Recently I participated in a debate about the benefits of e-coaching (coaching via email). I argued that in some situations, e-coaching is ideal. Soon after that, I e-coached a Seattle area client about her career decisions. We never met face-to-face or talked via telephone. After some e-coaching, she happily accepted a new job, and she expressed enthusiasm for e-coaching. I, too, thought it was an excellent way to work for me and for this particular client, so I asked her to summarize why she chose e-coaching and what she liked about it.
Here is her reply, published with her permission:
“I love e-coaching for two big reasons. One is that I can go back through our email string and reread what we’ve discussed. Because of that I can remember what we talked about and also go back and see how I characterized certain things at those times. It can be really helpful to go back and reread not only what you wrote, but also what I wrote. The second is that I can do it on my own time. I can write when the mood strikes, or when I’m having a crisis, and get it all down on paper. You always let me know when you’ll respond and you respond when you say you will – so I know what to expect from our exchanges. Also, it feels like I get a lot from the time allotted. An hour seems to provide for a lot of give and take and plenty of feedback to reflect upon. I can see that it might not be for everyone, but I write a lot in my work, and so am good at getting thoughts onto paper. I think that helps make this a good approach for my style. And I might add one more thing…I tend to be a bit of a people-pleaser. In person I find sometimes I end up responding to cues I think I’m getting from others. By email I suspect it’s easier for me to speak my mind and really know it’s coming from me.” – Julie McNalley
UPDATE AS OF 11/2014: I no longer provide e-coaching because my writing time is focused on completing my next book, but I left this article here for readers who are interested in learning more about e-coaching.