How can writing be used effectively in online coaching practice?

In today’s digital world, technology provides many opportunities for communicating online. Integrating online communication in face to face coaching offers several advantages, as it enables increased contact frequency, strong engagement and helps the development goal to stay top-of-mind.

On the other hand, the use of technology, web tools and the Internet in daily coaching practice requires new skills, but also a new attitude by the coach, as the involvement becomes continuous and the dynamics of the coaching relationship change.

Using written communication in the coaching process enables coaching in a synchronous and asynchronous way. The benefits of writing are thoroughly researched by Pennebaker Expressing oneself through writing structures thoughts, gives access to emotions and stimulates the reflective capability. In addition, the asynchronicity factor that is created by writing time and place independently creates the possibility of a higher contact frequency, a continuous coaching process and working in small steps.

However, integrating writing, as a way of communication in your coaching engagement requires advanced skills like analytic reading and strategic writing. Building the coaching relationship is as essential online as it is offline. We have done 5 years of research on how this can be done in an effective and efficient way, creating a personal and intimate relationship online and providing clients with an even more intense experience. Our experiences and results with writing in coaching have been very positive. Our clients report a positive experience of working on their coaching whenever it suits them, they like the flexibility and the increased space for reflection. The coach feels close and the process intense and intimate.  The writing as such also enables the learning to become more embedded in the workplace.

Have you ever considered writing as a way of communication with your client in a coaching engagement?

For five years now we run a very successful Masterclass training program based on our research findings and our book. The e-coaching research project of Tilburg University included 176 managers in a fully asynchronous e-coaching program. Forty coaches were trained in this Masterclass program to deliver the e-coaching in the research project. 81% of the managers positively evaluated the intervention where they praised the flexibility, active involvement of coach and client and practical character of the e-coaching.

We decided to launch that same Masterclass in a virtual format (entirely online). The online Masterclass consists of four online modules of 3 hours, including one module of three weeks of practice with an online test client. The training involves a deeper understanding of what e-coaching is and why it works. Also the ABC model for e-coaching and the eCP method for text based coaching based on the politeness theory of Brown & Levinson are introduced. The training is highly (inter)active, offers many exercises and room for reflection and discussion. The last module discusses topics like management of expectations, pricing and other practical implications of e-coaching.


This is what participants say about the online Masterclass.

annspired“I would recommend the zoom Masterclass to any professional coach who seeks a high quality, interactive and ready to use e-coaching class & tool. 
The Masterclass provides rich insights on the science based methodology and provides clear feedback and opportunities to experience yourself the use of the tool with your clients. I am pleased to provide my clients with this add on opportunity to work with me more frequently and enable them to enjoy as such a richer and more effective impact on their coaching journey ….”  Ann van de Perre, Annspired, Executive Coaching & Advice.

Are you interested?

Please have a look at:



Thank you so much for your time to read this blog, we would love to meet you in one of our Masterclasses.Anne 2 copy

Kind regards,

Anne Ribbers





Brown, P. & Levinson, S.C. (1987), Politeness: Some Universals in Language Usage. Cambridge University Press.

Pennebaker, J.W. & Seagal, J.D. (1999), Forming a Story: The Health Benefits of Narrative. Published in The Journal of Clinical Psychology, 55(10): 1243-1254.

Ribbers, A.P.C. & Waringa, R.A.  (2015). E-coaching: Theory and Practice for a new Online Approach to Coaching. Routledge, London and New York.


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