What is virtual coaching? Put simply, it’s when a coach meets with you in a virtual environment. This can be a chat, video call, social media or even email. The main advantages of virtual coaching are convenience and cost. Coaching can happen whenever and wherever it suits your schedule through the use of any device with an internet connection. The in-person option requires you to travel, thus incurring more costs.
Virtual coaching is a new approach to coaching that provides people with the same support and motivation as traditional coaching, but in online format. Virtual Coaching may also be defined as “Interactive e-Coaching”. Here are a few tips to help you with your virtual coaching business.
1 – Establish a Coaching Mindset
First and foremost, remember that your coaching goal is to help the other person get results. Keep that in mind and you’ll have greater success in both engaging and motivating them.
2 – Focus and Don’t Multitask
Focusing solely on the other person can be difficult when coaching virtually. We’re so accustomed to multitasking while we’re at our computers, but checking your email during a coaching session steals attention away from the task at hand. If you allow yourself to become distracted, you aren’t giving your full attention to your client and can’t do your best work.
3 – Get Quality Equipment
The technology you use will dramatically impact the online coaching experience. High-quality webcams, monitors, and microphones give you a professional presence. These don’t have to be expensive investments, but having the proper equipment will improve the quality of your virtual coaching.
4 – Formalize the Session
Set your schedule for virtual coaching as if you were setting up a face-to-face meeting. This enhances accountability on both ends. Schedule a dedicated time to connect and minimize interruptions.
5 – Set an Agenda
Agree on the expectations for online coaching sessions just as you would with an in-person session. Make sure you both know what you need to prepare in advance and how long the session will last.
6 – Manage Time Effectively
Track time during the conversation. Set a timer and stop at a point you’ve agreed on.
7 – Use a Professional Setting
Especially if you’re on-camera, make sure you’re running your coaching session in a location that sets a professional yet relaxed tone. If you’re coaching over the phone, a professional setting is still important since it can come across in your voice.
8 – Practice Active Listening
Whether on-camera or off, you need to pay close attention to what the other person is saying and what they are not saying. Listen for hesitations, doubt, enthusiasm, and other clues to what else is going on. On-camera, you should also pay attention to body language.
9 – Be Open to Changes
Staying flexible allows you to keep learning and improving your virtual coaching skills. For example, if the person you’re coaching is more tech-savvy than you, they may be able to show you new options.
10 – Agree on Next Steps
As you would with any coaching session or meeting, make sure you’re both clear on what your next steps will be in order to achieve the goals you set.
Virtual coaching is a trend that you may want to consider if you have the latest devices, Skype, Dropbox and Google Drive at your disposal.Some may argue, however maybe it takes more than a spec list of gadgets to perform a successful coaching session. The point isn’t what hardware you have in front of you but how life-like your virtual coaching session can be. In this respect there are several factors that you might not have thought about thus far.
Virtual coaching has become a great way to reach niche and specific audiences. If you want to get in the game, be prepared to roll up your sleeves and think outside the box. Virtual coaching will bring awareness to your brand or service, nothing is guaranteed though – so be cautious, enjoy yourself and let the results speak for themselves.
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