Coaching in 2020 – Where Are We Going? Where Have We Been?

By Lisa Shepert, ICF ECC Secretary, PCC, CPCC

ICF 2020 Advance is a three-week virtual conference. The theme this year explores how the world is changing coaching, how coaching is changing for the client, and how coaching is changing the world. Host Ann Betz, CPCC, PCC, kicked off the conference by providing a "bell curve" adoption and evolution of the coaching profession starting from the Late Majority and worked her way toward the Innovators.

While ICF has been in existence for 25 years, the coaching profession is closer to 35-40 years old.  As evidenced by the Late Majority, 84% of the population will say they have heard of coaching.  They may not know exactly what it is, but they do know it is not sports coaching.  I think that is progress if you think about how long you have been trying to explain coaching!

As we move into the Early Majority and Adopter’s space, corporate coaching strategies are aligning with development vs performance/punitive, more managers are using coaching skills and neuroscience proves legitimacy in organizational space.  There is a focus on trauma and toxicity present in relationships and organizations, the overlap that can be addressed in either coaching and therapy and out-of-box strategies like equine-assisted coaching and technology (AI, bots).

Finally, in the Innovators space is coaching infusing other professions. Imagine lawyers, doctors, teachers using coaching skills. 

I think Ann said it best when she told a story about being asked a question 10 years ago about what she saw as the future of coaching. Her response: A world without coaches…

Imagine a world where everyone listens with curiosity and without judgment, champions others and believes in the potential of his or her fellow beings.

That is a world I want to live in. I’ll see you there. 

Lisa Shepert, PCC, CPCC
ICF ECC Secretary