Maternity Leave Coaching out – Parental Leave Coaching in?

Whilst delivering my maternity coaching workshops this week, it struck me that the term ‘maternity coaching’ has started to sound somewhat traditional and old-fashioned.  In fact, even when I first started maternity coaching 6 years ago, the teachers at my children’s school all thought I was a mid-wife.

Last week, we had a discussion with an incredibly insightful and progressive college, who has asked us to run Parental Leave Coaching workshops, suitable for ALL new parents taking extended family leave.  True, we may well still have a mother-only audience for a year or two, however I am convinced that I will be coaching a mixed audience in years to come.  Here’s why:

  1. Shared Parental Leave puts the process and legalities in place; promoting corporate parental and not maternity coaching support for employees creates an equal playing field; culturally we are clearly saying that we recognise that taking any time out of the business is tough; we will support you.
  2. Dads will indeed begin to take extended leave as it slowly becomes culturally acceptable.  The main current barrier, however, is lack of financial incentive.  I believe more enlightened companies (think Virgin), will begin to compensate equally.
  3. The main themes of support covered in the 3-part traditional maternity coaching programme are totally applicable to the male and female audience taking extended leave:
    • Change management
    • Relationship and stakeholder management
    • Image and visibility management
    • Productivity and work/family balance

So is maternity leave coaching on the way out and parental leave coaching on the way in?

Let us know your thoughts – contact us today.

By Helen Letchfield

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