As a coach it is now about existence. No meetings and no group meetings in closed rooms – that means no workshops and trainings. And therefore no income. A frightening, existence-threatening situation for many coaches and trainers. Is it?
New ways are needed. One way that seems to me to be very feasible and successful in the long run are remote workshops. In conversations with colleagues I hear sentences like: “I want to be able to feel the energy in the room …” or “…the body language of the participants is especially important to me …”. Depending on the coaching, these are important aspects that are difficult to depict in video coaching (although not impossible. There are approaches and methods to take this need into account).
Other aspects are the reservations about the technique: Can I master it? Will I lose the participants in the course of the workshop? Also, new paths have to be taken, the tried and tested way of marketing may not work, the offers are no longer right, my preparation has to be designed differently. These uncertainties can be tackled.
The technology disappears in the background
Of course: The technical possibilities can also distract trainers and participants. That’s why face-to-face training sessions are held with cell phones to the side and with as little walking to the office as possible during breaks. But be honest, these rules can also apply in the digital world. In a video conference, only the necessary programs are open: Video software and browser for digital collaboration.
For trainers and participants alike: If you limit yourself to a few, but functionally comprehensive tools and master how to use them, the fear of technology disappears all by itself – and with it, so to speak, the technology itself.
Two tips for dealing with the technology: Most providers provide comprehensive how-to videos, have very helpful customer service representatives for questions and repeatedly publish practical insights that make it easier to familiarize oneself with and master the digital tools. With a little practice, you feel very confident. A small collegial exchange in which you try out such tools is also very helpful.
Lower costs convince customers
Up to now, our customers were mainly interested in competence and costs. This will not change. For us as suppliers, this is an advantage that must be exploited. Digital offers are much more cost-effective, even if the trainer’s fees remain the same. This is because there are no room costs, catering, travel expenses for trainers and participants, or travel expenses for preparatory meetings.
Yes, a few costs are added. You may need digital software tools for which licenses are required. And in my experience, it is definitely advisable to use an additional remote facilitator. This supports the use of technological possibilities such as break-out rooms, use of collaboration software, solving technical problems, etc. Only with such a supporter is it guaranteed that trainers and participants can focus on their tasks and are not disturbed when technical hurdles or organizational questions arise for individual participants.
Good arguments in sales talks: faster and more sustainable implementation
And yes, speed is particularly important in the digital space. That’s good, because digital workshops can be started more quickly: The time-consuming process of arranging rooms and appointments is usually unnecessary. Once you have created your templates, you can get started right away. The online version is also possible and useful in small pieces, which makes projects more feasible over the long term.
Last but not least, tools don’t have an end of day, so you can divide the work on the projects into synchronous and asynchronous tasks after a workshop.
What does that mean? Participants work synchronously, i.e. at the same time, on topics when direct exchange or common understanding is the main focus. Each individual can then complete their tasks asynchronously, i.e. independently of the others, if it fits into their schedule, their ability to concentrate and their intuition.
In this way, the work changes away from two intensive workshop days to a longer-term occupation with one topic, better linked and integrated into everyday life. This gives doubters and hesitants more time to get involved and overcome their reservations. More people are involved and the goals are implemented more effectively.
All these points are a real advantage for your customers. I am convinced of this. Do you see it differently? I look forward to your suggestions and comments.
Your Armin Schobloch