Coaches: Develop a Lens of Diversity

“I feel as though I have been tokenized…”

“There are so many times when I am the only one like me at a meeting…”

“It is exhausting … not being able to bring my whole self to work…”

(actual client statements)

As we enter into 2022, we are amid a social revolution caused by politics, protests, and a pandemic.  The great resignation is driving career contemplation more than ever with more than 4.5 million quits in November 2021 alone, the highest recorded for one month since the US government began tracking the statistic back in 2000.

For these reasons, coaches are needed.  What we say and do, continues to shape who we are and reminds us of the impact we have on others. Coaches, and managers as coaches, need to heighten their awareness of the changing needs of their clients and embrace the growing complexity of the world around us.

The ICF estimates there are 71,000 professional coaches worldwide, and increasing.  And with more than 1.5 million web searches made every month for life coaches, business coaches, and executive coaches (iPEC), companies are investing more than ever on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.  This is in alignment with the increasing demand by underrepresented and marginalized individuals to have equity in personal and professional development, compensation, advancement, and so much more.

These are the reasons for coaches to differentiate themselves and acquire a deeper understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Most importantly, coaches need to be prepared to have different conversations with their clients and re-adjust their coach approach through the lens of diversity and cultural awareness in every coaching exchange; adapting and evolving their mindset and presence to deepen their understanding of their client’s lived experiences. 

“The criticality of partnership between coach and client, and the importance of cultural, systemic and contextual awareness” (ICF) requires coaches to embody the ICF competencies with a laser focus on building their knowledge and discipline to be an effective and empathetic coach.

Coaches, now is the time to develop your coach approach through the lens of diversity.


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