This topic is so broad that a research could be based entirely on it. But for the benefit of time, here's a brief review of some the most influential trends that make the industry progress and will further impact its future. Some findings are inspired by Sai Blackbyrn's insights, Master Coach for Online Coaches.
1. Coaching as a necessity, not a luxury.
In the past few decades it was not easy for coaches to sell their skill-set and value to clientele as they had no similar service to compare themselves against. Coaching at that time was considered to be a 'luxury service' for elites starting with business environment, executives, plus successful sportsmen. However, the advantages of coaching are much better understood nowadays than years back. And coaching generally is getting more accessible for anyone than it's been ever before. The fact that the industry has to cope with the after-boom years and it's consequences is there, but it will only continue to grow, wide-spread and be even more accessible to common population.
2. From face-to-face to online coaching
As technology is widely revolutionizing coaching industry, location based coaching is loosing its significance and online personal coaching is becoming a norm. The reason is that face-to-face coaching fails to satisfy the growing need for flexibility (options of online meetings) and therefore reach a wider audience it needs to cope with the competitors. On top of that, younger generations such as Millennials for whom technology is an inseparable part of daily lives continue to drive a demand for coaching services online through webinars, coaching apps and online delivery via video conferencing. This also propels coaching automation, a need for outsourcing and delegating some of the tasks especially admin and tech related, plus automating through online platforms and software.
3. From one-to-one to group coaching
Whereas beginnings of coaching encouraged and favoured one-to-one delivery, coaching nowadays is slowly moving to a group coaching model. The reasons are many. From a coach perspective, working with groups enables to share the same message to a wider audience within the same time frame which streamlines the delivery from the time, energy and financial perspective. At the same time, group environment provides a wider support for individuals, enabling interactions with people who face similar challenges, encouraging growth through open-mindedness, seeing the value in others and understanding their perspectives and helps to boost accountability, motivation and confidence of everyone in a group as they see their fellow members progressing individually as well as collectively. It also is more affordable than one-to-one coaching.
4. Personal value and quality over quantity
It's important to distinguish quality from quantity for coaches as well as clients and comprehend what kind of service gives the highest value to people you're looking to support as a coach as well as what kind of niche coaching style best suits your needs as a receiver. The quality over quantity rule definitely applies online as offering a lot of generalist (often only prerecorded) content as coaching sessions will has much less impact on the individual's progress then offering a personalized service that relates to them directly. This could be achieved by providing live video sessions when you engage with your coach/ clients directly and can get an immediate feedback on any specific thing you're looking to resolve rather than seeking that information in a generalist program that targets a large audience.
5. Consolidation of the coaching industry - regulation, qualifications, specialization
As the industry is maturing after booming and reaching its peak, a regulation requiring more qualifications for the entry is only a question of time. The clients will also require to be coached by qualified professionals who can back their success by positive testimonials as well a paper certifications. This is already a norm within the corporate sector for business coaching, however, it will soon also apply to its personal side.
Consolidation also has to do with a specialization of coaches - building ''niche''. Whereas in the past a single person was coaching loads of different subjects, nowadays it's clear that one can't be an expert for everything. Without a proper specialization, it's challenging to keep the quality standards high and keep growing as a field expert. Therefore, not only to keep the quality high, but to attract a desired audience, mastering your ''niche'' is everything.
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