No Holds Barred


May 14, 2021

Ever had questions about coaching that you have not been able to get answers to? Or questions you have been unsure to ask your clients? Well, we have got you covered.We had an amazing webinar in which Ram S. Ramanathan, MCC– Founder of Coacharya, answered a lot of questions that came to us via a survey.

Here are some of the answers to your questions-

Saurabh Gupta: Not sure if this is relevant for today’s theme, but I’d be interested to know, in your estimate, what is the $$ size of the coaching industry, and where do you see it going?

Ram: If one believes in the Internet statistics, ICF/PWC estimates of 2019 were close to $3 B in 2019, and perhaps close to 4 now. Some wild estimates say it’s 15 B. In contrast, the consulting and training industry figures are about 300 B, each. Better Up, arguably the largest institutional entity in the coaching space has an estimated revenue of less than 100 m, with a valuation of around 2 B. McKinsey’s revenue in 2019 according to Forbes was 10.5 B, while Korn Ferry had 2 B revenue in 2019. Some estimates of the psychological therapy and counseling business, which is fragmented as coaching is, is about 150 B.

Anonymous: How possible is it to make a full-time living from coaching? (I’ve noticed that even the most distinguished coaches oftentimes have multiple income streams e.g. author, coach training school, educator, etc)

Ram: Coaching is not yet an institutionalized profession as consulting & training industry are, still mom and pop. It’s a word-of-mouth profession still. I am sure it will get to organized industry status eventually. For the individual coach, it is still an issue of credibility and visibility, and some alignment with coaching agglomerators to ensure success. In my experience, coaching alone cannot sustain you in any level of comfort, unless integrated with training, consulting, facilitation, etc. The more coaches consider mentoring to be not coaching, and facilitation to not coaching, the less their growth. More and more, companies are looking for coaches who are also mentors, because of their experience, and facilitators of groups and teams to offer systemic solutions. No rigid frameworks and shibboleths will work.

The credo of a coach is to empower the client, using the client’s strengths and awareness. It’s not giving solutions. Consulting, training, and certainly counseling and mentoring can be delivered through a coaching approach, especially if a systemic approach to work with individuals and teams to maximize value to clients rather than themselves. Many coaches claim they coach CEOs. I rarely do. Most CEOs I know want to change others through coaching, not themselves. The few CEOs who are open to coaching look for a coach who has walked the leadership path. I see the future of coaching mostly in the institutional space as a mix of life and work coaching, using a systemic approach, integrating multiple interventions of coaching, training, facilitating, mentoring, counseling, and whatever else it takes to serve the client. Coaches need to be flexible, versatile, and client-focused.

To be honest, anyone can be a coach. The skills and competencies are easy to learn. What is needed far more is the mindset, and the practice to embed the mindset. Coaches need to self-coach themselves and clear their own baggage of limiting beliefs before they venture out to coach others. Our philosophy at Coacharya is to democratize coaching to destroy the elitist label and shift the coaching mindset to greater self-awareness.

Anonymous: I realized that language at times can be a barrier for the coach. I am in my coaching journey of completing 100 Hours and recently in my coaching I have realized that at times clients find it difficult to understand English. It’s not that the client doesn’t understand English. it’s just that they don’t talk in English regularly and hence they are finding it difficult to understand a question like “What would you like to walk away with from this session?” or “What would you like to end today’s session with?”

Ram – It’s obvious that you cannot coach to any depth in a language or cultural style without being familiar with it. You don’t need to be a native, and yet, need to be familiar with the nuances, idioms, slang. What needs to happen is neural, linguistic, and cultural alignment with the client. Or willing to learn by trial and error and being vulnerable. There is no easy way. If the client does not understand what you’re saying, it’s your problem, not the client’s. Then, simplify your inquiry. Use your hands, your body to add meaning. Smile, not frown, if the client finds it difficult to understand you. You are not the boss, the client is. If you don’t understand what the client is saying that too is your problem. Whining does not help. I have problems with accents and sometimes with cultural expressions. I need to be a very good listener to be able to pick these out, and not see the wood for the trees. At times, I need to request the client to speak more slowly or repeat, accepting my inability. A simple rule is that client is the customer, even if not paying.

In cases where coach and client experience communication issues, it may take longer. It takes a lot of patience and perseverance. If you’re a typical ‘top of the hour coach’ with an inelastic time frame, you will have a problem. If you do, coaching is a language that you’ve mastered, none other.

A lot of other questions were answered during the webinar.

Watch the full video on our Youtube Channel

Webinar on Coaching Questions You’re Too Afraid To Ask

Podcast on Coaching Questions You’re Too Afraid To Ask

The session is also available as a podcast. Look for Coacharya on your podcasting app, or listen below in your browser now.




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