What is E-coaching?

E-coaching is coaching delivered over an electronic medium. It focuses on the same goals as regular coaching. A coach's goal would be to facilitate client growth and potential by assisting them in identifying needs, developing goals, building strategies to meet these goals, and providing support and encouragement in order to ensure these goals may be met.

Coaching is not therapy; it is about developing human potential, rather than working through emotional issues. It focuses on the present and the future as opposed to the past. Also, coaching is not mentoring; according to Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, a mentor is "someone who is an advocate . . . and [is] helping them get ahead in the organizational structure" while a coach focuses on "developing the person's skills and capabilities." (Goldsmith, 2002, 3)


The field of coaching is extremely broad; goals may be personal or professional in nature. Internet searches for coaching produce results ranging in specializations such as executive, life, financial, fitness, health and, even, sexual coaching. E-coaching could be utilized in any of the above specializations.


E-coaching differs from regular coaching in that communication occurs electronically with their clients. Regular coaching sessions can occur completely via online instant messaging such as MSN or Yahoo! Messenger. Video conferencing is a medium being explored by some coaches. These methods are particularly useful if the coach and client travel a lot or live in different cities. Before and after sessions, coaches could e-mail clients relevant preparation/follow up materials to enhance the coaching process. Between sessions, clients can stay focused on the coaching process via reminders sent by e-mail or cell phone text messages. Clients can e-mail coaches with questions as they occur, rather than waiting until the next coaching session.


Coaches can set up a web-based resource center to facilitate the coaching process. Clients could access materials such as:

•interactive scheduling tools

•goal setting tools

•learning activities or exercises


•assessments and on-line measure tools

•digital records to record, track and review progress