"Best fit Expert Coaches" with
demonstrable specialist industry knowledge are the hottest property in
the coaching sector:
basic assumption of executive / leadership / organizational / corporate /
business coaching emerging in the marketplace is that it is important
to understand the coachee's environment and, in particular, the leadership
and organizational issues faced by the coachee. Without this knowledge, a
coach is handicapped in helping the client figure out 'the big picture',
reasonable goals and courses of action.
coaching profession has grown rapidly over the last ten years.
only has it grown but the structure has changed. Increasingly the
more experienced coaches seem to prefer to establish their own
specialist practice or work for a specialised “boutique” practice.
Clients must now choose between 'solo coaches' in practice and from the
many coaching businesses and large consultant groups providing coaching
services Clients also must differentiate between professionals and those
hundreds of ill-trained, unqualified "coaches" churned out by
the mass-market online coach-training courses and certified by
self-labelled "coaching associations".
the war for executive talent that is being waged on today's highly
competitive business ground, trust and integrity form the basis of
relationships with clients and their external coaches. As the
coaching profession remains completely unregulated, with no professional
standards to guide it, coaches must routinely navigate through murky
waters during the process of marketing and selling their services. Professional
coaches have long sought a way of separating themselves from the
ill-trained, unqualified so-called "coaching industry" populated
by personal and life coaches. Industry specialization is the new buzz word
in the world of professional coaching. The halcyon days when
executive coaches built broadly based generalist practices is quickly
passing. Increasingly coaching firms are building their
reputations and expertise quickly by working within areas of industry
specialization such as IT, health care and banking to name but a few. Working
within the confines of one or two industries is now considered to be
particularly beneficial to client organizations because of the coach's
in-depth knowledge of industry issues and key players and importantly how
individuals are best able to 'psychologically survive and thrive' in their
specialist workplace environment.
"Second generation coaches" are now employed
by many organizations as a part of an overall strategic intervention plan.
Second generation coaching maximizes the benefits of
coaching at a strategic level, rather than focusing purely on individual
development. Second generation coaching also involves the
organizational user evaluating the effectiveness of the coaching
intervention. The recent shift to second generation coaching is
reflected in the need for coaching to be based on industry best practice
and psychological principles grounded in a solid evidence base. This shift
has largely come about as the major purchasers of coaching, typically
Human Resource and L & D departments, have sought to distinguish
between coaching offerings and
to employ coaching as a critical part of a strategic
intervention ie; a leadership development tool equipping leaders/management with
the necessary enhanced personal, positional and professional
skill sets so they are able to continually improve business processes
and the financial bottom line.
However many organisations are still failing to
capture the broad benefits of coaching by seeing it purely as an as
individual development intervention. This is classified as first
generation coaching with limited organizational impact.
Third generation coaching focuses on the
coach's learning and achieves the benefits of the first and second
generation. Third generation coaching harnesses and disseminates
the learning the coach gains about the organization, to the benefit of the
business and its people, thus realizing the maximum benefits of the
coaching investment. Organizational users learn with their coaches as they
transform, utilizing coaching to its maximum benefit.
The defining characteristic of a professional
coaching practitioner is someone who has theoretically as well as
practically grounded expertise. Today's expert
coaches are required to refer to a broad range of domains of
knowledge when solving people development problems. A new breed of
professional coaches employs both an intra- and
multi/inter-disciplinary decision-making process within a theoretical
and practical framework. The underlining premise is
that unless a coach knows how a process works,
how can he or she assist a coachee to optimally work with the
process? Accordingly, knowledge of processes, organizational structures,
concepts, knowledge areas (including procedural, positional and
professional knowledge) and industry performance metrics provide
these expert coaches the schema for genuine developmental and
performance enhancement coaching.
Knowledge areas represent the mental
workspace where thoughts and decisions are made by coachees. These
objects are likely to be idiosyncratic and therefore the coach should be
required to have an understanding of the relevant workplace structures.
professional coaches who wish to improve their performance and grow
their business now require some specific key knowledge and skill
need business acumen in order to understand the goals and work context of
their coachees. Business knowledge also gives coaches credibility
with their coachees and others in the coachees‘ organization. In
addition to general business knowledge, coaches need to acquire knowledge
of the specific businesses of their coachees.
work with coachees who must accomplish their work goals and advance their
careers within the context of their organization. Therefore, it is
important for coaches to understand organizational
systems, processes and how to assess all of these elements of the
organization in which the coachee works.
Everyone has experience or is familiar with a niche market. Coaches
who have a background knowledge and/or professional
qualifications in a specific market sector are; better able to brand
their specialist services and attract clients and, be more valuable
to clients in those
sectors of the market that they specialise in.