Lead by Example: Diversify Your Coaching Staff

The way we do business and who we do it with has changed at an extraordinarily fast pace due to globalization, migration patterns, improved technology, and communications. The diversity this has created in our organizations has brought enormous benefits—different perspectives, innovation, better decision making, and, while there is still much to be done, more welcoming, inclusive work cultures.

There is a World Full of Wonderful Coaches out There—Let’s Use Them

There is enormous potential for coaching to be a vital element in the diversity agenda for both individuals and organizations, as my colleague, Andrea Zimmerman, wrote recently.

Andrea’s point has been reinforced every time I speak to coaches from around the world, and I speak to a lot of coaches in my role as Head of Coaching Procurement at Kaplan.

Over the past few months, I’ve spoken with hundreds of coaches across the globe, frantically fitting in multiple conversations with folks in the US, Europe, Asia, and all other time zones in between. But it’s also been one of the most rewarding roles I’ve had in my working life to date.

When I began having these conversations, my initial response was quite simple. Why haven’t I worked with coaches during the numerous times it would have benefited me during my career? What struck me even more, however, are the benefits that working with an inclusive community of coaches can bring to organizations and coaching clients. 

Each coach I have spoken to brings with them diversity in culture, language, perspectives, experiences, and talents. They are all accredited to a Professional Coaching Body and have demonstrated their coaching expertise, but that’s where the similarities end. Among the many coaches we have invited to join our community, we have those who have C-Suite experience in industry, those who have transitioned from industry to start their own businesses with a true entrepreneurial spirit, former Olympic athletes, and even a Sadhak. 

While all our coaches maintain the core values and ethics of their Coaching Professional Bodies, their approaches are quite different. A number of coaches, for example, adapt the traditional coaching models that we are familiar with in the UK and US, to embrace and respect the uniqueness of the diverse coaching clients they work with. An interesting example of this is our Indian coaches, who do not generally use psychometric testing in their coaching practice and have a more spiritual approach. Without a doubt, they are results-oriented, but they also recognize that by adapting their practice, they will achieve better results for their coaching clients. 

I am confident that this diverse group of coaches I am engaging will appeal to the wider and growing diverse groups of employees within organizations. The question is: how can we make these coaches and their services available to more people? To extend the provision of coaching deep into a business? And to offer them an unrivaled range of coaches in terms of background, experience, and culture?


Ready to see how you can meet your organization’s learning and development needs? Learn more about the unique digital learning environment of Kaplan Performance Academy.