By: David Herdlinger
We’re living in an increasingly virtual world. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, many industries were forced to embrace the remote or hybrid workplace a lot sooner than expected, or even regardless if they’d ever made such plans.
But like it or not, we now have countless digital opportunities at our fingertips, including professional coaching.
But does it work? Does video-calling your coach yield the same benefits as face-to-face meetings?
Let’s unpack the issue.
The Good of Virtual Coaching
Professional or personal coaching can be incredibly powerful for a lot of people in need of a little help reaching their goals.
But depending on where you live, you might not have access to the best coaches, or even not have one in your area at all.
Virtual coaching, therefore, allows many more people to access these types of services, from anywhere, and even at any time.
This leads to some compelling advantages:
- Easily fit the coaching sessions into your busy schedule
- Find more opportunities to get coaching even for niche matters
- Get the chance to find a coach who can truly help your specific situation, etc.
The Bad of Virtual Coaching
There are two things I want to mention here:
First, you need to be careful who you trust. Since virtual coaching is on the rise, naturally many people may try to take advantage of them. It’s important to fully vet the coach and be sure you’re going to work with someone who’s experienced and can genuinely guide you to the success you look for.
That’s the biggest downside of virtual coaching.
But, there’s also a matter of what style you may respond best to. Simply put, some people still need face-to-face experience. The message resonates much clearer with them when they receive it live, as opposed to a video call.
I don’t think it’s necessarily productive to claim one style of coaching is better than the other. Both virtual and in-person coaching can provide you with a great experience.
Instead, be very careful how you select your coach, no matter if the meetings will occur in real life or through a digital platform.
There are some things you should always be looking for in a coach:
- Compatibility – Like any relationship, you have to be compatible with your coach at least on some level;
- Experience – If you’re going to learn from that person and take their advice, then they need to have the right experience to genuinely help you reach your goals;
- Expertise – The coach is an expert in their niche, but is their niche right for what you need? Always be sure to check;
- Trust – This is the foundation of any collaboration or relationship. If the coach isn’t the type of person you can trust to open up to, then your coaching experience will suffer because of it;
If you find someone compatible with you, has the right expertise and experience, and you feel you can trust them, then you don’t need to concern yourself with the virtual vs. real-life coaching debate.