Virtual Coaching – How to Coach Staff Remotely and Effectively

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The ability to coach staff is a vital skill for any manager.

Coaching helps:

  • Continual performance improvement
  • Goal setting and achievement
  • Engagement
  • People feel valued
  • Implement change

 

Since March 2020 face to face coaching hasn’t really been an option for many managers. The biggest mistake a manager can make is waiting until “things are normal”. Hybrid working is here to stay which means virtual coaching is a vital skill for any manager moving forward.

The ability to coach staff remotely takes the art of coaching up a notch, to compensate for the nuances that are lost in the absence of person to person contact in the same room, however the ethos of remote coaching remains the same as in-person coaching.

 

Using the GROW model

You will still be defining exactly where an individual or team is now (reality) where they need to be (goal), agreeing a blueprint of their journey and the landmarks along the way (options) and setting an agreed method of checking it has worked (will) .

Take a look at our broader definition of (coaching) here.

Coaching staff remotely takes away the need to booking a room for a formal session, but, there are other factors you’ll need to give additional consideration to, like:-

  • Tech – The tech we’ve embraced since lockdowns began has transformed the way we live and the way we do business. We’re equipped with better platforms to coach staff remotely. But, you still need to think about the best platform (zoom, teams, WebEx etc)  are you 100% sure you’re using all the features of these platforms to best advantage, such as whiteboards to facilitate joint planning and discussion.

 

  • Environment – It’s sheer common sense that you need an appropriate quiet space without any distractions to coach staff remotely. But it can become more challenging if the individual or team members you’re coaching are getting distracted by their emails, phone or family. You must set some ground rules before you start. Let them know this is the same as if face to face, so no phones, emails, interruptions, camera on etc

 

  • Engagement and buy in – Consider your delivery. You might need to ramp it up, interweave more storytelling, and speak in a louder and more animated voice. You will need to ask more questions (prepare in advance if you know the subject of the coaching session). Eye contact – look at the camera. Nonverbal clues – nodding etc. Active listening is vital virtually – no interrupting!

 

  • Pause for thought – Don’t be afraid of silences when you coach staff remotely. Give people time to gather their thoughts at regular intervals, space to make notes, and for everybody’s questions and comments to be heard.

 

  • Agree actions – Make sure you fully complete the session with actions and a coaching log. There is a danger being virtual it may turn into a “nice chat” lets make sure we stick to what we would expect face to face.

 

  • Regularity – There may be a tendency to coach less when remote but in fact, if anything, it should be increased. Staff can feel isolated working from home and having a regular coaching session can help make them feel valued, engaged and keep them on track.

At Sales Training International, we have been using remote coaching for many years to support our programs and for one to one clients.

The nature of our business dictated that we became even bigger users of remote coaching from March 2020, using platforms such as Skype, Teams, Zoom, Blue jeans, WebEx and Google Hangouts.

Understandably, many businesses have turned to us for help in how to coach staff remotely during the past year of enormous changes.

We have a lot of information on coaching, including training for your managers. We also have a FREE coaching manual.

Remote coaching is here to stay. And it will continue to evolve. Can we help your business get ahead of the game and remain ahead of it?

 

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