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