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Good online coaching practices

Virtual Coaching
Coaching on line

Digital evolution and globalization have changed the working methods by frees them from the constraints of place and time. The work is done more and more at home, the teams become virtual, and the knowledge of the company is in clouds. Technology has had a considerable impact in many areas of our life, and in particular education, training, and support. In terms of skills development, the digital space now offers effective alternative solutions to the paper board. Education, learning and support have not escaped this digital revolution. The COVVI-19 pandemic forced schools, universities, and businesses to accelerate the implementation of remote work, which has exploded the use of online learning and coaching. Even before the pandemic, the analyzes of the Research and Markets predicted an annual growth of 9, 23 % per year between 2020 and 2025 of the world market for online learning, to reach a turnover of $ 320 billion in US in 2025. These figures could be updated after an analysis of the impact of the COVVI-19 on the online learning market.

Faced with this revolution in the digitalization of human relations, two major questions can concern coaching. Is it important to adopt online coaching and if so, under what conditions? Online coaching is not a fashion, but a natural evolution of the practice of face to face, an evolution in response to the real needs of coaching customers and the lifestyles of the world today. The coach who would refuse the possibilities of online coaching, would quickly marginalize his market, and take the risk of disappearing. Refusing online coaching would be as incongruous as refusing computer services. The only valid question is therefore how to best use the new possibilities of technology, by not giving up the conditions for the efficiency of coaching.

As human beings, we have a deep need to connect to other people. Because human interactions are necessary for our balance and our growth. The intervention of coaching creates a particular relational space, in which the person can express their goals and aspirations, express their potential, and go beyond what hinders its development. This relational space is the key element to preserve whatever the technology used, because without it coaching simply does not exist, whether opposite or at a distance.

What is virtual coaching?

Recall that coaching in a professional environment is a process of supporting a person or a group of people at work with the aim of developing the potential of individuals.

As part of traditional coaching, the coach and his client sit in front of each other, without artifice between them. To do this, they must find themselves in a specific place, which involves travel costs and time. This direct face -to -face meeting allows the coach to capture many aspects of non -verbal communication (postures, gestures, expressions, breathing) and possibly feeling the relational field created between coach and coached. This is in theory a point of differentiation between traditional coaching and virtual coaching. It is true that coaching by phone, by emails or SMS do not allow the taking of body language to be considered. This is the reason why these other media are generally not used to carry out a coaching session but are mainly offered as an emergency contact or in relation to a tool used during the session.

The objective of virtual coaching is identical to that of traditional coaching. Even if you practice virtual coaching, your fundamental skills are those of a professional coach.

New applications, faster and more efficient, are born to simultaneously manage all multimedia flows (Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Discord, Viber2.3.)

If online learning often continues to evolve towards facial less technology, individuals will most likely keep a preference for working on their development with a real person, rather than a robot or an avatar. This is even more important for the generation that has lived all his life on the Internet. The classic distinction between face to face and virtual disappears now, because with the video tools the face to face is either direct or mediated.

Despite the Research Work that contradictions their views, Many Coaches and Customers Believe that coaching is more effective during session in direct face. Above all, let's say that some coaches are more comfortable with the face to face live that with a distant that involves the acquisition of new digital skills. Beyond what appears Above all as a conflict of generations, the important thing is all to choose a coaching mode that works for you and your customers, where with the face to face live or virtual, or a combination booth.

Whether Direct or Virtual, Coaching is in its definition Personalized Support Seeking to Improve the Skills and Performance of An Individual, A Group or An Organization, Thanks to the Improvement of Knowledge, The Optimization of Organizational and Control Methods and Methods. Virtual Coaching can contact the Three Main Categories of Professional Coaching: Individual Coaching and Group Coaching (Team Coaching formed or collective).

Is online coaching effective?

The effectiveness of corporate coaching is now well demonstrated by multiple rigorous studies. The results of two meta-analyzes on the efficiency of face-to-face coaching or mixed, face to face and online confirm the positive effects of organization coaching. Virtual coaching being more recent, studies are less numerous, but nevertheless demonstrative of the interest of virtual coaching compared to traditional coaching.

Qualitative and quantitative research shows that the most important factors that determine the success or failure of coaching are on the one hand the motivation and expectations of the client and the coach, and on the other hand the relationship of trust. In other words, a customer little or not motivated will have lower coaching results than the standard; Similarly, a coach showing low or unrealistic expectations will also produce results from the standard. It is therefore not the mode of meeting of the coach with his client (in person or virtual) which determines the success of the coaching, it is above all the commitment to obtain results, associated with a relationship of trust between the coach and the customer. It is important to remember that the essential components of coaching can therefore be carried out both in the context of face -to -face and virtual coaching.

The benefits of online coaching for customers

1 - More flexible hours. Customers could meet their coach outside the usual working hours, for example early in the morning or later in the evening.

2 - A larger choice of coaches. Customers no longer choose a coach according to local geographic criteria, but depending on their personal needs, whatever the workplace or housing. Internet allows the customer to get in touch with the very specific skills coach he is looking for.

3 - Access to the personalized coach. Customers can more easily contact the coach when they need it, and without having to wait for the implementation of a new coaching program. Customers want, like each of us that things are easy, practical, faster, cheaper, better quality, and adapt to our lifestyle. Coaching is no exception to these new requirements.

4 - The creation of a feeling of belonging. Customers of virtual group coaching could meet a greater diversity of people, different professions or different cultures. People they might not have been able to meet otherwise. These exchanges during group coaching make it possible to strengthen a feeling of belonging and a commitment to the employer.

5 - Meeting groups of experts. The Internet allows people located in different parts of the world to meet and work together on innovation processes. The creation of collective learning networks is particularly important for experts working in highly competitive sectors.

6 - An enlarged protection framework. Not being chosen by the hierarchy, the coach can intervene as an independent or more neutral part, offering the employee a greater framework for protection and confidentiality.

The benefits of virtual coaching for companies

1 - The self -determination of the coached. Finding the right coach no longer depends on the choice of an organization or HRD, but on that of the beneficiary. The latter is taken care of in the choice of his coach and for the practical organization of coaching. This self-determination invites the beneficiary of coaching to a self-examination and to be aware of what he really needs. This preliminary reflection on real expectations is a guarantee of coaching success.

2 - A larger choice of coaches. Whatever its level of competence and professionalism, no coach can suit everyone. Many factors can influence the quality of the relationship and the effectiveness of coaching: the personal or professional journey, particular skills, the style of coaching, the personality, personal affinities. What remains unpredictable is the ability of the two interlocutors to really meet to establish a relationship of trust. Only a real meeting validates whether the relational alchemy works or not. It is easier to interrupt coaching that does not quickly satisfy when it takes place online. Internet allows employees to take the time to find the coach that suits them best.

3 - Reduction of expenses. Online coaching can reduce business spending. Face -to -face coaching is generally more expensive than virtual coaching due to the integration of travel times which are sometimes important. Some coaches travel long distances to meet their customers. Since virtual coaching brings the same profits as face-to-face coaching, sources of savings for the company are important. And therefore, coaching can become accessible to a larger number of employees.

4 - greater confidentiality and intimacy. Some employees prefer not to let their colleagues know that they benefit from coaching. Which is difficult when the coached meets his coach at the workplace. Virtual coaching offers a solution to those who want to maintain the confidentiality of their coaching approach.

5 - Better use of coaching time. Virtual coaching invites you to enter the coaching action more quickly. We will take less time to have tea or coffee with your coach. The physical framework of the relationship is that of a screen, not that of a room. Virtual coaching strengthens visual contact, limits distractions, encourages to be more quickly alert and concentrated, to respond immediately to what is necessary for customer development. The success of a coaching depends in part on the coach or the proposed activities, but above all on what the employee brings in the coaching relationship.

6 - Easy time management. The overloaded agenda is often the advanced obstacle to the establishment of coaching. The hierarchy can also consider that coaching time is too much encroaches on the work of an employee. These arguments lose their weight with virtual coaching. Due to the lack of time and distance limit, employees just have to agree with their coach on the schedules of their meetings.


The end of the Pandemic of the Covid 19 will certainly not accompany that of virtual coaching. As we have just seen, it is an important and irreversible change. The covid did not create online coaching but has only accelerated its development. This trend is irreversible because the benefits of online coaching are far too important to give it up, whether for customers, coaches, and the company, and all this without loss of efficiency. It is likely that the coaching of the future will use mixed formulas, face to face for the first meetings, and online for the other sessions. Some coaches consider that the coaching relationship can only be established in a face -to -face meeting and they are right to believe it.

Let us not forget that as social being, the Internet cannot meet all our basic needs of connections and interactions. I remember a film that told the life of young urban people living their personal and professional life only through the new media that are the phone, emails and computer. When these young people wanted to continue the relationship with a real meeting, they made meet in a specific place and a specific day. And on the day of the meeting, they were constantly crossed, in search of each other, without being able to really meet as humans. If I am looking for a person's image, I can become unable to meet the real person. In an overly virtual world, the other can lose their humanity there and can be reduced to a perceived image in a digital setting. A too virtual world develops the fear of direct encounter with other humans. Fear of the other's judgment on what we have masked online, afraid of displeasing, afraid of looking in front, and even afraid of really touching the other and microbes or viruses that they could transmit.

Virtual coaching is certainly full of advantages, but certainly not as much as those offered by nature. Modern man needs coaching because he deviates from his true inner nature and loses contact with his natural environment. If coaching in nature is in vogue, it seems to me that it is already a response to the excesses of digital coaching. Contact with nature releases muscle tensions, slows the heart rate, lowers the stress level ... and allows you to be more present to yourself ... Sometimes in a few minutes. Nature is a great vector of expression of our true nature. The natural environment makes it possible to consider a situation from a new angle. By walking at the same time, physiologies agree, egos can be fading, we can start meeting as humans. The magic of the meeting can then produce fruit.

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