Sharing my research findings: Social media to support coaching

Here’s a link to the methodology and findings from some recent research that I completed as part of my MA in performance coaching and mentoring. It has been a fascinating journey and I’ve learnt so much along the way.


The purpose of this research was to investigate the extent to which social media tools and materials are currently being used by internal or external coaches to support face to face coaching in an organisational context. Some recommendations include:

  • Both literature in related fields and the findings from this research suggest that there is scope and significant benefits to using social media tools and materials to support both individual and group coaching in organisations.
  • Online communities can be used to support coaching by enabling the coachee to network and collaborate with others. Social media can also offer additional perspectives to the coachee which can provide new ideas and spark new thinking.

However there are a number of disadvantages and barriers that can prevent its use or suggest that it is inappropriate to use:

  • Client confidentiality and security need to be addressed and assured. If social media potentially compromises this confidentiality then social media should not be used to support coaching.To avoid confusion, the way in which social media was to be used to support coaching would be need to be agreed as part of the coaching contracting process.
  • Both coach and coachee need both knowledge and appropriate technology skills regarding social media use in order that it can be used to support coaching.
  • The barriers of organisational security concerns and blocks would need to be addressed and removed if social media was to become more widely used to support coaching in this context. This may require significant culture change

12 thoughts on “Sharing my research findings: Social media to support coaching

  1. Thanks for the interesting research!

    Next to the opportunities to network, share ideas and build relationships with others, social media can also be used by a coachee and by a coach to gather information/knowledge about how to deal with certain issues/challenges.

  2. Yes this was one of the benefits and uses that Coaches identified. In particular encouraging coachees to connect with others to gain a different perspective of an issue or challenge.

  3. Hi Lynn, really interesting research results – thank you for sharing them. I can see that security would be a really significant concern but I think with that resolved, using the web in lots of different and creative ways may well really improve the client experience.

    • Thanks Glenn. I agree there are so many possibilities as long as everyone involved have the skills and motivation to explore this

  4. Hi Lynn
    Many thanks for sharing your findings. We had an interesting discussion about the use of social media in coaching at one of the EMCC networking groups last week.

    Are you planning on publishing your work more widely and talking at any forthcoming events? I think your findings have come at an interesting time as the topic of social media is increasingly being raised during my client meetings.

    • Hi Sara
      I’d love to share as widely as possible and would be happy to share at forthcoming events. Did you have something in mind?

      • Hi Lynn,
        Are you doing the conference circuit (EMCC, AC, Coaching at Work etc), and publishing in Coaching at Work etc? I’d also love to tweet the link if possible – would you mind?
        Many thanks

  5. I’ve known primary aged pupils use collaborative network tools to support and coach each other through projects and dilemmas. Would be good if a few more lead learners in schools could follow their lead!

  6. Pingback: Practical ways to use social media to support coaching | Learning

  7. This is something I am thinking more and more about. I love social media and am very enthusiastic about encouraging it’s use for wider benefit.

    I do wonder what can be done from a more traditional coaching perspective, as an online community is often a lot harder work than it first seems.

    I’ve downloaded your research and just starting to read it. Thanks, Lynn.

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