E-coaching is the same as personal coaching. The only difference is that learning and reflecting on coach questions happens through the use of the Internet.
With e-coaching, there is no direct or very limited face-to-face contact. All the contact moments between coach and coachee take place through chat, email, skype or sms. Therefore, appointments are not necessary, since both the coachee and the coach decide when to read and answer each other’s messages.
Research (University of Twente, 2011) has shown that e-coaching works because of the following reasons:
- it aligns with the online activities of a lot of people nowadays and their flexible lifestyle;
- because of the relative anonymity of e-coaching, it is much easier for coachees to get to the core of their issues quicker. People don’t feel the need to keeping up appearances, when the listening party is anonymous;
- it saves a lot of time, because you do not have to set appointments;
- contact with the coach is more frequent, because you can send a message anytime. This speeds up the coaching process tremendously;
- coachees reflect better on their coaching issues, because writing makes you rethink your responses more profoundly;
- it is effective during the aftercare phase after training programs;
- it is much cheaper than direct face-to-face contact.
E-coaching via a secure Internet platform
E-coaching, by EC, is carried out via a secured Internet platform. Coachees communicate within their own personalized web environment, which enables them to build their own mail threads. This is convenient for reviewing the coaching process.