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  The Online Coaching Clinic
  FAQs

1. What is The Online Coaching Clinic? 
2. What are the benefits or online coaching to line managers, users and training managers? 
3. Why should I take part in Online Coaching? What's in it for me? 
4. Why would an organization or company support Online Coaching for its employees? 
5. How do I get feedback on what I'm learning? 
6. How do I use this learning to improve my performance? 
7. How do I access The Online Coaching Clinic? 
8. What hardware and software do I need? 
9. What is Web Based Coaching? 
10. How does The Online Coaching Clinic's web based Coaching compare to live coaching? 
11. Why does Web Based Coaching work? 
12. What's available on The Online Coaching Clinic? 
13. How do I know which modules to use? 
14. What is planned for the future? 
15. Can we ask you to create modules that we're particularly interested in? 
16. What are the advantages of Web Based Coaching to individuals? 
17. What are the reasons for having Web Based Coaching at work? 
18. Can managers use The Online Coaching Clinic as a managerial tool? 
19. How do you ensure confidentiality? 

1. What is The Online Coaching Clinic? 

The Online Coaching Clinic is an e-learning program that supports desirable performance improvement. Users have the opportunity to access a wide variety of coaching on the Internet or their organization's Intranet.

The coaching comes in short modules which take five to fifteen minutes to complete. Modules with related content are grouped into clinics. 

Each module includes a short lecture, some examples, when you need more 
explanation, and a probing question for the user to answer. The question will stimulate integration of the new knowledge from the lecture, the examples and what users already know, using, what we call, reflective thinking. The resultant answer to the question will be in the form of actions that the user can take. Essentially an action plan.

2.  What are the benefits of online coaching to line managers, users and training managers? 

Benefits to Line Management 

  • Managers can use online coaching as performance support on a "just in time" basis.
  • Recommendations for learning in performance reviews can be more generous and more actionable with low time and dollar costs when online coaching is recommended.
  • More people in an organization can get soft skill training because the cost is low.
  • More access to coaching and training is a key factor in employee retention.
Benefits to Users 
  • The online coaching simulates a private meeting with a coach or a mentor. The questions asked stimulate guided thinking and creativity.  The questions are the ones a personal coach or mentor would ask in a face to face private meeting.
  • Online coaching is available at home and at the office 24 hours a day wherever a computer link is available
  • It takes less time to have a training session.  People are not out of the office and unavailable as much
  • Online coaching provides a complete lesson, including an action plan in 5 - 15 minutes.
  • Users can be specific about which training they complete. An hour of relevant coaching online can equal two days in the classroom.
  • Coaching is available in all geographic regions without the need for travel
  • Users can make mistakes and then correct them without fear of peer pressure
  • Users can review their thinking and learning with others in the organization; up, sideways or down.
Benefits to Training Managers 
  • Online Coaching increases the speed, flexibility and reach of coaching.
  • It reduces the bill for classroom training and trainers
  • Coaching modules can be repeated at no cost.
3. Why should I take part in Online Coaching? What's in it for me? 

Here are four important reasons to participate in The Online Coaching Clinic: 

  • You will learn new self management skills that will help you do your job better 
  • You will learn new self management skills that will help you in your personal life 
  • Online coaching is easy to use and available when you need it, at your desktop 
  • Use of Online Coaching is encouraged and supported by management where it is available 

4. Why would an organization or company support Online Coaching? 

Typically one of the core values in an organization is continuous learning. In today's changing world, we all need to develop our skills and learn new things. Continuous learning doesn't just apply to the technical skills needed to do the job.  It also applies to so called "soft skills" like managing stress and managing time. 

Employees with strong self management and social skills are more successful in their lives, both at work and at home. Perhaps you've heard all the talk lately 
about "emotional intelligence". This term applies to people who are aware of their emotions and know how to interact effectively with others. These are the types skills that can be strengthened with the coaching modules of The Online Coaching Clinic. 

Another reason to use The Online Coaching Clinic is that people are often too busy to attend classroom training or read books. The Online Coaching Clinic is 
"just in time" learning, easily accessible from your computer. You can take one module at a time. Each one takes from five to fifteen minutes to complete. (See question 9, "What is Web Based Coaching?" for more details on how online coaching works.) 

We're interested in your feedback and suggestions about this program. Contact us. 

5. How do I get feedback on what I'm learning? 

One way is to talk to your manager, a co-worker or a friend about your plans to try some of the modules. Tell them what you hope to learn. Then, after you're 
finished, meet with them again and review what you've learned and what you plan to do next. Make an action plan. Talk with them at regular intervals to get 
feedback on how you're progressing.  Each of the modules ends with some advice on how the user can review completed modules and how a mentor can be helpful. 

Some people like to handle their own feedback by keeping a learning journal. Use a notebook, or a computer file.  Jot down your own list of what you'd like to learn and when you've finished the modules, some action plans. Revisit your plans once a week and make a note of how you are doing. (Give yourself a "reward" when you've achieved some of the things you set out to do!) 
 

6.  How do I use this learning to improve my performance? 

The key to improving your performance is planning. First, decide what it is you 
need to improve, determine how you will go about getting the knowledge and skills, then make an action plan to practice the skills. 

Most of us find this process much more effective if we have a manager, friend or mentor to act as a "sounding board" and keep us on track. Pick someone who can be objective and give you honest feedback on your performance. 

You may also be wondering how to link "soft skills" learned through Online Coaching to your actual job performance. There are three ways: 

  • a. the exercises in each module stimulate thinking about real life examples that may apply to your situation. 
  • b. the introductory segment for each clinic (i.e. one for Stress Hardy, one for Time Management) also gives suggestions to link the clinic to work situations. 
  • c. ask your manager, mentor, or a friend if they think learning theses kills will help you to improve in any aspects of your job, and make an action plan 

7.  How do I access The Online Coaching Clinic again? 

When you get to the Intranet home page click on the "Competency Menu" to see a list of what's available. 

The modules are created to open in your computer's word processor when click on the link.  That provides you with lots of options for entering responses, saving, revising and printing.  Having the completed modules stored locally also ensures confidentiality.  When you've finished a module simply move back to The Online Coaching Clinic in your browser.  If you use Internet Explorer and have opened Word you'll already be there.  If you use Netscape you'll have to click on the Netscape icon in your task bar to return.  

8.  What hardware and software do I need? 

All you need is a PC with access to the Internet or Intranet and a browser. The program works best if you are using Internet Explore version 4 or higher, but it also works well with Netscape in a Windows or Macintosh environment. 

9.  What is Web Based Coaching? 

Web Based Coaching is simply coaching that is accessed over the internet or an intranet.  The concept has been around a long time.  Prior to the advent of the internet and browsers it was called Electronic Performance Support Systems or Computer Based Training.  In effect it still is except users access it via an online tool, typically the internet or an intranet.

10.  How does The Online Coaching Clinic's Web Based Coaching compare to live coaching? 

Say, you're a mother. You have a problem; you baby keeps getting a rash. So you tell your pediatrician (coach). He or she gives you some advice. That advice is to wash and dry the baby differently. You try it. It works but not perfectly. You go back for another coaching session. They tell you to try a certain powder each time you change the baby. You try again. Better results. That's coaching. Actually its continuous improvement coaching. Its the piecing together of small bites of learning to gain a great advantage. 

The Online Coaching Clinic works much the same way. 

We want to help you find pieces of advice that are worth trying to solve your problem or help you take advantage of your opportunity. As you work through the modules in a clinic the pieces of advice and the guided thinking and creativity will add up to your great advantage. That's Continuous improvement coaching. 

11. Why does Web Based Coaching work? 

Our coaching modules are made up of short lectures, usually containing only one idea, that you can read quickly. We then ask pointed questions that you will have to think about. To answer the question you will have to consider the and how the learning applies to you. Questions will direct you toward a solution that's right for you. The thinking you do is "reflective". The combination of the "lecturettes", "solution focused questions" and "reflective thinking" will help's users to be creative and come up with a new action plan. Our structure follows good learning theory. 
 

  • Users are choosing which modules to use so the coaching is relevant. 
  • Learners are motivated or they wouldn't be taking the time. 
  • The instructional design offers variety adding to interest levels. 
  • Learners have control. They are working at their speed on their selected topic. 
  • The design is user friendly. It appeals to thinking skills. 

12.  What's available on The Online Coaching Clinic site? 

If you click on Competency Menu you'll be taken to a page which shows the variety of coaching modules available, The 182+ modules are sorted into a number of workshops such as Managing Yourself, Managing Others, Communicating Better, Getting Stress Hardy & Emotional Intelligence.  

13.  How do I Know which modules to use? 

For now just complete the modules that seem to fill a need you have. It might be worthwhile to review the Competency Menu  with your supervisor to see if some might be relevant to your performance review. 

 14.  What is planned for the future? 

There is the opportunity to develop much more training in response to demand. The following skill areas under consideration or development now. 
 
Future Topics 

  • Heart Health
  • Back Care 
  • Surviving Restructuring
  • Meeting Facilitation
  • How to Hire
  • Consulting Skills
  • Knowledge Management
  • Mentoring Skills
 Let us know what you want and we'll pass your request along. 
 

15.  Can we ask you to create coaching that we're particularly interested in? 

Yes. But that doesn't mean we'll do it. It takes research and development to create modules. So we won't be able to respond to every request. 

16.  What are the advantages of Web Based Coaching to individuals? 

For individuals, Web Based Coaching increases the speed, flexibility and reach of coaching. It makes coaching available to people in all geographic regions without the need for travel. It's available to users at home and at the office 24 hours a day. It takes less time to have a training session. A complete lesson, including an action plan can be done in five to fifteen minutes.  Individuals working alone, suffer no peer pressure.  They can do a module and if they don't like their answers they can simply delete them and try again. 

17.  What are the reasons for having Web Based Coaching at work? 

Web Based Coaching increases the speed, flexibility and reach of coaching. It reduces the bill for classroom training. It makes coaching available to people in all geographic regions without the need for travel. It's available to users at home and at the office 24 hours a day. It takes less time to have a training session. A complete lesson, including an action plan can be done in five to fifteen minutes. 

18.  Can managers use The Online Coaching Clinic as a managerial tool? 

The Online Coaching Clinic is a great management tool. Say you have an employee who is suffering from stress. One option might be to send them to a day long stress management course. That will cost you a day of their time and several hundred dollars. Another option might be to have them work through the stress management modules in The Online Coaching Clinic. That will have no incremental costs and use up a lot less time. As with any type of training or coaching, a manager's involvement and feedback are crucial to the learning process. Talk to your staff about what they hope to learn from the clinic. Debrief afterwards and discuss action plans and follows. 

19.  How do you ensure confidentiality? 

Everything you type in is typed in your own private word processor. Users have the option to save their answers so that they can revisit them at a later date and redo or finish the module.  For the most part the modules are quite short and, in fact, do not require you to enter confidential information. You'll be able to complete the  modules and print your confidential action plan in one sitting. 



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