Online Coaching, Telecoaching, Remote Coaching

Online Coaching, Telecoaching, Remote Coaching

Perhaps it has already happened to you, too: you have a coaching appointment – but then there is, unexpectedly, another obligation and you find yourself in a meeting in London instead of Vienna with your coach. This is just one of the many situations in which online coaching, sometimes also known as remote coaching, telecoaching or virtual coaching, may be quite helpful. Technically a phone, Skype (with or without video), e-mail, or one of the many available webmeeting or chat applications is all we need.

Don’t we loose the one-on-one contact in online coaching and isn’t that restrictive? Clear, albeit somewhat contradictory answers: loss of personal contact – no; restrictive – yes, but …

It certainly is useful to establish personal contact at least once – if possible right at the first coaching session. But remember: aren’t there business partners which initially you have come to know only from phone contacts? And wasn’t that sufficient to do business with these people? Obviously, trust can be built sustainably not only by direct eye contact and shaking hands physically. Why shouldn’t that work for online coaching, too?

Turning to the second answer: Yes, restricting our perception through electronic media is a limitation. However, there is the well-known effect that people who are physically handicapped in some way, develop their remaining options to amazing perfection with some practice. And quite generally our ability for abstraction, our creativity and adaptability lead us from restraints on to develop new and unexpected ideas.*) Experience with online coaching shows – within a short time of getting acquainted – a strong focussing onto the coaching topic,  a significant increase of both target awareness and solution orientation, and the spontaneous development of new and individual forms of communicative expression and modalities.

structural constellation using a virtual system board in online coachingThe same holds for methodological limitations in online coaching: Constellations with living representatives simply are not possible in online coaching, true. But there are excellent media available to do quite complex constellations on a virtual system board, even with multiple participants – the picture shows an example. The symbols can be freely moved using the cursor, they can be rotated, copied and changed in appearance by all online coaching participants. Similarly, written concepts, presentations, motivation letters, CVs etc. can be edited together in an online coaching session.

Some restrictions, on the other hand, disappear – such as travelling time. Therefore, I am offering short and even (provided free time slots) ad hoc units in online coaching. Moreover, the use of electronic media offers a simple possibility of supplementing verbal and visual communication by written or graphic elements (see picture above), thus simultaneously documenting the coaching process.

I have already done many online coachings in this way. Among these were, in addition to occasional individual online coaching sessions, complete online coaching processes with customers which I have not personally met until today – in some cases because they are living in far away countries, in one case because the coachee was allowed to meet other people only under special protection arrangements for medical reasons. Next time there is an opportunity, just get yourself introduced into this coaching format – you will be surprised to see the so-called restrictions of online coaching disappear in no time at all.

Get in contact with to make your next online coaching appointment!
*) The artist Phil Hansen demonstrates stunning and inspiring examples for this in his talk ‘Accepting Limitations‘.

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