Coaching All Over the World

Written by Judy Klipin

I am South African.

We subscribe to the principle of Ubuntu which, roughly translated, means “a person is a person because of other people”.   It is polite to make eye contact, acknowledge and greet everyone we meet on our way – whether we know them or not.

We also like to get together to discuss things in person. So when I was at my life coach training programme seven years ago, I was incredulous when Martha Beck explained that most coaches in America do most if not all of their coaching over the phone.

Over the phone?!? 

I was more than incredulous – I was horrified.  The idea of having such an important and intimate conversation with someone when you couldn’t even make eye contact with them, let alone pass them a tissue when they started to cry, was – quite frankly – abhorrent to me.  Martha assured me that phone coaching was as effective as in-person coaching and that you listen and hear differently when you can’t see the person.  I was not convinced.  It seemed so impossible.

I left my training quite sure that I would only coach people who were seated in the same room as me.

And, as so often happens when I am quite sure of something, my mind gets changed.

A woman phoned me about coaching and sounded like my ideal client; I really wanted to work with her.  But she was in the grips of a debilitating illness that made it difficult to leave the house. There was nothing for it but to get onto that phone.

One of my existing clients moved to another country but wanted to continue our work together.  There was nothing for it but to sign up for a Skype account.

And Martha – as she always is – was quite right.  I DO listen differently on the phone and Skype.  Not being able to see my clients allows me to access a non-visual part of my brain which allows me to follow my intuition in a very special way which I do not do when I am with a client in the coaching room. 

Let me assure you that my coaching and its efficacy are the same whether we are together physically, or meeting over the phone or Skype – I just use different skills to access the information in each setting.

I now work with clients all over the country and all over the world.   And I will be forever grateful to those two clients who got me onto the phone and Skype. 

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[…] clients.  It does always amaze me how differently I listen in different contexts. (You can read my more comprehensive thoughts on this at my other […]

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