What are the requirements for successful (virtual) coaching in these times?

Tools and methods for (digital) coaching

What are the requirements for successful (virtual) coaching in these times?

Impressions of a participant

(Partial) remote learning session and coaching practice

The second workshop "Tools & Techniques" marked the start of a new emotionally and content-intensive module of the "Professional Certificate in Executive Coaching" by and with Henley Business School. Well prepared technically, process-wise and mentally for the new corona situation, the 3 days with both remote and on-site participants went extremely well. Remote coaching can be applied just as successfully in terms of content as it can be applied through physical contact. Closeness and trust can also be built up digitally and over distance. This requires the "certain something" – the right mindset.

Tools & techniques in coaching

Coaching tools and techniques are like a process that often, but not always, uses or refers to a model or framework. Techniques can be used regularly to achieve certain types of coaching purposes and can be objectively described, modelled and copied by the coach as required.

They are particularly useful when they broaden the range of a coach's behaviour to meet the needs of the coachee. Their use promotes discipline and professionalism of the coach and gives him or her self-confidence as well as a feeling of ingenuity and creativity in working together.

Care should be taken when using such techniques if the authenticity and total presence of the coach is compromised. They can appear mechanical, inhibitory or even manipulative if the coach has not fully integrated the framework into his own approach and personality.

Skillset, toolset and mindset 

In addition to applying techniques, coaches must also have certain skills to apply in coaching. One of the most important skills is communication – outlined below by:

  • active listening (in full presence by the coach and beyond mere words)
  • direct questions (directly related to what the coachee has just said, open and provocative)
  • Summaries, reflections and affirmations (images, words, phrases, emotions or positive events played back by the coach)
  • Silence (as an offer of time for reflection and thinking)

A broad set of skills and tools are important companions and form the foundation of coaching, but they alone are not sufficient. The competence profile of the coach becomes almost worthless without the person who knows how to use it from a mindset. In many areas of life, certain tools and skills on the workbench are sufficient. To be able to use communication tools in coaching, skills – such as the intellectual understanding of contexts – and corresponding frameworks alone are no longer sufficient. Rather, they require a corresponding mindset.

The certain "something"

As a coach it is important to bring the right awareness with you. The more conscious you are, the more information you gather. The more information, the better it is possible to react in an emotionally intelligent way and through connectedness.

The so-called "rapport" is the necessary prerequisite for effective communication, influencing and negotiating. Rapport can best be defined as "mutual recognition and respect". In this context, the relationship is a process, not a static state. To build a relationship, both parties must believe that both are competent for the task at hand. The right awareness and rapport help build the mutual relationship – even digitally.


Here you can read the first part!

Robert Schöne

Director of Media Solutions at esome advertising technologies GmbH