Now everyone goes online, i.e. coachings are also offered online. I have, of course, seen this, but I have not reacted actively to it, because for me this is basically nothing new. Only the explicit request from a client showed me that maybe not all my clients know that I have been doing online coaching since 2006. At a time when this was still frowned upon in the coaching scene, I often combined personal coaching sessions with coaching via videoconference with my clients. Back then Skype was used, then came Webex and today it’s Teams, Google Hangout, and Zoom.
From my experience over the past fourteen years, I have compiled a checklist for coaching online for you to make the most of this format:
With the required devices, I would just like to emphasize briefly that a camera is important, because not everyone has a company laptop with a camera yet. But if you want to make coaching online as personal as possible, that’s imperative.
Make sure you have a quiet environment where you can also talk about confidential topics. Also make sure you have enough drinking and food. The latter is especially important for coaching over lunchtime. You don’t want to become a diva, as it is so beautifully said in a commercial. 🙂
As a coach, it’s important to be present. So, I’m not just sitting in front of my screen, I’m there with all my attention. This requires a great concentration and awareness over the entire coaching time, because as a client you immediately notice any inattention or distraction. In a personal appointment, this is a little more relaxed than in front of a camera.
In addition, as a coach, I must be able to hold the space for you as my client. This means that I must create and maintain an atmosphere of trust and openness over the virtual distance. This is possible if I let myself in with all my senses on you and at the same time take care to remain grounded and to preserve my own center. This also gives rise to the authenticity with which the coaching conversation becomes natural and free.
Some clients and colleagues tell me that only in personal coaching can you build a really good relationship. Only after a personal appointment can you switch to online. Of course, this is ideal, but I also experience it differently. Just in the last two weeks I started two coaching sessions, where I could not meet the client in person before. Nevertheless, the coaching revolved around very personal topics and led to in-depth insights and changes. As I said, it also depends a lot on the coach being able to make and hold this space.
For me, coaching works very well online if they last a maximum of 2 hours. For much longer, both interlocutors cannot maintain the concentration. Interestingly, however, we also get to the points faster and then a maximum of 2 hours is very good. Apparently, the intensive contact via video camera leads to a shorter grip.