As a coach, it’s not news to you that the pandemic brought with it a unique set of challenges for the industry. From meeting new needs to finding new ways to connect, it’s been a year of anxiety, adjustment and adaptation.
As a follow-up to its 2020 ICF Global Coaching Study, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) committed to perform a snapshot survey to continue gauging the depth and range of the impact COVID-19 has on coaches around the world. The results of the initial COVID-19 and the Coaching Industry survey were released in June 2020. Last week, ICF released the results of the follow-up 2021 ICF Global Snapshot Survey, which includes an update on how coaches continued to fare beyond the initial analysis.
The 2021 snapshot survey yielded more than 10,000 responses from 140 countries and territories, enabling a side-by-side comparison with the previous study conducted at the beginning of the pandemic.
The new study assessed the prevalence of various effects experienced by the coaching industry, the impact of pandemic key indicators, changes coach practitioners have made to their businesses, perceptions about the future of the coaching industry and more.
Here are three key takeaways you should know about the state of the coaching industry at this point in the pandemic. Included are ways your own practice can continue to thrive despite a continuously changing landscape.
1. Coaches Adapted to New Technology Tools
The coaching industry, along with the rest of the world, quickly had to navigate new ways to connect. Coaches needed to hold sessions with clients while keeping themselves and others safe. As a result, many coaches quickly adopted new technologies into their engagement routines. Just as remote work prompted millions to utilize online platforms and digital communications tools to stay in touch during the global pandemic, coaches did the same to remain accessible too clients.
According to the survey, 83% of coaches increased their use of audio-video platforms for coaching, while 82% indicated a decrease for in-person sessions d Over the course of the pandemic, both coaching professionals and their clients adapted to the circumstances of the times, with more and more utilizing technology tools for coaching sessions.
It is always recommended to stay ahead of the latest technologies, especially in a highly communicative industry such as coaching. The pandemic offered a reminder of how technology can keep us connected, even when we are forced to be socially distant.
2. The Coaching Industry was Resilient
Even beyond its use of new technology tools, the coaching industry is demonstrating resilience. The latest data show coaching practices bouncing back, with a decrease in the percentage of coaches who experienced a negative impact on their business and an increase in the percentage of coaches who said the pandemic had a positive impact on their practices.
Indeed, coaching became more relevant than ever as people everywhere openly struggled with the mental and emotional stresses of the pandemic, including increased pressure on work/life balance and the need to find optimal approaches to managing change. Today more than ever, coaches have much to offer.
3. Coaches are Optimistic for the Industry’s Future
The latest study revealed that while the coaching industry still has challenges to address, coaches are feeling optimistic about the future. Top concerns included untrained individuals who call themselves coaches (23%) and concerns about a global recession (21%). Regardless, 70% of coaches are either somewhat or very confident that coaching will emerge stronger over the next six months.
As the world inches toward a new normal and more people gain access to a vaccine, there is noticeably more optimism compared to a year ago.
The coaching industry is projected to grow even stronger post-pandemic. Because of this, there is a great opportunity to showcase the power of coaching with clients by sharing relevant studies and testimonials about how coaching has helped so many people navigate challenging times.
Get the full results and report of the 2021 ICF Global Snapshot Survey by visiting the COVID-19 and the Coaching Industry page on ICF’s website.
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