When you think of the word tool, what is the first thought that comes to mind? The image that may first pop in your mind is of equipment – manual tools such as a saw, hammer, wrench etc. used to build things.
Just as these power tools create something new out of raw materials, online coaching tools boost your confidence and act as powerful supplement to your coaching, helping you create your coaching journey – from data collection, assessment, progress tracking, performance evaluation, report generation and lots more to finally helping your client and your business grow faster.
Here’s an in-depth handbook to online coaching tools, their benefits and the types of online coaching tools that will support your business growth…
What are online coaching tools?
As an executive coach you are more than just a mentor or a counsellor to your client. You provide valuable support, through a process, which helps your client identify & address their challenges and ultimately find solutions & achieve goals themselves.
All good coaches use labour & time saving online coaching tools – such as such as worksheets, forms, exercises etc. – helping them take relevant information from clients and systematically organize & define the coaching process, resulting in transformative growth for the client.
If you find the right coaching management software, it also comes equipped with such coaching tools. Simply.Coach, for example, comes with a Digital Tools feature that helps you create custom forms for any purpose on the platform itself, run multiple rounds of feedback, and create visual reports from the responses.
As a business, online coaching tools – which can be used during personal or group coaching sessions, during workshops, webinars, as homework etc. – reduce the administrative burden significantly to help you run an efficient, effective & professional coaching business and may well be the difference between making you a great coach rather than just a good one!
What are the benefits of using online coaching tools?
Not only do online coaching tools help you get a more in-depth insight into your client’s personality, but they also help you become aware of your strengths & weaknesses, enabling you to work towards becoming an even better coach. Here are some of the benefits of using the right online coaching tools that can grow your business:
- Better communication – Interacting in-person with clients is ideal but may not always be feasible. Online coaching tools provide a way to regularly communicate with and gather updates from your clients.
Also, with online forms, by asking straight forward questions you get relevant answers thus avoiding any miscommunication between you and your client regarding their motivations, information exchange or your coaching process.
- Continued client engagement – In addition to personalized sessions, online coaching tools provide a platform where you can have continued sharing of customized coaching solutions with an individual or even a larger group of clients.
Real time feedback rounds, homework assignments, exercises, etc. can be great motivating factors as they ensure that your interaction with your clients remains continued in between your face-to-face meetings.
- Improved understanding of your clients – For you to be effective as a coach, the most vital aspect is to understand your client’s needs, challenges, ambitions & goals. This information is essential to chart out a best-fit plan that will help them achieve their targets.
Sometimes, despite extensive interactive sessions, you may still struggle to get a deeper insight as to where your client is and where they wish to be. In such cases using online forms can be a less intimidating and a more accurate method of gathering answers.
- Progress tracking & evaluation – Online coaching tools like forms help you keep track of your client’s activity, monitor their progress (or lack thereof) towards goals, and evaluate performance in real time. This provides a lot of benefits to your coaching in terms of making your impact visible, being able to praise your client for the things that are working, or adjusting aspects that are not, all in quick time.
- Saves time – Ever get frustrated with all that time you spend on administrative aspects such as creating progress reports to show sponsors? With the right coaching management software, you can make use of online coaching tools that automatically gather responses and create reports with them. That way, you can use these tools to gather stakeholder feedback, demonstrate client progress towards goals, etc. and free up your time spent in gather data and creating manual reports. You can then devote the time to fine tuning business strategies and increasing revenue generation or even for personal growth.
- Data security – When clients provide you with their personal details it is done with a degree of trust that those specifics won’t be leaked. Online coaching tools have in built security features that ensure key information such as client details & information, assessments, etc. are kept secure.
- Increased business effectivity – A well organised systematic package that affords multiple features – administrative, client content, coaching, assessment & reporting – all under a single platform will increase your impact as a coach. Online coaching tools help you offer customized coaching experiences that improve your coaching experience, help you create unique journeys and ultimately result in boosting your earnings.
How do you choose the best online coaching tools for your business?
There are several online coaching tools that you can use to increase your coaching effectiveness. Generally, you need to choose tools that can cover your workflow and that cater to your unique coaching journey. A coaching management platform that offers online coaching tools should help you:
- Design bespoke forms, unique exercises, tasks & homework
- Track client learning for better results
- Record & report client development
- Gather, evaluate feedback from external stakeholders
- Send regular reminders to clients
- Create visual reports from gathered responses
- Do all of this without leaving the platform
6 types of online coaching tools that support growth
Although numerous coaching tools are available in the market, here are the 6 online coaching tools that we believe will enhance your client’s journey and boost your business growth…
- Wheel of life – one of the most popular online coaching tools, the wheel of life is an assessment tool that helps you find out which areas of their life (relationships, work, family, hobbies, finances etc.) your clients are happy with and which aspects they want to improve upon.
- Big rocks & small rocks – A thought-provoking visual exercise for the client, big rocks & small rocks are a metaphor for identifying the top priorities that get neglected while the smaller aspects overcrowd your daily schedule.
The story, a well-known one, is of a professor teaching his class where he fills up a jug with big rocks and then asks his students if the jug is full? The students answer yes, but the professor says no and adds small pebbles to the jar. He once again asks his students if the jug is full, the students reply yes. Again, the professor says no and adds sand to the jug.
The big rocks represent the important parts of one’s life whereas pebbles and sand are the daily chores that our time is most spent on. The intent of this exercise is to make the client understand that they need to fill their jug of life with big rocks, whereas sand and small rocks can only take up the space in between.
You can use digital tools to create a self-exploratory form that allows the client to reflect upon his/her big rocks, small rocks, and sand.
- Goal reflection – The start of every coaching journey requires self-reflection from the client and a thorough get-to-know-you onboarding on your part. This online coaching tool is an excellent way to get clients to first contemplate on their current situation, challenges and their future goals, and ask them to put pen to paper and record their thoughts, dreams, observations, obstacles etc.
A great self-motivating tool, this documentation will enable your client to self-analyse, foster accountability, act as a stress buster, and set up their goals.
- Spheres of influence – This online coaching tool involves an exercise where concentric circles represent influence, control and no influence/control. The exercise helps your clients find out areas of their life that they have control over and areas that they need to work on. It is a wonderful tool that helps the client accept present circumstances and work with them as well as not waste time on situations not in their control.
- Daily successful habits – Successful people have gotten where they are because they follow certain habits daily. This online coaching tool helps your client create a daily schedule around which the rest of their day can be planned. Incorporating small habits (exercise, me time, work, family time etc.) that will finally enable the big changes in their life (reduced stress, calmer mind, healthier body).
- Declutter the mind – Most of us accept/tolerate things in our lives that are not palatable. Over time, these negative feelings can accumulate and cause a great deal of stress and clutter up your mind.
A decluttering exercise is a great way to help your client identify what they are merely putting up with against their wishes (behavior, unresolved issues, procrastination, untidiness, indecision etc.). Making a list if all the undesirables can help release a lot of mental clutter leaving them with energy to focus on what is important in their life.
As a coaching management software, Simply.Coach also offers a Digital Tools Repository of common tools you’ll need to create in your day-to-day – a coaching intent form, 360º assessments, a mid-engagement review, completion report, impact assessment, and more.
As a coach, online coaching tools are your best chance of engaging with your client, creating bespoke material, helping them identify & address their challenges, supporting them in achieving their goals and also increasing your own coaching business effectivity by reducing manual labor.
It’s also a great way to replace all that paperwork from face-to-face sessions and keep your journey in one place, online! So, go ahead and embrace these online coaching tools but add a personal touch to make them your own.
We hope you have enjoyed reading this handbook on online coaching tools.
Simply.Coach’s Digital Tools feature allows you to create your own tools, whether it’s an exercise sheet or a feedback form, so you don’t spend your valuable time creating forms, gathering responses and then making reports.
The Digital Tools feature allows you to take your unique coaching journey and your brand to clients with completely customized tools, or build on the templates available in the Digital Tools Repository. Click here to learn more.
- Are online coaching tools really necessary for me to scale my business?
As a coach if most of your valuable time is tied up in managing administrative tasks instead of coaching, you will hit a roadblock in growing your business sooner or later. So, instead of making changes out of compulsion, incorporating online coaching tools by choice to grow your business would be a smart move.
Online coaching tools will facilitate your business growth by, firstly, delivering services that will help retain existing clients and acquire new ones and secondly, by automating processes that will spare you the valuable time to utilise towards actually coaching your clients.
So, if you are actively working towards scaling your coaching business, then yes, online coaching tools are vital for you to take your business to the next level.