The latest Ridler Report has identified a significant increase in the use of coaching by telephone and video. What has motivated organisations to increase their use of remote delivery channels, asks Clive Mann. This is the second in a series of articles highlighting themes emerging from the Report

Organisations are increasing their use of coaching via remote delivery channels, according to the 6th Ridler Report, published this month (January).

Some 42 per cent of organisations said they frequently use telephone/video as a medium for executive coaching, compared with 29 per cent when the same question was asked in the 5th Ridler Report, two years ago.

Some 42 per cent said telephone/video coaching works well as a stand-alone coaching medium, compared with 23 per cent two years ago.

Eighty-eight per cent of organisations agreed that telephone/video coaching is more productive if it happens after the coaching relationship has been established face-to-face – a figure slightly up from 84 per cent two years ago, according to the Report, which highlights key trends in the use of coaching in large organisations, providing organisational sponsors of coaching and professional coaches with valuable insights into the latest developments in coaching practice.

The experience of an increasing number of organisations is that remote coaching simply works, both when combined with face-to-face coaching and leadership development programmes and as a stand-alone medium. Remote coaching also has cost advantages over face-to-face.

The 6th Ridler Report features a case study of Standard Chartered Bank (SCB)’s increasing use of remote coaching, which includes offering five remote coaching sessions to 450 organisational leaders each year in one leadership programme.

By using remote coaching the bank is able to deploy high-calibre executive coaches, who meet its selection criteria and can work with clients across cultures and remotely in a diverse range of geographies where the supply of suitable coaches is often limited.

Samantha King, head of executive development at SCB said: “With rapidly evolving technology, remote coaching is now a leading-edge, cost-efficient and flexible way to offer global quality coaching to a diverse community of leaders who would otherwise not have access to it.”

She said that since the Report was compiled, the bank has decided to extend the use of 100 per cent remote coaching for leaders across the organisation, to accelerate leaders’ learning to lead change, transformation and to increase effectiveness in the recent reorganisation.

Some 120 employees will be the first to benefit starting this month (January). One internal client, who has received remote coaching, Carlos de Luzuriaga, MD, head, structured inventory products, financial markets commodities, Singapore, said: “This was the first time I ever had coaching in my career, and at first I was not sure what to expect. My coach was very quick in establishing a good rapport and in gaining my confidence, which I believe is important.”

Cirrus supported SCB over 100 days, providing external phone coaches and an IT system. The coaching approach was developed in partnership with SCB.

Future articles will draw from the 6th Ridler Report’s analysis of data on coaching evaluation, team coaching, the prevalence of chemistry meetings in matching, group coaching, internal coaching, supervision, fee levels for external coaches and accreditation, with case studies which illustrate innovative and best practice uses of coaching.

Next issue: group coaching, featuring Rentokil Initial

Clive Mann is the author of the 6th Ridler Report and managing director of the executive coaching practice Ridler & Co

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