Monday, June 18, 2007

The Future of Coaching? What Future!

Oh, Lordy! I've been chatting with Jonn, a friend and fellow consulting professional, on the future of the coaching profession. He was wanting to know where I thought this industry was going to go.

Truth is: I'm not a real fan of the coaching industry, as it currently sits. There is little agreement on the skills and training that makes up a coach; the skill set is interdisciplinary and still the accrediting bodies want you to take coach-specific training (huh?), so people take whatever courses are available just to get or keep their accreditation and not to build their skills; and the name "coach" cannot be branded (like "realtor"), so anyone can refer to themselves by that moniker. The coach training organizations are making their money teaching skills, but tend to have little to offer in terms of setting up your firm, so the failure rate hovers at upwards of 96% in the first year!

I used to teach principles of coaching at NYU and coach skills training for another international company. The students were an interesting lot, some seeking to learn about themselves, some looking to make a career change and others, well, they could have told me a hundred times and I still don't get what they were in there for. True to my earlier statement, years later, they weren't making any money or any difference for the people they wanted to impact.

A few years ago, I saw this episode of Penn & Teller's Bullshit--a brilliant riff on the coaching industry. How did I laugh? Like a goon!

Penn and Teller's Bullshit Episode on Life Coaching (part 1 of 3)

Penn and Teller's Bullshit Episode on Life Coaching (part 2 of 3)

Penn and Teller's Bullshit Episode on Life Coaching (part 3 of 3)