What is the Coaching Conundrum?

Nov 7, 2023

Coaching, specifically life coaching, has garnered criticism in recent times, and for good reason. Prominent figures, often considered life coach heroes, haven’t set the best example for leading one’s life. Furthermore, there’s an alarming number of exposés revealing scam artists posing as life coaches. It’s essential to acknowledge these valid concerns.

Executive coaching, too, hasn’t escaped criticism. Many executive coaches need more real business experience or expertise. However, it’s important to understand that coaching isn’t about providing solutions but rather creating awareness. While consulting, training, and mentoring require business expertise, coaching, when executed by a skilled practitioner, doesn’t necessarily demand it. Many life and executive coaches, both themselves and their clients, find fulfilment in their practice. But why is coaching still such a puzzle?

Let’s move beyond pointing fingers at unprofessional, untrained, and transactional coaches. Instead, we should concentrate on trained professionals who sometimes face failure. It’s possible that certain clients are uncoachable because they lack motivation and clear goals. But what about ‘clientable’ coaches who can help clients identify their unconscious desires and guide them toward achieving them? What’s the missing link here?


The First Step: Energy Awareness Exploration

Addressing the first question, making clients ‘coachable’ by helping them discover their unconscious needs and desires is a relatively straightforward process. At Coacharya, we teach a method that involves energy awareness visualization through sensory exploration. This approach bypasses cognitive and emotional interpretations, allowing coaches to partner with clients in the present moment to uncover and address their current issues. We have hundreds of clients who practice this successfully.


The Second Step: Systemic Team Approach

Now, let’s tackle the more complex issue of leveraging coach-transformed leaders to transform an entire organization. From my experience coaching executive leaders, over 50% of them left their organizations after coaching because they couldn’t align with their teams and the organization post-transformation. This is a common issue confirmed by many business coaches.

In simple terms, transformed leaders alone can’t transform an organization. To achieve this, their teams must transform alongside them. It’s a fundamental Organization Development principle that is often overlooked by ego-centric leaders and HR processes that merely check boxes. Business intelligence supports the notion that high-performing teams drive organizational growth, not individual leaders. Leaders should identify, build, influence, and inspire teams to excel.

Effective systemic team coaching can fulfill these criteria and help build high-performing teams that contribute to the organization’s success. The good news is that it’s a one-time investment with significantly lower costs compared to individual coaching. However, it’s essential to understand that systemic team coaching is more of an art and mindset than a framework or skill set-based practice. A team coach must master individual coaching skills and go further to understand team dynamics. They may also need domain knowledge in addition to behavioral understanding.

From a return-on-investment (ROI) perspective, systemic team coaching may not be the best choice for coaches, but it undoubtedly benefits clients and organizations. It provides visible performance returns and intangible people development on a much larger scale. While AI may eventually replace one-on-one coaching, systemic team coaching is likely to remain relevant. Coaches and learning and development leaders who employ one-on-one coaching should consider this shift in coaching dynamics.

The world of coaching, both in life and the executive realm, is transforming. As we move forward, integrating energy awareness and systemic team coaching may be the key to unlocking the full potential of individuals and organizations. It’s time to rethink our approach to coaching and embrace the changes that can lead to lasting growth and development.

Here is a downloadable self-assessment for you to use in your coaching journey. Do comment and share it with others if you find it useful.

Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

Ram Ramanathan, MCC
Ram Ramanathan, MCC


Ram is the Founder and a Principal at Coacharya. As the resident Master and mentor coach, Ram oversees and conducts all aspects of coaching and training services offered under the Coacharya banner.

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