Tech Tips for Coaches (And Other Remote-Working Professionals)

With the advent of the internet, cell technologies, and Wi-Fi, a lot of workers and entrepreneurs, such as life coaches have the ability to basically work from anywhere at anytime. Many traditional jobs that were once 0ffice-bound are also now telecommuting positions allowing many workers to work from home. Going into the office is obsolete. Even before I started my own company, the last eight years or so before that I went to the office maybe 10% of the time if that, and only when it was absolutely 100% necessary.

But with this freedom comes responsibility as professionals. I am speaking mostly to coaches, therapists, and others who are in the helping community, but really get your technology tight! I see and experience too many coaches floundering with their tool set which is downright inexcusable.

Here are some tech tips for coaches to help you look more like a professional, have seamless sessions with clients and improve your overall chances of success in this industry.

1. Be on time! If you are working with another consultant or coach respect their time as you would want your own time to be respected. Use a calendar! There are so many free ones available such as google calendar that you can sync with your email, smart phone, etc. There is never an excuse to be late for a client.

2. Have quality call connections. If you work from home and have a land line, use it! If you rely on your cell phone for work make sure you have the carrier with the best coverage for the areas where you are more likely to be working from.

3.  If you are teleconferecning using a tool such as Skype make sure that you know how to use it and that it works for you. This means making sure your PC or laptop is powerful enough to run the application and that you have a quality camera and microphone. Do not run a teleconferencing session from the weakest Wi-Fi space in your location. Ensure that you Wi-Fi and ISP can handle the bandwidth for a video call. Bonus tip! Invest in a headset and microphone.  Your client will hear you better and you will be able to hear them better. If your client does not have robust capabilities on their side for a video session, then fall back to using the phone.

4. BE WITH THE CLIENT! A client deserves and is paying for undivided attention during a session.  Don’t try to sneak in reading e-mail or checking Facebook on the sly. That can wait. Have children and pets out of the room if they are not quiet. A client will lose confidence in you if they are relaying an issue and having to talk over a screaming kid.

5.  Have backup systems in place. If your internet goes down, can you use the phone? Is there another hot spot that you can move to? Plan for these things to happen and be ready to deal with them. It is a waste of the client’s time (and money) if the first fifteen minutes of the session are spent just trying to find a way to talk and to be able to hear each other.

6.  If you are giving a teleconference or webinar dry run your presentation and the technologies involved multiple times. Make sure that  you have enough lines for a call and make sure that you can connect to the service provider such as Citrix and ensure that others can connect as well. Make sure that you instructions and documentation for those to connect is readable, understandable, and accurate.

The rules that apply in business in a traditional office setting do not go out the window just because you are a remote worker. As a professional you should have everything in place to be just as present with a client over the phone or internet (actually a step above that) just as if they came into your office and sat down right across from you.

Be a professional and use technology to insure that you appear as such.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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