Aug 27, 2009

Individuals turn to coaches in the downturn

Interesting article in the WSJ. Normally coaches are hired by organizations to develop their people's skills - however some forward thinking employees are taking their own initiative to develop themselves by hiring their own coaches.:

Eric Chaffin, a 38-year-old partner at law firm Bernstein Liebhard LLP in New York, has paid coach Dee Soder out of his own pocket on a retainer since 2003, and has no plans to stop. "In a down economy, it's particularly important to have someone on your side," he said. "Instead of 10 client opportunities this year, there might be five. You have to make each one count."

Executive coaches say they're being hired by more individuals like Mr. Chaffin, a trend that has helped offset tighter budgets at some corporate clients. Dr. Soder says the number of her clients who are individuals paying on their own has nearly doubled since November. Wendy Alfus-Rothman, founder of Wenroth Consulting Inc., a New York executive-coaching firm, said more individuals are scheduling monthly, rather than quarterly, sessions.

A 2007 study commissioned by the International Coach Federation pegged annual revenue world-wide for the industry, which includes life, career and executive coaches, at $1.5 billion, with about half the study's 5,415 respondents in the U.S. Of the respondents, 58% reported executive coaching as their specialty.

Coaches say many companies still use their services to retain top talent and support senior leaders while coping with smaller staffs and recession-starved budgets. Amber Romine, director in global human capital at consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC's Washington, D.C., office, said she fields a steady stream of requests from clients looking for referrals to executive coaches. Gene Morrissy, a management psychologist at RHR International, said demand in the executive-coaching practice of the Wood Dale, Ill., organizational-development firm is up 10% from a year ago.

So what do you think? You think you're ready for a coaching approach to develop yourself?
The article shares also how some small business owners are relying on coaches increasingly. A demographic that I feel will contribute more and more to coaching revenues.