Table 1: Advantages and disadvantages of the virtual coaching mode as compared to the ‘traditional’ one
The description of the coaching approach below refers to the virtual implementation without describing the technical options in each individual step. Throughout the coaching process, video conferencing platforms and whiteboards are used for discussions, visualizations, creative work and planning to ensure interactive work.
Selection of a coach
The key to successful coaching is a trusting, eye-to-eye relationship between the coach and the client. When choosing a coach, especially for team coaching, it should be ensured that all team members can engage with this coach and thus with the process. In virtual coaching, more time has to be set aside for building relationships.
At the beginning of any coaching session, it is important to establish what outcomes the coachee wants to achieve as a result of the coaching. At this stage, a goal might reflect the bigger picture and what the coachee specifically wants from the session itself e.g., identify a strategy or specific actions for moving forward or identifying options. The coach is opening up the discussion using a video conferencing platform, establishing the scope of the coaching and setting ground rules for working together in a virtual space. Ground rules include switching on the cameras and microphones, active engagement, being on time, relationship building, and reducing anonymity.
Goal setting and exploring
This stage is about helping the coachee to gain an understanding of their situation and of how the situation is impacting them. The coach is challenging the client to think through possibilities for future action in resolving the situation.
Identify options and take action
At this stage, the coach supports the coachee to identify the various options available to them and assists in choosing a way forward and deciding on the next steps.
Review and way forward
In a final stage, the coachee selects the most appropriate option and commits him- or herself to action. In addition, the coach also encourages feedback from the coachee on what was helpful about the coaching process, what was difficult, and what they would like to do differently in future coaching sessions.