eCoaching – Some clarity in this Brave New World

Modern communication media is ubiquitous in society. We are surrounded by it both at work and at play.  The evolution of computers, the growth Internet and now  mobile devices allows people to work in a more location independent world.

Modern medias have naturally entered into the sphere of coaching. They have led to an array of terms based both on geographical separation of coach and client such as with virtual, remote and distance coaching. Additionally, terms have been created reflecting the communication channels used as  with Skype, Video and eCoaching .The resulting problem is a lot of contradictory definitions and vague boundaries as to what each of these terms mean.

Technologies such as telephone, email and Skype have long been used in many coaches arsenal.  But the technological landscape of e- coaching is slowly becoming more complex. Currently face-to face coaching still remains dominant in the field. However, eCoaching has progressed from a stop gap measure to increasingly enabling coaching outcomes to be achieved quicker and more satisfactorily.

Bringing Clarity to eCoaching 

So what is eCoaching? In it’s broadest accepted definition it is simply coaching mediated through modern media with the implication that it is directly replace face to face communication. In this context modern media can be synchronous through both auditory and/or audiovisual means in the form of telephone, Skype, web-conferencing and instant messaging in addition to the use of  asynchronous tools including e-mail and message boards.

At Outplace Yourself, we see a more refined definition of what what eCoaching is –

Making use of technology for coaching. In clear terms, eCoaching offers a one point access to an online collaborative environment whose focus is to maximize and accelerate the results of coaching.

The Benefits, the Present & the Future

By it’s nature eCoaching brings a number of additional benefits than just being Time and Location independent. It allows for frequent contact and engagement between coach and client, leaving both able to control the flow of communications between each party. Many of the collaborative tools now used in eCoaching are similar to those used by most individuals in their daily lives. Offline tools allows for better reflection of a client’s current situation in the coaching process.

After the usual adaptation period that comes with  introduction of technology into any new environment, more and more coaches who have entered into this new medium are now well  aware of its components and structures, understand it’s true potential and are eager to share its benefits with their coachees.

With  the right methodological training frameworks in this evolving field and an improved promotion of these coaching mediums by coaching federations and associations as a whole, eCoaching will continue to establishing itself in the coaching world

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