Online coaching seems to increase. By the way, I actually mean sending and receiving emails and Word documents. To date, I have had some experience and I believe it is a fair and, above all, fun way of coaching.
Client at the helm, no pressure, workable distance and time to think
For the client it is pleasant to be in control of his healing or learning process. It is a relief that nobody can jump on him within the length of one hour with complicated questions and a step-by-step plan. The client can choose his moment and he can first formulate his problem in his own words, He can also set the pace and the conditions for his healing process. He can take all the time for his response. That alone helps him to carefully think over his situation. The writing process is a way to organize, explain and clarify his thoughts and feelings. During the writing process someone is literally forced to think and set his thoughts straight. This helps him to focus and to order the possible emotional chaos in his head. Because no one knows that he has a coach and nobody is interfering or disturbing (not even the coach), he can more easily open up.
In short, an online coach is a blessing for people who:
- have a busy and irregular life;
- don’t talk easy and prefer to express everything in writing;
- rather don’t want it to be known that they have a coach;
- find it safer to have the anonymity of the email;
- like to contact a coach in their own time (24/7);
- prefer to be coached in their own familiar surroundings.
Slow thinking, language, reflection, openness without pressure
For the coach the online writing process is effective when the coach places emphasis on achieving inner peace, growth in self reflection and a sturdier self image. Then it should be a process of slow thinking and feeling. It brings more focus and disclosure of deep inner knowing. The language the client uses in his lines show his mental models between the lines. That is, his word choice also indicates his premise and assumption, strength and passion or limitation and fear. In art therapy the drawings a client makes, are used in a similar way. The coach can help his client to become aware of these mental models.
The loosening of inner mental ‘ knots’ leads to the disentanglement of problems someone has to live with in the outside world.
“First the inner world in order, the rest follows as a matter of course”
In short, the online writing process is a blessing for coaches who:
- respect the autonomy of the client. The coach makes room for a self-examination of mental ‘ knots ‘ in thoughts and feelings occuring during day-to-day experiences.
- prefer the writing process itself to find its order and form. The process of online coaching is always clear. The client knows exactly what phase the process is at. He can also just look up things in his archive.
- thanks to his intuition the coach can follow the client in his healing process and at the right time give support, comfort or direction.
- knows how to use openness without pressure to bring mental models to light. The obligation of ‘utility’ or ‘added value’ confuses so much our inner sensing, that we are no longer able to reflect on what is shifting deeply within us. It leeds us away from our happiness. The writing process protects us for this kind of confusion.
As an online coach, I try to guide people to a place of inner peace and to the trust that this inner peace brings more prosperity, health and happiness. Inner peace and trust depend directly on authenticity and autonomy. Not to be afraid or panic, but to keep the inner peace, that will lead us to the “road of all possibilities”. By fear, you’re caught up in limitation. It narrows your horizon and that’s not useful when you need new options. We live in turbulent times and there is a strong need for wisdom helping us to endure the most difficult circumstances.