Thursday, March 31, 2005

2. A powerful new conversation

What we are seeing is a new powerful global conversation, where people are using the Internet to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. Take Kazaa, for example, the free music sharing software with some 250 million users, or Skype, the free Internet telephone software downloaded by 80 million individuals. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter - and getting smarter than most companies, as outlined in the Cluetrain manifesto. This goes also for traditional educational institutions who increasingly have to adopt to more flexible and globally networking forms of life-long learning enabled by digital media.

Taking it one step further: coaching on the web, is that possible? Definitely. But then, it depends on how you define coaching. I share Karin Tenelius view that coaching is not good advise, pep-talk, positive thinking or providing ready-made solutions from someone who is more experienced. The purpose of all coaching is to provide the one you coach with insights that in turn generate new action, enable access to his/her own energy and will-power, and discover new possible solutions to a given problem. The job is not to convey expertise in other areas than coaching. It is about changing the perception of how the person being coached views his/her own barriers and possibilities by clarifying this viewpoint and outline its consequences.

Coaching on the web is just another way of facilitating positive change, using digital media. It is a skill to be learnt through practice, however, just as any technical devise we now take for granted, like the telephone, fax machine, mobile phone, e-mail, Internet...Technology or artifacts that are materialised forms of our language and thinking and feelings. Interactive artifacts to help us generate reflections, and work with them. Digitial media is becoming an extension of our senses. It arouses our emotions. More and more, individuals will use creative digital tools to form and shape their own experiences in a pregnant way without taking the detour via the mass media industry. People, in the end, will support what they help create.

References:
-
Karin Tenelius,
Sagt blir gjort: "Coaching - Konsten att v├Ącka den osynliga kraften" (in Swedish)
- Benyamine, I (red),
Share Studio Stockholm: "Reflektion och gestaltande i delade kunskapsrum" (in Swedish)
- Hargrove, R: "
Masterful coaching"
- Cluetrain manifesto

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