The benefits of virtual coaching


Leadership and life coaching have become big business, as clients seek guidance for career transitions, executive development, starting a business, getting more organised, managing transitions, improving performance amidst much else.

Valued at over $2 billion globally, the coaching industry is believed to be the second fastest growing industry after IT.

One of 53 300 coaches worldwide, leading South African global coach and a member of Tidal, Gavin Shaskolsky weighed in on how he thought virtual coaching would contribute to the expected staggering annual 6% growth in the industry.

Coaching has become one of the few places a leader can reflect and focus on their own leadership and well-being. I see it as self-preservation amidst a stress epidemic,” said Shaskolsky from Israel, where he runs his international coaching business.

“I have seen the evolution of the industry since 2004 and I predict that virtual and group coaching will contribute significantly to the growth of the industry,”
“Over the last few years, I have witnessed the shift in coaching trends and actually believe that virtual coaching can sometimes be more effective than face-2-face coaching. In fact almost all of our coaching at Tidal is virtual,” he added.

The acknowledgement of the growth of a global village and development of various coaching platforms have lead to the popularity of virtual coaching and Shaskolsky sees a number of advantages:

  • The recognition by executives of depth and impact in a shorter time without travelling
  • Scheduled flexibly to suit a leader’s lifestyle, like after hours, after traffic, while travelling etc
  • Elimination of travel costs
  • Scheduling flexibility to enable more consistent contact and regular short ‘check-ins’
  • Since virtual coaching cannot rely on traditional forms of communication such as body language and subconscious queues, levels of attention are deeper with less distraction 
  • Conversations deepen quickly due to the trust and safety created by being connected yet in one’s own space
  • People can be coached by anyone, anywhere in the world
  • South Africa is a good location for virtual coaching - time zones and the weaker rand make high quality coaches affordable internationally

“Over nearly two decades of working with senior executives, in over 50 countries, one of Shaskolsky’s key observations is helping a leader manage their energy vs managing their time to become more effective as a leader.

“Time is finite; energy can be expent and recovered with suitable habits and practices.

“Contrary to sport, where the focus is on planning, fitness and game plans, in business the focus is all too often mainly on execution and thus reactive. If a leader can’t effectively manage their energy, burnout and reduced productivity are the result. Ultimately, managing our energy leads to greater self awareness, sustainable business impact and effective people leadership.