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Executive Coaching

The Grand Challenge for Research on the Future of Coaching


What Are the Desired Outcomes of Coaching?

What Processes and Mechanisms of Coaching Are Most Effective and When?

What Are the Competencies of Coaches That Help Clients Change?

Under What Conditions Does Coaching Work With Distinct Groups of Clients?

Concluding Hopes for Future Research

Declaration of Conflicting Interests

The popularity of coaching as a development activity in organizations has outpaced the research. To inspire research and strengthen our intellectual foundation, the Thought Leadership Institute of the International Coaching Federation invited 35 of the most recognized coaching scholars and 12 coaching leaders to three two-hour discussions. Each session began with three presenters briefly sharing observations about what we know and need to find out. The three sessions focused on: (1) the desired outcomes of coaching; (2) the process and mechanism of coaching; and (3) coaching for people from distinctive cultures, genders, and context. A fourth theme emerged as the major gap in the research about the competencies of effective coaches. This paper summarizes the discussions. Twenty-two specific research needs for the coming years are identified and presented, clustered within the four themes. This should provide guidance for graduate students, faculty and consultants considering research on coaching.

If coaching is to continue to help create and support a better society worldwide, it is crucial to study, develop and improve the practice of coaching. The integrity of any field of practice rests on its intellectual foundations and research, which distinguishes and sustains what works from what is unsubstantiated and fads.

To explore the Future of Coaching (FOC) and how research can help shape the future, the ICF Thought Leadership Institute (TLI) invited 36 recognized, published scholars and researchers of coaching to a series of three 2-h Zoom sessions to discuss current, research-based knowledge about coaching and explore what is essential to learn in the future. The desire was to achieve consensus on what we know about coaching based on rigorous research and to provoke and guide future research. The design for this first convening intended to draw out critical and comparative thoughts about research and scholarship on coaching.

Coaching trends and the future of coaching (New data for 2023)

The coaching industry has transformed significantly in the past several years (especially with the aftermath of the pandemic), so we surveyed 100 coaches and 100 coaching clients to figure out what’s working, what clients want from their coaches, and how coaches are approaching 2023.

The 100 coaches surveyed are a mixture of life coaches, executive coaches, and business coaches from around the globe. Similarly, the 100 coaching clients we surveyed had spent at least $2,000 on health, business, life, or executive coaching in the past 12 months.

Here are some key trends uncovered by our survey, along with actionable takeaways to help you deliver a better coaching experience.

Table of Contents

  1. Group coaching will continue to rise.
  2. Clients want more hands-on accountability.
  3. Program completion rates continue to be a struggle.
  4. Investing in better software to deliver a more seamless user experience will be a key trend in the coming years.
  5. Administrative work is still a major time suck for most coaches.
  6. Referral programs and brand/influencer partnerships are the most popular marketing channels for client

A Guide to Common CEO Challenges That You Might Face in 2023

CEO Looking Out the Window Thinking About Business Challenges in 2023

From the unique obstacles facing new CEOs to avoiding pain points as an experienced leader – below are the steps you should take now to prepare yourself for success. Enlist the aid of a coach and get ready to face the biggest CEO challenges with confidence in 2023.

Table of Contents:

What are some of the biggest challenges as a CEO?

Resistance to Change

Lack of Commitment

Inadequate Communication

Limited Resources

Lack of Follow-Through

3 of the Biggest Obstacles New CEOs Face

How to Avoid these Pain Points as the CEO

How a CEO Coach Can Help

What are CEOs worried about in 2023?


Talent Acquisition & Retention

Automation & Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Data Governance & Privacy Protection

Final Thoughts on The Biggest Challenges Facing CEOs in 2023

Coaching The Private Equity-Backed Company CEO

As stated in my last Forbes Coaches Council article, the most successful executive coaching engagements go beyond sessions with CEOs; they incorporate a variety of other stakeholders, seeking to instill in organizations a “coaching mindset.” Still, the fact remains that chief executives play pivotal roles in driving value creation in a business. This means that coaches working with them must deeply understand their unique challenges, which are often more pronounced and complex in private equity (PE) portfolio companies.

This article is the second in a series about the financial and people-centric pressures, needs and opportunities facing PE investors and their investments, helping executive coaches understand how to best work with chief executives of PE-backed companies. Collaborating with PE operating partners on building the most productive working relationships with their top management leaders is critical, helping everyone embrace the ethos of working from the same side of the conference room table.

While serving as a CEO is, by nature, immensely challenging, those who take on these positions at PE-backed companies face unique challenges. Namely, businesses that have accepted investments from private equity firms have tight and strict timelines to hit aggressive financial milestones—targets that tend to creep up on executives faster than they anticipate, causing significant stress. As one PE partner likes to say, “In private equity, a lost week is really like losing a month.” When weeks are months, timeframes are supremely unforgiving.

What’s more, as is the case in most organizations, PE-backed company CEOs often experience acute loneliness at the top of the organizational structure. Yet they also remain “underneath” the watchful eyes of the board. Nobody else in the system can truly understand this tension, the scope of their responsibility or the isolation that comes with the job. Coaches can add value here. Helping CEOs best navigate such challenges requires trusted coaches who immerse themselves in the organization’s specific context, from the investment thesis and the value creation plan to all the obstacles that inhibit strategy execution and culture-building.

That said, PE-focused coaches repeatedly come across many of the same CEO archetypes. Their ability to recognize patterns among such executives enhances their ability to harness CEOs’ leadership potential to accelerate value fully. PE operating partners who recognize and understand these archetypes are also at a competitive advantage, better able to maximize their talent and win.

Listed below are the most common portfolio company CEO archetypes, including some details about how to best support each through ongoing coaching:

PwC’s 26th Annual Global CEO Survey

Winning today’s race while running tomorrow’s Evolve or die, say 4,410 chief executives in our 2023 CEO Survey.

But are they spending enough time on business reinvention? Many tell us no. 26th Annual Global CEO Survey 2 Forty percent of global CEOs think their organisation will no longer be economically viable in ten years’ time, if it continues on its current course. That stark data point underscores a dual imperative facing 4,410 CEOs from 105 countries and territories who responded to PwC’s 26th Annual CEO Survey.

Most of those CEOs feel it’s critically important for them to reinvent their businesses for the future. They also face daunting near-term challenges, starting with the global economy, which nearly 75% believe will see declining growth during the year ahead. We’ve organised this year’s survey summary into nine tough questions—which naturally fall into three groups—about what it takes to operate in our dual-imperative world:

The race for the future The first three questions reflect the race that CEOs must run to stay ahead of longer-term threats to their companies, to society and to the planet itself.

  1. What’s the half-life of your business? 2. When will your company’s climate clock run out? 3. Should you bring your key business risks forward?

Today’s tensions

  1. The next three questions speak to day-to-day tensions that leaders are facing as macroeconomic conditions deteriorate, uncertainty rises and inflation hits levels not seen in decades. 4. How much is your mood today affecting your view of tomorrow? 5. How do your resilience and your workforce strategies fit together? 6. As geopolitical risks rise, what new contingencies are you preparing for?
  2. A balanced agenda The final three questions epitomise the balancing act that CEOs must perform to deliver on their dual imperative. 7. How much time and money are you investing in the future? 8. How central are you to your company’s reinvention? 9. What kind of ecosystem are you building?

26th Annual Global CEO Survey 3 The data we’ll present shows that CEOs are already wrestling with these questions, though sometimes without fully recognising it. By making the questions explicit, we hope to help leaders zero in on their biggest possibilities and vulnerabilities. Along the way, we also suggest CEO priorities for action, based on PwC’s research and experience helping global leaders with all of these issues. The dual imperative facing today’s CEO is a challenge of the first order, but it’s also an opportunity to lead with purpose and help business play the role needed so desperately by society—a catalyst of innovation and a community of solvers that plays for the long haul.

Coaching Uncoachable People

Okay, so let’s get this out of the way up front. I know “Uncoachable” is not actually a word. I know this because the people at Apple say so. The spell check on my iPad says so and “uncoachable” is underlined in red throughout pages as I write this post. But I’ve told the iPad to “learn” that word and the red lines are gone. So we are now good to go. Just so you know.

I have had the pleasure of coaching a whole lot of people through the years. At all levels of organizations. It’s very gratifying when someone tells me I’ve made a difference for them, in many ways that’s more valuable to me than a paycheck.

But every now and then I come across someone who seems uncoachable. It’s not that they necessarily resist coaching. It’s more like they are immune to it. They don’t appear to hear it, they never respond to it. They most certainly don’t make any changes as a result of it. They are pleasant in their interactions and offer no resistance to the coaching. They offer no reaction at all. Almost as if the coaching never happened. It is very weird.

While coaching individuals who are deemed “uncoachable” is indeed challenging, it’s not an impossible task. Here are some strategies that I’ve used through the years that might help you effectively coach people who seem uncoachable

2023: ChatGPT Enters the Coaching Industry (And Many Others)

On my 50th birthday (November 30th, 2022), Open AI launched ChatGPT. If you’re just hearing about it now, don’t worry — you’ll be hearing a lot more about it in the months to come.

And yes, having spent the last 29 years in digital marketing, I’m familiar with the many hype engines out there and hesitated to contribute by writing this article. But then, I sat down and played with both their artificial intelligence (AI) chat and their AI art engine called Dall-E 2. Rather than tell you about what I did, I thought you might be interested if I showed you.

The LinkedIn header that caught your eye was created in less than 5 minutes using the phrase, “Oil painting by Salvador Dali of a Robot Making Money on a Laptop.” Yes, I had to make a few different natural language descriptions to get what I wanted, but each query took a few minutes to come back to me. In essence, the tool was teaching me what to include, specify and leave out for the result I wanted to see.

Then I went to ChatGPT and typed in, “Please write me a 1000-word essay on the topic, “How does a negative mindset prevent a coaching business from succeeding?” with a clear introduction, middle and conclusion, references, and elements of humor. In the style of Bill Carmody, Chief Coaching Officer of Positive Intelligence.” Here’s what came back in about 3 minutes time:

To CEOs, from a CFO, about Executive Coaching

CFO of private equity backed LegalZoom and Grab (“unicorn” and “decacorn” status firms) says, “What I would say to a CEO about coaching for their CFO is ‘Don’t approach it as a mandate, or something that has to be forced.  It’s not part of their personal development.  Because if you come in with that, it becomes very HR-like.  Very 360 type.  And for coaching to be really successful, the CFO should want to be part of that coaching program.’

Secondly, I’d say that ‘finding the right coach is very important … The dynamics of coaching and the individual play a very important role.  [Like a] sport team analogy — when you blend the right coach with the right team, it really works … ‘Find the right coach [for your CFO. Someone] … who actually has the ability to RELATE … for that individual chemistry to work really nicely; then you will see results.’

Your Guide to Executive Coaching Best Practices in 2023

Leadership Coaching

Table of Contents

What is executive coaching?

What do executive coaching best practices mean?

Guidelines for executive coaching best practices

  1. Qualifications, skills & experience
  2. Client is at the centre of the coaching process
  3. Focus on the business
  4. Explore different approaches
  5. Encourage self-awareness & uphold accountability
  6. Be frank but decisive in assessment & feedback

As a multibillion-dollar industry, coaching provides employment to thousands of professionals across the globe. A simple search for the word ‘coaches’ gives over 6 million results on LinkedIn. The market size of the coaching industry was around $15 billion in 2019, and is estimated to have reached $20 billion by 2022!

Executive coaching, in particular, has seen great demand over the last decade with many top companies deploying the services of executive coaches to help their top managements as well as potential future leaders develop and learn critical skills, deal with performance issues, guide company-selected individuals to take on more responsibilities, and more.

But what makes executive coaching effective? This complete guide to executive coaching best practices in 2022, brings forth the methods that successful executive coaches employ to help their coachees achieve optimum success.

Top 10 Must Read Books On Business Coaching

One of the most effective ways to relax the mind and lower stress levels is to read. The 10 Best Business Coaching Books are summarized below for your reading pleasure.

When we’re searching for fantastic books to read, we peruse best-seller rankings, browse around Instagram and reading forums, and ask the experts to suggest the best books within their disciplines.

Top 10 Must Read Books on Business Coaching Business Coaching Books

If you have not read them before, enjoy them now!

Before you read on, it’s essential to be aware that being a good coach is not the same as being able to start or run a coaching business. Less than 24% of coaches are able to sustain themselves and focus on coaching full-time.

Only a coaching business (not just coaching) gives you the FREEDOM to coach from anywhere, travel often, live comfortably, touch many lives, and be rewarded and recognized for it.

This distinction is the most important one for you to sustain yourself as a coach and achieve your life goals through coaching.

Our highest-rated course lays the necessary foundations for this for you. This is a paid course but you can register for FREE for a limited time here.

10 Books for Every Business Coach

1.The Power of One More

  1. The Coaching Habit: Say Less
  2. Achieve Their True Potential AND HOW YOU CAN ACHIEVE YOURS
  3. How Will You Measure Your Life?
  4. The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income
  5. The Talent Code: Greatness isn’t born. It’s grown
  6. She Thinks Like a Boss
  7. The Word on Coaching
  8. Quiet Voice Fearless Leader: 10 Principles
  9. Selling the Price Increase: The Ultimate B2B Field Guide

The ROI Of Executive Coaching: A Comprehensive Guide

The numbers don’t lie: The International Coaching Federation (ICF), in partnership with PwC, estimated global coaching revenue in 2019 to be $2.849 billion—a 21% increase from 2015—and a practitioner growth of 33% from 2015.

What’s more, a report from management consulting and investment banking firm FMI found that 87% of survey respondents agreed that executive coaching has a high return on investment (ROI). With coaching growing at double-digit speed, today’s leaders must understand how to measure its return on investment.

Calculating The ROI Of Executive Coaching

The methodology used herein is for executive coaching, or coaching clients in professional industries. Executive coaching can include sales coaching, business coaching, leadership coaching, self-awareness coaching and more. However, the same philosophy could be used to measure the average ROI of coaching more generally, such as for life coaching.

You can calculate the specific ROI for your project using three pillars:

The OSKAR Coaching Framework

Getting Results by Focusing on Solutions

Carl has a problem with one of his team members, Eloise. Eloise works hard, but can communicate in an offhand way. Carl’s concerned about the impact this could be having on clients.

Carl calls Eloise in for a meeting, where he outlines the communication approaches that he prefers to see from team members. He asks her to rate how she feels she’s meeting these objectives, and why this might be. It becomes clear that Eloise is shy and often feels nervous about speaking to people. The result is that, without realizing it, she’s coming across as curt and abrupt.

Together, they work to identify practical actions that they can both take to improve Eloise’s communication skills. In doing this, Carl has taken a solutions-focused coaching approach known as the OSKAR coaching framework.

In this article, we’ll examine what the OSKAR coaching framework is, how it works, and how you can use it to improve how you manage your team. We’ll explain its pros and cons, and explore how you can use it to address problems your team members may be facing effectively.


For a richer understanding of the many ways you can use coaching to improve how you manage, check out our other articles and resources in this area. These include everything from explaining what coaching is through to other coaching frameworks, such as POSITIVE, PRACTICE and GROW.

How to Use the OSKAR Coaching Framework

The OSKAR coaching framework is one of the most popular solutions-focused coaching models used by organizations. It was developed by coaches Mark McKergow and Paul Z. Jackson and published in their 2002 book, “The Solutions Focus: Making Coaching and Change SIMPLE.”

It’s a coaching framework you can use within your team or organization, to help you focus on a problem’s solution, rather than on the problem itself. You can use it to address specific performance or behavioral problems within your team, such as the one highlighted at the start of this article.

OSKAR stands for Outcome, Scale, Know-how, Affirm + Action, and Review. Here are some practical suggestions for making each of those stages work for you.

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