Online coaching is incredibly common, more so than online therapy, due to the different kind of working relationship. All MPWC practitioners are experienced in conducting sessions via telephone and video conference (Skype) and have sufficiently fast internet speeds and computers to host high-quality online coaching sessions.
There are a range of benefits, and some drawbacks, to online coaching, so assessing if it’s right for you is important.
THE BENEFITS OF ONLINE COACHING
Online coaching is incredibly convenient. There is no travel time; you can do it in the comfort of your own home or the convenience of where ever you are.
The world is your oyster if you are open to online coaching; you can work with anyone in the world. This is particularly good if you live in a country where you don’t speak the native language fluently. Doing coaching online means you can access coaches in your native language.
It’s also a great option for people who travel a lot but don’t want to interrupt their coaching work while they’re away from home. All you need is a good internet connection, some headphones and a private space and you can see your coach from anywhere. Many coaches themselves travel frequently and require you have the flexibility to work online, or they work solely online.
THE DRAWBACKS OF ONLINE COACHING
If you’re uncomfortable with technology or are highly sensitive to electromagnetic fields, online coaching may not be a good option for you.
There are some technical requirements needed for online coaching . You need a good internet connection, a fast device (could be computer, tablet or phone, but it needs to work well), and headphones. A lot of people already have access to all this, but for those who don’t, online coaching is not an option.
Sometimes the technology fails. Even when both the client and coach have all the right technology, call quality can be variable and call drop outs can happen. In our experience it’s an issue 2-3% of the time, so not a huge problem, but clients need to be aware that even if the call quality is low, or the connection drops out regularly, they still have to pay the full session fees.
Some of the more active coaching processes are harder to do online, but not impossible.
Anecdotally we believe that there are differences in the relationship between online and face to face coaching, however, it’s hard to generalise that it’s better or worse. Our experience suggests it’s both. Online coaching enables some aspects of the relationship but inhibits others. But it’s really up to you, if you feel you can’t connect with a coach online, then it might not be for you.
THE REQUIREMENTS FOR ONLINE COACHING
If you are going to try out online coaching, here’s what you’ll need:
- a modern device (computer, tablet or phone) with either a built-in or external web camera (unless you are doing audio only sessions)
- around 800mb of internet usage
- a quick internet connection (4G on a phone or tablet usually works, 3G not so much)
- a headset/earphones with microphone – background noise and echoes can make sessions quite difficult so a headset is important. You can get good enough versions from around $20.
- Skype – if you don’t already have it, you can download Skype here (it’s free)
- a quiet, private location, with enough light.