What Going Virtual Taught Us About Our Community

Author : Sam Chambers

going virtual taught us about our community

30th July 2020

With the pandemic and subsequent lockdown ensuring most of us have had to stay indoors for the best part of 5 months, many people around the world have had to get used to new approaches around how we work and live on a day to day basis. Animas made the shift to virtual training on 12th March to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students and trainers, and with this shift we have learned so much about our community. Here are some of our key takeaways!

There’s a willingness to adapt and shift

We have found so many students have been happy to jump into the virtual training and make the most of the opportunity to continue their learning journeys. Even those with initial trepidation were up for giving it a go, and as such have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and adapted. This new virtual way of learning also prepares them for coaching post-qualification too as a majority of our coaches actually coach online via zoom.

virtual training student

There’s also been a willingness to adapt and shift within the community of qualified coaches too. We have seen so many coaches turn to new approaches, methods and virtual means of making a difference, whether virtual pro bono coaching work, free creative workshops or social impact initiatives, it has been incredible to see how our community of coaches have managed to shift to accommodate the current landscape of the coaching profession. 

They’re mobilised by a desire to help others

While there have been shifts, transitions and a lot of new experiences, one thing that remains unchanged is the desire to be a positive change maker is still strong. The community hasn’t been halted by the uncertainty and change. In fact, we have seen our community create impactful social impact initiatives, offer free self-help workshops and pro bono coaching work. 

going virtual community help others

Both the Support Haven and MoreHappi social impact coaching initiatives came from a desire to take action to help those in times of need, and to see our coaches starting their own initiatives, and their volunteers and impact grow has been fantastic to watch and support. 

They’re focused on using this time to grow

We have noticed a real focus on using the current opportunity to grow and develop amidst our community. So many new coaches-in-training have joined the coaching course, many of whom had thought about it before but couldn’t find the space, but are now realising that they can use this time to grow and train as a coach. There are also plenty of people that have joined us having never considered coaching before, but having identified this time as the perfect opportunity for personal growth and continued learning, signed up for the course and haven’t looked back!

coaching uncaged

We have also noticed lots of engagement around new podcasts, interviews and content that informs and educates. This shows us that we have a community that is really demonstrating an active desire to learn and grow in the current moment, and are using new virtual resources to do so. 

Finally, we have seen an increase in the number of coaches qualifying on the Diploma course. Further indicating that the community are using the time and space to learn and complete their assessment criteria, taking the next step on their coaching journey. 

They’re creative, resourceful and whole

Lockdown and the shift to spending so much time in virtual spaces means we have had the pleasure of gaining more insight into our communities, and who they are outside of being a coach. We’ve had a glimpse into their interests, likes, and hobbies via Facebook live streams and post shares, whether that’s painting while DJing on a live stream, or getting out there with nature photography, or channelling their inner Marie Kondo and colour coding bookshelves.

going virtual community creative

There has been a greater tendency to share things online that tell a story about who they are, what they love and what their passions are. As such, we have felt much more connected to our community, and have seen much more connection between one another which has been a great experience for the Animas community as a whole.

The human being is the community

With a move to virtual training via Zoom we have developed a deeper sense of the human beings that make up the community. In seeing them in their wonderfully varied home office spaces, with various housemates including kids and the odd camera-friendly cat, we feel we have been given a more personal insight into who the people are that form our brilliantly diverse community, something that you don’t get in the training room. It’s worked both ways too, with our coaches-in-training getting a more personal glimpse into who our trainers are, encouraging an even more personal connection across the board.

The importance of vulnerability

One of the key takeaways from this period of transition is that people have truly shown up as their vulnerable selves. From trepidation around completing the training in a virtual environment to hesitations around how they work the technology needed to begin their coach training journey, our coaches-in-training have been showing up with such authenticity around their vulnerabilities which has only served to add to the richness and quality of the training environment.

going virtual community vulnerable

In particular, there’s been a real sense of this in the welcome webinars. A feeling that everyone is in the same boat: vulnerable together. It’s yet another point of connection, compassion and support, and we feel that to be vulnerable together on this journey allows for all of the magic to happen.

Our global and diverse community is growing

We feel that we already do a great job at bringing people from all walks of life together as part of our main coaching course, and as a result we have a beautifully diverse community. That’s diverse in age, race, creed, class and background. But with the shift to deliver virtual training we notice that this diversity has exploded as all of a sudden people can access us from all around the world.

going virtual community world

We have had people join us from Japan to Argentina! More diverse walks of life, backgrounds and diversity adding to an already vibrant community, creating an even more rich learning and growth environment to be part of.

The importance of community to organisations and how we continue to support ours

One of the most important things we have learned with our shift to virtual training is how important a strong community is to an organisation. And in turn how important it is that we support our community and create the space in which they can thrive. 

The bottom line: In a time of shift, change and isolation, you have to feed your community. We are doing this with more podcasts, interviews, support, learning opportunities and virtual events. All of which serve to further connect the community to us, but more importantly to one another.

Are you interested in joining a vibrant, diverse community of changemakers?

Book a spot on one of our free virtual introduction to coaching days now!

 

We have noticed a real focus on using the current opportunity to grow and develop amidst our community. So many new coaches-in-training have joined the coaching course, many of whom had thought about it before but couldn’t find the space, but are now realising that they can use this time to grow and train as a coach. There are also plenty of people that have joined us having never considered coaching before, but having identified this time as the perfect opportunity for personal growth and continued learning, signed up for the course and haven’t looked back!

We have also noticed lots of engagement around new podcasts, interviews and content that informs and educates. This shows us that we have a community that is really demonstrating an active desire to learn and grow in the current moment, and are using new virtual resources to do so. 

Finally, we have seen an increase in the number of coaches qualifying on the Diploma course. Further indicating that the community are using the time and space to learn and complete their assessment criteria. 

They’re Creative, Resourceful and Whole

Lockdown and the shift to spending so much time in virtual spaces means we have had the pleasure of gaining more insight into our communities, and who they are outside of being a coach. We’ve had a glimpse into their interests, likes, and hobbies via Facebook live streams and post shares, whether that’s painting while djing on a live stream, or getting out there with nature photography, or getting Marie Kondo and colour coding bookshelves. 

There has been a greater tendency to share things online that tell a story about who they are, what they love and what their passions are. As such, we have felt much more connected to our community, and have seen much more connection between one another which has been a great experience for the Animas community as a whole. 

The human being is the community

With a move to virtual training via Zoom we have developed a deeper sense of the human beings that make up the community. In seeing them in their wonderfully varied home office spaces, with various housemates including kids and the odd camera-friendly cat, we feel we have been given a more personal insight into who the people are that form our brilliantly diverse community, something that you don’t get in the training room. It’s worked both ways too, with our coaches-in-training getting a more personal glimpse into who our trainers are, encouraging an even more personal connection across the board.  

The Importance of Vulnerability 

One of the key takeaways from this period of transition is that people have truly shown up as their vulnerable selves. From trepidation around completing the training in a virtual environment to hesitations around how they work the technology needed to begin their coach training journey, our coaches-in-training have been showing up with such authenticity around their vulnerabilities which has only served to add to the richness and quality of the training environment. 

In particular, there’s been a real sense of this in the welcome webinars. A feeling that everyone is in the same boat: vulnerable together. It’s yet another point of connection, compassion and support, and we feel that to be vulnerable together on this journey allows for all of the magic to happen. 

Our global and diverse community is growing

We feel that we already do a great job at bringing people from all walks of life together as part of our main coaching course, and as a result we have a beautifully diverse community. That’s diverse in age, race, creed, class and background. But with the shift to deliver virtual training we notice that this diversity has exploded as all of a sudden people can access us from all around the world. 

We have had people join us from Japan to Argentina! More diverse walks of life, backgrounds and diversity adding to an already vibrant community, creating an even more rich learning and growth environment to be part of. 

The importance of community to organisations and how we continue to support ours

One of the most important things we have learned with our shift to virtual training is how important a strong community is to an organisation. And in turn how important it is that we support our community and create the space in which they can thrive. 

The bottom line: In a time of shift, change and isolation, you have to feed your community. We are doing this with more podcasts, interviews, support, learning opportunities and virtual events. All of which serve to further connect the community to us, but more importantly to one another.

Are you interested in joining a vibrant, diverse community of changemakers? Book a spot on one of our free virtual introduction to coaching days now! 


If you would like us to help tell your story or you would like to share your coaching niche, philosophy or agenda in the form of a blog, like this one – contact Sam to express your interest: [email protected]

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