As a professional coach and organization-development practitioner, I am fascinated with theories of change (Brazzel, 2014). I learned to be a professional coach by participating in four coach-training programs. After many hours of learning about and practicing coaching, of being coached, of coaching individual coach-clients, and of being a mentor-coach for coaches-in-training, one thing stood out for me about professional coaching – Change happens as a result of the coaching process! This realization set me on a quest to understand how change happens in the coaching process. The purpose of this article is to describe the outcome of my quest.
There are many global, regional and national organizations for accrediting and certifying coaches, none of which is universally recognized for these purposes (Brock, 2012, pp. 257, 294-359). This article uses the approach to professional coaching developed by the International Coach Federation ('ICF') (Goldvarg et al, 2018) which is the largest, global accrediting and certifying body (Brock, 2012; ICF, 2019a). In 2016, there were an estimated 53,300 coach practitioners across the world based on the ICF-commissioned 2016 Global-Coaching Study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (ICF, 2019c). As of December 21, 2019, the ICF had approximately 34,600 members in 139 countries, 29,400 coaches with an ICF Credential in 123 countries (Wikipedia, 2019), and 330 third-party Accredited Coach-Training Programs (ICF, 2019d).