Benefits of Telephone Coaching

When I started coaching, a few years back, I was a firm believer that coaching effectiveness was bound to a necessary face to face interaction between coach and coachee. It is true that in-situ interaction does bring in its fair share of advantages, among which the possibility to visually “observe” the eventual silences of the conversation and “read” subconscious communication patterns such as body language or facial expressions. Yet, it does carry along some drawbacks, inclusive of visual distraction, for both the coach and the coachee, and sometimes, the apprehension we might have toward the look or judgment of others upon us; which goes against the focused and non-judgmental nature of coaching.

With the internationalization of my client base, intimately linked to the frequent international relocations imposed by my work, I came to interact, more and more frequently, with distant clients, primarily by telephone. What was initially a plan B thing to punctually accommodate existing face to face clients has now developed into a full-blown approach of its own, with a significant increase of “distant” clients preferring the flexibility and advantages of telephone coaching.

  • Coaching, in general, and action learning, in particular, has to be a focused process. Telephone coaching does enable a total concentration, from both coach and coachee, on what is essential: COACHING and nothing else. Visual distractions are removed from the interaction, enhancing the effectiveness of communicating the message and information across.
  • From the comfort of your own safe heaven.Coaching sessions are usually short, compared to training, for a particular reason: INTENSITY. Coaching is a self-reflective process requiring a sustained effort during the entire session, to analyze, reflect upon, and formulate actions toward a particular, or several, situations. It may not always be possible or convenient for clients to arrange their own schedule during work hours, where on-going work related issues and distractions might affect their level of concentration and, overall, their level of implication toward the coaching process. By making their own arrangements, in terms of setting for the telephone sessions, clients also guaranty the CONFIDENTIALITY of the relationship, where no one will have to know the content and details of their coaching session.
  • Opening-up. Coaching is a very intimate process where apprehensions on the coach’s look or judgment upon the client can have an impact on the depth and quality of the coaching relationship. The unusual blend of anonymity and intimacy that comes from telephone coaching helps clients to more fully open themselves to the coaching process. No TRUST, no effective coaching. We all, somehow, apprehend the look of people, whom we are regularly interacting with, upon us (supervisors, employees, family members, friends,…), since we are generally bound to regular social interaction with them. The perceived social or emotional “impact” of a stranger on the other end of a line, whom we might never meet, is generally lesser.
  • Coaching is not training. Coaching is not about telling the client what has to be done, it is rather, through active communication and a structured action-centered philosophy, to enable and help clients formulate their own solutions to situations they perceive as problematic or complex. Clients should expect the coach to be an equal partner with whom they will be able to bring in as much, to the relationship, as they receive from it and telephone is a great equalizer.
  • Find the RIGHT coach. While the coach’s background is an important factor when selecting a coach, CHEMISTRY between coach and coachee is what makes a difference between a productive and an unproductive relationship. Coaching is about interpersonal communication, plain simple. Would you undress in front of someone who does not make you comfortable? Most likely, not. The same goes with the intimacy of the coaching process. Telephone coaching enables you to connect to the right coach, the one with whom you feel a real connection with, the one with whom you feel you will be COMFORTABLE working with, without been limited by geography.
  • Time efficiency. There is absolutely no traveling required for telephone coaching, no advance planning, no traffic stressing jams… The opportunity is there to fit the client’s coaching into the busiest of schedules, when the kids are in bed, during a lunch break or between meetings. Additionally, look at the bright side, no transport, no emission: completely environmentally friendly.

I am currently working with coachees located in the US, Europe and Asia, some of whom I have never met in person, until now. Yet, despite the distance, telephone coaching enables us to efficiently work together and achieve optimum results, coaching after coaching, with the added advantage of flexibility and convenience. And all it takes is a good phone line!

Coaching Certification – It’s Not Important, But What Is?

In the coaching profession it is not necessary to get a coaching certification. In other words just about anyone can begin coaching without prior certification from any school or institution. Although there are some places that are making moves to regulate the profession, getting a coaching certification is not a requirement to be great at what you do.

What makes a great coach?

Having a coaching certification is not the basis for one to be considered an amazing coach. If you have prior experience in your field of expertise and you have the zeal and passion to support others then you may have what it takes to be a successful professional coach. You know the ins and outs of the business because you’ve been there done it. Anyone can start their own coaching business with virtually zero training or certifications.

However there is one “training” activity all successful coaches partake in consistently. They are always being coached themselves by a coach who is ahead of where they want to be. It makes sense right? If a coach wants to help their clients grow they must be growing themselves. This is where the true learning comes from. Being coached regularly is the best way to improve as a coach and a mentor.

But in case you’re wondering why there are people who want to get certified, they were indoctrinated by coaching organizations and schools. They believe it’s essential and that’s why these institutions exist to certify them.

Many people want to get certified because they want a validation that they are good coaches. But the truth is, it is highly possible to be certified even if you are not that good of a coach. In the same way that there are many great coaches that exist out there without coaching certification.

There is nothing wrong with getting a coaching certification, but then again there is no guarantee that a certified coach can deliver better results than an uncertified one. In fact, anyone with a printer can claim that they are certified coach-and I mean anyone who may not even have experience in business or in other fields. Who knows right?

If a coaching certification doesn’t matter then, what does?

Experience, ability, a great system-these are just few of the elements that matter when it comes to choosing a business coach. Clients want to invest in people who can help them; a person whom they believe in. And coaches must have a solid background in business or in other fields in order for them to gain the respect and trust of their clients.

Experience in their field can speak for itself. Bill Gates, for example, does not need to be certified in order for him to become a successful business coach. Ask yourself, does he need a certification?

What’s also important is whether or not the he or she was able to deliver desirable results for her or his previous clients. Was she or he able to improve a business, achieve goals or improve relationships? This is an effective way to measure whether or not a coach has a system that works for their clients.

The most important reasons why certain coaches succeed in their field is their irreversible passion for what they do. Coaches can make a great difference in people’s lives only when they have a heart for coaching. And having a coaching certification cannot replace passion, experience, real and raw skills.