The onset of Covid-19 has required that we re-invent our face-to-face offerings – and they work. In order to continue to teach people to coach and leaders to act and behave in impactful ways, we have successfully redesigned and moved all our certification and corporate leadership programs to ‘Live-Virtual Learning’ solutions.
Key adult learning principles we adhere to in all our programmes:
- Integral: Adhering to our pedagogical imperatives of working with our clients and delegates in an integral way – mind, heart and body
- Own experience: Adults learn through their own experience – we therefore insist that we focus on real issues, not role play
- Safe environment: We take the time to create a safe, non-judgmental / confidential space to facilitate exploration and open curiosity
- Anchor learning: Participants anchor their learning in what really happens to them and their organisation (i.e. apply to themselves and to each other, not told)
- Accountability: We ensure the framework is in place for participants to hold one another accountable.
Key elements we have implemented in order to successfully meet
We have found that implementing the following elements have enabled us to keep our workshops focused, interactive and dynamic, and still meet the desired outcomes.
- We ask participants to read course material where possible before, we then deepen in dialogue.
- In the workshop, we keep to max 15 mins of theory bursts.
Regular breakouts in small groups:
- In order to keep a high level of interaction and deepen understanding of the theory, we regularly break into pairs / triads with a member of faculty present as often as possible to facilitate the discussion / answer questions.
Reducing “Zoom fatigue”:
- Shorter workshop days: we aim for 6 hours virtual instead of 8 hours in face-to-face to keep the energy high.
- Regular breaks: in order to keep the energy & engagement high, we have found that a 10-minute break every hour including a somatic exercise (stretching, breathing, standing) works. This replaces coffee/tea breaks and we take a full hour lunch break.
High faculty to participant ratio:
- In order to ensure an optimum online learning experience, the ratio of faculty to participant should be a maximum of 1:4.
- We are able to offer this ratio by making use of our large international faculty of professional integral coaches who have all trained with us and who have been supporting our academic and/or organisational programmes for many years.
Choice of platform:
- Having tested various virtual platforms, our preference remains ZOOM as it provides multiple options, enabling us to keep participants deeply engaged in this process.
The Centre for Coaching has been running programmes in a virtual format since April 2020 with very positive feedback and results.
The design of each programme is carefully adapted to a virtual environment (not just a copy-paste of the face-to-face versions), ensuring we adhere to the principles of integral adult learning in a virtual context while successfully meeting the organisation’s needs and the programme’s purpose and outcomes.
All our 2019/2020 coaching students completed their programmes using our live-virtual approach and have given exceptionally positive feedback – no “zoom-fatigue”, even after 3-4 consecutive days, learning in a relaxed and comfortable space of their homes, engaging in break-out rooms and learning pods, excellent 1:1 connections with mentors and faculty. Given the success, and in the face of global uncertainty, all our coaching certification programmes will run virtually at least until the end of 2021.
Comments from delegates:
- “Accessible in any location. The online CfD offering is an excellent example of adapting to change in real time – well done!”
- “Zoom gave us the ability to coach and be observed without losing any sense of being in the room just with a coachee or coach. I think it is one of the best things to come out of the pandemic!”
- “I like the comfort of being in my home while connecting beautifully with everyone. Love the breakout rooms”
Some of our corporate Leadership Programmes have been running successfully face-to-face for more than 11 years. It was a significant challenge to replicate the experience virtually. We did and the feedback has been exceptionally positive.
Comments from delegates:
- « It has only been the first two days, but it has been a wonderful experience thus far. I look forward to the rest of the journey yet to unfold. It challenges my conceptions of what is possible for me »
- « I learnt so much in 2 days and it has left me excited for what is to come in the months ahead »
- « Breakout rooms made the sessions more interactive and connecting with other candidates more personal. Zoom allowed me not to sit hours in traffic »
- The content of the programme as well as the team coaching and 1:1 coaching is designed to support the team / delegates, in particular in these uncertain times.
- The team / delegates are leading by example in adopting new ways of working and adapting to uncertainty.
- Experiencing the training in a virtual format will increase participants’ skills in having leadership conversations in digital environments.
As our world goes through the changes that Covid-19 has wrought upon us all, we are learning that the theory of teaching is being re-invented and that people need support, help and personal development more than ever before. At the Centre for Coaching we are dedicated to providing this for individuals and organisations in whatever shape or form best suits the circumstances.
“Bringing your whole self to life. Lasting and meaningful
benefits for individuals and organisations.”