We find that people often make the unconscious assumption that face to face coaching is somehow "better" than that delivered remotely. So we are always interested to hear about coachees' experience of 'virtual' coaching - whether as a one-off 'on-demand' telephone call or a more structured process, for example supporting an international leadership development programme via regular Skype or phone sessions.
We always ask coachees to complete an evaluation questionnaire on completion of a coaching programme, partly for quality control purposes for us and the client, but also for specific feedback. This is really valuable and sometimes we find a real gem. Today was such a day.
Our coachee in Germany has just completed a telephone coaching programme with his coach based in the UK. He reported that he was very happy to have had the opportunity of this coaching and that it had significantly raised his awareness and influenced the way he is thinking and approaching tasks.
He went on to describe his experience of being coached by telephone:
"I was very hesitant at the beginning – didn’t consider coaching over the phone to be a good alternative to a real face-2-face. Now, that I have had the experience and been through various sessions, I did change my view on this. With a coach as good as Ian, I believe there is a lot of value and benefits in telephone coaching. Getting the sessions set up is easier, getting into the sessions is easier – and once the meeting has started, one almost forgets that it’s on the phone"
Ulrich Horstmann, Manager, Ford
Ulrich's experience seems to be consistent with what others have reported; an initial reluctance and resistance to being coached by phone, then pleasant surprise at what then actually happens.
I never would have believed that telephone coaching could work, but now I'm a true believer!
Raj Thaker, Manager, Kantar Worldpanel