5 TOP TIPS TO ENSURE A GREAT VIRTUAL COACHING SESSION
Following on from her introduction to the world of virtual coaching, our colleague, Jo Bamford, gives us her 5 top tips to ensure a great virtual coaching session.
VIRTUAL COACHING IS SEEN BY MANY TO HAVE SIGNIFICANT BENEFITS SUCH AS
- It’s practical – having technology available like phones, email access and more frequently of late, video conferencing, means online coaching is easy to do.
- It’s readily available – we don’t need to wait for diaries to coincide regarding location or try to juggle to find large chunks of free time.
- It’s environmentally friendly – carbon footprint is obviously reduced using this method which is an outcome we all love achieving!
- It’s almost instant – the opportunity to have a quick coaching conversation to support a live challenge is far more possible online than face to face.
SO HOW COME VIRTUAL COACHING WORKS SO WELL?
There are a number of steps we follow to ensure a great virtual coaching session. Here are our 5 top tips:
1. Establish Connection – ensure both parties are set up with the most convenient virtual coaching methodology before we start be that Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype or agreeing a phone call is the safest way to communicate due to broadband capability etc.
2. Build Rapport – it’s always important to facilitate a conversation before a more formal coaching session starts and in a virtual setting this is even more critical. Understanding how people are feeling, asking questions about their day, their family, their coping strategies for Covid etc all play a vital part to starting the session off positively.
3. Build Trust – we focus on the Trust Equation  even more in a virtual session than a face to face session where a level of trust can be picked up by being around another person. As a coach we prepare some content as we do for a face-to-face session to ensure that we are credible, we arrive online before the coachee and commit to our session to ensure reliability is at its highest, and we ask, enquire and show interest in people personally to build the right level of intimacy.
4. Share Content – often when we coach face-to-face we prefer not to disrupt the flow of a session by opening up a computer and finding a document. During a virtual session it seems so much easier and in many instances completely natural to ‘share screen’ and show models that might support and add value to the coaching conversation.
5. Make Decisions – identifying actions and making decisions is often a key stage in a coaching conversation – especially where the objective for the coachee is to move something on or find a possible solution or different way of doing something. During a virtual coaching session we have experienced an increase in decision making either due to greater levels of cognitive performance (as described below) or because a virtual session seems to result in an even greater level of closure and completion for many coachees.
Don’t be afraid to consider virtual coaching; if anything it can be more productive than a face-to-face session. And often much easier to grab a cup of coffee and relax in a comfy chair whilst you’re doing it! We love coaching no matter the methodology used and we will be happy to discuss any coaching needs.
About Jo Bamford – Jo has more than 25 years practice as an Occupational Psychologist working with businesses, teams and individuals to enable change and maximise potential. She has vast experience in inspiring, engaging and coaching people and organisations through change. She has an ability to energise people, bringing together key stakeholders and managing conflict and challenges positively and proactively. She understands the psychology of change and helps people approach change with the right mindset, behaviour and approach for maximum success.
 The Trusted Advisor by David Maister, Charles Green and Robert Galford https://trustedadvisor.com/why-trust-matters/understanding-trust/understanding-the-trust-equation
Our thanks go to Jo for her great insights into virtual coaching.
If you have any questions, our team can assist you as usual via phone or email
Look out for more hints and tips coming soon.
Stay safe, stay well.