The Bright Future of Coaching: Embracing the Influence of Technology
At Medoo, we believe that coaching is becoming an integral part of our world and that its value will be accelerated by technology. But what role will coaching play in the future of our society, exactly? And what will coaching software of the future look like?
During the International Coaching Federation's celebration of coaching, International Coaching Week, we were invited to a fireside chat with Meenakshi Iyer. Meenakshi is an ICF accredited coach, and founder of NorthStar Solutions. The chat was titled, "The Role and Impact of Technology on Amplifying the Power of Coaching", and we talked about our thoughts on the future of the coaching industry, coaching software, and how technology in coaching may influence the coaching practice itself.
In this post we share our main highlights from the chat. You can also watch the video of the full conversation below, where we go into more detail about why we're building Medoo as well.
The largest trends and shifts in coaching today
There are two major trends that we see in the coaching business which make us believe that coaching is an important part of our future.
Developing the Inner-Self is becoming a Global Priority
At a very high level, we're seeing more people recognize the fact that the solutions to some of the world's biggest problems lie inside of us.
In 2015 The United Nations formulated the Sustainable Development Goals, outlining targets to achieve a sustainable world by 2030. Examples of these are tackling global poverty, gender equality, and climate change. Currently the world is not on track to hit those targets.
It's not that we as humans don't know the answers or solutions to those problems. We actually know what we need to do. We either have various reasons we don't do those things, or we simply don't do those things fast enough.
The Inner Development Goals organisation was born around 2021 as a complementary movement to this. It recognises that we lack the inner capacity to deal with our increasingly complex environment and challenges. So, the organisation collects and communicates science-based skills to help us reach the sustainable development goals.
The movement we're observing, is an understanding that we need to create change internally in each and every one of us, in billions of us, to be able to tackle those problems at scale. This change is necessary at every level of humanity. It has to start with everyone as individuals before it can then expand to our communities: companies, organizations, and governments.
Coaching is spreading in businesses and organizations
In daily life, we're seeing coaching become more prevalent in the work place.
To date, coaching is still a little bit of a secret within organizations. Senior executives and business leaders have already received coaching for a longer period of time amplifying their performance and impact. So, coaching has existed within organizations for a very long period of time already, but hasn't been an area of focus.
But it's now starting to trickle down to the broader organization and is not restricted to just senior leadership levels anymore. If a company is deploying coaches themselves, we're seeing that management processes are changing to include coaching principles, amplifying the performance of mid- and junior levels. Growing and coaching employees is becoming a necessity for businesses to succeed.
What will coaching look like in 10 years?
Coaching is becoming table stakes for competitive business
To expand on the trends of coaching in business and in the workplace, we believe will become more and more embedded up to the point that it is standard practice.
It could come in many forms; either as internal coaching to support the organization, or with leaders taking on the coaching role and understanding how to apply coaching principles in their leadership.
The new workforce will expect coaching to help them grow
On top of that, in the new generation of people entering the workforce people's expectations of what 'work' is and what is your relationship with work is, is changing quite significantly.
People are no longer tying their identity to their work or profession. It's is no longer about having that specific job title. Work-life balance, engagement with your work, and personal growth are becoming far more important.
We will see niche coaches with very individual expertise
Within that context, we think there will be an explosion of individual coaches and coaching practices that are very focused on a single niche. Niching down is great way to create a market for yourself and attract more clients.
We're already starting to see this in our customer base for Medoo. We think that this trend will accelerate into the future, where we'll see niche coaches with specific domain expertise for anything you can think of.
The Future of Technology and Coaching
We see the evolution of coaching and technology as being interconnected. The accelerating rate at which workplace technology is evolving requires people to up-skill and grow faster than ever before. This is a powerful driver for people to seek coaching. In the same vein, that same technological evolution will help augment, improve, and accelerate the practice of coaching itself as well.
Embedding technology into the coaching process
Most software that we use day to day is quite intrusive in our lives. Think about all the push notifications you get and the how social media tries to steal your attention all the time. At Medoo we really want to create something unobtrusive, that allows the software to fit into your routine as seamlessly as possible. There's a huge potential for technology to embed itself in the coaching process with out diminishing the human connection between the coach and coachee.
We hear over and over from coaches that what excites their clients, is the human one-to-one connection that they have with another person. We would love for coaching to become embedded in the many facets of our life where we have those rich connections, like team meetings, performance feedback, or a coaching sessions. Investing in hardware and software that will make for a seamless experience will be key to make that a reality.
Using Technology to Make Coaching more Effective
Taking a step back, we're also really excited about tech that can teach us about our behaviour, our brains, and how to improve coaching.
There have been recent advancements in psychometrics, which is the study of measuring our thought processes like emotions, intuition and focus. On top of that there's the quantified self movement and brain-computer interfaces being developed. Both of these efforts lead to a more intricate knowledge of our physiology. If we can have a better understanding of how our brain and body impact our thought processes, we will be able to grow our self-awareness, learn how to influence our behaviours better, and create lasting change more easily.
This knowledge will definitely be adopted into coaching. We think it won't only improve the impact of coaching, but also help in making the value of coaching more concrete. Armed with more scientific data, it will become easier to unearth the return on investment for coaching efforts. We think this will make it easier for coaches to promote their business.
Thank you Meenakshi Iyer for hosting us on your podcast series and giving us the opportunity to share our thoughts on the future of coaching and technology! We really believe there is great opportunity in the coaching world. Businesses and organisations are adopting coaching more, coaching technology is becoming more embedded, and technology is helping us improve our understanding of the functioning of the human brain. All of this helps amplify the power of coaching and gives us more opportunity to reach our full potential.
If you liked this post, you can subscribe to our blog for more stories on coaching. You can also follow us on LinkedIn to be the first to know about the coaching community events that we organise. If you are interested in software that can help coaches an coachees manage the coaching journey together and get to deeper insights faster, then check out what we are building at medoo.life.