Pre-pandemic 80% of all coaching was virtual. Since the pandemic, almost 100% of coaching is virtual. The coaches and clients who were meeting face-to-face were impacted the most. I had a funny conversation with one of our graduates, a coach who was resistant to the idea of coaching on the phone or online. The coach felts there was tremendous value in a face-to-face connection. The pandemic meant this coach experimented with telephone and online platforms. They found their sessions were better! What was different? They had to listen more intently, and the client was freer because they didn’t see the coach react.
What are the benefits of coaching on the phone or online? With online sessions you have the option of being on-camera to say hi and have the personal connection, turn it off during the session, then at the end turn it on again to schedule the next call. During coaching sessions without cameras, the conversations stay focused on the client’s thinking without the impact from the client seeing the coach take notes or their facial expressions. The client remains focused completely on what they wish to talk about. Because there is no visual, the coach hears more of what the client is saying. Another advantage is that coaches can serve clients all over the world.
As an interesting parallel coach training was often held face-to-face pre-pandemic and while enrollment in the virtual classes had been increasing anyway, only virtual was offered during the pandemic. In the coaching certification classes, participants experienced on and off camera. The majority say they find off camera works best. What do you think?