For individuals entering the field of coaching there are no shortage of people and organizations to help you. There are programs to become certified as a coach, programs that will provide tools and indeed programs that will help you with business development. After that, you are essentially on your own.
The question that needs to be asked is who apart from all these individual coaches is helping to generate the demand for these services? More specifically what would it take to actually get all those people who are in need of some sort or support or guidance to consider hiring a coach? Most people do not readily understand the benefits of coaching. Which begs the question as to whose responsibility is it to make the public aware of this?
In previous blogs, collaboration on the part of coaches has been highlighted as a key factor in terms of educating and creating market demand. Scale offers variety, credibility, collective knowledge and financial strength to make a meaningful impact.
The International Coach Federation could do more to influence the general public. The ICF might contend that their role is as a watch dog of the profession to ensure that there are satisfactory ethical and education guidelines being adhered to. This is so but one step further would be to, through their collective power, put more resources into educating the public.
The other meaningful contribution can be achieved through all the organizations, including this one (New England Coaching), who represents the primary beneficiaries of servicing the coaching industry in the first place. Assisting in nurturing the demand for coaching would also create a demand for even more coaches. Therefore it could be a self serving strategy to employ.
In summary, the responsibility for creating demand for coaching clearly resides with everybody involved – the actual coaches themselves, the professional body representing coaching (ICF) and finally all the various providers servicing the coaches in the first place.
What do you think?