Executive Coaching goes Mobile: 4 Reasons to switch to technology-based coaching

I have been blessed by a solid stream of coaching clients since I started my coaching practice in 2005.  It’s not been an easy road – I have worked very hard to promote myself and my services, hone my coaching offerings, earn my reputation, develop my skills and continue my coaching education.  I have done more free talks and workshops than I can remember and networked myself into exhaustion.  And it paid off. My deep thanks to all the people who have  supported and invested in my executive coaching services. My big aspiration has always been, and remains – to work with high impact individuals across the globe; to be a global player in this arena we call earth.  Up until a few months ago, at least 50% of my high impact clients were individuals and teams I met up with at various physical venus in my hometown of Cape Town.  Whilst I was very keen to move these coaching relationships toward a technology-based option, it seemed redundant, considering that I was there and so were my clients.  Until I took a bold step and moved myself physically to another city (you can read more in See you in Santiago).  Now all of my clients work with me via Skype and I attend all of my supervision and other meetings via various technology-based platforms.  And we are all delighted with our new way of working, and with our results.  Here are 4 Reasons why I see great benefit in switching to technology-based coaching;

(1) Save the planet

Many of us talk about ‘going green’, concern ourselves with sustainability and invest in sustainable projects, yet we jump into our motorcars willingly, or insist that others should do so, to drive around and meet up with one another.  We contribute to a growing problem of pollution, carbon emissions, traffic, toll road debates, deaths on the road and sadly necessary high insurance premiums.  It is a delight for me to not be driving at the moment, and it removes all the stress of needing to get to destinations on time, getting stuck behind refuse removal trucks, having to re-feul and so forth.  More than this, I can see how much less stressed my clients are because they did not need to fight any traffic either, to make our meeting on time.  And this allows us both to be centred and present.

(2) Save time, save money

It’s a horrible cliche – time is money – but it’s true.  As an executive or an executive coach, you earn well and may even earn by or charge by the hour or number of project hours.  Sure, we can charge out our traveling time within our project rates, but why pay or be paid to be on the road?  I can substantially lower my coaching fees if I eliminate the additional hour it takes to get there and back. And I’m saving on fuel and, if applicable, flight costs too.  As are you.  And Skype – bless it – is free. Our only cost now is internet connectivity.

(3) It is NO LESS intimate

If you’ve ever experienced a long-distance love relationship, you know that intimacy is not related to distance but rather to your ability to communicate across the distance.  Skype and other technology based platforms have allowed grandparents to connect with grandchildren, lovers to flirt and share sweet nothings, businessmen in India to design websites for businesses based in Peru. And executive coaches and their executive clients can do the same.   These platforms allow the same sense of togetherness and intimacy that my clients and I would otherwise enjoy.  There are many moments online when my clients and I share a tear, or a laugh, or a mindfulness exercise.  Sometimes I’ll pick up my computer and show my clients around my office, and they do the same with theirs.  Just because there is a technology platform between us, we are still two human beings having a human-connection, from anywhere we find ourselves a that time!  For even more on this, here’s a Forbes article about this visual technology revolution; Back to the Future with face-to-Face technology

(4) Develop a Global Mindset

The world is a village.  I am having my website designed by a women in Knysna, and developed by a guy in Bali. I’m partnering with a coach in Singapore on a joint project and getting photo tips from my brother-in-law in Hong Kong. While, as you now know, I am in Santiago de Chile.

Business is a now a global landscape and executives are dealing with clients and suppliers and teams in many different countries across the globe. There are mergers and expansions that bring new business cultures together all the time.  Our ability to think globally and play in the global spaces positions us well in future markets.  Part of this ability includes embracing the technology that allows us to connect face-to-face with people anywhere, and explore the possibilities.

If you’re ready to explore a coaching partnership with a coach who is going the distance to demonstrate that quality and effective coaching partnerships can take place no matter where each of us finds ourselves, I’d love to hear from you.  Drop me a note and let’s schedule a Skype call over the next few days.


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Michelle Clarke is an Executive Coach.  She works with Leaders, Executives and Executive Coaches, helping them to  develop strong, influential personal brands and to elegantly navigate the complexity of 21st century leadership . To learn more about her work please visit her website www.motivcoach.com, and be sure also to subscribe to this blog for future updates. If you enjoy Facebook, please join Michelle’s Business Page

Do you know someone who might benefit from this information? Please share this email in the spirit of coaching abundance. Thank You!

The Fake it ‘Til you Make It principal (and it’s application to leadership)

As I type this I’m admiring the treetops from an apartment in Santiago, Chile. My being here is a personal experiment intended to expand mine, my clients and future clients thinking around the portability of Executive Coaching.  My post See you in Santiago shares some insight into how I came to be here, but the bit I’ve not yet shared is my process – the classic Fake it ‘Til you Make it principal.  I often invite clients to use this principal when embarking on something new, scary and unfamiliar and for me, it really does work a charm.

When I decided to embark on this journey, it was daunting to me.  I was going to leave the familiar and step-out into the unfamiliar in a new way.  Some have called it courageous, and although I’m flattered by that, it hasn’t felt that way to me.  And that’s because I’ve been faking living in foreign surroundings for many months before I even got here.  About six months ago, despite living in Cape Town where everything is priced in Rand, I started converting the prices of everything into US Dollars.  My grocery bill, my lunches, my gym membership. Everything.  I was faking living in a whole new currency.  Part of my Fake It process also included visualisation and imagining.  When I went for my daily walk, I imagined the scenery around me to be different to that which I actually saw.  When I admired the moon from my balcony in the evenings, I imagined I was looking at the moon from another corner of the world.  Google Earth helped me to get right down to street level so that I could familiarise myself with what things looked like on the ‘other side’.  And ah, the joy of Facebook, where I joined several groups populated by people already in my new destination so that I could learn what they were doing, saying and asking for.   And so, this was not so much a leap of faith as it was a familiar entry into a world that I had sort of already created in my head.

Fake It ‘Til you Make it for Coaching and Leadership

As their Executive Coaching partner, I use the same principal with clients who are transiting from the corporate world of work into their own entrepreneurial enterprises. They’re overwhelmed by the unfamiliar of what lies ahead.  I invite them to start thinking of themselves as already self-employed.  This new perspective allows them to think differently about how they budget, spend, make choices and make decisions.  For several months, while they are existing the old, they are already living the new.

Similarly, my clients who are aiming for promotion and higher leadership responsibilities:  they Fake it ‘Til you Make It.  If the new position calls for a set of buzz words – they start learning them now.  If it calls for a different degree of confidence – they start displaying it (or pretending, if they must) right now.  Imagine yourself in that corner office.  Take on a strategic perspective.  Network at a different level.

It was Picasso who told us that  ‘Everything you can imagine is real’, and this extends well beyond art.  If you want to be someone different, and see something different in your world, start it now.  Consider the nuances that will change in your new future, and bring them into your present.  Keep walking, and one day you’ll notice that the scenery has indeed changed.


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Michelle Clarke is an Executive Coach.  She works with Leaders, Executives and Executive Coaches, helping them to  develop strong, influential personal brands and to elegantly navigate the complexity of 21st century leadership . To learn more about her work please visit her website www.motivcoach.com, and be sure also to subscribe to this blog for future updates. If you enjoy Facebook, please join Michelle’s Business Page

Do you know someone who might benefit from this information? Please share this email in the spirit of coaching abundance. Thank You!

See you in Santiago

This article is a replica of a recent interview published in the COMENSA (Coaches and Mentors of South Africa) Newsletter. And it’s all about Moi!  I’m embarking on an exciting work/life adventure and I invite you, excite you, urge you to come along….

“Michelle Clarke is seldom still… always pushing the boundaries, always exploring new approaches.
Her latest move follows her intention to move into the Global Executive Coaching space. This February Michelle will be moving to Santiago, Chile, from where she will be coaching clients around the globe using Skype and other available technologies.  This forms part of her intention to demonstrate that effective, powerful and quality coaching conversations can continue no matter where in the world she or a client might find themselves.

That Michelle is motivated by travel and exploration is a given. An outcome of this has been that she has developed a coaching practice with clients around the world. She likes to develop a deep knowledge of the cultures and worlds of her clients – so moving around the globe to gain that experience and insight is an obvious conclusion.  Continue reading

Can your best friend be your coach?


The word “coaching” literally means to transport someone from one place to another.  People use coaching to help them move forward and/or to create some kind of change.

A Coaching Conversation is a highly specialized conversation (or series of conversations) one person has with another.  The person who is the coach intends to produce a conversation that will benefit the other person, the client, in a way that relates to the clients learning, self-development and progress.  

How does this conversation differ from the one we have with our best friends over the garden wall, a cup of tea or a beer in the pub?  Continue reading

Seeking Sattwa: equilibrium and harmony

There are those us who have (not yet?) chosen to escape to caves or island retreats for a life of meditation and yoga.  Those of us who still throw ourselves into the daily chaos of creativity, business and economics.  In our chaotic contribution, we still look for the same peace of mind, the same sense of equilibrium amongst the hustle and energy of our world.  We too seek Sattwa.

The ancient yogis have known what modern science has recently affirmed  – everything (all matter, our bodies, the empty spaces between us), when broken down to its smallest component, amounts to nothing more than energy.  The world as we know it is essentially a massive collection of energy particles.

 Energy only ever finds itself in three different states.  Continue reading

Learn The Language

Coaching brings with it dynamic thinking constructs together with its own unique language, buzz words and vocabulary.

Learning the language is a great way to get acquainted with coaching, whether you’re about to coach or whether you’re preparing for your first chemistry meeting with your preferred coach.  Continue reading

Shifting Perspective

If you own a cat, and even if you don’t, I’ll bet you’re familiar with feline tactics for attention.  Walking, prancing and rolling on a keyboard is a  favored manoeuvre.   This morning, my cat was doing just that when she accomplished an extraordinary shift; I’m not sure which  keys she stood on, and in what sequence, but *viola!* the entire visual on my display screen turned 90 degrees. The whole screen.  I didn’t even know my notebook had such a  trick in it! I had to turn in on it’s side to view my screen.  It’s taken me quite some time to figure how to right the image.  The experience reminded me about a coaching dialogue technique — about how taking a 90-degree angle shift on something can shift our perspective. Whitworth et al, in their book Co-Active Coaching, set out this elegant example.  I hope it adds value to your thinking.  Continue reading