• Toby Sinclair

Metaverse Coaching - Explore Your Potential

Updated: May 3

Today I had the most incredible coaching conversation.


It was with a pink-haired punk.


In a spaceship.


We used planets to represent different parts of the challenge.


The punk had a big breakthrough.


At that moment, the hairs stood up on my arm.


We could both feel it.


It's a true story.


From a coaching session in the metaverse this week.


It was hosted in Spatial using the Oculus Quest 2.



The future is here for coaching in the metaverse. And it's going to get even crazier!


Facebook's meta announcement has everyone talking about "The Metaverse"


It has divided opinion. Some are excited about the possibilities. To live in a Ready Player One universe. Some are sceptical. Worried about a dystopian, black mirror future. Most are just confused.


Personally, I'm excited.


Prior to becoming a qualified professional coach, I was a full-time software developer. So I love how metaverse coaching is the intersection of technology and people.


Metaverse coaching is exciting from a technology perspective. It's even more exciting about how this can be used to help people maximise their potential.


In this article, I explore how coaching in the metaverse works.


I'd love to go on this journey with you.


When you buy an Oculus Quest 2, we can meet in my Virtual Coaching Studio.



The Metaverse


What is the metaverse?

F*ck Knows

@dustmonkey at NFT LDN Conference


Everyone is learning what it is and what it could be. There are no experts.


The term "metaverse" was coined in Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi novel. It's now been popularised by Facebook.


A simple definition:

The metaverse is loosely defined as an extensive online world where people interact via digital avatars.

Wall Street Journal


Remember the game Sims? An early example of the "metaverse".


Why the sudden popularity in the Metaverse?


Today, three massive technology shifts are converging: Web3, Blockchain, Virtual Reality.


Metaverse Technology Shifts

Together these are opening up the possibilities for the Metaverse.


Several platforms have already been built upon this technology.


These include:

Using these platforms you can experience the metaverse today.


I've mostly used Decentraland. It's limited but demonstrates the potential.


With a digital avatar, you explore a digital universe. You can even visit a digital Sotheby's and buy a Bored Ape.



I'm hosting metaverse coaching sessions within Decentraland. Read to the end to get involved.


Another way of defining metaverse is what it hopes to achieve.

The metaverse is a mindset.

@akashrnigam


This mindset can be described by values. Openness, Transparency, Community. Many are worried that the Metaverse that Facebook hope to create will not share the same values.


There is also a range of hardware for Virtual Reality experiences. The most popular is Oculus Quest 2. A great headset that enables you to experience full VR.


Coaching


You might think that coaching is more easily defined than the metaverse.


Surprisingly not.


Most people define coaching as giving someone advice. Usually to "fix them".


I define it a different way.


It's about asking rather than telling. Creating space for people to do their best thinking. To find the answers from within.


This definition is shared by the International Coaching Federation. The professional body from which I'm qualified.


Sadly many online coaches and therapists have not undertaken professional training.


Unlicensed online therapists ‘preying’ on the desperation of people with mental health problems as NHS struggles to meet rising demand, experts warn.

Independent


Will metaverse coaching lead to more victims? A topic for another article.


Coaching in the Metaverse


So how could coaching in the metaverse work?


On a very basic level, it doesn't look too dissimilar from today.


Zoom calls are a rudimentary metaverse. Coaching is conducted through a "digital" channel.


But the metaverse is way more than video conferencing.


The metaverse offers additional features that can transform how coaching is done.


5 Metaverse Features:

  1. Avatars

  2. Immersive Environments

  3. Virtual Reality Objects

  4. Haptic Suits

  5. Marketplace


Avatars


Examples of Avatars

Microsoft says it is adding 3D virtual avatars and environments to its Teams chat system, as part of its push towards the "metaverse".

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-59149649


Avatars are digital representations of people in the metaverse. It could be a recreation of your physical description. It could be something completely different. A robot, a fox, a tree. Your avatar might change depending on the people you are with. A human for work, a robot for play. The possibilities are endless.


A challenge posed by avatars for coaches. How will body language be represented?


Coaches learn to observe and pick up on subtle body movements. A smile, a frown and even where the client is looking can give indicators of the feeling.


So what if your client's avatar is a tree?


I do not have the answers.


Avatars do provide an opportunity. With this fluid identity, your avatar could change based upon feelings. As technology advances, could your avatar change colour along with your feelings? Blue for relaxed, red for anger.


Another use case could be to ask clients to select an avatar that represents what they are feeling. I've done this in workshops with emojis. Ask participants to choose an emoji for how they are feeling right now. Perhaps avatars are the next evolution.


A coaching exercise you can do right now. Draw an avatar that represents how you feel right now in this moment. Have a conversation about it with a family member or friend.


Flexible Environments


Decentraland Screenshot

The metaverse presents the opportunity to design coaching environments. From recreating existing environments to creating brand new ones.


Your client wants a relaxing environment, take a walk along the beach. Or you want somewhere familiar, visit your favourite virtual coffee shop.


You could even ask the client to design the environment. Create an environment that represents the challenge they are facing.


Building environments is a great coaching exercise you can do today. Lego Serious Play is already used by many coaches. The metaverse offers the chance to take this to a whole new level.


The opportunities are endless.



Virtual Reality Objects


Virtual Reality Person

One of the biggest opportunities presented by metaverse is an interactive coaching experience.


Instead of a static conversation, you can use the metaverse to interact with objects.


Coaching constellations is a technique that uses objects to represent different aspects of the problem. This can be a challenge in a zoom call. The metaverse provides a fully immersive environment. Recreating the physical sensation of moving items.


A systemic constellation is a spatial, relational model of the invisible dynamics within an issue or challenge in a system of relationships. It’s a kind of ‘living map’ of your client’s inner image of their issue or challenge, an x-ray of the system dynamics.

Coaching Constellations


Another example is Clean Space, a technique within Clean Language.


In a Clean Space session, the facilitator invites the client to find different physical spaces (usually in a room, although it can be anywhere) to represent different aspects of their thinking. The client moves from space to space, pausing in each one to consider what they know there. In this way, they build up a network of connections between the many thoughts, feelings and ideas in their mind and body.

Clean Learning


The opportunities to use the metaverse to open up your thinking is exciting.


Haptic Suits



A haptic suit is a wearable device that provides feedback to the body. It's currently used in games. You take a hit and feel it in the suit.


How could these suits simulate other feelings?


Studies have already been done around feelings in Virtual Reality. Will this environment increase or decrease awareness.

VR can arouse compassionate feelings but does not appear to encourage users to imagine other peoples’ perspectives.

https://tmb.apaopen.org/pub/vr-improves-emotional-empathy-only/release/2


Ultimately coaches want to create a sense of presence. How will this be enabled in the metaverse?


Marketplace


Sandbox Opensea Screenshot

There is a significant difference in today's metaverse platforms: decentralisation and ownership.


Today games are centralised and assets created within them are owned by the games companies. Minecraft is a great example where you don't own anything you build.


With blockchain technology, it's now become possible to verify ownership of digital assets. This means the metaverse is built and owned by the users.


An NFT, or a nonfungible token, is a unique digital asset stored on a blockchain, the same technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. The tokens give users ownership in the digital world.

This creates new opportunities for coaches.

Possibilities include:

  • Buy digital land to host virtual coaching retreats

  • Build a digital coaching studio in the metaverse

  • Provide Digitial Evidence of Coaching

There is a whole new economy emerging in this metaverse. Coaches will have many new revenue streams.


Your Chance To Experience Coaching in the Metaverse



If you've read this far you are probably either confused, excited or terrified.


There is so much to explore and learn in this new world.


We can do this together.