In March 2020, Covid-related lockdowns were declared in many countries. During this time, we received notification from several clients that they could not allow ongoing Learning & Development programs to continue. We heard similar comments from colleagues in the field where huge programs were also shut down. They also indicated that clients were paying more attention to costs and were holding back in these uncertain times. A logical reaction, because our first reflex was to slam on the brakes. It was a real shock.
From traditional therapy, counselling and coaching to online guidance
To work in a more goal-oriented way, to improve performance, to develop as a leader or to find out whether you are still in the right place; increasingly organisations facilitate the dialogue around these developmental needs. For some years now also online interventions - that are supported by digital means - are widely offered (e-counselling, e-coaching, Apps). How effective and usable are all these different online interventions and tools in this respect? In the newly published handbook “The psychology of work and health” by Wilmar Schauffeli and Arnold Bakker, eCoachPro colleagues Alexander Waringa, Anne Ribbers and Jantine van Soolingen wrote a chapter on how coaching, therapy and counselling have paved the way for online interventions. Based on this book chapter we have written an English whitepaper. In this article a sneak preview and more information on how to receive this whitepaper.
HR in corona times: Acting out of fear or courage?
Human capital is in the top 3 priority list of CEOs and HR leaders. Research from Gartner and McKinsey, amongst others, has shown this trend in recent years. However, a crisis situation such as the COVID-19 can turn everything upside down. Budgets are under so much pressure that human capital may not be able to stay afloat either. An expensive mistake or missed opportunity? This can be read in an article we published on the website of HR Tech Outlook.
Upgrade the classic way of coaching with contemporary tools
When is coaching effective? Can it be different from the standard way of long-term coaching engagements with only 2 to 3 weekly (physical) conversations between coach and coachee? Is a faster, shorter and closer to the ball approach possible? In a way that better suits these dynamic times? We absolutely think so. At eCoachPro we coach professionals worldwide in a blended way on a daily base: flexible, fast and effective. Always with the aim of facilitating a sustainable change in behaviour. A call to let go of purely the traditional and blend the new with the old and embrace new ways of coaching. Because it works!
Blog series: working for, at or with eCoachPro
Within eCoachPro (eCP) we coach professionals, share our expertise in the field of online coaching and train coaches in our method. In this series we let our professionals and clients have their say. Macarena Vergara, one of our associates, kicks off. In addition to being an online coach, she has also recently become a trainer. She taught one of our International Masterclasses e-coaching for the first time. An interview about her introduction to e-coaching, the way she applies it and her new role as trainer. "eCoachPro's approach of e-coaching has changed my presence as a coach, the way I listen and how I best formulate my next question".
Flexible, short online coaching engangements for executives in crisis situations
Equip staff members with appropriate leadership styles and coordination skills. And cultivate collaborative approaches in a complex and changing work landscape. That was the aim when we started coaching at a large intergovernmental organization active in over 130 countries in conflictious regions. Participants were matched with a certified e-coach and received four hours of blended coaching. Coaching as a space for self-awareness, reflection and skills development. “Sometimes it is difficult to see something beyond our own contextual perspective”, one of the participants states. “Having contact with an external coach was useful to push my boundaries.”
Online guidance and treatment using various means of communication
You can hardly get around it. In recent weeks, several online video calling services have been offering their services at low prices or even for free. The care and support industry is jumping on it en masse. The fact that people are now reaching for online video calls is logical: it comes closest to face-to-face contact. Video calls seem to be familiar almost immediately. However, the lack of non-verbal communication is difficult to compensate for. Video calling is therefore a "poor" version of face-to-face contact. You can argue that limited contact is better than no contact at all. But a better and more intensive contact is possible: by combining image calling with other means of communication.
A-synchronicity, social anonymity and the power of writing
You see it a lot these days. Now that face-to-face coaching appointments are not feasible anymore, technology offers an alternative to continue to communicate online. Video calls are on the rise. However, facilitating an online video connection with your client does not immediately mean the coaching engagement will end up successful. Online coaching and guidance is a discipline in our field and does require a thorough, well thought through approach. eCoachPro (eCP) is a Dutch founded company that built its expertise in this discipline in the last eleven years. Our own eCP methodology has been specifically developed for online coaching and counselling/treatment. The online dialogue is a key element in this. A blog about a-synchronicity, social anonymity and the power of writing.
Being an e-coach: coaching competencies and beyond
- Written by Macarena Vergara and Antonie Bors -
What is it like to be an e-coach? What is the thinking and unique philosophy behind this modality of coaching? In e-coaching, we curate the relationship through the power of the written word. An e-coach works at cultivating trust, safety and intimacy with every written message. Macarena Vergara, e-coach at eCoachPro, talks about e-coaching and what it entails for her as a coach.
It can also be done differently: measure sustainable behavioural change
- Written by Anne Ribbers and Antonie Bors -
The coaching profession is often topic of discussion. In the Netherlands, a recent broadcast of the Rambam research programme about coaching led to a national discussion. How do you know you have the right, professional and qualified coach? In short: how do you measure quality? A certified coach is one parameter. We also find it essential that the results of a coaching program are clear and measurable. We do this through the unique Coaching Monitor tool developed by the NOBCO (EMCC). We recently coached a large group of team leaders within the Dutch National Police and the tool made sustainable behavioural changes visible.
The need for a well-thought leadership development program/strategy has never been direr. With the rise of collaborative platforms and organizational design that emphasizes individual initiative, employees across the board are driving consequential decisions that align with corporate goals and culture. Evidently, these employees must be equipped with the relevant technical and communication skills. From promoting workforce engagement, hiring he right talent, and redesigning management infrastructure to improving the quality of coaching and driving a culture of agility, organizations need to step up and cover these leadership trends with the aid of the latest technologies.
Since 2010, Anne Ribbers (Director Global Coaching & Leadership Development) is specialized in a form of coaching that combines face-to-face conversations with online coaching. Within our organization we call this blended coaching or Technology Enhanced Coaching. In addition to face-to-face conversations, Anne works online with her clients through video calls and text-based coaching (written messages and exercises). Together they create a customized continuous coaching dialogue. The continuity of the dialogue makes it possible to take small development steps and to stay close to our clients in their day-to-day work environment.
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