In my discussions with people about the online group coaching that we do using our Finish Agent accountability software, they always ask instead, “But when do I do my phone coaching?”
Of course, people who license our software can coach however and whenever their hearts desire.
But the truth is, incredible progress occurs in online coaching as a result of the daily online discussions between the coach and the small group members.
In other words, online group coaching works!
But, as you probably know, every time some new invention appears, there are people who think it must be worse than what went before.
Some coaches who I explain online coaching to react as if I’m talking about some “new-fangled idea,” and others seem to ignore me as they continue to ask about where they put their content (tons of places in the site for content).
ARGH! There is power in online coaching!
Perhaps it’s hard for people to believe that by writing and reading, their clients can make changes within a coaching relationship. After all, there isn’t much information about online group coaching’s effectiveness.
Online coaching is like any innovation – it’s hard for people to accept or even understand the value of a new invention. You’ve heard about the people who laughed at the “horseless carriage,” right?
It’s actually fun to find quotes from people who disparage any new-fangled thing. Here are some cute ones:
“This `telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a practical form of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.”
– Western Union internal memo, 1878
“Radio has no future.”
– Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), British mathematician and physicist, ca. 1897.
“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”
– Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), ca. 1895, British mathematician and physicist
[Not a good prediction track record, Lord Kelvin. Actually it’s an absolute zero.]
“Computers in the future may… perhaps only weigh 1.5 tons.”
– Popular Mechanics, 1949.
“There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.”
– Kenneth Olsen, president and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.
And my favorite:
“Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.”
– Dr. Dionysus Lardner (1793-1859), Professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy at University College, London.
Well, let me give you some idea of the effectiveness of online coaching, which I’ve been doing, or supervising others who are doing it, for the last 9 years. Here are just some of the hundreds of testimonials that we have received over the years.
[Note that the name of my online membership site, where clients only get online coaching, is Academic Writing Club. It’s for professors and grad students who need to write more. Academic Writing Club, which I developed, is the software that I based the Finish Agent software on.] Bold text added by me.
“This program rocks! The discipline PLUS the support is the best thing that has happened to me in a long time (career-wise).”
“I can see my work habits changing daily. For the first time EVER in my academic career I feel confident that I can not only live up to expectations but possibly even exceed them. (Immediate anxiety aside) work is fun.”
“I’m appreciating starting my day by reading new posts in this writing club, and I’m appreciating ending my day by reflecting on what I’ve done, done well, could have done better, and will do tomorrow. Thanks to all for advice and encouragement.”
“It felt nice to take a moment and applaud my fellow group members whose updates preceded mine today. I was so glad to see them moving along through the thick and thin we all suffer. Going through a rough day in my local surroundings, it is especially nice to have a community here to hear from and to unload on. It even displays how the virtual is as real as the actual…”
“I’m feeling really good again today and realizing how much I appreciate having a group to pick you up when you’re feeling down and point out that what feels like a total catastrophe to you, isn’t really that deep.”
“The more and longer I engage in the writing club, the more valuable I see the socialization of my writing. I have shared my writing in the past and found that valuable but haven’t spent much time talking about the process. This has been very very helpful for me. It’s also been useful witnessing others’ processes and changes. Perhaps its important to continue to think of writing as a social process as well as a solitary process. In that vein, then, this writing club is a very smart thing rather than a crutch. In fact, I don’t think I ever want to return to the “old” days where I wasn’t reflecting on process. Sure, I could do this myself at the end of each workday in a journal or something but there is something more valuable about engaging in it with others.”
See more testimonials at http://academicladder.com/testimonials
Perhaps you, yourself, have had these kinds of testimonials from your phone or in-person coaching groups.
But keep in mind that in my groups, there were no weekly small group phone coaching calls. All the coaching was done online.
Why should you care? Well, you could do the same thing that I did to get 40 online grups going. Think about it.
Here are some advantages of online group coaching:
I could say a lot more, but I will just leave you with a more enlightened quote about accepting the possibility of the impossible.
“It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.”
– Robert Goddard (1882-1945)