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Maximizing Your Reach as a Group or Team Coach During Virtual, Remote, Hybrid or Dispersed Sessions

Coaches are used to facilitating insightful conversations with varying dynamics, rolling with the punches of complicated interpersonal dynamics. Over the course of the last few years, however, a new dynamic was introduced to the mix - virtual technology platforms. You may now find yourself conducting individual, group and/or team coaching sessions for clients across multiple locations or time zones. And sometimes its so easy to get wrapped up in the idiosyncrasies of the technology itself that we forget about the fundamentals of coaching.

Whether you’re using Zoom or a similar platform to connect teams from afar, there are new considerations to be mindful of. How do you make your clients feel truly connected from afar? How do you utilize the features of the platform you’re using to your advantage? And how do you stay grounded when you may not feel as comfortable with the technology you’re using?

Whether you are new to coaching from afar or you just don’t feel like you’re maximizing the technology to your best advantage, or you're a seasoned coach who needs a little more finesse, here is a chart your can reference during your session planning stages to ensure in your planning stages so that you remain grounded in the fundamentals of the coaching first before selecting how to maximize your reach with your clients:

Fundamental Coaching Skill

Best Practices for Virtual Group & Team Coaching Sessions

Listening: How are we able to listen at multiple levels to our clients? How are we assessing verbal, tonal and body language? What is being said and not said? What is the energy behind the conversation?

· Keep cameras on to be able to see as much as you can and set standards around the use of muting.

· Keep an eye of who is in the room and who isn’t and see if the dynamic changes if someone enters or exits the space.

Questioning: Using open-ended questions to expand awareness, prompt a new perspective, invite discovery or support action.

· For larger groups, using Chat for group conversation starters will allow groups to contribute and be heard.

· During breakouts and whiteboarding sessions, provide any key questions to the group in a manner that it can be referenced easily.

Curiosity: The coachee is the expert, not the leader. Fostering curiosity and a comfort in “not knowing” or not having all the answers is important.

· Starting your conversations with an activity using Annotate will engage everyone in their own curiosity journey.

· Whiteboarding may also allow participants to explore an idea as a group.

Assumption Busting and Perspective Shifting: How will you encourage participants to learn from the perspectives of others in a virtual, remote, hybrid or dispersed coaching arrangement?

· Polls can give a general idea of a variety of perspectives within a general group

· Breakout rooms, if participants are deliberately assigned, can bring together people of varying perspectives.

Mirroring: Similar to paraphrasing, you reflect back the wording verbatim. Hearing yourself in stereo creates new insights

· Most effective as a coach in smaller group conversations but can be accomplished to some degree in breakout rooms, depending on the activity design.

· If other group members agree, they can use supporting virtual reactions.

Support for Goal Setting & Achievement – A starting place for any coach is to identify goals and the focus of the conversation. Teams and Groups will not only identify goals, but perceived barriers to achieving these goals

· Whiteboards are a great brainstorm tool for identifying Group and Team Goals during a smaller room conversation.

· Breakouts with a sharing session via Chat can allow for a variable contribution of ideas across a larger group.

Chat is also a great function to use to contribute ideas.

Creating Accountability Supports – Holding people accountable to their goals is fundamental in coaching.

· Using virtual reactions can allow for a visceral show of support across the group or team.

· Using either Chat or Whiteboard to create accountability will provide the Group or Team with a tangible record that can be sent to the participants after the session.


1. Reconnecting Workspaces, Jennifer Britton , Pages 285-286

2. 90 Day Guide to Success, Jennifer Britton, Day 57, Virtual Conversation Skills.


Are you an Individual, Group or Team coach that struggles to use virtual technology platforms like Zoom with fluency? Are you looking to improve your knowledge and fluency around delivering your coaching offerings more flexibly?

Feel free to book a free 15-minute session with Jennifer Britton to discuss your particular concerns.


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