Face to Face vs Online Coaching

When a potential client contacts me and I offer Skype coaching as an option, I receive one of two responses. The first is a look of suspicion and the second is a willingness to give it a try.

The look of suspicion: A lot of people, especially in South Africa, are not open to the idea of doing things online. This could be because of our naturally suspicious nature. We do, after all, live in a country where scams and crime are an everyday occurrence. When you compare the amount of people who do their shopping online in South Africa vs those in England, America or Europe we are definitely behind the trend. Doing things online is simply not something we are comfortable with…yet. As the world changes and grows however so too can our perception of doing things online.

Some clients prefer face to face coaching as it feels more comfortable to talk to a person in real life than it does to talk to a screen. For some, the ritual of getting in your car and driving to the coach’s office creates a metaphorical cocoon around the coaching session. It makes it a safe space separate from the client’s everyday life.

Those of you that identify with any of the points above would be great candidates for face to face coaching. As a coach, it is important to me that you feel comfortable to open up in our sessions and if doing it face to face will facilitate that then I am more than happy to do so.

Willingness to try: Some clients like being coached over Skype. There is something safe about talking to someone who is on the screen instead of there in person. One can look the other way and feel a moment of relief to be in familiar settings. You can sit in the comfort of your own home or office and even wear slippers. I’ll never know. Not to mention if you end up crying after a particularly powerful session you don’t have to walk past other people on the way back to your car with mascara streaks on your face.

Another huge advantage to Skype coaching is the time it saves you. Imagine you are in meetings all day and your inbox is piling up. You can’t stay late to deal with it as you have to fight your way through peak traffic to get to your coach’s office in time for your session. You arrive frazzled with the stress of all those emails on your shoulders. If we did an online session instead you could have spent the half an hour of traffic time sorting through your inbox and then had the coaching session from your laptop. Or imagine you spend your day running after the children, shopping for dinner, lifting the cleaning lady, helping with homework, trying to fit in a gym session. The time you could save on having your session online could really add up depending on how far away you live from your coach. Or perhaps you find a coach you really like but they work from Plumstead and you live in Blouberg. The time saving scenarios are endless.

Another advantage could be money. Not just money saved on petrol but the actual coaching session could cost less. I personally charge less for a Skype session, not because the value of it is less but because the cost to me is less.

And here is the truth of it…every single coaching session I have ever conducted over Skype has been just as powerful as every coaching session I have done in person. The value of the session does not change. It is still a confidential conversation between two people which adds value to the client’s life and brings about positive change.

Whether you sit in the ‘for it’ or ‘against it’ camp I am happy to work however will best serve you. The question is, are you against it because you are suspicious of the unknown or is it because you genuinely prefer a face to face session? If it is the former then I invite you to stretch your boundaries and try it out. You might find you prefer it after all. And if it is the latter then a face to face session is the way to go for you.

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