As business becomes increasingly mobile and people become more comfortable using technology to conduct aspects of their lives, there is a growing demand for business and life coach professionals to offer their services remotely.
Busy executives can now consult with their career mentors using virtually any available media including telephones (mobile and landline), email, SMS, Skype, conference websites or other instant messaging tools.
This provides them with the flexibility to access the coaching resources they need whenever they need them, regardless of their location.
Tests led by German-born Master Coach and business specialist Dr Ralf Borlinghaus have found an increasing need to provide focused and quality coaching that does away with hindrances such as transport costs and the valuable time lost traveling to and from a coach's premises.
"Telephone coaching requires 30% less time to deliver than a conventional coaching programme," says Michelle Clarke, CEO of South Africa-based Michelle Clarke Coaching.
Michelle Clarke also points out that mobile coaching offers four key benefits for both the client and the coach.
First, mobile coaching breaks down geographical boundaries, where both clients and coaches are able to communicate at their convenience. There are many platforms that can enhance a mobile mentoring session. Participants can share materials online and create an interactive environment which is not hindered by physical boundaries.
Second, mobile coaching gives participants, who may be private by nature, breathing room and a sense of security, so that they do not feel visually scrutinised and too exposed. Mobile coaching and consulting encourages the participants to focus on the conversation and takes away visual distractions.
Third, many successful people are very pressed for time. Using a mobile business coach reduces the time and resources needed to gain access to a mentor or consultant. It also cuts out the associated travel expenses and offers convenience and flexibility.
Finally, mobile sessions are often more focused and productive. This is because clients who use mobile coaching services come to the session well-prepared, and have a clear agenda of what they want to accomplish during the consultation. The use of the telephone and other communication devices also narrows their focus to the discussion at hand.Your cup of tea?
Clarke acknowledges that mobile coaching is not for everyone. Mobile coaching is appropriate for someone who wants a confidant and wants coaching to work in a manner that is efficient for them. The candidate also needs to be open to new technologies and recognise how they can benefit him/her.
Then there are people who are comfortable with using mobile tools for certain instances but not for every session. "Technology is sometimes not appropriate to deal with demanding emotional issues or certain sensitive business issues," she says.
Clarke notes that the business or life coach has become necessary for effective management of companies, private or otherwise. As individuals, we want to chart our careers and businesses, and have an impartial person who serves as a sounding board.
Michelle Clarke is a Master Coach who delivers successful coaching interventions both locally and internationally. She works with successful business people, helping them to hone and enhance their personal and professional leadership brand through life and business coaching.
Michelle Clarke Coaching
tel: 021 674 6875