Corporate coaching comes in all shapes and sizes. If you are a coach in the corporate world, you are not restricted to coaching one way or another. But from experience, I can say that picking an area of specialisation, as your niche definitely has its advantages. What are those advantages? Well, that is something I’d probably explore in another article, but today I just wanted to expand on the broader corporate coaching niches to help newly certified coaches understand how the corporate coaching segment works.
Individual Vs Team Coaching
Individual coaching is when executives such as the CxOs, VPs, GMs are coached on a one-on-one basis. Team coaching is where either a cohort of individuals with shared characteristics are coached together (such as all the VPs of the organisation) or where a Sales Manager, for instance, is grouped together with their entire team and is coached by someone who specialises in that area. A coach can decide whether they wish to coach people individually or whether they find more success and fulfilment in coaching larger groups of people. This will also depend on how much of coaching experience the coach has had and whether they have a strong enough demand to pull off Team Coaching.
Industry/Area Specialised Coaching
I know of coaches who have extensively worked in the financial services industry, which means they are much attuned to the pulse of that industry and understand the nuances of working in the financial world. So, naturally, over a period they can better attune themselves to understanding the industry-specific pressures and nuances. Thus, depending on their past corporate experience – whether it is in sales, marketing, product development, HR, etc. – coaches can choose to specialise in a particular domain and coach individuals/groups in the same domain. Doing this will not only add more credibility to their coach certification, but help gain the trust of prospects and clients to know that they are in the right hands.
Public Vs Private Vs Multi-National Organisation Specific Coaching
Then there are individuals who would have a great understanding of working across geographical markets and they understand diversity. Typically, in global organisations where they have manufacturing and back-end operations running in several countries such as India, Philippines & Eastern Europe, a coach who has previously worked in those different milieus will add greater value because of their relevant experience.
Similarly, for a public sector organisation, which could be a very bureaucratic and constrained kind of environment, a coach with experience working in such organisations could create a niche for themselves. Whereas for a private organisation, a coach that is familiar with and has experience in a more quarterly, results-based environment could specialise accordingly so.
In another article, I had spoken about the democratisation of coaching, wherein how coaching has moved from the topmost executive C-Suite into several levels lower into the organisation. So, some coaches could be very comfortable working with newly promoted managers in the organisation, for instance. So, if you as a coach understand how a newly promoted manager can take on responsibilities, that could be a niche. Then there are coaches who specialise in working only with the CEOs of the organisation – that could be another niche, and so on.
Not to be confused with my earlier point about having the competency to handle a diverse, global clientele, here the knowledge of the local market is essential. I know of coaches who, for instance, clearly understand the cultural nuances of the Middle East – the set of challenges a coachee would face in the Middle East could be very different compared to what they would face in an American context. So, region-specific cultural nuances and issues requires a coach to be well-attuned to them, which can become a niche in itself.
. . .
Having said that, this is not an exhaustive list by any means – there are many areas one can specialise in. My intent with this article was to provide a general (and wide) guideline in which direction a corporate coach could go. Another thing to note is that none of these niches are mutually exclusive to each other. So, a coach who specifically works with private-sector companies could also specialise in team coaching, thus creating a hybrid niche of sorts.
At the end of the day, any and every coach (no matter in which niche) provides the basics to their coachees – holding a mirror, acting as a sounding board to encourage reflective thinking, and helping them figure out their goals and limitations. But it’s a very wide world with thousands of coaches and millions of (potential) coachees, and as a coach one cannot address all the markets and needs of every kind of client. So, a newly certified coach would benefit from working in any area that they are most comfortable with and have some amount of experience in. They could start from there and as they work with a few clients in any of these niches, they will slowly build up a reputation and experience to help them along the way – which would then eventually translate to adding greater value to clients and their professional lives.
Read more :