The themes of our Linkedin group discussions in August were:
1. E-coaching research
Our member Angelique Andrews is carrying out a doctoral research study focusing on coaching through avatars. This month volunteers were invited to participate in 4 virtual reality coaching sessions with a certified professional avatar coach. The aim of the study is to provide insights into coachees´ perceptions of avatar coaching through Second Life.
2. Coaching tools:
Second Life is a virtual world which enables users to interact through avatars, explore a virtual world, participate in activities etc. The use of Second Life in coaching is empirically examined in the doctoral research study conducted by Angelique Andrews, as described above.
Our e-coaching group also discussed and exchanged opinions about the use of Second Life in coaching. One member emphasized the potential of this technology to enhance the coaching intervention and the importance of being open to this tool as a coach:
“..being open to your client showing their online Second Llife presence can truly enhance the process. As an example, Second Life can be used as one big vision board- in 3D!”
Furthemore, members of our e-coaching community debated the appropriateness of Second Life in coaching. Two issues were raised:
i) Just another tool for attracting clients?
One opinion that was expressed in our group was that coaches use Second Life to attract more clients. Whilst ” the average age of Second Life users is 38″, some members expressed the concern that Second Life is a tool that coaches are only able to use with younger clients.
Quoting members of our community: “..I think any master coach would easily adapt to such technology if their clientele were of a much younger generation and as a means to attract more clients into their practice..”
ii) Confidentiality risks?
According to our members, in Second Life, audio and chat are not secure forms of communication as the platform is not encrypted. To balance confidentiality risks, other encrypted platforms can be used for voice and chat in addition to Second Life.
Tell us your opinion:
Matt Poepsel, co-founder of the online coaching software Covocative( http://www.covocative.com ) provided a detailed description of this tool in his article “The genesis of an e-coaching software platform”.
Covocative is an online coaching platform, aiming to improve sales performance. It can be used by a team or an entire enterprise. The platform offers coachees the opportunity to complete a self-assessment and to set goals in specific focus areas they wish to work on. This first step provides the context for subsequent online coaching conversations. Additionally, the coaching process is enriched by coaching exercises that support coachees in approaching their goals.
3. E-coaching training
The Online Therapy Institute offers a Certified Cyber Facilitator credential, with a specialism in Avatar Identities. This credential also forms the entry criterion to a second year of study toward a Master’s degree in Cyberculture with Metanoia Institute, subject to validation by Middlesex University.
4. Coaching events
The BACP Coaching Group event took place in Oxford in June, 24th. A post which was shared in our group provided an overview of a presentation given at the event by Dr Kate Anthony, Executive Specialist for Online Coaching for BACP Coaching Division and leading expert on the use of technology in therapy.
Dr Anthony discussed ethical issues that arise in online coaching, such as on-line security, as well as the use of email, video-conferencing or avatars in coaching. More information at: http://onlinetherapyinstitute.com/2013/08/bacp-coaching-division-networking-division-welcomes-online-coaching/
6. Our e-coaching community: A year on.
It´s been a year since the start of our e-coaching community. During this one year we discussed the meaning of e-coaching, media preferences in coaching, ethics in online coaching, and we gathered information about available tools, e-mentoring platforms, ongoing and past research.
A summary of the knowledge and information we gathered during the last year can be read in this blog (see “Our e-coaching community: What we´ve learnt in a year? -Themes 1 – 7″).