One of the biggest issues for many employees who are or have been working at home, is that they have been left at home alone – distanced from their colleagues, line managers and the general vibe of the office. This is something to bear in mind when coaching someone remotely. Below we discuss some tips on how to coach someone remotely.
How to Coach Someone Remotely
Although there are numerous approaches, whatever your style, the following 10 points should guide you as to how to run a successful coaching session remotely:
- Ensure a safe coaching space
It can be difficult to build and maintain trust when you aren’t face to face in person with someone, therefore using words such as ‘safe’, ‘trust’, and ‘confidential‘ become critical in setting the tone for your sessions.
- Make sure your technology is working
This may sound obvious, however, when your technology fails, it instantaneously creates a barrier. This reminds people that you are not face-to-face and having a technology glitch can easily break the flow of your session.
- Ensure a coaching environment
Both you and your client need to be in a quiet and private space so that the conversation remains confidential, and your client feels free to express themselves openly. All home offices have distractions; however, these should not invade the session or compromise your ethical standards.
- Set clear and manageable goals
Due to the nature of being online, there has been an increase in work productivity, however, people are no longer focusing on specific goals. Bring your clients into the present so that they can plan. Coaching is about setting and achieving goals.
- Be present
When working on a computer we have access to email, google, and other applications. For some of us it requires a huge amount of self-control not to start browsing in the middle of a session. Stay engaged and listen actively. That’s why you are there.
- Maintain your professionalism
There are jokes about people wearing business attire from the waist up and then pyjamas or shorts under the desk. How you dress affects how you feel and how you are perceived. Just because you are behind your PC does not mean that you are not working. Remember who you are a professional and need to act accordingly.
- Acknowledge changes
Although most of us have become accustomed to working remotely, there are still psychological and emotional concerns, advantages, and discussions which may be necessary regarding workspace or access to colleagues or employees. Acknowledge these rather than avoiding them as they may develop into a barrier to progress.
- Allow for a new way of working
It may be frustrating for you and your client when things don’t work the way they did in the past. Different does not mean worse. Opportunities for improvement are always present. Work with your client to see things in a positive light so that your sessions are productive and yield results.
- Hold your client accountable
Coaching serves a specific purpose: to create change and ensure that your client moves themselves forward. Regardless of your environment, you need to ensure that your client remains accountable for his or her actions.
- End off your session a little early
When coaching remotely, we do not account for travel time, meaning that we often schedule meetings back-to-back. So do our clients. To ensure that your session is sealed off with clarity, start to conclude a bit earlier to ensure a mutual understanding of your client’s actions and path forward.
Understanding that people may feel alone helps you to understand where they are coming from and how you are able to assist. Coaching remotely can be hugely advantageous to both you as a coach, and your client. To learn new skills on how to coach remotely, contact SA Business Coaches for further information.