Advantages from the comfort of your own home or office
If, like me, you prefer meetings in-situ, being able to connect in person, shake hands and share hand-written doodles and notes, then you may be hesitant about online connections, especially when it comes to working confidentially with a coach.
I still am a touchy-feely person, preferring to meet friends for a drink or curl up on the sofa with a cup of tea and a good book, turning the pages with my fingers, feeling the paper and enjoying the book through the different senses, rather than downloading to an e-book reader.
However, I am now all for using technology to bring us closer to people who we otherwise wouldn’t interact with, due to our busy agendas and/or geographical distance.
As Steve Jobs said, “It’s not a faith in technology. It’s faith in people.”
Times are changing and we must keep up! Lifestyles, timetables and working patterns are dynamic and as Scott Wharton (Logitech) highlights: “Video as a primary form of communication is becoming mainstream, and adoption rates continue to increase thanks to mainstream applications like Skype, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts.”
My technological transformation
I was first introduced to the “online experience” at a company where the policy was to reduce travel costs in favour of video conferences. One of the highlights was a successful one-day event I organised, comprising of four repeated follow-the-sun video-conferenced seminars, enabling a coach/mentor who visited the local office to train the leaders in the offices across the globe, from Sydney to Sao Paolo, to become mentors themselves.
In a less formal environment, we have enjoyed lovely Christmas lunches with my family across the miles, as, for varying reasons and on various occasions, none of us were able to travel. I was very pleasantly surprised at how close we felt, albeit connecting via technology (in this event we used Skype) and we will definitely be repeating the experience!
Although we can talk on the telephone or text, as Tamara McCleary, Founder of Thulium, points out “There’s a level of authenticity and transparency that you get with video that you cannot have with just audio.”
On another occasion, a friend who had moved to a different country reached out for help on the job front: preparing for the interviews and building self-confidence to facilitate the whole, often daunting, process. We connected (again by Skype) and she felt that the session really helped, providing me with even more evidence for my case study of moving more into the technological realms of online coaching.
This all stood me in good stead and gave me the confidence in the system and set-up to take on my first online coaching client, Ana, a lady in desperate need who lived in the mountains and for who travelling just wasn’t an option. This time we connected via Zoom.
Immediate action plan implementation leads to immediate results
It’s each of the many small steps that tends to make the difference and, as one of Ana’s challenges was to put order in her life, I suggested that she started by simply moving the pile of papers from one side of her desk to the other; giving her the option to switch off the camera if she felt more comfortable in case there was any personal or delicate information. While she was moving the papers, she saw some that she had forgotten about and even said “these can be thrown away”, which she promptly did. Those folders had been there so long that she didn’t even acknowledge them when entering the room. They had become part of the furniture. She had felt “comfortable” with them there. I then asked her to leave the room and come back in and she had a different impression of the environment. She felt a new energy, able to see the results of just one small step and then found the motivation to continue putting in order.
Keep up the momentum
So, the online experience, allowing coaching in the comfort of your own environment, be it the home or office, enables the coaching process to produce really tangible visible results on the spot, reducing “home-work” time and “to do” lists, making the most of the momentum created during the session, as it actually happens, rather than risking losing motivation and focus on the way back home or to the office due to the rest of life’s distractions!
Bring the future to the present
How often have we heard people, and ourselves, say, “oh yes, I´m going to do that” and then just never seem to find the time or the inclination, once that initial buzz has subsided? With an online coach, you can bring the future actions to the present as many of the action points decided on can actually be implemented there and then.
Benefits of online sessions:
- In the comfort of your own environment
- More time-efficient, no travelling to the appointment
- Even if you are on a trip, you just need a quiet room and an internet connection
- Action can be taken immediately (as mentioned above),
- Privacy breaks during the session by switching off the camera
- You control when to connect, a few minutes prior, and within the limits of punctuality!
- Can be recorded, with the consent of both parties
Things to remember to make it the best possible experience:
- Ensure you won’t be interrupted. You may remember the viral video of a BBC news interview interrupted by playful children!
- Allow set up time and test connections prior to meeting (camera setup and configuration)
- If you are using a computer rather than a mobile telephone, put the camera as close as possible to screen showing the incoming image
- Look at the camera when speaking and still feel that you are talking to each other
- Have audio dial-in options too, in case of technical challenges
- As soon as you are ready, connect and start to mentally prepare for the session.*
*We send our clients a checklist of recommendations pre and post session.
How to get started:
- Practice with friends, family or close colleagues with a mobile video connection application such as whatsapp video, facetime, skype or zoom, just to name a few.
- Organise a virtual dinner or coffee! Connect with friends and family who you haven’t seen for a while.
For a free introductory taster session to get the feel of how the connections and communication will really be, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to book a free introductory sports-related session
*Photo by Max Fuchs on Unsplash.com