Is business coaching useful?

The bright and the dark side of the coaching industry

The coaching market is currently experiencing one of the most challenging crises.

The German political satirist and comedian Jan Böhmermann caused a public discussion throughout the industry and business world after his last show, Neo Magazin Royale, was aired. He showed aspects of the coaching market that the industry and certain (self-proclaimed) professional associations do not want to see.

Photo by Ashley Batz on Unsplash

At the core is one question: is business coaching helpful? If so, how do I make the right choice?


Coaching is not regulated. If you give yourself this title by tomorrow, no one can stop you from doing so. The countless cases of business and professional misconduct are ubiquitous. The two most commonly used effects are always the same: FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and Authority Bias (the effect of believing people more when they are on stage). As a theme, the word “success” is often repeated mantra-like without any relevant content. The industry is strictly non-diverse. At events, only one person usually is “ticking the box for diversity” to avoid making event organisers vulnerable to criticism. Self-appointed professional associations with less than 1,000 members (far from being considered official trade bodies) are not helpful as they often ignore these issues.

Moreover, some associations have been founded directly by people who sell to the people who become members — an industry-incestuous market with a lot of egos, little to no content, and a lot of phrase-mongering. The phrases you hear will quickly be repetitive. It’s always about mindset without filling this term with substantial knowledge or expertise. Hustle, grind, work a lot and always more — the more, the better. A toxic circle of self-blame quickly begins, in which people blame themselves for (supposedly) not being successful. The solution is then presented: buy my (pre-recorded, online) course. More and more are sold from then on because there is always the “next level”. People are often massively harmed here — financially and personally.

You can find a message about the (unacceptable) state of the coaching industry in the current podcast — link below.


Of course, there are also positive examples. However, it is first necessary to clarify what coaching is supposed to be about to reach your goals. Professional providers do not sell off-the-shelf online courses; if they do, they only offer very low prices and favourable conditions. This course is not customised and usually only helps establish the simplest basics. To deliver a quality coaching service, it needs to be highly relevant regarding the set goals you plan to achieve. Coaching is always goal-oriented, purposeful and temporary. There is no such thing as coaching that lasts forever and never ends. You should urgently refrain from any ever-lasting and never-ending offers. A return to coaching for further needs is possible at any time. Permanent coaching, however, is not conducive to achieving your goals. The goal is clear: self-empowerment. You should be able to act independently if you achieve the agreed objectives.


Choosing the right coach is an important decision. When making this decision, you can apply a pattern that will help you in the selection process. Firstly, a qualification in theory and practice is essential. Even in the unregulated coaching market, proven qualifications are available at a high and scientific level. You will be provided with a curriculum vitae that should be satisfying and show the suitability of your coach (my LinkedIn profile, presence on that platform is now an industry standard, can be found below). A conversation will always be possible with the person who will coach you. Many possibilities are feasible here by phone, online, or in person. If a team tells you that the person coaching you is unavailable for a conversation but wants you to buy their (online, pre-recorded, non-tailored) course, such a dubious offer is immediately ruled out.

With regard to the amount of investment, industry standards and fees are available online. For example, the recommended fees in the German-speaking world are listed on the Projekt Bildungsserver, a project of the federal and state governments (a link to this is attached below). You can also decide against offers if the prices offered to you are significantly lower or higher. From the remaining offers, you can choose the one that suits you professionally, personally and in terms of qualifications.

NB: due to the scandals that have now been revealed in the German-speaking coaching market, we have added further links for your information and as proof.

Podcast on the coaching scene in German-speaking countries: Apple Podcasts / Spotify

Is high-quality coaching important to you?
Let’s talk:

Networking — Niels Brabandt on LinkedIn:

As a proof, we attached the (German) sources.

The show NEO MAGAZIN ROYALE by Jan Böhmermann:

SO macht DU Erfolgs-Coaches richtig ERFOLGREICH | ZDF Magazin Royale

Fee recommendation of the education server:

Article — The questionable business of online coaches:

Article — Warning of the Chamber of Labour Upper Austria:



Niels Brabandt
Leadership Magazine by Niels Brabandt / NB Networks

Niels Brabandt is in business since 1998. Helping managers to become better leaders by mastering the concept of Sustainable Leadership. Based in Spain & London.