Developing Leaders and Teams
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Telephone coaching works
I have always believed that the best coaching was done face to face. As an extrovert, this is partly a personal preference. I also found it hard to believe that a relationship could develop deep trust without the personal contact. So, I was mildly apprehensive when selected as a coach to support a leadership development programme, via telephone coaching, for a US client. However, we went out to meet our matched clients before the telephone coaching began and this reassured me. It’s worked very well and I was sure that the initial meeting played a key part in this success. I’m still in touch with most of the clients after the coaching closed. So, when, on the last leadership programme I could not travel to meet my clients, I was very concerned. Guess what – these have been every bit as successful as the previous clients. Both of them have made significant change and we have an excellent relationship. What has this told me? That relationships are created in the space between two people whether the space is 1,000 miles or 6 feet. Remote coaching is successful when the following are in place;
- Effort, because deep listening, reflecting and silence need even more attention than usual.
- Curiosity – a strong desire to understand what’s behind the words and the pauses.
- Courage because you have to go with your instincts more frequently with fewer clues.
- Matching your client’s communication style e.g. auditory, visual etc.
- Taking time to build or rebuild rapport at the start of every call.
Face to face coaching remains my preference but I am now a strong advocate of telephone coaching and also recognise that, for some people, it creates an easier path to transformational change.