Coaching as profession in India
We are still not very sure if changes brought about through coaching process are permanent and irreversible, or at least sustainable over a long period of time. We have also not yet conquered the ever looming question about the effectiveness of coaching. Visible behavioral changes and changes in style seem to be inadequate measures for those who are looking for quantitative measures of effectiveness.
While the world of executive coaching is currently dominated by executives and professionals from the world of business we are not sure if practitioners from other professions like counselling and therapy can and will enter this space and make an impact.
We are yet to find a comprehensive approach to leverage the power of mentoring to work side by side with coaching, or to make coaching an organisational competence. These are likely to become important in the coming years.
A large number of people in western countries seek help from formal sources such as therapists and counselors and this is regarded as socially acceptable. Executive coaching was therefore born in the context of a society where seeking help from formal sources was acceptable. To that extent when executive coaching grew in these cultures it borrowed from existing therapy models. We are therefore inclined to call this a “therapy minus” model.
In India, seeking help from formal sources is nowhere near acceptable and there is a huge stigma attached to it. People in India would prefer to seek help from family members, elders, friends, old bosses and others whom they trust and value – most of them informal sources. In this context executive coaching has to build on some of the good elements of this informal approach. We therefore call this the “mentor plus” model where we leverage the informality and wisdom of the mentor – protégé relationship and add to it the assurance of a formal coaching relationship. (For further details, please refer to Ganesh Chella’s book “Creating Helping Organisation – 5 Engaging Ways to Promote Employee Performance, Growth & Well-Being)