March 2013 Themes


What is e-coaching? There seems to be two different opinions on what e-coaching means.

Definition 1: E-coaching is relationship–based coaching, provided at a distance through electronic media.

All members seem to agree that it may include the following elements:

i) Single medium for communication (e.g. telephone)


ii) Blended approach A: multiple media communication (e.g. telephone and email)

iii) Blended approach B: combination of stand-alone media (e.g. telephone) with supporting tools ( e.g. web-based program)

iv) Blended approach C: combination of face to face communication with electronic media (e.g. telephone) (with or without supporting tools)

Media used may be:
– telephone
-instant online chat

The nature of media may be:

Tools might be:

-web-based questions

– virtual reality

– virtual constellation

Definition 2: Coaching at a distance through electronic media, which is not relationship based, i.e. self-coaching


E-coaching involves the following characteristics:

  • At a distance
  • Technology-mediated
  • 1 medium or a <1 media
  • Combination of media and supporting tools
  • Combination of electronic media and f2f
  • Synchronous and /or asynchronous

There are thus, different opinions on whether e-coaching is:

a) Relationship-based or self-coaching

b) Telephone coaching counts as “e“-coaching


The different roles technology plays depending on how we define e-coaching:

  • If e-coaching is considered relationship-based, then technology serves to deliver coaching over distance
  • If coaching is not relationship-based, then technology serves as a medium to guide clients in a self-coaching process


Virtual Coaching and Mentoring“, by N.Ghods & C.Boyce  (In: Passmore, J., Peterson, D., Freire, T. (2012) The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of the Psychology of Coaching and Mentoring. John Wiley & Sons.

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