Despite what we might think from LinkedIn, coaching is not that well known outside of HR and leadership circles. I predict this will change massively over the next decade, but we’re not there quite yet… I’ve worked in Higher Education for a decade and not one of my managers mentioned coaching, it was never an option for my training or personal development. It was actually through my work as a careers advisor that I even discovered coaching at all. This feels like a shame as I know I would have benefitted hugely from coaching when I was in those stressful, busy, chaotic roles that caused me to eventually burn out and leave.
I have noticed there are a few companies asking for new coaches to provide their services for free in exchange for helping to top up that golden 100 hours new coaches need in order to apply for further accreditation through the ICF (still working on mine!) Descriptions of these roles often say that the coaching will be for senior leadership and high-flying management only.
It strikes me as a little odd that we should only offer coaching to colleagues who have already had opportunities to achieve these high paid positions, when colleagues who have less experience, potentially of different generations, would benefit from coaching too.
I’m not saying I don’t ever want to work with senior leadership, everyone can benefit from coaching, but I do sort of feel like people of that level should be actively engaging coaches as and when they need them and most importantly paying for their coaching instead of seeking free coaching.
Colleagues who have not yet climbed up the ladder to a managerial role would benefit hugely from coaching. The support a coach can give will help these colleagues to develop and grow. And guess what, they will be more invested in the organisation because they have been given this support so early in their career.
It just seems to me that we have our engagement with coaching topsy turvy. Senior management can definitely develop through coaching and these positive changes will filter down through the organization through their leadership. There are also many colleagues with incredible potential who might be one or two jobs into their careers who need coaching to work out where they want to go with their careers. Organisations should be supporting these colleagues through coaching too. Who knows if I had had coaching years ago maybe I would have stayed at the University I worked at previously and maybe I would have found my calling as a coach much sooner!
I hope you enjoyed this article, my books are open for new coaching clients! You can book an intro session here. I’m also free to write articles about coaching, wellbeing, poetry and LGBTQ+ life. Get in touch here: firstname.lastname@example.org