Coaching benefits extend beyond one-on-one relationships to teams and companies.
If you haven't already, it's time to embrace coaching. As RedThread Research's report The Immediate Future of Coaching: Making Coaching More Scaleable, Inclusive, and Affordable puts it, "Coaching is a big dang deal right now." In 2019, as outlined in the 2020 ICF Global Coaching Study, the industry reached new heights at $2.9 billion of the global total revenue—an increase of 21 percent since 2015.
While traditionally coaching has been about personal improvement through a one-on-one relationship between a coachee and a professional coach, that is changing. Coaching can benefit not only individuals but teams and entire organizations. Leaders whom RedThread spoke with said they are investing in coaching as a means for connecting and engaging staff, managing change, or personalizing employee development.
In its report, RedThread calls out nine different ways talent development functions can provide coaching. Those methods span three categories: individual effectiveness, group effectiveness, and organizational effectiveness. "The lines between coaching, mentoring, educating, championing, and any number of similar roles are blurring, which has led to several new flavors of coaching," the report says.
For employers focused on improving individual effectiveness, which the report found applies to the majority of leaders it surveyed, options are traditional professional coaching as well as self-coaching and drop-in coaching. Self-coaching is where companies provide staff with professional development resources they can use on their own, and drop-in coaching is centered on meeting needs in the moment through a one-on-one approach.
To improve how teams function, companies can equip managers with the necessary skills so they can step in as coaches. And managers may be eager to do that. According to the ICF study, the number of managers and leaders using coaching skills increased globally nearly 50 percent between 2015 and 2019.
Additional methods are embedding coaching in other learning methods, such as formal leadership development programs, or using a team coaching approach, where a single coach meets with a group of individuals to help them grow and improve on their skills. Coaching circles, peer coaching, and large-scale coaching are methods that target organizational effectiveness.
To get started, RedThread advises talent development professionals to understand the business need for coaching, the constraints they'll face, and what success will look like. The report surmises, "We're all looking for ways to connect with each other and we're all looking for direction. Coaching helps us do both."