Does coaching still have a future?
Rémi Zunino
Rémi Zunino

Does coaching still have a future?

Coaching has gotten cheesy! This is what a HR director of a large group said at an ICF event. Was this a simple sting, or was it a way to say out loud what a large part of his colleagues think in a low voice? We decided to ask Valérie Rocoplan, CEO of Talentis and Executive Coach, for her opinion on the future of professional coaching:

Has coaching gotten cheesy?

Valerie Rocoplan: Coaching came to France in the early 1980s, led by coaches such as Vincent Leenhardt, Alain Cardon or François Delivré. They have worked hard to ensure that coaching is recognized as a professional practice. Today, it is time to take over! Indeed, since then, the professional coaching practices and training methods of some coaching schools have changed very little. However, in the meantime, the business world has changed. Leadership has changed, as has the relationship to work.

In my opinion, it is not possible to say to yourself: “The business world is changing and coaching is slow to transform.”

So I don't think coaching has gotten cheesy. On the other hand, it must adapt to the new ways in which organizations operate and especially to the new needs expressed by talents. Otherwise, it may be considered an outdated practice.

What aspects of coaching should change first?

Valérie Rocoplan : At Talentis, we are convinced that it is the coach's posture, skills and tools that are being shaken up. In particular, the ability to welcome leadership transformations and transformations in the relationship with work.

Of course, there are still some fundamentals such as the 11 skills of the ICF that every coach must master.

It's more the manner, the process according to which we will support the coachees who will evolve.

Gone are the 8 sessions of 1h30 systematic! While the latter remain very useful for some talents, more and more of them want changes in terms and conditions. Benefit from shorter, more operational, more pragmatic coaching sessions.

The objective: to work on more specific topics such as speaking or preparing for an important meeting.

In France, coaching has long served personal development through very long, very transformational support. Although this type of coaching is still useful, at the same time, there is a growing demand for highly operational, effective and time-limited coaching.

Is this new demand from talent giving rise to a new type of coaching?

Valérie Rocoplan : Yes absolutely. At Talentis, for example, we constantly adapt our support methods to the aspirations of the people coached and to the needs of their organizations.

Coaching “in situ” ” is a good example.

In the field of sport, a coach is present on D-Day to coach his team. In the context of professional coaching, it is important for a coach to be able to see his coachee evolve within his team and thus to support him directly in a situation.

We also strongly believe in the renewal of coaching practices through the arrival of new facilitation methods. Design Thinking and collective intelligence are examples.

These methods are extremely successful because they are fun, effective and transport the employee into environments that are user-friendly.

It is by enriching itself with this type of method that coaching can be refreshed.

The objective is to explore coaching methods that are less “serious”, more metaphorical.

Coaching is a practice that, in France, is often focused on profound and reflective transformation. However, at Talentis, we are convinced that in addition to being a way to radically transform the way one is and think, coaching can also be a more punctual mode of support, while remaining a tonic, pleasant and fun experience.

Both professionally and personally.

Last point, talents want more flexibility and agility in their coaching practice. That is why at Talentis we have developed Click & Coach, a personalized premium digital coaching platform.

In 3 clicks, it allows you to choose your coaching theme, your coach and the day and schedule of your session.

More and more companies are using online professional coaching.

In 2019, worldwide, the proportion of coachings carried out remotely exceeded that of those carried out face to face: 35% vs 32%

Are these new coaching methods more effective for talent development?

Valérie Rocoplan : The transformation of the company is linked to a sociological transformation of the “Y” culture in which we live.

Culture “Y” emphasizes the search for meaning, experience, fun and lifelong learning.

In 2018, coaches must build on these fundamental notions and constantly ask themselves: “Does what I offer allow the employee to have a real development experience? ”.

Sometimes, small progressive “learning capsules” are more effective than intense 3-day seminars; but depending on the objectives, the opposite can be just as true.

The challenge for the coach of tomorrow will therefore be to determine, thanks to his detailed knowledge of the organization and the talents that constitute it, to determine which support methods will be adapted.

If professional coaching methods change, coach training must follow the same path. What is the situation today?

Valérie Rocoplan : Too many coaches are still content to use the same tools they learned in training. They do not sufficiently question how they perceive business, management and leadership. They use the same standards that date back to the 80s or earlier.

For example, the Maslow model or the Theory of Motivation, which dates from the 1960s.

I am not saying that these theories are no longer valid but we must challenge them, see further.

Coaches should ask themselves: “Where can I also go to train? In neuroscience, in Design Thinking, in positive psychology? ” The coaches we recruit at Talentis all require continuous learning, both on the subjects of coaching, but also on what happens outside the company. In contact with psychologists and prospectivists, they seek to understand the world of tomorrow. They know perfectly well what will impact businesses in the future in order to respond in the most appropriate way to the needs of employees and organizations.

How should the position of the professional coach change?

Valérie Rocoplan : We have heard that a number of clients are complaining about coaches who are too low in posture, who are too slow and not dynamic enough. Instead they want “punchy”, enthusiastic coaches... The practice of coaching as it is learned in schools is still too “low position”. Namely, too neutral, advocating the absence of a smile, as disembodied as possible.

My belief is the opposite of that. I think that people need human warmth, conviviality... STOP the religion of the coach who does not give energy.

Coaches need to be further challenged on these posture issues. It is a profession that is more and more similar to the sports coach and less to the psychologist.

What would be your last recommendation for coaches who want to play a decisive role in the development of tomorrow's talent?

Valérie Rocoplan : I would tell them to ask for feedback from their customers and to act accordingly.

If you always do the same thing, you will always get the same result. Too many companies complain that they are constantly approached by independent coaches who are sometimes self-proclaimed.

Like all the talents they support, coaches need to be constantly trained and evolve.

At Talentis, we strongly want to support them in the evolution of their profession, to enable them to always be efficient and relevant in their role.

I will conclude by saying that coaching is not old-fashioned, but that if coaching “à la papa” is dead, then long live coaching 3.0!

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