Why Virtual Coaching

Effective coaching creates a safe environment for participants to be challenged and supported in their academic journey.  It is a place where they can establish the goals that they would like to achieve on their journey to academic success.  This is why I believe in the power of virtual one-on-one coaching.  Partnering with participants in their high school to college transition and providing an environment that allows for some of the most transformative decisions and skill attainment is an honor and a privilege.


In my world of virtual student success coaching, it’s clear how the virtual elements of coaching mitigate many of the common dissatisfactions people feel when attempting to navigate the college environment. For most of us, a group setting does not provide the safety or security that phone and virtual meetings provide, namely: anonymity, comfortability, and convenience.  The virtual relationship, especially as it relates to student success coaching, provides advantages to the participants. Here are five reasons to consider hiring and working with a virtual student success coach:


#1: Home court advantage
Among its many advantages, virtual coaching mirrors the way a lot of people live, today. Younger Americans (especially those ages 18 to 24) stand out for embracing a variety of technology platforms and using them frequently. According to Nielsen's latest Total Audience Report, Americans aged 18 and older spend roughly ten and a half hours a day watching TV, listening to the radio or using their smartphones and other electronic devices.


The convenience of talking to a coach via computer or cell phone is a very valuable tool.  If you have a question, you can have it answered as quickly as we have become accustomed to in this technology-driven society.  In the case of student success coaching, the home court advantage allows participants to express themselves honestly and freely. A coach can spend time working with one participant versus a class of 25+.  The participant will have the experience of being the coach’s only priority, instead of having to fight for the attention of one person with many students in close proximity.


Virtual coaching creates an environment that allows the participant to focus on what truly matters during a student success coaching conversation instead of worrying about appearances or arriving at a set destination on time. Especially during the winter months, virtual coaching breaks down many of the barriers that keep people from moving forward with their academic success questions including sickness and weather. People can still join a call even with a bad cold or during a snow storm. Virtual coaching puts coaching back into the realm of possibility, even when other types of coaching would have to be put on hold.


#2: Anonymity creates a safe space
Anonymity has long been used as a tool to allow people to show their honest and authentic self. In some religious settings, the confessional or other situational constructs allow individuals to say the things they would never say in any other setting. The same principal applies to the effectiveness of virtual academic coaching. The ability to be vulnerable and honest with a complete stranger, from the comfort of your own home, increases the likelihood you’ll share everything that’s on your mind.  Virtual student college coaching creates a safe space to strategize and take on some of college’s biggest challenges.


#3: Better listening to get to the heart of issues
The gift of being truly listened to is rare and gets to the heart of issues, because people disclose more about their situation when they know they have a willing ear. By actively listening, a coach may be able to identify patterns in a participant’s speech - using words such as “I think” and “I may” instead of saying things like, “I can” and “I will”.


#4: Customized guidance for academic transitions
Engaging with a specialized coach facilitates the participant’s success in overcoming academic hurdles and helps to smooth the transition and accelerate the time to college success.


#5: Challenges that bring change
If my participants are either uninformed or overconfident about their academic skills, one-on-one coaching allows me the ability to expose it without embarrassing them in a group or a face-to-face coaching situation.  Virtual coaching allows me to check participants’ competencies and engage in skill-building practice with feedback in a safe setting.


However, safe does not always mean comfortable. Depending on the participant’s needs, I may use my coaching skills to motivate them to take action, or I may confront them and hold them accountable for not following through on behaviors that will lead them to college success. Sometimes my job as a coach is to challenge what a participant thinks they already know or make people uncomfortable enough to take the next step and then offer the support they need to move forward successfully. This blend of challenge and support can only be achieved once a relationship has been established and trust has been built. Virtual one on one coaching accelerates a trusting relationship where learning and transformation can take place.