Make Your Voice Count: Global Coaching Survey 2019
Thirteen years ago, I secured myself a job as a business assistant to the managing director of a multinational agribusiness firm based in Nairobi, Kenya, soon after leaving the aviation industry, where I worked as a customer service officer. My reasons for getting another job were more financial than profession drive. As soon as I landed my new job, I was already “bored” of routine, and I remember becoming very frustrated. My undergraduate degree and past qualifications had no relationship at all with the job I was doing, let alone working in an industry which I had no clue about. I was confused and started wondering what career path I should choose.
My fortunes changed when I got a new boss who apparently had more questions to my questions than he had answers. The first thing he did when he landed was to get to know his team members and the roles they played in the organization. I remember sitting with him when he asked about my current job—I quickly jumped on the opportunity and said I was bored and needed a bigger challenge. ”What would you like to do instead?”
They say when opportunity comes, there is no time to prepare; I was ready with my answers. I said I wanted to pursue a career in Human Resources. Having noticed that the organization did not have an HR function, I also added that I had enrolled for my MBA in HR to equip myself with the right skills. What followed was more questions and no answers. What struck me was how engaged our conversations were. I felt challenged by his thought-provoking questions; my boss made me accountable for the actions I was going to take regarding my new career choice. He was a great listener and constantly checked in for feedback sessions.
What happened to me was transformational. I became more confident, improved my communication skills and was able to engage with members of senior leadership even if I was not at their level. I had found my path, and I was given a free space to create my future career with the support of a boss who is still my hero to date. My boss was one of the many leaders who use coaching skills as part of their leadership style; it was so natural that you did not know he was coaching. I only discovered he was using coaching skills when he sent me for a three-day coaching workshop in 2008 as part of the organization’s leadership development program.
The 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study estimated that about 10,860 managers/leader use coaching skills at the workplace worldwide. Coaching has continued to grow significantly over the years, more so given the ever-rising workplace demands to remain competitive amidst volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) business environments. According the 2017 ICF/HCI Building a Coaching Culture with Managers and Leaders research, organizations with strong coaching cultures indicate recent revenues above that of their industry peer group (46% compared to 39% of other responding organizations) and report higher employee engagement (61% and 53%, respectively). Among the areas where respondents reported improvement are their work performance, communication skills, productivity, well-being and business management strategies.
Without numbers, we make up stories. This is why ICF has continued to invest heavily in research over the years: To provide an up-to-date picture of the coaching profession and empower coaches to embrace the opportunities and meet the challenges ahead. ICF has commissioned the 2019 Global Coaching Survey to be conducted by PwC Research. This is the fourth iteration of the Global Survey, and it is open to:
- External coach practitioners
- Internal coach practitioners
- Coaches who self-identify as both external and internal coach practitioners
- HR/talent development managers/leaders who use coaching skills
- Managers/leaders who use coaching skills
This will be the second time that managers/leaders using coaching skills are included in the study. In 2015, their inclusion enabled us to achieve powerful insights into the growth of coaching cultures within businesses and organizations.
This survey explores diverse topics, including industry size and revenue, the business and practice of coaching, perspectives on industry trends, including regulation, technology and more.
Another great benefit of completing and sharing the survey is that any country that achieves at least 100 valid responses will receive a special, locally specific breakout of the data, giving you even better information to use in your market. Approximately 40 locations have achieved this so far, and I would like to announce that my country, Kenya, has just made the mark! Congratulations!
The 2015 survey had 15,380 valid responses from 137 countries, and we are expecting significantly higher participation levels in the 2019 survey, which is open until December 2019. So far, we have received more than 11,000 responses since the survey opened at the end of May this year.
We are calling out to all coaches, HR professionals and managers/leaders who use coaching skills to complete this survey via this link www.CoachingSurvey2019.com and share with your colleagues. Remember this is not just an ICF Member survey, the participation of non-members is crucial to its success. We look forward to publishing the findings (as the 2020 Global Coaching Study) some time in 2020.