If you are like most coaches you’ve spent a good deal of time and resources developing your skills. Of course, you want to put your skills to work for your coachees but you also want to gain personal advancement in your career or coaching practice. You’ve invested a lot to get where you are today and just like any investment, you want to maximize your Return on Investment (ROI). But what is the best way to maximize your coaching skills ROI?
One of the traps coaches fall into is taking a narrow view of what a coach is and what opportunities exist. When most people think of becoming a coach they think of coaching individuals within an organization or one on one sessions within a coaching practice. Today I’d like to challenge you to think ‘Outside the Box’ when you think about what you can do with your coaching skills and expertise.
Of course, you can have the formal title and role of coach but don’t stop there. You can also leverage your coaching skills informally as you work with individuals, teams and direct reports. As you apply your coaching skills in these informal settings you are developing and exhibiting attributes that will help you develop leadership skills that will position you for advancement.
Another option for leveraging your coaching skills is to add coaching educator or trainer to your toolkit. Coaches I talk with don’t automatically think of this option but it can be a great way to leverage your skills and improve your ROI.
When you become a coaching educator, you take on the role of educating others, helping them to develop coaching skills rather than coaching per se. Of course, a coaching educator uses his/her coaching skills in the education process.
Here are just a few benefits of becoming a coaching educator;
- Add an additional source of income if you have a coaching practice
- Add an additional skill to your resume if you work within an organization
- Reach more people, help to put coaching skills in the hands of more people
- Develop trainer skills which are very valuable and different than coaching skills
- Develop presentation skills
- Develop group facilitation skills
- Ability to do some training virtually, giving you more flexibility
- See coaching make a difference in more people’s lives
For more insights on leveraging your coaching skills we have a few different resources for you to check out;
As we’ve discussed in previous articles – there is a lot more to success in coaching than excellent coaching skills. This month we will pull the curtain back on The Business of Coaching taking a close look at the biggest challenges faced by coaching practitioners and strategies for overcoming these potential roadblocks. This pertains to coaching practitioners both external (Solopreneur) and internal (working within an organization) as well as those who have blended the two.
To get a well-rounded picture of coaching challenges I have pulled a few stats from the 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study.
Insights from the 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study
The study was commissioned in 2015 by the International Coach Federation (ICF) and undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers. There were 15,380 valid survey responses from 137 countries. Following are a few interesting stats from this study about the business of coaching.
- The coaching industry has evolved into a coaching continuum that includes internal and external coach practitioners as well as managers/leaders who use coaching skills in the workplace. An individual may exist on multiple points along the continuum.
- It is estimated that there are 53,300 professional coach practitioners worldwide. Western Europe accounts for the largest share (35%), followed closely by North America, with an estimated 33% share.
- Average annual revenue of coach practitioners is $51,000. In North America, the average is $61,900.
- The estimated global total revenue from coaching in 2015 was $2.356 billion USD, representing a 19% increase over the 2011 estimate.
When asked to identify the biggest obstacle for coaching over the next 12 months, the main concern expressed by coach practitioners was untrained individuals who call themselves coaches. The chart below presents the percent of respondents who named a particular obstacle.
Respondents were also asked about future opportunities. Increased Awareness of the Benefits of coaching was the top response. Additional responses, expressed as a percent of respondents who mentioned a particular opportunity, are presented below.
Strategies to Overcome Challenges
The top obstacles and opportunities can be used in developing your strategies for success. Set yourself apart by getting quality training and then make sure everyone knows about your education, training and credentials. Capitalize on the increased awareness that coaching works. Cite the literature and develop your own case studies that provide real world examples of how coaching is making a difference.
Expected and delightfully unexpected benefits of coaching
Last month I shared with you tips on how to know if your organization is ready for coaching. This included a list of the key traits commonly found in organizations that have been successful at bringing coaching in. This month I will take a closer look at the benefits of coaching in organizations, using the healthcare setting as an example. Even if you are not working in healthcare, I urge you to keep reading. There is much to be learned from healthcare organizations that can apply to virtually any organization in any industry. Consider this. Many healthcare organizations are large and complex with multiple stakeholders, from executives to unions and everyone in between. Add to this the pressure they face as they deal with very serious issues daily. If coaching can transform and improve individuals, teams and the healthcare organization as a whole, just think what it can do for your organization.
Let’s start with the literature. The benefits of coaching in healthcare are well documented. Here is a sampling of what the literature tells us about the impact that coaching has had on individuals and teams in the healthcare setting.
Positive impact on client and patient care
- Improved clinician-patient interactions by being more present, more attuned to the patient’s needs, and encouraging them to find solutions to problems
- Self-awareness and perceptivity leading to empathy, an essential aspect of successful clinician-patient communication
Leadership Development 
- The use of coaching has moved away from problem solving to pro-active leadership development
- Coaching is helping leaders with decision making and developing leadership qualities by giving them tools to;
- Reflect on their decisions
- Keep centered on reality
- Be a catalyst for change
- Adjust to change
- Support lifelong learning
- Improved career satisfaction and work commitment
- Improved performance and productivity
- Positive impact on employee engagement
- Improved personal and organizational effectiveness
Unexpected but delightful benefits of coaching
One of the less documented but most powerful benefits of coaching is what we refer to as the trickledown effect of coaching within organizations.
I like to think of it in terms of a waterfall. It starts small at its source, gains momentum as it moves towards its goal, sometimes following well-worn paths but often carving new and unexpected paths when needed. Sounds a lot like coaching within organizations.
A terrific example of this trickledown effect was experienced by Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) as they brought coaching to their organization.
The original intention at PHSA was to work with teams and leadership, but with the infectious spread of coaching it expanded and integrated into unique and untapped projects, programs and groups. It was intended to help with internal relationships and performance but participants began using the skills in all interactions including those with patients and their families.
Why is this so powerful? By implementing a program that not only teaches coaching skills but also creates a coaching culture, organizations and individuals are being transformed. Individuals are empowered and trusted to ask thoughtful questions and listen deeply – in all interactions.
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of coaching in healthcare, check out the following resources. Register for our free webinar: Coaching in the Healthcare Setting and download our whitepaper Determining the Impact of a Coaching Skills Development Program in the Healthcare Setting
If you have questions or would like to discuss the benefits of coaching in more detail, get in touch by sending an email to [email protected].
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 Knowles, P. (2008). What is trying to happen here? Using mindfulness to enhance the quality of
Patient encounters. The Permanente Journal, 12, 55--‐59.
 Sherpa Coaching. (2012). The Seventh Annual Sherpa Executive Coaching Survey 2012. Retrieved
 (Cassatly & Berguist, 2011; Risley & Cooper, 2011).
 Webb, 2006
 Greco, Laschinger and Wong (2006)
Last month I shared 5 key strategies for coaching success. This month I will take a closer look at strategies for coaching success in organizations. Organizations that introduce and embrace coaching are seeing positive and exciting results. But what is required to bring coaching to your organization and make it successful? When coaching is implemented successfully we see certain commonalities. Below is a list of the key traits commonly found in organizations that have been successful at bringing coaching in. This list can be used as a guide to help you understand the readiness of your organization. It is important to think of readiness not as an absolute but as a continuum. There is not an absolute point at which an organization becomes ready. Rather, each organization will fall somewhere on the readiness continuum. It is up to each organization to understand where it is on the continuum and determine the point at which it is ready to bring coaching in.
- Clearly defined business need. The business need is clearly identified and coaching is a tool that is aligned with addressing those needs. Coaching is a powerful tool that can address many business needs, but not everything. Have a good understanding of coaching and make sure that it is the right tool to address the business need at hand.
- Clearly defined goals and objectives. Successful coaching programs have clearly defined goals and objectives. Just as important, these goals and objectives have been clearly communicated throughout the organization.
- Coaching champions have been identified and are on-board. Champions are individuals with authority and influence who will act as coaching advocates and remove roadblocks. These are often members of senior leadership or HR/Learning and Development leaders or other appropriate individuals. Champions are critical to getting participant buy-in and helping to sustain the program benefits long after the training is completed.
- Flexibility in training format to fit with organizational needs. The training is offered in a variety of formats so that it can be delivered in a format that is best suited for the organization, for example, on-site, remote or a blend. Delivery of the training will be efficient, cost-effective and convenient to maximize participation without putting undue hardships on participants or significantly disrupting business operations.
- Aligned with needs and culture. Regardless of how the training is delivered, successful organizations adopt a program that is aligned with their needs and culture. The program will have a framework that makes it easy to learn and easy to apply so that it can be consistently delivered with reproducible results.
If you are still not sure where your organization is on the readiness continuum, take our readiness assessment. In this assessment, you will answer 25 questions using a 5-point scale. This assessment will give you another view on where your organization falls along the readiness continuum. Take the readiness assessment here. Once you’ve completed the readiness assessment, I am available to help you interpret the results. Just submit the online assessment form or send an email to [email protected]
If you’d like more tips on bringing coaching successfully in to your organization, we are here to support you. View our webinar: How to Bring Coaching Successfully to Your Organization or download our whitepaper: How to Evaluate the Results of a Coaching Skills Development Program
If you have questions or would like to discuss your organization’s readiness in more detail, get in touch by sending an email to [email protected].
Stay informed. Sign-up for our monthly newsletter here.
The professional coaching industry is growing rapidly, creating new opportunities as well as challenges for both new and experienced coaches. If you are just entering the coaching field or already established, more than ever you need to have smart strategies for success.
So, with a growing industry that presents many opportunities as well as a few challenges, what does it take to achieve success? Hint: It is more than just good coaching skills. Yes, it is important to get quality training, to develop good coaching skills and gain confidence. But success as a coach goes much further.
In an organization, success is not just about good coaching skills but also about doing the work yourself and being a coaching role model. As coaches, we need clear objectives and goals. We need a clear path on how we will achieve our goals and we need to understand what is holding us back. People are drawn to those who exhibit the attributes they are seeking so it is important that we get our house in order first.
As a solopreneur, success is not only about excellence in coaching skills but setting up and managing a business. This includes business development, marketing, operations and finance. It is important to have a plan on how you will manage your business in addition to coaching your clients.
Based on our decades of experience in the coaching field and the work we’ve done in training and supporting coaches around the globe, we’ve identified 5 key strategies for coaching success.
- Do the work yourself, first
Do the work yourself and get a coach. Going through the process yourself will give you unique insights as well as a powerful success story to tell your potential coachees.
- Leverage your strengths
Each of us has unique strengths. The smart strategy is to leverage your strengths first. If you aren’t sure what your strengths are, take an inventory, ask trusted associates and then put them down on paper. As you develop your list of strengths, consider all experiences; personal, professional, good, bad and neutral. For example, maybe you are naturally a good listener. Write that down. Also, look at your accomplishments, in all aspects of your life, and identify what you can leverage. These could be professional accomplishments but they could also be athletic, academic, hobbies or others.
- Invest in education
An investment in education and training will not only give you the skill and confidence you need but it will also help you market yourself. And, it is important to keep the learning going. Even after you have the basics down it is important to refresh, enhance and refine your skills.
- Capitalize on your current position
Whether you are working within an organization or already building your coaching business, find opportunities where you are today to start building your credibility. For example, you can start coaching trusted colleagues or business associates. Once you take that step you can then start to develop a track record of success as well as leverage those relationships for your word of mouth marketing.
- Determine what makes you unique and how you will tell that story
It is competitive out there. You need to craft your story about what makes you unique and why people should come to you for coaching. This story needs to be personal, compelling and concise.
Once you’ve crafted your story you then need to tell it to everyone, everywhere. For example, make sure your story is told in your bio, on your website, in your talks, and when networking. You may need to modify your story slightly to fit different audiences but the message should be consistent.
Bonus tip for Solopreneurs:
- Don’t try to do it all
As a business owner, your time is best spent on acquiring new clients and coaching. To free up your time for these important activities you need to have systems or people in place that will take care of the other tasks. This is one of the biggest challenges, and often downfalls, of coaches who go into business for themselves. They believe they must do it all and end up falling short. They find out that by trying to do it all they actually can’t get everything done and end up sacrificing quality.
There are highly experienced people available for hire to do just about anything you need help with including accounting, administration, marketing, information technology, legal and more. Hire the experts to do the work or at least have them set up systems that are efficient for you to manage.
Pursuing a coaching career is exciting but it takes hard work, smart strategies and time. If you’d like more help on strategies for success, we are here to support you. Register for our free webinar: Making it as a Coach: Strategies for Success and check out our Video – Making it as a Coach.
If you have questions or would like to discuss these strategies for success in more detail, get in touch by sending an email to [email protected].
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