One year ago, I became an author and put my thoughts and experiences into the world in
support of the coaching profession.
The year has gone well with nearly 1000 books sold. They have supported connections to
hundreds more coaches and have been utilized as a benefit for the Coach training providers in support of their graduates.
All of this has been good for business too as many coaches have become supervision or
business mentoring clients and my coaching clients have witnessed the move and been
reminded of our connection. This marketing push in the form of a book and its associated positioning in the profession has been a coaching business investment move that has paid off.
A year on though, I also noticed that the additional exposure was not always healthy for me personally and at times the juggling of all my services to the profession was overwhelming. One factor in my feeling of overload has been how I feel about the coaching profession a year on. I plan to use this blog piece to share my experience of 2023, to learn from it and find what my supervisor called out as “using my creative mode to find the path of least resistance back to the challenger that is calling to me.”
I will start by saying out loud what I have been troubled by. By the end of 2023 the world was a significantly more troubled place than it already was at the start and sometimes meeting our clients where they are is hard. Businesses were under more pressure than ever and the stories coming into coaching reflected a shift away from the people care taken during the pandemic to stories of profitability over people. It is not unusual for coaches to hear the tough stuff, but it was personally overwhelming when coaching requests either were misplaced briefs to fix difficult challenges for teams or remedial work for individuals that were not being managed by their company well before it was assumed the coach would take care of it.
Naturally in this business cycle I also noticed less work on personal development and, unusually, a dip in associate work on professional development at the same time. All of this sends up red flags – reminding me to listen more in chemistry meetings to check in on what the expectation of the coaching really is and how coachable the situation is. It all left me wondering - has the industry still got a problem with what coaching is for and is it more muddled than ever and what can I do about it?
In addition to keeping my ear to the ground on coaching work, I heard more stories about the tough marketplace come into Mentor Coaching and Supervision as the investment in these coach outgoings is being challenged. I start to notice the unrest in the profession around the accreditation bodies and specifically how my peers, training colleagues and those more seasoned in the industry are expressing their unrest with the investment (in time and money) it takes to progress when the market is quiet or misunderstood.
My "spidey" sense then starts to wonder if this is just me or the market as a whole – what a time to be supporting coaches and what does this mean I need to do. The first step is that I am going to be more open about my discomfort and the second step is to ensure that I get out and check in with coaches and clients to read the room. That can start here – what are you noticing in your workplace? Has investment in coaching increased or decreased? As Fellow Solopreneurs, what are you noticing in your business and what do you hear in the briefs you are getting that is good for the profession or problematic? How are you feeling about the profession and its challenges right now – I would love to hear from you if you want a space to share. Kate