In the weeks and months before the pandemic hit the UK, online coaching was seen as a great alternative to face to face coaching for those in a different time zone, or where their job role or family commitments didn’t provide for a little ‘time out’.
ZOOM usage has increased to almost 300 million users globally since the start of the lockdown, and according to Bloomberg, represents a soaring 50% increase in the three weeks to 21st April 2020. Who would have thought that with a 17- year head start, good old trusty Skype would be swiftly dropped like a hot cake in favour of its newbie rival?
In a world and in a time where connectivity has never mattered more, what a Godsend Zoom has been! We have seen families and friends connect and reconnect. We have seen elderly and vulnerable people acquire new digital skills and we have seen, and probably been shamed(!) by our children as they, more often than not, help us navigate and make sense of the digital world we all now find ourselves in.
Zoom represents a great opportunity for the coaching community because it ensures we can still connect with our clients at this ever-changing time and provide support quickly. And our clients now understand that you can connect and be coached online – a sure turning point for our profession.
I have noticed a little change in my own feelings towards ZOOM the past couple of weeks. My work life and social life are now all within ZOOM and while it is a key connecting tool, I fear that it can also drain us. Is there such a thing as ZOOM fatigue? I think so.
It’s much harder to read body language, expression and tone from a screen. In trying, we use up a lot of energy as we’re having to work much harder to understand it.
And then there’s the ‘join with video’ mode which, let’s face it, is a distraction. There’s really nothing worse on a video call than seeing yourself speak or worry about your background. Problems we didn’t really know existed until a couple months ago.
So, it would appear ZOOM fatigue is a real thing. I asked our coaches what they were experiencing. Cathy, Jenni, Fiona and Lesley have come up with some real gems in their top tips and also some questions to ask yourself when you find that screen time is becoming too much:
Things to think about:
What our coaches think:
“I have become a bit of a fan as it is the only time, I brush my hair and put on some lip gloss just now!”
“Being a newbie to Zoom I really didn’t know what to expect... what would I look like? would I sound strange? would my coachees feel they are not really being coached? Now I’m using it regularly I have to admit I am a convert”
“It’s completely different to stepping into a meeting room or a social gathering. Someone in ZOOM is always looking at you. How draining is that?”
I think ZOOM is without a doubt a godsend to us all right now. Watch your energy and when catching up with friends a walk and chat could kill quite a few birds at one time!
Happy Zooming all.