Face to Face or Online Coaching?

Have you ever experienced online coaching (such as Skype/Zoom etc)? Have you tried face to face coaching? If you have experienced both, how did they compare?

I have only ever been coached by phone or Skype so I have no comparisons. I coach my own clients by phone, video conferencing and/or face to face, and all seem equally successful. What do you see as the pros and cons?

Personally, as a Coach, (and sometimes Coachee), I love the benefits of ‘virtual’ coaching. I save time and money and can work with anyone in the same time-zone.

I am relaxed going into the session (no traffic!) and both parties can get on with their actions immediately. For me these benefits outweigh any potential drawbacks.

So far, my research has shown that some Coaches prefer the personal interaction of face to face coaching, but others favour the distance and objectivity of an online session. When I speak to Coachees, the main concern seems to be trust in technology or having a private space to work in. Once clients have experienced online coaching I find they don’t want to revert to the time and financial hassles of travelling to appointments.

Over the past few years of coaching online, I have picked up the following tips:
• Make sure you have a quiet, confidential space to talk
• Wear headphones to block out distractions
• Test the equipment beforehand
• Switch off other streaming devices and apps before the session
• Experiment with a variety of online services
• Have a plan b in case your preferred method doesn’t work for some reason.
• Take a few minutes prior to the session to relax your shoulders and ‘get in the zone’

What pros and cons have you experienced with online coaching?
What tips do you have to maximise the pros and minimise the cons of online coaching sessions?