Executive Coaching 2022: Future Trends

Executive Coaching 2022: Future Trends

What will be the most likely trends in the executive coaching industry in 2020–2022?  Will accreditation be mandatory?  Will coaching fees decrease?  Will robots replace coaches?

The industry-wide research study Executive Coaching for Results surveyed nearly 1,000 organization coaching practice managers, internal coaches and external coaches on a variety of topics.  Participants were asked, “How likely are the following trends in the executive coaching industry in the next three to five years?”

All respondents agreed that Leadership development programs with additional coaching will be the most likely ensuing trend over the next few of years. This matches my own experience. I see more organizations designing coaching into existing leadership development programs.

On average, Leader-as-coach training (training leaders in organizations on coaching skills) was the second most likely trend. Third was Team coaching—coaching all members of the entire team and/or developing that team as a team.

Artificial intelligence will eventually replace human coaches was seen as the least likely future trend (38 percent), with a predicted commoditization of coaching fees rated as slightly more likely (55-57 percent of respondents).

There are some major differences between the three respondent groups.  As a few examples:

  • Coaching for millennial leaders was seen as much more likely among external coaches (85 percent) and internal coaches (82 percent) than among organization practice managers (71 percent)
  • Internal coaching was favored more by internal coaches (No. 3, 84 percent) than by organization practice managers (No. 8, 72 percent)
  • Ranked No. 4 by organization practice managers, Organizations centralize/streamline executive coaching under fewer vendors, contrasts with seventh place rankings from internal and external coaches

Executive Coaching for Results is in its third iteration and was also administered in 2005 and 2013. Internal coaching made a notable increase for organization practice managers from 59 percent in 2013 to 72 percent in the most recent study. External executive coaching increasing gained slightly among organization practice managers from 77 percent in 2013 to 80 percent. Coaching fees will decrease (become a commodity) is viewed as less likely now than in 2013 (57 percent and 27 percent, respectively). Other trends can’t be compared due to changes in study questions.

Perhaps most encouraging trend for the industry that has emerged from this study is that the use of coaching, in all its various forms (e.g., group coaching, team coaching, internal coaching, etc.), is generally predicted to increase over the next five years.