The Benefits of Virtual and TelecoachingApr 30, 2023
I started my career coaching practice in 2014, and my third coaching client came from Abu Dhabi. While she grew up in the USA, her family moved to Abu Dhabi in her twenties.
She was working a remote job in social media marketing and while she liked aspects of her career, there were certain aspects of her job that she strongly disliked — e.g. scheduling the posts and editing the images.
While I had never done virtual coaching before this client, I wanted to work with her, so I started first with Skype, a virtual media platform, and then a friend of mine told me about Zoom.
What I liked about virtual and telecoaching (coaching via phone), was that I wasn’t limited to working with clients in Denver, Colorado, where I was living, and could work with clients like the one in Abu Dhabi.
There were differences between in-person v. remote coaching.
In person, I could focus on overall body language to gain information, e.g. if a person was leaning forward v. back, crossing their arms, waving their hands.
With virtual coaching over Zoom or Skype, I would focus on facial expressions: a long exhale coming out of a person’s nose or mouth, how long someone would close their eyes, or if someone would smack their lips.
With telecoaching, I would focus on speech — pacing, word choice, cadence — because this would help me uncover someone’s subconscious beliefs.
Whether I was working with a client in-person, virtually, or through telecoaching, I had learned that body language, facial expressions, and speech were all doorways into how they were thinking and feeling — allowing me to reflect my observations and ask my client if my observation were accurate.
From there we would work on whatever bottlenecks and issues came up, in addition to the exercises that allowed my client to find a better career or business direction.
Improving The Telecoaching Process
Over the last nine years, I’ve learned to make virtual and telecoaching interactive using best practices used in psychology, such as developing strong simple questions, integrating movement, visualization exercises, meditation techniques and more.
That way I’m not adding to the burnout that my clients are already feeling from their work, but instead allowing them to get a mental break and allow for new insights and direction.
If I were to summarize the benefits or remote or telecoaching, I love that clients can access services from anywhere, they don’t have to deal with the additional commute time, and it is just as effective as in-person coaching.
So you might be thinking, “What happened to your client from Abu Dhabi?”
Through Zoom coaching, we used exercises I developed that compare childhood and career memories to help her determine her direction. My client realized that her career in social media was too tactical, and she decided she wanted to make a pivot to a role that was more strategic and involved more writing.
She ended up pivoting to content marketing, which allowed for the qualities she was seeking, and is working in a director-level position today.
If you are looking for support with your career or business direction, but are doubting if virtual coaching is for you, reach out and schedule a complementary strategy session.
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