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Coaching is on the rise

When I, in my last job, guided Benelux-activities for a large worldwide agency, I heard this mantra at every gathering, ‘coaching is on the rise’, while I didn’t notice any of it in reality. When I look back at this, I can give you two reasons why.

Firstly, the market for coaching is really fragmented. The concept of coaching is applied broadly, so it’s impossible to give an accurate description of the size of the market. Besides, the profession isn’t preserved like that of a lawyer or doctor. Anyone could call himself a coach, which has the consequence of an enormous growth. Slowly, initiatives are beginning to form to establish a quality label.

Secondly, in my opinion, there is a latent dissatisfaction among clients on the effects of coaching. This inhibits them in buying more coaching. Often it’s not clear to them what the coach does exactly, or what he/she doesn’t do. The clients feel that the outcome of the coaching isn’t measurable enough.

The moment that the coach can explain the return on investment. The moment he professionalises it, he has a great future in coaching. The need seems to be there. We can see that in the last few years, coaching in the US has been about work-related behaviour more often. The assignment is clearly fenced off and the coach and ‘coachee’ will work on two or three behaviour changes in a structured way. I predict a similar change in the concept of coaching in the Netherlands. And this is a good development in my opinion.


By Paul Donkers

"my purpose is to help improve strategy execution, to create high performing teams and coach for effective business leaders"

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