I suppose anyone can say they are a coach. However, to be a “legitimate” coach, one should have graduated from a certified coaching program and be credentialed, or in the process of becoming credentialed, by the International Coach Federation. All the coaches I know also have other degrees and experience. That’s what makes them good in their area of coaching, whether it is leadership and career coaching such as I do, or retirement coaching, parenting coaching, wellness coaching, or any of the other many niches out there.
In honor of World Statistics Day – which is today in case you didn’t know, I‘d like to share some statistics about the profession and practice of coaching.
The International Coach Federation is the professional organization for coaches, with over 16,300 members in more than 100 countries. The ICF is the only organization that awards a global credential which is currently held by more than 6,700 coaches worldwide, including me.
In a recent consumer awareness survey commissioned by the ICF, 15,000 participants age 25 and up in 20 countries were surveyed by the International Survey Unit of Price Waterhouse Coopers. According to a press release from the ICF:
The Global Consumer Awareness Study determined common areas in which people are using professional coaching today. More than two-fifths (42.6 percent) of respondents who had experienced coaching chose “optimize individual and/or team performance” as their motivation for being coached. This reason ranked highest followed by “expand professional career opportunities” at 38.8 percent and “improve business management strategies” at 36.1 percent. Other more personal motivations like “increase self-esteem/self-confidence” and “manage work/life balance” rated fourth and fifth to round out the top five motivation areas.
In previous research the ICF found that coaching is also generating a very good return on investment—a median return of seven times the initial investment for businesses—while being used for some of the same motivations mentioned in the latest study.
Companies large and small are optimizing individual and team performance through coaching. Despite the recent global economic climate, ibm.com of North America reported a 563 percent return on investment from its coaching programs that engage sales teams and managers within the company. Solaglas, a leading UK-based glass replacement and installation company, reported higher customer satisfaction and a return on investment of 490 percent. Company executives believe these gains are small compared to the long-term impact coaching will have.
Coaching is not a mystery. It offers real results. Try it.