Until recently, I’ve been fortunate enough to have about 90% of my coaching engagements in-person and I don’t mind admitting that I was a little nervous about shifting my clients to virtual coaching. I worried whether I would still be able to have that same connection and rapport that I feel is one of my signature strengths as a coach.
It’s been a pleasant surprise to find that my coaching seems to have “upped a gear” since going virtual. I’ve come away from my Zoom and phone coaching sessions with more certainty that I’ve made a positive impact, not only from the effusive feedback from my clients but an inner sense of really making a difference. I’ve been considering why this might be the case and I’ve come up with the following thoughts:
- Coaching provides a welcome pause from the everyday hurly-burly of life and allows individuals to really focus. At this time when ambiguity and uncertainty are at an unprecedented high, this space becomes even more precious.
- This pause and focus isn’t only useful for my clients; I’ve relished the opportunity to step away from home learning with my 8-year-old son (that’s a whole other blog post) and really immerse myself into my coaching practice, thereby being more present for my clients.
- I’ve been able to find a little bit of time (see above point re: home learning) to revisit coaching models and tools that I haven’t used for a while and apply these in coaching sessions so it’s probably brought a fresher approach to my practice.
- While I have continued to engage with my coach supervisor, I’ve also taken advantage of some reciprocal coaching with fellow professional coaches in my network at this time. This has provided me with additional and necessary space to work on my concerns so that I can be in the best possible place for my practice.
- I’m often “suited and booted” for in-person coaching with my corporate clients and I’m wondering whether my less formal wear while working from home brings out more of the “real Helen” and that the greater authenticity that it brings is deepening my coaching relationships.
So, I’m relieved to realise that my worries about losing connection and rapport so far seem to be unfounded and if anything, my connections seem to be deepening. This now leaves me wondering what in-person coaching may or may not hold for me and my clients going forward, but in keeping with many people’s current favourite mantra, let’s take it one day at a time…..