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

Towards Maturity Benchmark 2011/12 Preliminary Findings

Here’s a link to the Towards Maturity Benchmark 2011/12 Preliminary findings.

Some highlights that jumped out for me:

72% of organisations believe that learning technologies will help them respond faster to changing business conditions. For example: by increasing the sharing of good practice and to support organisational change.

In house social networks are not rising as fast as expected, however 41% are using 3rd party social networks in L&D. (up from 11% in 2010) However this growth may be due to experimentation.

The top barrier to adoption of learning technologies is the skills, knowledge and confidence to adopt new ways of learning.

Effective practice in a digital age JISC. Key principles for designing technology-enhanced learning

An extract from Effective practice in a digital age a guide to technology- enhanced learning and teaching by JISC

Key principles for designing technology-enhanced learning
“Blended learning exploits the affordances of technology to promote active participative learning in both face-to-face and online contexts.
Practitioners teach and learners learn in a context of increasing choice. Effective practice in a digital age includes selecting the most appropriate tools for the purpose.

Learners can be active makers and shapers of their own learning. They should be supported in using technologies of their own choice where appropriate.
Even advanced users of technology look to their tutors for guidance on how to use technology in learning. Understanding how to learn in a digital world is a vital skill.
When unfamiliar technologies are integrated into learning designs, the benefits need to be clearly communicated to learners.
Benefits arise when there is coherence between technologies and media, the learning tasks and outcomes, and subject-specific demands of a course.
Where technology is used, it extends the potential for learning and is not used for its own sake.”