The Top 5 Predictions for Coaching in 2021

by Kathy McKenzie, FIRE UP Director

The Top 5 Predictions for Coaching in 2021

Wishing all our clients, colleagues and friends a special festive season celebrating all that is good. It is time to focus forward for 2021. In this newsletter I want to share some of my predictions for 2021 and some of my favorites for reading/podcasts/movies.


I remember the first International Coaches Federation (ICF) conference I presented at in Brisbane in 2005 being so excited about the opportunities ahead. PWC presented one of their first pieces of combined research with the ICF and welcomed us to a million-dollar industry! Fast forward 15 years and coaching is one of the fastest growth industries on the planet worth billions.
In any time of need, opportunists will try to take advantage of the vulnerable. Many people want hope for 2021 and are susceptible to someone who promises the world even if there is no proof they can deliver. Hence, my first prediction for coaching in 2021.

  1. The public will get smart and realise the need to engage with accredited coaches

Having a qualification will be what stands people apart.  The people whose egos allow them to think they can be credible without formal training will find that they are in competition with literally millions of other self-professed self-help gurus.  Their websites are predictable.  The main topic of conversation is them and their story.  They have conversations from their map of reality, not from a deep knowledge base of how to be a conduit for change and transformation of others. Buyers will  be less trapped by marketing funnels and more aware of quality coaches achieving quality outcomes.

  1. Organisations who previously resisted formal coaching and mentoring will engage

In 2010 a wonderful sales representative who worked for Pfizer did our course over a 2 year period because Pfizer would not support him either financially or with time off to study coaching.  Andrew was so passionate about it that he funded himself and used his annual leave to complete the course.  He documented carefully the results he got with his sales team as he coached them rather than managed them in the traditional fashion.  Andrew started getting the attention of head office quickly as their sales rocketed and staff satisfaction in his team soared.  He wrote an article for Coach Connect the ICF Australasian newsletter in 2012 documenting his success and strategy.
Fast forward to 2020 with Pfizer being first with a vaccine and leading the global race to “fix” the pandemic.  I guarantee they have a budget for coaching and training of coaches now.

  1. Team Coaching will be the norm

Team coaching up until recently has kind of been hit and miss with people using similar approaches to the way in which they approached individual coaching.  With the release of the ICF Team Coaching Competencies that will all change.  Team coaching will be treated as a unique discipline of its own with those who partake in additional ICF Accredited Team Coaching training having a definite edge in 2021.  FIREUP is currently upgrading our Diploma to include a new unit on Team Coaching.

  1. Wellbeing Coaches will either replace Employer Assistance Programs (EAP) or be part of them

Scott Morrison declared when he was announcing how Australian workplaces will recover from 2020 that taking care of employees mental health would be paramount.  He mentioned workplaces having Wellbeing Coaches and BOOM – That spawns a whole new paradigm for coaching. It will mean opportunities to add to your current qualification with a unit on Wellbeing that authenticates your ability to deliver on that outcome for your clients. Stay tuned for our microcredentials to be launched in 2021

  1. Leaders will be expected to have strong coaching skills and all organisations will run Coaching Skills for Leaders

Diversity in workplaces requires leaders to have a great degree of flexibility and adaptability.  The old “command and control” leaders will fade away as organisations prioritise keeping talent and ensuring that poor leadership and management is not causing them to exit. If you are capable of facilitating Coaching Skills for Leaders you will have a steady stream of work.  We will be licensing our ready-made programs to organisations who want a quality program that has been delivered to over 4000 leaders over the last 10 years.

My recommendations

Non fiction
Lost Connections – Johann Hari
The Consolations of Philosophy –Alain de Botton

Pillars of the Earth Ken Follet

Tim Ferris interviewing Ed Norton and then go and watch Motherless Brooklyn

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (feel good movie)

The Queen’s Gambit

Thank You, Team!

I want to thank my amazing FIREUP Team for all the hard work they have put in this year to take us the next level in preparation for 2021.

Dinda has had another beautiful baby and is now a full time Mum and we wish her all the best in her new role.

To Craig Levitt, Steve Taylor, Kylie Stewart, Deidre Dattoli, Clarion Ilies and Caleb Ma, I am so privileged to be part of such an amazing team.

My heartfelt thanks to you all for your great work throughout 2020. I look forward to the opportunities of 2021.


Commencing January, there will be a weekend option for courses.

Including both:

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