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The Fear of Video coaching

The Fear of Video coaching An Article for educators who are thinking about Video Coaching and/or who are terrified by the prospect.

This is a Free Sample Resource
Categories: Article, Professional Development, Educators

Tags: CPD Video Coaching Real Time Coaching

Common responses to Video Coaching:

No way. Not now. Not ever.
Bring it on. Right here. Right now.
I want to know more. Later this week. Or next.
I don't like how I look or sound on camera.
How will it help my students get the grades?

All reactions are equally valuable and, at least to me, equally interesting. Together they reveal the huge range of experience and understanding that us educators bring to new opportunities.

Why do you think it is that the majority of people are reluctant to try video coaching but, of those who do give it a go, all but a handful instantly get its value - and want to do it again? I've come up with a possible reason. See what you think.

The focusing illusion is a cognitive bias; one of many thinking shortcuts which help us make sense of the world quickly. Most of the time we don't know they're operating and they do a fine job making decisions and solving problems in the background. However there is a dark side to biases. They can make us think or act in ways that are out of kilter with our values. For example, we might find ourselves judging a stranger based on their similarity to someone we already know well.

The focusing illusion is a bias that causes us to rely too much on a single aspect at the expense of other equally important ones. Recall your first memory. Was it getting lost in a shop? Something similar maybe. You'll focus on one significant aspect of the memory before recreating others. And what about your eagerly anticipated holidays? It would be odd not to focus on just the fun and relaxation. Who would ever fantasise about airport delays, being in a foul mood on day 4 or not getting the poolside spot you wanted.

When it comes to video coaching, several common focusing illusions can be explored:

Focusing Illusion Exploration Question
With live in-ear coaching, how can I teach if my coach is continually talking in my ear? What, specifically, would you like your coach to say, when and how often? Who actually decides the in-ear content of this kind of coaching? What, for you, is the ideal number of comments for your coaching session?
I won't like how I look on video. In a secure, password protected video platform, who (if anyone) will you invite to see your video? How is the 'video-you' different to the 'day-to-day-you'?
I won't like how I sound on video. In a secure, password protected video platform, who (if anyone) will you invite to see your video? How is your 'video-voice' different to your 'day-to-day-voice'?
My video is going to be seen by other people. What agreements, rules and protections are in place to give you 100% control over your video?


When you know about biases you start to identify your own. You can decide if you are happy with how they operate. When you know about the focusing illusion, in the context of video coaching, you can take your thinking forwards. It's better to accept biases and work with them, rather than trying to ignore them, sidestep them or pretend they don't exist. This won't make your first experience of video coaching any easier but it will make it more interesting and you may have a better understanding of why you feel the way you do.

Seeing yourself teach for the first time, with nobody else present, and the freedom to delete the recording, can be a life-changing moment. It's really empowering to identify the changes you want to make in yourself rather than letting someone else find them for you.

More about video coaching.

Archive articles about (video) coaching

Mike's Video Coaching group on IRIS Connect
Video Coaching for CPD
What is Coaching?
Coaching Toolkit
Coaching Skills

Related Resources:

A Coaching Toolkit


Coaching Skills

Tips for Using Video for CPD

Using Video for Professional Development

What is Coaching?


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