We get several requests each week asking about the state of coaching in different parts of the globe from our members and the media. It's difficult to answer these questions, simply because we don't live in other parts of the world – but our members do! In this new series, we'll be asking you, our members, to give your insights, opinions and observations about coaching in your corner of the world.
Below is our first installment in this series, with insight from the talented Dr. John Koo of China. We hope you enjoy this series, and we welcome input for other article ideas and suggestions for improving the IAC VOICE.
Coaching in China A Candid Conversation with Dr. John Koo Dr. John Koo is the first and only western-trained clinical psychologist in the world to also hold a Ph.D. in Chinese Medicine. He has degrees from the University of Hong Kong and Clayton University, as well as from the Hunan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
According to his web site, Dr. Koo is well-known in Hong Kong as its premier clinical psychologist. He has authored several books, videos, cassettes and CDs. He is a frequent subject of television and print interviews and he is widely recognized by the Hong Kong public.
How many coaches are in China? Dr. Koo: The latest official estimate is that there are 7,000 registered training companies in the major cities of China. It is important to note the two words "registered" and "major". They denote that, if we take into consideration the "unregistered" companies and "minor" cities, the figure could easily be tripled and quadrupled.
My personal feeling is that there could easily be over 60,000 persons doing all fashions of coaching work in China.
Where do coaches flourish in China? (inside companies, as independent business owners, etc.) Dr. Koo: While there are no formal statistics available, this is what I can proffer: there are a few regionally and nationally famous coaches (no more than 5), and a couple of famous training companies.
Very few businesses have "internal coaches" as such, although some do have HR departments which conduct internal training.
Who seeks coaches? Dr. Koo: Wow, that's a hefty question! The answer is likely to be this: probably half the nation. You know, some 12 years ago John Naisbitt ("Megatrends") said that the number of people in China learning English is larger than the population of North America.
And you know, at least half of the nation are earnestly learning to be entrepreneurs."To get rich is glorious": this earth-shaking utterance by the late premiere Deng Xiao-ping inaugurated an era of prosperity-seeking in China.
What are some very distinct differences to coaching in the US/Western Hemisphere? Dr. Koo: One would think that we're all created equal, however there are some real differences between what we want from coaches and coach training than what is available to us now. There was an abundance of American trainers feverishly putting their fingers in this delicious Chinese pie, however they met with poor results. They concluded that China is a tough market.
I think Chinese people really want yankeeism (Western education and entrepreneurialism), yet they want it localized. They want the knowledge, yet it must be delivered in such a way that it makes sense to Chinese people. They want the knowledge translated in a meaningful manner. We want the superior knowledge of the West, but not the sense of superiority from Westerners.
In other words, China wants the content of Western knowledge, yet the content provider must be well-versed with the Chinese culture, and must be able to blend with China. Remember, when Christianity conquered Rome, Rome in return paganized Christianity. So the Western content must be paganized – indigenized – before it can become a deliverable. We need an army of Western-trained coaches who can translate training for this culture.
Are the 15 Proficiencies used as the primary coaching model in Asia? Dr. Koo: They constitute a beautiful model indeed, as far as I am concerned. However, the certifying system provides a major challenge because currently we cannot find Chinese-speaking certifying coaches to certify our coaches here.
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