Remote coaching – the key lessons

Over the past year we’ve been working with clients who are based in Africa, South East Asia and the US.  Global companies already rely on virtual communication; so coaching by phone and Skype is readily accepted.  We’ve been pleasantly surprised at how effective remote coaching has been – it’s challenged our own bias for working in person.  Despite less face-to-face contact, our remote clients have benefited from the same process of feedback, insight and performance improvement as our other clients.

Here are three key lessons we’ve learned about remote coaching:

Coaching helps remote employees feel valued and connected

It can be tough for an ambitious leader if they feel isolated from the corporate hub, or even worse if they fear that they are being overlooked for new assignments.  The head-hunter’s calls can start to sound appealing! Working with a coach provides real evidence that an employee is recognized and valued, particularly when the coaching is an explicit part of developing their capacity for a future role.  This helps to develop and retain talent.

London-based coaches bring insight and credibility

Being close to the London HQ means we’ve been able to understand the strategic priorities and build relationships with the senior leadership. Combined with our experience of working across a range of industries, this means our coaching input brings insight and credibility that make it more attractive than working with a local coach. Of course there are some situations where it’s appropriate to have more frequent contact, so local coaches still have a role in talent development.

Meeting face-to-face early on pays big dividends

This has been easy to arrange given that our clients tend to travel a lot anyway, and usually come through the UK several times a year. So it hasn’t incurred additional expense or added delays.  It’s been especially valuable for more extended conversations to debrief 360 degree feedback at the start of an assignment, and ensures that subsequent virtual communication is open and honest.

What’s your experience of remote coaching?  Would you like to learn more about how we can help you develop and retain a diverse workforce?  Get in touch by phoning Jonathan on 07711 068874 or by email to jmales@performance-1.co.uk

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