Coaching: A Growing Industry With a Demand for Unlocking Potential
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In India and across the world, the demand for coaching is growing rapidly as more and more people discover its power to unlock potential and help them reach their goals. The benefits of coaching are myriad and compelling and can have powerful implications for a person's quality of life both at home and in the workplace--as well as for an organization's culture and results.
What is Coaching?
Though coaching is growing rapidly in popularity in India, definitions of what coaching is and how it works are still unclear for many.
The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
Contrary to mentoring, where an older, more established individual provides guidance to a younger one based on their own experiences, coaching prioritizes the client by tapping into the individual's own knowledge and capabilities.
Those who have engaged in a coaching relationship have been very satisfied with what they gained from the experience. In a Global Consumer Awareness Study (GCAS) ICF executed in 2017, 97% of consumers in India who said they'd worked with a coach reported that they were satisfied with the experience. These same consumers rated increased productivity as a top outcome of coaching, along with improved work/life balance, improved business management strategies, increased self-esteem and self-confidence, and more.
Creating a Climate of Optimization
As coaching gains popularity in India, it has particularly taken hold within workplaces as professionals seek opportunities to invest in their potential and future success.
While individuals tend to find their coaching relationships rewarding, coaching experiences are not limited to one-on-one sessions. Organizations can also bring a professional coach into the workplace to foster the development of the full team to optimize the overall work culture.
When a coach serves a full team, the coach may spend time observing the team and its members to see how they engage in meetings and as they work together to accomplish their day to day tasks and goals. The coach will also lead the full team in group sessions to build trust, communication and collaboration. And, as deemed appropriate, a coach may work one-on-one with some or all team members to foster individual growth in sync with the overall team's development.
A team-wide coaching program can have powerful results for the members that are engaged, as well as for the organization overall.
Tapping into Organizational Energy
Although one-on-one and team coaching relationships can both lead to meaningful change, an additional way coaches can help an organization grow is by training the organization's own leadership to implement coaching practices into how they engage their team members and colleagues. When this happens, coaching becomes part of a company's culture and taps into the organizational energy, which can have profound impact.
A coaching culture focuses on building respect and trust between team members, fostering opportunities for growth and developing a more engaged work force. Interactions between colleagues become not just a task-oriented exchange, but an opportunity for improved understanding, critical thinking and mutual development. Ultimately, it enables managers and colleagues to see each other as full individuals beyond the workplace, and to support each other in pursuit of their professional development and passions.
The many positive results of an established coaching culture include increased collaboration, productivity and is sometimes even correlated to a better bottom line in profits. Research conducted by ICF, in collaboration with the Human Capital Institute, shows that organizations with strong coaching cultures are more likely to report higher annual revenue in relation to peer organizations than those without strong coaching cultures. The same research shows a positive correlation between strong coaching cultures and employee engagement. Because a coaching culture can dramatically improve employee satisfaction, it also tends to increase employee retention and can give an organization a competitive edge in drawing in top talent for new hires.
How to Get Started with Coaching
When seeking life or executive coaching, whether for yourself or for a team, there are some best practices and resources that can help ensure a positive experience.
First, it is important to go into a coaching relationship with a solid understanding of what one expects to gain from it, so define the goals for coaching beforehand.
Another important step in establishing a strong coaching relationship is finding the right coach. The number of coaches in India is growing rapidly. How can individuals and teams ensure that they find a quality coach?
It is recommended that a person interview a few different coaches as an initial step before committing to a relationship. In doing so, look not only at the coaches' experience and qualifications, but also consider their coaching style and the personal chemistry between the coach and the client. These will factor into the relationship's success, and each coaching relationship is different.
In addition to these elements, ask potential coaches if they are credentialed. Credentialing is an indication of a coach's experience and training quality. A coach with credentialing through ICF has been formally educated on the industry's best practices, and has made an official commitment to uphold the industry's highest standard of professional ethics. ICF offers three levels of credential, based on the amount of training (as per ICF standards) and experience and level of skill demonstrated by the coach:
- An Associate Certified Coach (ACC) has completed at least 60 hours of coach-specific training and accrued at least 100 hours of coaching experience after the start of coach training.
- A Professional Certified Coach (PCC) has competed at least 125 hours of training and accrued at least 500 hours of coaching experience after the start of training.
- A Master Certified Coach (MCC) has completed at least 200 hours of training and accrued at least 2500 hours of experience.
To find ICF-credentialed coaches in a specific region or specialization, use ICF's online Credentialed Coach Finder.
Organizations training their own internal coaches can ensure they uphold the highest industry standards by getting their training accredited by ICF.
Growing Industry, Promising Futures
Coaching continues to grow within India's marketplace, and with good reason. For both individuals and teams, coaching can provide many benefits to empower and enrich lives in the workplace and beyond.
With more than 500 ICF coaches already practicing throughout India, and a rapidly growing demand for even more, the potential for coaching to bring positive impact to individuals, teams and the greater society will only continue to expand.