Gwynedd Council has a well-developed coaching programme for both staff and councillors. The WLGA provides coaching to councillors as part of this programme, using a hybrid coach/mentoring approach supporting councillors’ work in communities and the council. During the pandemic, this coaching was conducted virtually through Microsoft Teams. One of the participating councillors said “In general I believe that the coaching I have received from the WLGA has played a critical role in my development as a cabinet member and councillor. Since the lockdown we have continued the sessions and if anything, I think the digital element has improved things. It’s logistically a lot easier and involves a lot less of my time and travel. I don’t believe it has changed the dynamic of the coaching relationship, the only possible scenario that I can imagine where a physical coaching session would be preferable to a digital one, would perhaps be the initial session/s. I had already developed a working relationship with my coach before the switch from physical to digital, and perhaps a face to face conversation is important in the initial stages. I would like to carry on with the digital sessions even when “things get back to normal”.
Learning from remote coaching during COVID, the WLGA will now offer remote coaching, with, if possible, a face to face introductory session.