Remote-coaching, also known as tele-coaching or online coaching has existed for many years. However, the COVID pandemic had a monumental impact on how people learn & interact with one another. As a result, as with Zoom conferencing for both work and school, in recent years coaching has increasingly grown to be more commonly & more effectively practiced remotely. Research shows that the majority of coaches have increased their use of remote coaching tools by 74% since March 2020.
So, like the rest of the world, the landscape of coaching is also changing... but you're probably wondering how does this impact you as a coachee and what should you expect from remote coaching relative to in-person coaching? Remote coaching may remain largely unchanged relative to face-to-face coaching or it may require some additional thought and care and customization depending on what the focus of the training is. For example, fitness coaching can occur digitally, but it may be more challenging for the coach to do things like check the athlete's form and make finer adjustments to maintain the athelete's form. But that doesn't mean digital fitness coaching is impossible. In fact, many fitness coaches maintained a digital business online during the most recent COVID pandemic. There's also good evidence that indicates that remote coaching is just as effective as face-to-face coaching. So it seems there's little reason to worry about ineffectiveness when it's done right by trained professionals.
What remote coaching does offer is more flexibility in terms of your schedule and availability. So long as it meets the schedule of your coach, coaching can now be done anytime regardless of where you are in the world. It also has the potential to drop costs as coaches and coachees don't have to spend time and money meeting at a specified location. This means you have the initial cost savings in terms of your commute time and transportation costs but you may also save more money if the coach passes their savings onto their clients as well. Beyond that, when done well remote coaching still has the ability to improve people's experience, wellbeing, success, and goal attainment.
It may just come down to a personal preference as some tend to prefer a more digital or face-to-face experience.
What is Evidence-Based Coaching and Why is it Better?
The evidence-based movement has long historical roots and, truth be told, it all originates with the field of medicine. Beginning in the early days of medicine it was pretty much a free-for-all. Anyone could hang a shingle and claim they could treat everything from the sniffles to leprosy and none of these claims had to be backed up by any evidence what so ever. Many grifters and snake-oil peddlers ran amuck and swindled people out of their hard earned money. Not only were these people made poorer by the actions of these quack practitioners but, given the serious nature of conditions of health many people were harmed and died as a result of their poorly placed confidence. It wasn't until the 1900s that medical doctors (as we know them) even made it on the scene and it was even later still that evidence was used to back up claims and provide confidence in medicine as a practice.
In short, evidence has the capacity to inform us to make better decisions. Whether the decision is to go with a specific coach or medical practitioner over another or to pursue a set of goals or to risk undertaking a medical procedure in order to be well again, better informed decisions generally lead to better outcomes. Like evidence-based medicine, evidence-based coaching offers a more transparent and better informed path for both you (as a coachee) and your coach (as a practitioner) to make the best informed decisions to lead to your development.
In today's medical context, the term “evidence-based” refers to the most critical and thoughtful use of the best available knowledge in making decisions. Evidence is responsible for nearly every marvel that modern medicine has to provide. Evidence-based coaching is no different. Evidence-based coaching referrs to using evidence to deliver coaching to clients, in designing and teaching coach-training programs, and in the development of coaching materials and tools. The best knowledge is up-to-date information from relevant, valid research, theory and practice. It also takes into account relevant organizational data and all key stakeholders that may be impacted by decisions. However, because the existing academic coaching literature is still quite small, the best available knowledge is usually supplemented by (if not drawn directly from) the much more established literature in related fields.
The Four Domains of Knowledge Informing Evidence-Based Coaching
1. The Behavioural Sciences
2. Business and Management Sciences
3. Adult education - including workplace learning and development
and 4. philosophy.
The behavioural sciences happen to be where the vast majority of expert knowledge that informs coaching stems from. The behavioural sciences describe how people think, act, and feel and specific domains of the behavioural sciences - like organizational psychology, sports psychology, educational psychology, and counselling psychology - all describe this all through the lens of how this impacts people, their work, their performance, their success, and wellbeing.
As a great deal of coaching focuses on professional contexts (with both executives and nonexecutive clients) any coach working in these sorts of contexts should have a solid foundation of education and training in business and management in order to best understand and meet their clients’ needs. Similarly, when done in a corporate context, involving both a coachee and a corporate sponsoring entity, organisations increasingly require
coaching to be explicitly linked to the business's bottom line or expected imperatives and (direct or indirect) outcomes.
Adult education, including learning and development, provide the critical theory and practice laying at the foundation of adult learning - also known as androgogy. The majority of coaching clients are adults. Research can inform what is both effective and ineffective where it comes to teaching and learning. Efforts should both be directed to their target demographic and make use of the vast bodies of evidence in the domain of adult education.
Philosophy is at the heart of many coaching issues, such as the nature of good corporate governance, business ethics, questions of self-identity and personal values. Coaches need to have well-developed critical thinking skills, the ability to analyse and reason from first principles, and the ability to construct arguments and hold robust and well-reasoned discussions.
All the coaches at Emovere and who work in partnership with Emovere are evidence-based. If you don't believe what they're saying about something, ask them. They will show you their evidence to back-up their claims. If you have strong evidence to suggest otherwise, feel free to have a discusion about it with them.