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Collaborative coaching over distance

Created on 07 July 2007 Written by Jean Binder
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coaching‘Coaching is fundamentally about helping people fulfil their potential by allowing them to recognise the things that hold them back and by helping them discover ways around them’ (Somers, 2007).   




Global project managers can improve the performance of distant team members by adopting a ‘coaching’ style and encouraging them to think for themselves. The increase in performance and self-confidence can reduce the need for monitoring and control, and the project manager can then monitor the work packages at a higher level.


The coaching style is also beneficial when the project manager appoints local coordinators, who will be responsible for a group of work packages performed by a local team. Good program managers usually deploy an artful combination of coaching and leadership to empower and motivate the project managers. 


The first main challenge faced by global program and project managers during coaching sessions is the distance, which inhibits the informal discussions and tends to reduce the frequency of meetings between coach and coachee (the person being coached). The second main challenge is the need for video and web conferencing facilities to allow the coach to use visual resources during the explanations. Finally, the cultural differences can also create barriers for the mutual understanding and trust required for an efficient coaching period.



Starr (2003) defined a collaborative style of coaching, when the coach and coachees work together on generating thoughts, insights, ideas and changes. In the chapter 5 of the book, I suggest a model for collaborative coaching sessions across national boundaries, which formalises the exchange of knowledge and the evolution of learning, uses the collaborative tools to facilitate understanding and increases trust to the high level required for the learning process. The main phases of this model are:

·        Understand the main principles of the coaching sessions

·        Establish a global context for coaching

·        Create a global understanding and direction

·        Review achievements and objectives

·        Complete the global coaching process 






Somers, M. (2007) ‘Coaching at work: powering your team with awareness, responsibility and trust’ (John Wiley & Sons, UK)


Starr, J. (2003) ‘The coaching manual – the definitive guide to the process, principles and skills of personal coaching’ (Pearson Education Ltd, UK) 


 Image © Styve | 


Last Updated on 31 July 2012

A mindmap on coaching

Created on 27 October 2007 Written by Jean Binder
Hits: 2151

Download a mindmap that can help you to coach your global project team members and other project managers.

Click here to download a mindmap on coaching

Last Updated on 31 July 2012
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