Coaching in New Zealand – a snapshot!

New Zealand is a small country with a big heart but a relatively small and unclear voice on coaching.

It is hard to determine when coaching started in New Zealand, however we believe it was around the mid 1990s and was influenced by the growth of coaching in the Australia and usa.

The New Zealand business landscape is quite varied and while we have many larger corporates, including government departments and the public service, there are also a significant number of small to medium businesses that employ less that 20 employees. This diversity of business has led to a diversity of coaching, which explains why it’s hard to speak with one voice on this topic right across New Zealand.

Developing a snapshot of the coaching community in New Zealand is extremely difficult. The International Coach Federation has 128 New Zealand members some with ICF credentials, including two MCC. The coaching psychology community of coaches continues to influence the professionalism and qualifications of coaches in New Zealand.

Supervision for coaches is still self-regulated, both one:one and even internal coaches to bigger organisations are not yet required to have one-on-one supervision.

Training to become a coach is relatively accessible. At least four icf accredited coach training programmes periodically offer live-in programmes, although these are predominantly in Auckland. Of course, in this day of global connection, distance learning opens a wide range of internationally recognised opportunities, not only for initial coach training but also for ongoing development and learning.

Around august 2008, the New Zealand Coaching Community (NZCC) group began its loose formation to begin to answer the call for a cohesive voice on coaching. Several New Zealand coaches had been involved in the global coaching convention working groups and they began to see that there were big gaps in what we actually knew about ourselves as coaches in New Zealand.

Sam farmer, Coaching Psychologist and Patti Gwynne, Executive Coach, started having informal conversations around their own diversity as coaches and soon realised that there would be much to gain if we could bring together a representative group of coaches working in New Zealand.

The NZCC principles were and remain born from the GCC with a focus:

  1. To continue conversations around coaching in New Zealand and who we are as the coaching community.
  2. To work towards identifying some common practice standards and ethics for coaching within nz.
  3. To identify coaches working across a wide range of disciplines who may be interested in joining in the NZCC conversations.

The NZCC in 2012 is still loosely formed but has a core of representative coaches who are energised to agree on definitions for coaching and to create a collaborative conversation around the future of coaching practice in New Zealand for coaches and consumers alike.

The Coaching Psychology Special Interest Group (CPSIG) was formed around the same time as the NZCC by Sam Farmer who also saw the need to support psychologists who were using coaching as a practice and methodology within their diverse profession. The CPSIG has formed strong links with coaching psychology practitioners throughout New Zealand and has become a robust forum for linking coaching psychologists throughout the country. There are ongoing conversations around coaching as a core skill and approach applicable across many disciplines, rather than just a profession in itself.

There is a growing acceptance, but slow uptake, on coaching services across organisations. This could perhaps be due to the kiwi pioneering attitudes of “I can do it myself”. However, more likely it is due to insufficient knowledge and promotion of the real benefits of coaching. Organisations are gradually recognising the worth of executive and leadership.

The majority of organisations employing coaches for their team members rely on external coaches, however, we are seeing increasing numbers of coaches being employed full-time within the learning and development and organisational development teams of medium to large corporates and government departments.

Coaching as a culture of effective communication within organisations is a growing trend and having an external coach is something that more and more leaders negotiate as part of their employment package. Accordingly, consumers of coaching services are driving the requirement of coaches to have a globally recognised coach qualification. We are seeing more and more rfi tenders asking for icf credentialed coaches as a minimum criterion for selection.

We anticipate that further research will validate the roi and promote the benefit of high quality coaching for individuals, teams and organisations throughout the country.

As coaching practitioners in New Zealand, we acknowledge the cultural diversity that will influence our coaching models and theories over the next ten years. We are committed to celebrating the diversity of coaches and continuing to influence who we are as New Zealanders.

By Sally Webb and Patti Gwynne

Source:  APAC Newsletter

About Patti Gwynne

Patti Gwynne is an ICF Credentialed Leadership and Executive Coach based in Auckland.

Working your way through these processes takes courage! Be kind to yourself and feel free to contact Patti, if you would like a Coach to partner you on this journey.
(Patti offers a no obligation 30minute FREE phone coaching session to get you started).

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