With technological progress, I believe there is a growing trend towards virtual interaction by all means. It ranges from electronic transactions and payment methods on the Internet, via E-learning and collaborative tools to long distance and remote surgeries. I understand that in some cultures, like Northern Europeans, have bigger acceptance capacity for technology-based tools into their daily lives if compared to ours, South Americans. However, this is a matter of time and generations. We have a very young population and eager for new technology. This gap will reduce tremendously soon.
What is Virtual Coaching? Experts speak so much about the importance of NLP – Neuro Linguistic Program – as a fundamental tool for this activity. And what about this matter of, basically, just hear the client without looking at his/her body language properly? Would a webcam be enough in order to coach with quality? My answer is very simple: it depends on the quality of interaction, partnership and trust between Coach and client. On one hand, I have colleagues, mainly Brazilians, who only coach face to face. On the other hand, I have some international colleagues who act very strongly via telcon and keeping personal meeting to a minimum. From my own perspective, I feel very confortable with both situations. Therefore, my client will decide based on his/her own agenda and budget. I will recommend that first sessions to be presencial in order to establish rapport and to my own calibration on client´s signals and meanings. In fact, the general performance will determine the rhythm, which will vary case by case.
The fact is that thinking of a so called “modern client” who accepts virtuality on today´s life and feel confortable in working via technological interfaces, I am the only Coach in Brazil who offers Virtual Coaching via my collaborative tool. It´s very simple. One needs: (a) Java applet installed in his/her pc, (b) broad-band connection (256 up) and (c) headset (please avoid speakers). Then, it´s just schedule a day/time and Talk to me at the agreed moment. The client will have access to a totally secure and interactive environment. The platform provides application sharing, white board, session recording and playback session modules, file transfer and web-cam (coming from June onwards) among so many features.
Benefits are various starting from web conference tool´s practicity considering that it is a web-based platform and can be accessed from any computer which is configured in relation to the collaborative software. Sessions can happen more often and for shorter periods of time, according to client´s best convenience. The system allows maximization of one´s broadband connection through VOIP - Voice Over Internet Protocol – while saving telcon expenses. This item is super important if we consider the possibility of inter-regional and even international calls. This platform avoids frequent locomotion and saves time, what is crucial in big cities. This tool also allows the client to work with a professional of his/her own preference regardless of the geographic location between both parties. Besides, it eases Co-Coaching tremendously. CoCoaching is when two or more Coaches attend a client at the same time. This possibility is particularly interesting when we work with Coaches with complementary experiences and expertises. I will come back to this point when I talk about International Business Co-Coaching.
I personally believe that younger clients will accept this Virtual Coaching approach more easily than rather senior people. Besides, I wonder that this approach will be a way to attract youths to consider a Coach in the early stages of their professional careers. The truth is that future has already arrived. The Virtual Coaching is a real possibility and I am perfectly confortable and alligned with this trend.
Looking forward to hearing your comments. Best regards,