Online Coaching – Functionality Strikes Ritual

Business coaching in the corporate environment is usually held today as face-to-face coaching. Coach and coachee sit opposite each other, look each other in the eye and have a good conversation until the request has been sufficiently clarified. The coachee has received in advance three coaches for preselection, which he has contacted. So both have before the first physical Meeting:

  • made known to each other by telephone or in person,
  • clarified the modalities, the contracting with the HR department or the controlling,
  • laboriously found an appointment for the first session, including one to two postponements.

So far, so ritualized … and lengthy. Today it takes about 3 – 8 weeks from the first contact to the first coaching session, sometimes even longer, for different reasons, and that is way too Long.

In contrast, online coaching as a digitized variant is the more functional alternative.

Business coaching is a highly individualized, event- and situation-related consulting service. So when do I, as a senior executive, consult a professional coach? Whenever I need a different perspective in a difficult (decision-making) situation that neither colleagues nor board members or any of my stakeholders can provide me with.

Say, I need the pro:

  • immediately,
  • on demand,
  • accessible,
  • for a rather short duration.

We all are market participants in the 21st century. That’s how we are conditioned, and for a good reason.

Another example: From the first listening to a song on the radio to the search for the song title to the download @iTunes pass two minutes more. I want to hear the song again – and I want it now.

In view of the rather lengthy preparations for face coaching, coachees ask the question:

Why should I stay in a decision situation for a long time if I could develop a solution with a professional in a timely manner?

The question is more than understandable. We talk about executives who are used to making decisions rather than putting them off. The lever is where the view prevails that a helpful coaching can very well online, namely take place by phone, Skype or other platforms. Nevertheless, a reasonable pre-selection process of the suitable coach should nevertheless be maintained. My thesis:

Coaching has to be today:

  • promptly (on demand),
  • easily accessible (easy access) and
  • offered with as little effort (travel, overtime) as possible.

The functionality of online coaching – as with many digitized services today – is captivating.

Here are some arguments:

  • Immediacy / clarification “on demand”: The coachee can clarify an important question with a very short lead time or obtain a “second opinion”. Unnecessary delays through lengthy appointments fall away.
  • Accessibility and quality: Location is no longer a selection criterion for coaches. “Best fit” / qualification of the coach suggests proximity. Instead, the coachee has access to specialized coaches across the country, distributed throughout Europe or around the world, and regional availability of coaches no longer plays a role. The coachee can use the coaching from the home office. Or on company trips, wherever it can be phoned.
  • Less effort: travel times are eliminated. The time gained can be used for work in the company. Online coaching can be used outside of busy daily hours in everyday life. Coachee and company win.
  • Short: Online coaching can be divided into shorter time periods. While face coaching is not worth under three hours due to travel expenses, this is not absolutely necessary with online coaching.
  • Variety of methods: A systemic, solution-oriented approach is recommended. The most diverse methods can also be used online; Installations with chairs etc.
  • Media and technology like teamviewer / skype etc. also allow the exchange of documents / sketches / graphics. By using cameras, the coachee can visualize the coach on the flip chart, e.g. follow and have visual support.
  • Last not Least … The Billing Mode: Online Coaching can be done in 30 min. Clocking be billed. Useful so that the coachee can take his next step in a timely manner. Sometimes only a piece of the puzzle is missing …

Another example:

LinkedIn: Under the heading “Career Counseling” today is already hard-working between each other and pro bono online coached. Sure, this can hardly be compared with a professional coaching. But the idea is just good.
Despite all the fascination that I have for the digitized form of executive coaching, the one crucial question remains:
Will the customer accept online coaching? Does he believe that a trusting working relationship will develop online in the same way as in the presence situation in which one sits opposite each other and looks each other in the eye?

So, when does functionality beat the ritual?

Please leave your comments – I am very curious about the opinions of the community!

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