Turn your camera off.
That’s the secret to coaching outside the “Zoom” box we have found ourselves in since the pandemic. If you continue to work remotely taking a meeting with a standing desk, a treadmill, or simply with your camera off can alleviate some of the fatigue because you are able to move or stand and get the blood flowing.
What I am finding in my practice, whether I am the coach or I am being coached, is that having the camera off and going voice-to-voice is freeing. One client was allowed to sit in their emotions and later admitted that would likely not have happened had we kept our cameras on. Another client was able to move about the room they were in and map out the insights they were sharing as we discussed them, turning the coaching session into a literal work of art.
By the same token, I have learned to ask to have my camera off while I was being coached. My coach expressed gratitude for being free to move around. What this is saying to me is that we can forget that there is more than one way to have an impact.
To be honest, I have been defining inclusive meetings as those that permit me to have my camera off. Yes, it is true that sometimes this is an excuse to hide, but sometimes it is to better listen to what is being said. The pressure to always be ‘on’ can take its toll whether on social media or on camera for the Zoom platform.
Once the pandemic and lockdowns started, I began to realize that I prefer to coach over the phone for a few reasons including that the client can be anywhere, in their car, or walking a trail. This voice-to-voice contact permits me to listen more deeply including wavering words, muffled sounds from hunched posture, and that which is not said.
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