When E-Coaching Makes Sense

Coaching has been accepted by the business world as a useful tool. Not only can coaching solve disputes, but it can also prevent new ones. It's not easy, and it takes a significant amount of effort, but coaching works.

'E-coaching' is coaching over an electronic medium - usually the internet. E-coaching offers incredible opportunities, but it has limitations. If you're considering adding e-coaching to your coaching repertoire, here are a few things to keep in mind:

E-coaching advantages

  • Expert opinions are readily available. Need to ask a coaching guru a quick question? Contact information is seconds away.
  • Online training makes information available to everyone, and allows employees to skip sections that are irrelevant to them.
  • Geographical boundaries are no longer a problem. People across the globe can have real-time online chats.
  • Team members who are prone to falling off the coaching wagon can be reminded to stay on track.

E-coaching limitations

  • Personal connections are hard to see from a computer screen.
  • Coaching is notorious for taking time, but that's because it works best that way. An instructional video on how to manage generational gaps is helpful, but may not always provide a long-term solution.
  • Finding and testing great online resources, and weeding out the bad ones, is a time consuming but necessary evil.
  • Knowing how to balance e-coaching with other coaching techniques is important. Sometimes we really do need those human interactions. Face-to-face interactions are just as, if not more, important.

E-coaching is a useful tool for coaches to use. It clearly has its downsides, but its positives more than make up for its failings. So, while coaches should integrate e-coaching into their business, they shouldn't make it their business. Coaches must stay aware and make sure that just because their content has become easier to access, that it doesn't become less valuable. In order to stay on top, coaches must accept and apply e-coaching through podcasting, AV chats, videos, and online courses, but not forget that sometimes what businesses need is an old fashioned tête-à-tête, with cell phones on silent.

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