I have subscribed to an organization called Peer Resources for a number of years. This website has a lot of valuable and interesting articles on various types of mentoring and coaching. In their most recent online quarterly, the editor, Ray Carr, wrote a very interesting and enlightening article on what's wrong with coaching. I will summarize in this blog, but to get the full article, do go to their webpage and/or email Ray Carr at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The article estimates that there are at least 105,000 coaches worldwide who offer their services in a variety of areas. Some of this had led to the blurring of boundaries. For example, some are calling themselves mentors or coaches and promoting themselves as solving issues that once were the specific purview of professional psychologists, social workers, etc. This has led to some people entering the field who are not really qualified to coach in these areas. Coaching credentialing organizations have not helped the matter by having sloppy credentialing practices. This is leading to the client losing faith in the coaching profession altogether.
So, suggestions for anyone seeking coaching assistance:
- Don't rely on someone's credentials alone, get references
- Inquire as to exactly how much expertise the coach has in the specific area of coaching you are in need of assistance
- Ask about the approach the coach uses in working in your areas of interest. This can reveal whether s/he is more likely to operate as a coach, mentor, social worker, etc.
Coaching is a valuable strategy in talent development; but make sure that the coach or coaches you use have the skills/expertise you need and have a history of success with other clients.