What is Online Coaching?

With the advent of online communication tools and the hurried lives we all lead, more and more people are turning to online coaching to help them achieve their goals. Typically online coaching involves a tool such as Skype, Whatsapp, Facetime or Zoom. It also involves two (or more in a group setting) people who have a common interest – working through challenging situations or unsatisfactory results in their lives or work. Some coaching conversations are as short as thirty minutes; others may last as long as two hours. That depends on the value of the conversation and the number of times the coach and client drift off the conversation. Most coaching conversations last for around one hour.

Can online coaching conversations as productive as face-to-face?

I believe online coaching conversations are extremely productive, often moreso because the client can relax in the comfort of their home or office, in a familiar environment, and focus on the path of the session.  I have never experienced an online conversation in which I felt or the other person (or people) expressed disappointment that the conversation was not face-to-face. Once technology issues are resolved, online conversations are just as productive as ones that occur in person.

What are the different types of coaching?

A coaching relationship is intended to be a powerful experience, which involves developing new possibilities, new levels of achievement and personal growth. Coaching is not therapy or counseling. Those roles must be left to mental health professionals. Coaching is for healthy people who want someone to listen and to probe–someone who will help them to be accountable for their success.  It is not uncommon for Coaches to have clients who are depressed or anxious surrounding certain issues, however Chronic Depression would be addressed by a mental health professional.

Although other types of coaching exist, three primary types of professional coaching take place: life coaching, leadership coaching and health & fitness coaching. Leadership coaching often moves into Life coaching and Life coaching often moves into Health & Fitness coaching as these three are certainly NOT isolated from each other.
  • Leadership coaching – A leadership coach supports the client in choosing and reaching important career and leadership goals. The coach encourages the leader to explore new ways to view situations, individuals, and possibilities. Based on new learning, the client develops new approaches, plans, strategies, and actions. In addition to finding new ways to view situations and experiences, the leader considers how to achieve better coherence in language, body, and emotions. Each of these is essential to strong leadership. Coaching clients are already successful and accomplished; they want to be more successful and more productive.
  • Life coaching- A life coach may work in the other two areas. However, the focus is on achieving a satisfying and enjoyable life based on the client’s circumstances. Sometimes, a client seeks a life coach to sort out issues related to life transitions, pleasant and unpleasant. The coach and client may look at attitudes or assumptions that prevent meaningful relationships or feelings of satisfaction in life. They may work on behaviors that will enhance the life and well-being of the client.
  • Health or fitness coaching- A health or fitness coach works with clients to support healthy life choices. These may include proper exercise or diet modifications.
What is MY Responsibility?

When you participate in coaching conversations, you make a commitment to yourself to learn and grow.  You begin with discussions about current circumstances and your desired future. After identifying the gaps, you will work with your coach to design a plan to realize your dreams. This plan may change over time. However, a vision of what you desire is essential to moving forward.

Using your plan as a road map, coaching conversations begin with updates and progress reports. You will reflect on your progress and challenges you experience along the way.  Each conversation produces action steps for future learning and growth.

What will My Coach Do? 

A successful coaching relationship is based on trust and respect. Your Coach will hold you in the highest regard, understanding your power even when you don’t.  They will respect your privacy, and maintain a safe, non-judgemental place for you to be open, mindful and vulnerable. Your coach makes your success their primary concern.

Your Coach will lead you through questions and exercises with the intention of uncovering your true desires, resolving blocks to success and forming a plan for the future.

In this way, it’s important to have a qualified professional that is accredited through the International Coaching Federation (ICF) who has been trained in techniques and strategies to help you along the path.  Having said this, connection with your coach is of the highest importance as this connection will pave the way for rapport and trust, allowing you to feel safe in your journey.


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