Set YOUR Potential Free
Key point – it is really not that different to face to face, you can still see people, read body language, pick up emotional cues so try to relax about the idea that virtual coaching (or mentoring) is anything less than in person!
- Get yourself completely ready in advance – that means organising your environment, ensuring you have a good connection and that your background is not a distraction, you can use virtual backgrounds on some platforms but just finding a plain light wall is helpful. Although all those well-arranged bookshelves might look clever on the TV news programmes, it is space and clarity we need for coaching!
- Tools – when you are in the room it’s easy to whip out a pack of coaching cards or thrust a Wheel diagram in front of your coachee – not so in virtual times, consider what you might want to use in advance and have it on your screen ready to share or think about sending it via email in advance in case you want to use it
- Coachees need to set up their environment too – yes, check with your coachee in advance about their set up and ensure they have a space that is private, relaxed and uninterrupted. They may be uncomfortable doing virtual coaching too, you could try a ten-minute pre-coaching trial to help.
- Preparation Forms – anyone who has trained with me knows I’m a big fan of prep forms (something the coachee uses a little before the session to get themselves mentally prepared) so now might be the time to get into a habit of using these!
- Time – unlike face-to-face where it is easy to have 1.5-2 hour sessions, we tend to get a little more focused more quickly on virtual! With many people working online much of the day consider shortening your sessions 30-45 minutes, this may be quite enough but perhaps you need them more often. This is a great example of where you should ‘re-contract’ with existing coachees to get them on board with new ways of working together
Finally, try platforms that have a recording facility, this could be really helpful for your reflection as a coach and act as a reminder for the coachee (provided you agree on the recording rules in advance).
Happy virtual coaching!
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