The concept of unlimited executive coaching is quite simple, you can access your coach as often as you like for one year at the fee of 3’500 CHF ($3,800). The question is how would this change the coaching dynamic for the better and/or for the worse. For the sake of clarity, the coaching fee only includes coaching, it does not include any travel on behalf of the coachee or the coach. Included in the package coaches are given four options:
- Face to face in our coaching offices in Switzerland
- Coached via our digital platform
- Have your coach travel to you (additional travel expense and costs billed to the coachee)
- A mix of the above.
In order to facilitate the unlimited coaching experience we also created an online booking system. This system allows for coaches to check the availability of their coach up to 4 hours in advance and book available slots.
When we launched this new offering we were concerned that, by offering unlimited coaching, we might create coach dependency. That being that the coachee feels they cannot move forward without their coach. Early indications are that dependency does not come from the number and frequency of coaching sessions available but from the style of coaching. If the coach remains process centric then the coachee sees the sessions as a “self learning” experience. Indeed early indications are that as the process progresses the client self regulates their sessions. Indeed their sessions become more spaced out a regular as the self learn experience progresses.
Client feedback has suggested that having a online system to book coaching removes perceived stressors. The perception of stress appears to come from agenda management. Where our clients are extremely busy the notion of liaising with someone to book brings two perceived stress factors. 1. Simply finding the time to connect with the coach to book. 2. The time used in the back and forth of finding a mutually convenient slot. The online booking system removes both of these as it is self-managed at the coaches convenience. In addition clients have commented on how much they appreciate the automated reminders for their coaching, 48 hrs in advance via email and 1 hr before via sms.
Finally we have noted a shift in the nature of the coach-coachee partnership. There appear to be three factors that are impacting the relationship
- The capacity to connect with ones coach via a digital platform where every you are, at any time you like, allows for just in time coaching.
- With the online booking platform coachee’s can book up to four hours in advance meaning that coaches book sessions to debrief a growth opportunity that pops up for them.
- Digital coaching means that coaches can connect real time, heightening the dynamic in the coaching partnership.
In a regular coaching relationship the coach and coachee book their next interaction at the end of the session. With unlimited coaching, the supporting technology and process mean that coachees can still book sessions as with a standard coaching package with the added possibility to book just in time session too. Coachees have commented that this flexibility allows them to follow through on action planning. Further more they have reported that behavioral shifts can be explored just after or just before a critical event, allowing for a reinforcing debrief on the new dynamic that was identify in the formal coaching session. Feedback shows that this further enforces trust allowing for greater impact on goals.
It is still too early to draw concise conclusions on the impact of unlimited coaching packages. Early indicators seem to show an improved coach/coachee relationship and increased impact on levels of trust. However this could also be attributed to the quality of the coaching that is being offered. Additionally we must take into account the “novelty” of the offering that maybe impacting impartiality on the behalf of responds selected for this study. Finally although responds also reported high impact on achieving their desired goal it is difficult to predict how a coachee who has a unique perspective, with unique desires and goals might have behaved or advanced differently with a regular coaching package.