Digital Development: Top Tips for ‘Tech-enhanced Coaching’
By Karen Fung & Danni Clements
Organizations around the world have been challenged to adapt as they navigate the rapidly changing external environment. With many reporting at least an initial drop in employee productivity, HR Grapevine argues the crucial role that coaching plays in maintaining a positive employee experience and how employees can continue to perform at work.
Recognizing this, as well as the greater role that communication technology is playing in organizations, here we share our top tips for delivering tech-enhanced coaching.
Top tips for running a successful digital coaching session
In line with organizations’ accelerated use of technology to enable work anywhere, coaching conversations can also happen on-demand to address immediate matters as employees navigate rapid change. This can be possible by having line managers or internal individuals responsible for people development become coaches. Here are four tips for individuals adopting a coaching role in the virtual landscape.
- Plan - Be prepared and plan for the unexpected. Agree with the coachee on how the session will run to set the tone and manage expectations.
- Partner - Research shows that a positive coaching relationship is a strong differentiator for coaching success.* Therefore, aim to adapt your relationship building style in a way that works in bite-size and more frequent sessions, factoring in the circumstances that you and your coachee are facing.
- Be Present - It’s easy to give in to distractions when we are behind a screen. Be aware of the things that are demanding your attention and either avoid or remove them ahead of the session.
- Pause - Pauses are natural in a conversation, including virtual ones. Allow time to reflect and build responses; avoid rushing to fill the silence or ending a session before both parties are ready.
*Deniers, C (2019). Experiences of receiving career coaching via Skype; An interpretative phenomenological analysis. International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring.
Use an online psychometric tool to guide the coaching journey
Psychometric tests have long been used in development and coaching. Recognizing the changing landscape of digital coaching, Saville Assessment have designed a new Coaching Report that can be used in different coaching contexts. It is a tool that can streamline a virtual coaching conversation or serve as an electronic track-record of self-guided development. Here are the features of our latest Coaching Report that can elevate a virtual coaching conversation linked to common coaching cycles.
- Preparation - The Preparation page of the Coaching Report allows users to consider and capture their development goals and reflect on their current strengths and development needs. This can be completed at the start of the coaching session to set objectives and align expectations.
- Coaching on Strengths & Challenge Areas - The Core Strengths and Challenge Areas pages guide reflection by providing a narrative of users’ strengths and challenge areas. It also provides tips on maximizing the strengths and how to remove the barriers to develop the challenge areas, which can be used as a starting point to identify development areas.
- Coaching Plan - The Coaching Plan section provides reflection questions and a structure to shape tangible development actions to address both strengths and challenge areas. The simple structure shifts attention from what areas to develop and instead focuses on how they can be developed.
- Implementation - Recognizing that development is ongoing and iterative, the reflection questions in the Coaching Plan section are designed to prompt users to consider the actions they can take over a short-medium-long term time interval. It allows users to set realistic goals and create checkpoints to track success.
- Review & Update - Users can check development progress by continually reviewing the tips in the Coaching Report and the notes that have been made within it. If a checkpoint has not been met, explore the reasons and discuss how barriers can be removed. Most importantly, recognize where progress has been made and remember to celebrate success.