Virtual coaching sessions are becoming more and more relevant in today’s online world, especially during remote working, and can be just as rewarding for you and your coachee whether by phone or via a range of internet or Facebook meetings …as long as you plan and prepare for the event and follow some important guidelines. Here are some to help you whether you’re just getting started or want to develop your coaching style and abilities…
Establish a coaching mindset
From the very outset, the first thing you have to prepare is your mindset. Recognise that coaching is all about helping the other person to get the outcomes and results that they need and would want to achieve. If you keep this aspect about coaching in your mind, you’ll have success with engaging with people authentically and getting them motivated. Which means you need to…
Interact through active listening
It doesn’t matter if you’re on camera such as a Zoom meeting or connecting by phone, the ket to great coaching is to pay really close attention to two things: firstly, what the other person is saying and then communicate back to them your understanding of what they’ve said; and secondly, what they’re not saying. Which means listening for any pauses and hesitations, doubt, and other clues to what else is not being communicated.
Use professional backdrop and quality equipment
When you on camera make sure you’re running your coaching session in a professional setting with a background that doesn’t distract the person you’re coaching and shut out any possible interruptions from family or friends. This is also important even if you’re coaching over the phone as it can reflect in your voice and tone. In addition, quality webcams and microphones don’t have to be expensive investments, but will improve the your professional presence in a virtual coaching experience.
Set the agenda and timings
Make you prepare and agree an agenda and time schedule in advance. And agree on expectations as though you are meeting face-to-face. Also, list timings against your list of topics and track your time against these agenda points. This will not only show how good you are at controlling your coaching session, it will also pinpoint responsibility for actions.
Focus, don’t multitask
To be a good coach means you have to completely focus solely on the other person. So don’t get distracted when coaching virtually by multitasking while you’re on your computers by checking your email or having your smart phone beside you. If you allow yourself to become distracted, you’ll lose attention and you won’t perform to the best of your capability.
Being open to changes in the other persons development and staying flexible with their new behaviours allows you to keep improving your virtual coaching skills. For example, if the person you’re coaching shows a big leap in their learning between sessions, go with them, even if it means they become more knowledgable than you in certain areas. Congratulate their progress and be open to new opportunities.
Always agree actions and the next session
Finally, as you would with any professional meeting, make sure you’re both clear on what your next steps are by agreeing actions to achieve goals and follow up by sending these in an email and seek confirmation. And while you’re doing this, book the date and time for your next coaching session.