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Events - Coaching - An Emerging Profession or a Tool?

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Coaching - An Emerging Profession or a Tool?

Speaker: David E Gray
Type: Paid Event - £15.00
Venue: Holiday Inn, Kensington Forum (Click venue address for map)
Date: 27 October 2015

The price is £15 payable in advance through Eventbrite or £20 cash at the door.

Coaching – An Emerging Profession or Just a Tool?

by Professor David Gray

 This session reports on a global survey on the extent to which coaches identify with coaching as a profession, or see it as a task performed within a portfolio of HR or other roles. The study also explored how coaches’ professional identity (or multiple identities) are created and maintained. The research adopted a mixed methods design using a quantitative survey (756 responses) of professional coaching associations’ members, two focus groups (to validate the survey instrument) and 28 qualitative interviews to add depth and illustration to the quantitative results. Findings revealed that 65% of respondents consider that there is at least a moderate to complete overlap between the coaching profession and their sense of self.  For the majority of respondents, however, coaching is only one aspect of their working lives (56% working, on average, less than three days a week as a coach) suggesting a portfolio approach to employment. 

The session will report on these findings in more depth and include some of the interesting stories told about respondent’s journeys into coaching, including trauma and spiritual awakenings.  We will then, in groups, explore a number of questions including:

  • What do these findings say about the current state of coaching as a profession? 
  • How do these findings resonate with your personal views or experience about the forging of your professional identity?
  • To what extent do you think of your self as a coach? How does this sit with any other identities you may have?
  • What do the study findings, and your own discussions, say about the future potential for coaching as a profession?  Does it matter?



Most of the session will comprise group work followed by a plenary session for reporting back and discussing.


The learning objectives for this session are as follows:

  1. To explore what is meant by the term ‘profession’ 
  2. To evaluate the extent to which coaching is currently a profession. 
  3. To discuss the pros and cons of coaching making a journey towards professional status and the processes that might be involved. 

About Professor Gray


David Gray (BSc (Econ), MA(Ed), MSc, Cert Ed., PhD, FRSA) is Professor of Leadership and Organisational Behaviour at the University of Greenwich.  His research interests, and publication record, include research methods, management learning (particularly coaching and mentoring), professional identity, action learning, reflective learning, management learning in SMEs and the factors that contribute to SME success.  He has published books (Doing Research in the Real World (2014) 3rd edition) and articles on research methods, work-based learning, and coaching and mentoring. David has led a number of EU-funded research programmes including one examining the impact of coaching on the resilience of unemployed managers in their job-searching behaviours and another on how action learning can sustain unemployed managers in starting their own business. He is currently completing a global survey into the professional identity of coaches.

See my research outputs at:

See my research methods book at:

See my research blog at:


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Cancellation Policy:

Due to the nature of the London Coaching Group as a Community Group, run by volunteers and on a very limited budget, and in the interests of keeping the ticket price as low as possible, we do not offer refunds on cancellations save only where the event does not take place due to the non-availability of the speaker or the venue.

Transfer of tickets:

If you are unable to attend an event and find someone else to take your place, please give them your printed ticket with an email from you (using the email address used to book your ticket) cc’d to and so that we can verify this at registration.  This keeps the process simple and involves minimal administrative time which keeps costs down.  Thank you!

Photographic release :

All attendees of the London Coaching Group (“LCG”) events acknowledge that the organisers may take photographs of the group during presentations and use. Such photographs on the LCG website, in their LCG email newsletter and/or in LCG social media activity and, in attending any LCG event, give LCG organisers the irrevocable right to use our pictures or photographs, as envisaged above, free of charge.


Print Event Details

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