How can coaching deliver value for all?

Throughout my life, I have always been aware and emphatic to the less fortunate. Maybe it has something to do with the fact I was one of them and life wasn’t a piece of cake. To really understand something, I believe, you have had to have some exposure to it and for it affect your life in some significant way, this I believe, can make you humble and see that we can all only be a few steps away from losing all that we hold dear. If we think about some of the free thinkers out there who wanted change, who stood firm in their beliefs and galvanised many to follow them, they all experienced some form of hardship or injustice, like, for example, Nelson Mandela. They wanted freedom for the many and not the few!

These beliefs I hold came into sharper focus last night. I attended an event where the majority of the attendees were between 20 and 30. The lead speaker asked each new member to stand and share with the group, what they were most euphoric about for the coming new decade and new year. Every single one of them talked about how they wanted to reach their goals or grow their business, and not one young person talked about the wider human family and what changes they would like to see there. This is fantastic for coaching as a profession, however, I am questioning how can coaching deliver value for all and not just the individual and privileged. 

Peter Hawkins in his new book ” Systemic Coaching Delivering Value beyond the individual” is also questioning coaching and how it can reach all of us. He gives an example of when he was working in South Africa for the regional government of Cape Town and one of the young frontline managers said ” It sounds like the people with the big offices, big cars, big pay-checks, now get the big coaches. I think this is very expensive personal development for the already highly privileged ” Hawkins said this was a “Damascus road experience” and asks we as coaches, are we “feeding western individualistic narcissism and self absorption, which may be in part of the root causes of many of 21st Century problems”. I think my experience last night, just confirmed what he is questioning, and me too, as a coach! 

Is Coaching also just a profession of the already privileged ? I question this, as it seems to be. If you want access to the best training in coaching, it seems the doors are closed to anyone who hasn’t got the means. For instance, Henley Business School, their Master Programme in Coaching costs a hefty £22,000 for their training! Albeit, there is a government funding for half of it, but what happens to those that don’t have the rest? Doesn’t Henley Business School and those of this ilk have a social economic responsibility to widen participation to such courses?

What are your thoughts? How can we make coaching more accessible to all? and how can all of us have the same opportunities to develop ourselves by having access to be best training and minds in the profession? 

4 thoughts on “How can coaching deliver value for all?

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  2. Along with every thing which appears to be building within this particular subject material, your points of view are actually quite stimulating. Even so, I appologize, because I do not subscribe to your whole plan, all be it radical none the less. It would seem to us that your comments are actually not completely justified and in reality you are your self not totally convinced of the point. In any case I did enjoy reading it.

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