Leadership coaching means something different depending on who you ask. This is largely because traditional leadership coaching is rooted in a wide range of approaches and styles. Not to mention, what some would consider “leadership coaching,” others might call “life coaching” or “executive coaching.”
The way we see it, most forms of coaching include flares of leadership coaching. At a)plan, our engagements revolve around goal setting and Multiple Action Plans. That is, our coaching process largely focuses on fostering the required behaviors to successfully achieve a transformation from Point A to Point B.
Do most of those transformations involve improving as a leader? Most do, but not all. To that end, we very much specialize in leadership coaching. But most importantly, we focus on a holistic coaching method. As work and life continue to blend together more than ever, coaching the individual is growing in importance.
This new approach to leadership coaching (coaching the whole person, not just one side of them), is a defining characteristic of what’s to come in the future of the coaching industry. But it doesn’t stop there. We are on the verge of a coaching revolution in the 2020s, and in this post we will explain why.
5 Ways Leadership Coaching Is Getting Exponentially Better
The overarching theme here is that traditional leadership coaching was overdue for an overhaul. While traditionally effective to some degree, the coaching industry was primed for the adoption of new (and better) methods, pricing, and technology. Below are five ways in which coaching of the 2020s will build on (and significantly improve) the coaching norms of the past.
1. Frequency of Engagement: Daily, Not Monthly
Traditionally speaking, leadership coaching has followed the same format for decades: Infrequent, in-person “deep dive” coaching sessions. The less frequent format fosters more of a high-stakes environment, wherein coach and coachee must make the most of the little time they have together.
Coaching frequency also depends on what you consider to be a true coaching session. Some might consider a Tony Robbins conference to be leadership coaching. Others might consider it to be monthly one-on-one sessions. Whatever your own definition, the takeaway is that in the past, leadership coaching has failed to establish a highly frequent, consistent presence in users’ lives.
The future of leadership coaching breaks away from these traditions. Today’s leadership coaching – a)plan coaching in particular – is designed to support whatever experience the user desires. That is, you get out of it what you put into it. For those who desire daily interactions with their coaches, a)plan has the infrastructure (and the willing coaches) to meet those needs. Having access to such a high frequency of coach interactions sounds simple, but only until recently has it been the reality.
2. Diversified Coaching Mediums: Text, Audio, and Video
Building off the above section, the new wave of leadership coaching can support a high frequency model largely thanks to a diversified coaching tool kit.
Through the a)plan coaching app, users have the freedom to interact with their coaches via text, audio, and video mediums. Whereas traditional coaching relied heavily on in-person sessions, this is no longer the case. In fact, virtual coaching has become one of the go-to tools for organizations hoping to achieve cultural transformations and improved employee morale.
By infusing technology into the coaching experience, coaching itself becomes as accessible as the device in your pocket. This powerful concept is helping leadership coaching not only grow in popularity – it also creates an overall richer experience for the end user.
3. Accessibility: Lower Overhead, Better Pricing, Wider Reach
The logistics involved in the traditional leadership coaching approach are partially to blame for the high price tag ($250 – $1,000+ per hour) to which many have become accustomed. Getting a coach (or a team of coaches) to your company’s office takes a lot of coordination, work, and resources.
By embracing a virtual coaching format, modern coaching platforms can lower overhead and pass the savings on to the client. Lowering the price of coaching will be yet another reason why we’ll see the industry continue to grow well into the 2020s. Leadership coaching is no longer an exclusive perk reserved just for the C-suite executives of an organization. Instead, it is becoming more accessible from both a cost and usability standpoint.
4. Scalability: Consistent Methods and Tools
Until recently, the leadership coaching industry has always had a problem with scalability. Sole proprietor coaches all have their own methods, tools, and processes, which limits the impact one coach can have on a wide range of people. Like many sole proprietor businesses, your reach is tied to your time. One can only reach a certain number of people in a day’s work.
The missing piece is a standardized coaching method. At a)plan, we built our entire company around a consistent coaching method, with the idea of scalability top of mind. All 30+ of our coaches use the same coaching approach, which means we have the capacity to coach an entire organization in a consistent manner, from top to bottom.
This consistent coaching method is so core to what we do because it also has a profound effect on the impact of the coaching itself. With shared language and tools across teams, organizations can achieve a coaching culture in which everyone participates and understands.
5. Supplementary Content: No Longer an Isolated Service
Leadership coaching as an isolated service is an idea of the past. The next generation of coaching empowers the coachee to continue making progress, even between sessions with their coach.
We touched on this in the above sections on frequency and mediums. With more frequent coach interactions leveraging various mediums, users enjoy a more comprehensive experience than ever before. But it goes a step further.
At a)plan, for example, all of our clients gain access to a vast and ever-growing library of articles, books, vlogs, podcasts, and content. This library has been curated by our coaches and covers topics ranging from human capital, to habit formation, to the wellness economy. For those users who want to take advantage of supplementary coaching content on their own time, there is no shortage available.
Final Thoughts on Leadership Coaching in the Coming Decade
For coaching advocates and fanatics, there is much to look forward in the 2020s. And for those who have yet to discover the power of coaching, odds are this is the decade that will change.
The major leaps we are seeing in the coaching industry happen to parallel major leaps being made by organizations investing heavily in their people. For leaders and managers who want to get the most out of their employees on both a personal and professional level, coaching will only continue to rise as a leading solution.