Robert Welling, Communications Trainer at The Method shares his insights on executive coaching in a remote delivery environment.
At the very start of the pandemic I was assigned a new project working 1-2-1 with an individual who was based in Poland.
Amid the fear and concern at the growing global situation I found this really exciting. The chance to work with someone and dive into their world all through the limitation of working remotely seemed to me a terrific challenge.
I was interested in discovering if across a virtual medium we could connect, develop rapport, and of course address the key performance areas.
A virtual coaching challenge
There is something very intimate about working virtually. Not only do you get the chance to view someones personal space (sometimes too much of it!), but also when working 1-2-1 you are quite literally shining the spotlight and the lens directly on to them.
Behaviours are intensified and become much more obvious and so the levels of vulnerability and focus that are required to succeed are extremely high.
The stamina to really push your energy for the entire 1.5 hours are huge challenges on both the coach and the coachee. But the rewards are also very tangible. Not only are you working towards a set delivery, but fortunately, you are under the exact same circumstances you will be performing in.
In theatre terms that equates to your first meeting being a dress rehearsal! So by the time you are ready to deliver, you are more than comfortable with the set up and the environment – elements which are vital for any top presenter.
Becoming an exceptional virtual presenter
This particular coachee was already an engaging presenter. What we did was begin to work through the techniques of how to translate that into being an exceptional virtual presenter. The trust required in this led to us building excellent rapport. I was able to coach him in the honest and bold way that he wanted to deliver, we maximised our time, and after his presentation he was delighted by the excellent feedback he received from his senior leadership team – a great result!
More fantastic results
But that was not enough. He realised the value and importance of putting extra resources into his skill set, and was determined to refine them even more. When I heard that we had scheduled a new rehearsal for his next delivery, I was excited by how much further could we push him? How good could he be?!
With our rapport leading off where we had left, I was able to focus him and work in a much more nuanced and detailed way, building from the foundational work we had previously done.
Shaping exemplary leadership skills
A new focus was at the heart of this delivery, not only to be engaging, but now to exhibit the qualities of a leader.
Shaping behaviours to exhibit traits of leadership at a high level meeting in a new role can be scary stuff. But the comfort and ease that this coachee was able to adopt behaviours, was hugely impressive.
Once again the coachee impressed and received great feedback, but perhaps even more importantly he felt comfortable in himself.
So, at a time of constant uncertainty, investing in yourself has never been more profitable.
If you’d like to find out more about our Executive Coaching programmes for your leaders or managers please get in touch here. We’d love to help.
If you have a specific challenge in mind call one of our Client Services Managers who can discuss which programme would be best suited to you.