Atul Gawande, a surgeon and public health researcher who practises general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has studied how we can improve in the face of complexity? with a surgeon’s precision. He shares what he’s found to be the key: having a good coach to provide a more accurate picture of our reality, to instil positive habits of thinking, and to break our actions down and then help us build them back up again. “It’s not how good you are now; it’s how good you’re going to be that really matters,” Gawande says.
Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt says the best advice he ever got was to get a coach. Bill Gates emphatically says everyone should have a coach. There are at least 12 reasons for you to work with an Executive Coach.
As organisations increasingly turn to Executive Coaching for support and development, delivery options are expanding thanks to scientific breakthroughs and technological advance. A potential client recently asked me how he would benefit from working with an Executive Coach. By asking me this question, he made me reflect on the positive outcomes of Executive Coaching.
Coaching has been evolving from the usual setting of face-to-face conversations to what we call now ‘virtual coaching’, using telephone, Skype, Zoom…
Research supports the efficacy of virtual coaching. Most studies indicate that virtual coaching is just as effective as face-to-face, and some studies report that telephone coaching can be even more powerful, as the lack of eye contact enhances intimacy and disclosure.
Research suggests that length and delivery formats do not really impact on the effectiveness of coaching, as long as the coaching itself is of a high quality.
Last year’s Yale study suggested we can discern another’s emotions through listening better than we can through observation. “Across all five experiments, individuals who only listened without observing were able, on average, to identify more accurately the emotions being experienced by others.”
1. Virtual = your freedom
You have the freedom to do what you want, where you want, when you want. You are in control of your choice.
2. You control your environment
You decide where you work and in which surroundings to have that virtual coaching conversation. You choose your own space that feels safe and supportive to you.
3. You set your own working hours
You decide when to have the coaching conversation. A virtual coaching conversation can be just as effective while making location and time zone immaterial.
4. You make the most of the flexibility
You control your environment and the set up in which you have the coaching session. Coaching works around your own timing and your life.
5. You don’t have to commute
Commuting is expensive and is tiring. It demands effort and energy. Having a virtual coaching session means that you can do this at home, in your preferred environment. You don’t have to worry about the distance, the traffic-jams. You should just talk over your preferred schedule with your Executive Coach and make an agreement about your time, and then everything will be set. It’s simple and easy.
6. You save money
You don’t have to pay the travel, parking tickets and other expenses. You save money.
7. You choose the best coach
The best coach is not necessarily the closest coach. You can screen coaches from all over the world.
8. You have privacy
It is perfectly OK not to want to be in a face-to-face event. The camera on Skype or Zoom does not need to be on. On the phone, the coach does not see you. You may well feel more comfortable to talk through your vulnerability. It helps you to be alert and to focus. The coaching conversation is still behind closed doors.
9. You declare your needs
At the start of your work together, your Executive Coach invites you into an open and honest relationship, invites you to identify and declare your needs, invites you to believe in your own best thinking and to answer your own questions. A common question that clients ask is ‘What am I doing wrong’. There is no right or wrong question. There are only opportunities to explore and see things differently.
10. You can play it back
If you decide to have your coaching session on Zoom or Skype, then the session can be recorded. This can be a powerful way to examine what you say and how you respond in real time. When you have a system that provides real-time data, the coach can feedback by saying to you “hear the words that you are using; how could you have phrased it differently?” This will enhance your skills in public speaking, pitching and presentation because you will have become much more aware of how you use language to influence and persuade.
11. You have a different type of conversation
As your Executive Coach cannot see you, he/she cannot watch your body language or other visual clues. Active listening allows an Executive Coach to hear what is not said. The legendary management consultant Peter Drucker once said that “the most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.” Developing strategies that help you to understand the power of non-communication and what you can learn from it might be pivotal in your coaching conversation. Presence is about how your Executive Coach relates to others. Impact means creating a shift in the virtual room. These are all perfectly possible to achieve virtually.
This blog on 11 Reasons to Start Virtual Coaching gives you an opportunity to think about trying virtual coaching. Thank you as ever for stopping by. What do you think of what you’ve read? I hope it’s helpful if you are thinking of looking for an Executive Coach who does virtual coaching. Feel free to comment below or Tweet me @NadinePowrie with any comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s good to talk
I’ve just opened up new offers for virtual coaching in my diary. This is in response to my current clients’ feedback.