Since its inception, International Coach Academy (ICA) has embraced distance and e-learning principles in delivering their professional coach certification training. In fact, ICAs programs are specifically designed to leverage the advantages of voice-to-voice training with interactive teleclasses delivered via telephone or technologies such as Skype.
This allows ICA students to enjoy working from anywhere, at their own pace, completing assignments based on their schedule and time constraints without ever falling behind.
The process is quite simple – you call into a teleclass, listen to everyone joining the call, check in with the trainer who then leads the call encouraging participation when required or desired. Thoughts are discussed and debated, ideas created, knowledge shared, friendships discovered, business connections made, skills practiced, learning enhanced, trust developed and global partnerships formed.
Interestingly the virtual nature of e-learning (and therefore our program) encourages and supports the very skills essential to coaching mastery – active listening, presence, focus and non judgment. Because there are no facial expressions, body language or gestures to ‘read’, voice to voice coach training heightens our coaching competencies as we learn to attune to what is said and not said, to tone, pitch, and energy, and even the communication clues in a dry cough, a nervous laugh or an unusual pause. We believe it is more difficult to achieve this level of listening skills in a physical environment with endless distractions and pre-conceived perspectives based on what we see.
We consider it a kind of “soul to soul” communicating. Our students have repeatedly told us they find the connection and community created within the classes to be as rich and robust as in any ‘bricks and mortar’ classroom, probably more so. We think anonymity also encourages trust and releases fear creating a safe, comfortable space maintained by both learner and teacher.
Students who enjoy distance learning are generally organized, self-motivated, and comfortable with basic computer skills such as email.