Note-taking During Coaching Considerations

Note-taking During Coaching Considerations By Cathy Liska

During coach training the question often comes up as to whether face-to-face or telephone coaching is most effective.  The debate between the two is fascinating.  Based both on what I have read and experienced, I am firmly on the side of telephone coaching being more effective.

First, telephone coaching eliminates miscues based on visual perceptions.  This applies to both the coach and the client – few are trained enough to correctly read and evaluate facial expressions and body language.  For the client, they sub-consciously respond to the coach based on the visual cues they see – facial expressions and gestures.  This means instead of thinking it through for themselves they are responding to someone else.    Telephone coaching also minimizes subconscious biases influencing the relationship.

Next, telephone coaching requires the coach to listen more deeply.  Because understanding is 55% visual, when the visual is removed the significance of words, tone, and pace increases.  This requires listening deeply.

The logistics of telephone coaching are far more easily managed.  Plus, telephone coaching opens up the source of coaches and clients supporting a better match and more opportunities.

Next consider the note-taking.  During the coaching certification practicum, the coach takes notes.  In a face-to-face setting this introduces the challenge of balancing between eye contact and writing.  Additionally, the client starts wondering what the coach is writing, or hoping something is not written, or wanting something significant to be captured.  The coach is distracted by the eye contact and the client is distracted by the note-taking.  This minimizes the value of the coaching and limits the notes too.

Telephone coaching simply makes more sense.

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