Coaches: have you considered how hybrid coaching can increase your business?
For those of you reading about my meetings with Jennifer for the first time, here’s a short recap: Jennifer is a successful executive coach whom I mentored for several years. Recently, one of her major clients replaced her workshop with a digital course, rattling Jennifer’s confidence and prospects about the future of face-to-face coaching, which she felt would ultimately affect her executive coaching rates. In the last two posts, Jennifer and Etika met at a coffee shop, where they began to explore the advantages digital tools can provide to their coaching practices.
After my last meeting with Jennifer, I received a notice about a digital learning meetup taking place at the beginning of next month. Thinking that this would be a great opportunity to introduce Jennifer to digital learning tools, and hopefully allay her fear of reduced executive coaching rates, I forwarded the invitation to her and wrote her a note inviting her for coffee at the after the meetup at the end of the day.
After a truly stimulating meetup, with all kinds of innovative digital tools being presented and demonstrated by dozens of firms, I sat down in the break area and waited for Jennifer.
“Etika!” she shouted. “There you are. What an amazing meeting! I can’t believe all of the awesome innovations I’ve seen. So many ideas. Such brilliance.”
I smiled. “I’m so happy you enjoyed today, Jennifer.” I gave her a hug.
“I’m blown away, Etika. Now I’m starting to understand what you’ve been getting at all along,” said Jennifer. “Etika, you told me at our last meeting that you’ve also been developing something, right?”
I answered, “Well, it’s actually all developed...and in use. But it took me over five years until I felt I’d gotten it right.”
“Five years?” Jennifer was amazed.
“And add to that the 35 years of experience and knowledge it’s based on,” Etika added. “But now it’s being successfully used by managers all over the world.”
Jennifer said, “Enough suspense, Etika. Tell me about it!”
“With pleasure,” I answered. “But first, do you remember what I said are the two main advantages of digital learning tools?”
“I certainly do,” Jennifer quickly responded. “I’m still a good student. The first is that because of the anytime/anywhere delivery, digital tools allow us to help many more clients, especially those who might be too busy for face-to-face coaching.”
“You really are a good student,” I said. “Go on.”
“And the second one,” she said, “Is that we can offer a wider range of solutions, therefore ensuring that clients receive customized service.”
“Bravo!” I congratulated. “Well, these two principles guided me in my development of the Executive Mirror Program.”
“The Executive Mirror Program?” Jennifer repeated. “Tell me more.”
“The Executive Mirror Program, or EMP for short.” I continued, “It’s an online course for managers who are stuck in their career. They feel as if they are never going to get promoted and have begun losing hope.”
“From my practice,” Jennifer said, “I’ve noticed that this is a huge niche and it keeps growing.”
“No doubt.” I explained, “It seems that with hypercompetitiveness, more managers are fighting for their careers than in the past. In fact, 70% of managers these days define themselves as stuck to some degree.”
“That’s a huge number, Etika,” Jennifer responded. “So there’s your first principle, helping as many managers as possible - wherever they are.”
“Bingo,” I answered. “With so many stuck managers, all of the face-to-face hours in the world wouldn’t be able to help them all. That’s why the self-paced online EMP is a perfect solution for them.”
“It certainly is. And what about your second principle, Etika,” asked Jennifer.
“You mean customized learning, I assume. Well, thanks to sophisticated algorithms, the EMP is actually dynamically tailored for each and every client. No cookie-cutter programs,” I proudly stated.
“So as a coach, you can actually provide a highly-customized solution to each of your clients,” Jennifer added.
“Yes,” I said. “Something that would’ve been impossible without digital tools.”
“But what about the personal touch, Etika?” Jennifer asked. “Aren’t there managers out there who still want to talk to a live coach.”
“Of course, Jennifer,” I agreed. “And that’s why the EMP can be seamlessly combined with face-to-face coaching. In the digital learning world, we call this hybrid coaching.”
“I see,” Jennifer answered. “A hybrid between online and face-to-face.”
“Indeed,” I said. “And that’s why I’ve developed a certification course for coaches who’d like to integrate the EMP into a hybrid coaching program.”
“That’s really forward-thinking, Etika,” Jennifer said. “So the EMP can also be used as part of a live coaching program.”
“That’s right. Maximum flexibility in delivering a tailored experience,” I said. “This is a major advantage that digital learning tools can offer us.”
I added, “And don’t forget, Jennifer. Our clients are already experiencing 24/7 learning online, whether it’s checking out a series of YouTubes on a subject or taking a full university course.”
“So you’re saying our clients will come to expect digital learning tools?” Jennifer asked.
“No doubt,” I answered. “And if we want to remain at the forefront of our field, as you’ve done so far, Jennifer, we’ve got to meet their expectations.”
“Etika, I think that I now really understand where you’re coming from,” Jennifer said. “It’s amazing that you had the foresight to predict all of this five years ago. I feel like such a dinosaur.”
“Nonsense, Jennifer,” I answered. “Like our clients, we avoid change, so sometimes we don’t let ourselves see what’s really happening around us.”
“Well, you’ve certainly opened my eyes, Etika,” Jennifer admitted.
“I’m glad, Jennifer. That’s what being your mentor has always been about,” I responded.
“So when do I get to check out your EMP, Etika,” Jennifer asked.
“Why don’t you come by my office tomorrow at 9, Jennifer,” I offered. “I’ll show you a full demo. I’m sure you’ll find it both innovative and fascinating.”
“I’m sure of that, Etika. Looking forward,” Jennifer said.
With that, we got up, hugged as usual, and left the conference center, both of us contemplating our bright future with the help of digital learning tools.
And always remember:
Great managers are made. Not born.
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