Do Coaches need to step up to the challenge?
(taken from an article by John Whitmore)
We can’t avoid the challenge of change even if we want to. Global instability will be with us for a lifetime anyway, so what are our roles and our goals as coaches? In the immediate term there are fewer clients in the market for most of us, and yet the need for what coaches have to offer is everywhere. Never has there been more urgency for people, all people, to take more personal responsibility for their lives. Is that not a principal outcome of coaching? The failures of leadership in banking, in politics are all too apparent, and many of us are saying that this is the time of the people to take more personal responsibility, to lead the way, and a better way.
Large corporations are deeply invested in resisting change, being competitive, and in growing their business. Some employ coaches to help them do that, which provides coaches with a living, and that is easier if we stay on our clients’ old obsolete agenda. However all that is past; that is the old world, the world that does not work anymore, the old thinking that does not serve humanity well. The future is collaboration, sustainability and innovation. That is what our clients really need – and often are afraid of.
Radicals and change agents are not popular with the old guard, even though they know that change must come – but not just yet, they cry! The harsh reality is that we coaches may find ourselves in a paradox; we want to contribute to positive change in our chosen arena, but so doing may not always put bread on our table. If we divide our time between the two, we could be doing good with one activity and harm with the other.
I believe that this is the time for all of us to trust the emergent process; to do the right thing for the good of the whole and that itself is a great reward, even if we can’t eat it. Yes, times are going to be tough for most of us, but not half as tough as they are for many more people all over the world. We coaches need to become more savvy about the multiple global crises we all face, and ask better questions to awaken clients to help the world, not just themselves.
We are facing the most exciting choice in all of human history; to remain asleep or to wake up. Are we ready to question our most fundamental conditioned beliefs and assumptions, to find out who we really are and to believe in ourselves and our ability to make a difference? As I have said before, coaching is much bigger than coaching, it is a way of empowering those around us, a truly convivial way of being in the world.