In this CoachStreet episode on Blended Coaching, get tips and business ideas from Robyn and Andrea who talk about Blended Coaching and how people are adding coaching skills to their existing profession. Find out how Hollywood is blending coaching in reality TV shows, how accountants and financial planners can use blended coaching to help their clients achieve their financial goals and how service providers can offer coaching on top of whatever service they offer to help their clients and increase their revenue streams. Robyn and Andrea even come up with a blended coaching business model for bakers and gardeners. Want to find out more… just press play.
Hollywood is blending coaching with all manner of reality television shows. [Click to Tweet!]
Coaching skills add value no matter where they go [Click to Tweet!]
Robyn: Hi, everyone, it’s Robyn Logan here. Welcome to CoachStreet and I have with me my co-host, Andrea Lee.
Andrea: Hey, everybody.
Robyn: Hi, and this is episode no….you know what, I didn’t even look beforehand, but I reckon it’s 13.
Andrea: Lucky number 13.
Robyn: Yeah, because last time we were talking about doing something really special for the Baker’s Dozen which is good because our topic today is very special. Today’s podcast is on Blended Coaching or Integrated Coaching or whatever you want to call it and it is a nice outcome for this podcast if we could try and find a great word to describe this new trend that we’re seeing in coaching.
Andrea: I’d love that.
Robyn: So let’s start with what it is. For me what Blended Coaching is, is when you take coaching and you add it to some other specialty or expertise. Just as a bit of background, in the olden days, like 10 years ago, 12 years ago, when students would come to International Coach Academy for training they would come in to leave their day job and to become a coach. In those days you would become a life coach or an executive coach. So fast forward to today, we probably get more inquiries now from people who are not leaving their day job, but instead they have really seen the power of coaching and they’ve seen the effect that it can have and they would like to add this to their existing profession. That’s how I see Blended Coaching. What about you, Andrea?
Andrea: Yeah, it’s a fascinating mash-up. I like to call these things peanut butter cups, you know, like your chocolate got in my peanut butter and my peanut butter got on your chocolate and we’re seeing it more and more. Hollywood got in on the game.
Andrea: Yeah, Hollywood is blending coaching with all manner of reality television shows.
Andrea: And it’s really made it very commonplace now look at how the music shows or singing shows or a talent shows are coaching the talent. And then there’s coaching blended in or integrated into a cooking show or a fitness show or home renovation show or a nutrition show eg one which investigates your digestive system. This is how blended coaching is happening there. (laughs)
Robyn: On the signing show “The Voice” which we were watching now – they have judges called coaches? They are right?
Andrea: They are – coaches and mentors.
Robyn: Yeah, yeah.
Andrea: Yes, I think that’s really set the pace for blended coaching to become evermore popular as a model for people looking for ways to add coaching skills to their existing expertise and create something very special.
Robyn: And why do think that apart from Hollywood, it makes a difference to a business to add coaching?
Andrea: I think that to a consulting business rather than compete with a pure coaching business, there’s just more in terms of results when coaching is blended as there is more specificity in terms of results that can be promise so it makes it very attractive for clients and I think it also makes the business owner standout. So for example if you’re a baker and you run a bakery there are a gazillion other bakeries, what if you were a bakery coach or a baking & eating coach.
Andrea: All of a sudden, you’re distinctive, aren’t you?
Robyn: I can see a whole new niche. We’re going to have to put on a new niche in our coaching program for bakers. It hadn’t occurred to me before. Yeah, but I think you’re right, I think it definitely sets them apart, but it’s also way for small business owners to increase revenue because, firstly, they can do group coaching which is a great way to leverage and get more income, but also if you’re a consultant and you’re offering a particular service and you can then get ongoing work because, the why coaching is….if you’ve got coaching as a structure for accountability for something else, then the specialist is dealing with the something else no matter what that is. They’re offering some sort of service (the something else), but instead of just offering that service and walking away and leaving it up to the universe and the client as to whether they’re going to get results, the specialist can build-in and structure-in some ongoing sessions that support their clients to get results. We all know if our clients are being more successful, that in turn comes back and makes your business more successful.
Andrea: Yeah, that’s a really great example. There’s a fellow in one of the thought Leader Circles by the name of Sean Shepherd. He lives with Type 2 Diabetes and he is a very well known keynote speaker on the topic of “How to Live Life Well With Diabetes.” It’s a really cool talk, it’s called “Life Is Sweet, Living a Sweet Life With Diabetes.” He was very frustrated after years of doing keynote speaking and teaching people, about how to live life well with diabetes and people would constantly nag at him for the fact that there was nothing else that they could get in terms of support from him after the keynote or the speech was done. He has a funny sense of humor, he’s Canadian so he’d say “you feel like it’s a one-night stand as keynote speaker and nothing else, there’s no relationship”. So, he has decided to offer coaching support in an ongoing way that’s leveraging blending coaching support with his speaking and diabetes expertise.
Robyn: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Let’s look at some examples of people who we know are doing it. I think that’s a good one and it’s interesting, isn’t it? I think any specialization or anything you’re doing can benefit from coaching. We’re a bit biased. (laughs) People will walk down the street and think they can benefit from coaching! but….a good example is the coaching groups we run. We have 10 or so, 12. There’s more and more new coaching groups we’re running. In fact, we just added a new one, ADHD Coaching Group with Sol Tucker who is an ADHD coach. Pretty much, any of those group leaders (like Rob Stringer in your Youth and Family group), they run training or some sort of support for that client group and then the coaching is added on and it is an extra service that they offer to give the clients more value to actually empower them to achieve what they came to them for in the first place.
Andrea: That’s fantastic!
Robyn: Yeah, they’re really good. The Grief Coaching group is also another one like Lidia Houben, she runs training as well. And then there’s also people like You’reTheCoach.com, Mark Breadner. Now he’s running a yoga coach training school where he’s sort of coming at it from the opposite end to us. So we train people to be coaches and then we help them blend it in whatever their specialization is. He started with the specialization which is yoga practitioners and he’s helping them add coaching. That’s another thing we’re seeing a lot of where the specialization exists already in a training sense and then they are adding the coaching in.
Andrea: Yeah, that’s a really cool example. I think in a way executive coaching is a little bit similar. I think probably it’s an example of blending that’s become so popular and in such demand that it’s a real big category of its own. I can see yoga coaching or a health coaching or a lot of these other blends of coaching becoming stronger and stronger over time as more people join.
Robyn: Yeah, and then within those more and more specializations.
Andrea: Yeah, that’s an opportunity.
Robyn: Yeah, totally. Actually, I’ve got a couple of good examples from our graduates, because I love to show off our graduates, and particularly because they’ve come out of our program where we spend time working with them on their coaching model, specifically, to create their own model based on whatever it is they want to blend it with. So, for example, Marsha Sanders was already providing marketing and communication strategies for small businesses. That’s just a perfect example of how many consultants are out there already working with businesses, with marketing and business development – possibly within a consulting framework – (which is not to say they are probably not using the coach approach in what they’re doing) but when I say these graduates are doing blending coaching, I’m talking about them having a consulting part of their business and then offering an ongoing coaching program? And so she’s doing that.
Andrea: Really neat!
Robyn: Yeah, cause there’s 3 things in there. There’s the one thing which is taking a coach approach so you can blend coaching in that way. So say you’re a consultant. You can be a consultant who has a coach approach. So, that’s one way, but actually what we’re talking about here is adding coaching as its own thing or I guess blending it into your business model. It’s what we’re talking about.
Andrea: Yeah, I mean I think where I’m coming from when we ask the question about monetizing coaching and what we talk about on CoachStreet, what’s really happening in the street and what is being demonstrated is that coaching skills add to value no matter where they go.
Andrea: So, if you’re looking to your coaching business or let’s say you happen to be here with another expertise, adding coaching skills should only make it easier for you to charge excellent prices and attract the right kind of clients, a rewarding kind of client who really wants to make the work stick. It just deepens the quality of the engagement with the clients.
Robyn: Yeah, yeah. So let’s look at someone who might be listening to this podcast. So possibly these new coaches listening or people that are coming to coaching or interested in it who are not coaches yet, at what point do you start thinking about creating some sort of blended coaching offer? Do you think this is something that you should come at the beginning or is this something that develops over time. I know your business “wealthy thought leader” this is what you actually work with people, coaches and non-coaches, on how to do this, right?
Blended Coaching and Your Personality
Andrea: I think it might be surprising, Robyn, but I think it depends a lot more on your personality than anything else. I think it can work either way. You can be new to coaching and you have some expertise in some other arena and you’re learning coaching skills and you’re having a great time at International Coach Academy in your classes and that’s fantastic. You may be the kind of personality that really likes to focus. I’m thinking of in particular the S’s and the J’s and the Myres Brides profile who really wants to focus, get the coaching skills down and then once you’re done and you feel confident, you’ve got your certificate or you’ve been certified, then think about how those skills can imply to your existing prior body of expertise. I think it allows you to really go deep into the coaching skills as a discrete set of skills and then it may make it easier later for you to apply it to other areas as well. Let’s say you are a parent as well or let’s say you are a leader in your spiritual community, you can practice your skills there as well.
Andrea: On the other hand, if you’re like me and, you are more of a sort of feeling, perceiving, very free-flowing, creative type person, I’ve seen it to be very successful when you start from the beginning and just like you’ve been trained for coaching skills, but you have your current existing expertise and you just mash it up from the beginning with your expertise. Take one class, Robyn, whatever first class they might take with ICA and immediately apply it to your current set of expertise.
Robyn: You’re right, it really depends, doesn’t it? People have different journeys, don’t they, so that it depends where you’re at when you’re coming to coaching.
So, I was wondering, if we could actually take an example and just look at some steps of what someone might do to blend the coaching with what you’re doing. So, maybe someone who’s not a coach. Let’s pick one and make an example – an accountant. Is that too dry?
Andrea: Sure, an accountant or maybe a computer person or someone in health.
Robyn: Someone in health? So, someone running a small one person business, consultancy-type business like an accountant.
Robyn: We’ll start with that but that business model really applies to lots of people like the computer technician guy or …..
Andrea: Professional services.
Robyn: Professional services, let’s go with professional services. Yeah, good idea. Okay, so a professional services person running their little practice they’ve got, maybe 10 clients or something like that. What would you say to them to start with, how to actually create a blended coaching offering?
Andrea: Well, I think we could agree that with that size of clientele it’s very likely that so long as they’re not brand new in that business, they are going to be on the receiving end of a bunch of questions that are outside the realm of for example accounting expertise. So it’s actually very interesting because if we do use accounting as an example – it’s actually an example from Thomas Leonard’s life story !
Robyn: Oh, yeah, yeah.
Andrea: Those of you who don’t know, Thomas Leonard is often called the grandfather or father of the profession of coaching and he used to be a Certified Practicing Accountant. He’s passed on now, but he was in the accounting field and he would get questions that were really outside the traditional expertise of accounting, such as “you’ve helped us budget, you’ve helped us create our bank accounts and our savings and set us up to the road of retirement. We have this actual money in our car fund, what kind of car do you think we should get?” (laughs) That’s not an accounting question!.
Andrea: This happens – your clients trust you and start asking you other questions. Well, all of a sudden we’re now in the realm of coaching. (laughs) So, as the story goes, Thomas would ask questions, like a good coach, listening skills, right?
Andrea: And say “well, what are your needs? What is it that you want your car to do for you? What desires do you have for your car?” And in listening to the answer often makes the decision for what kind of car to get.
Robyn: Yeah, you know what, accounting is a fitting example, but, I think its one of professions that lends itself to life coaching more than anything else because when you call your accountant or your financial planner its a really intimate conversation. You’re talking about money, you’re talking about your life dreams, what’s your risk assessment? do you just want to have a good life and not worry about the future or are you scared?
Andrea: What happens when I die?
Robyn: Yes, what happens when you die, what about your children, or should you do private education or public school? and then you talk about how many sacrifices are you prepared to make? I am just surprised that every single financial planner on the planet isn’t a life coach. They should all come immediately and enroll in a school !
Andrea: Yeah, great target group.
Robyn: And, you can charge more. I’ve noticed actually my accountant has, rang me just a few weeks back and said we need to meet once a year and that’s great, but I’m not really getting a sense of what is going on in between times and speak to you only if you need me. I ring when I’ve got a burning question or something and he says maybe we could schedule monthly meetings. He didn’t have a word for it or anything, but I’m thinking, well, bingo, there’s a loop, there’s a way of doing it. If you just had a monthly meeting with all of your clients and you called it coaching, financial coaching of whatever industry you’re in and somehow structured your fee to be an annual fee, just like you pay monthly, that’s the way you could blend coaching in.
Andrea: And then since applicable, what you’ve just broken down…
Robyn: After you’ve had financial planning, you’ve sat down and you’ve done the plan, they do those plans, put all your assets in a spreadsheet and the plan is done and then what happens? It just gets put in the filing cabinet or something. (laughs) So another way to blend coaching would be the to say now that you’ve completed the service or financial plan, now what we do is we set up some targets for you! Would you like to do that? I mean, imagine that? Imagine if every professional you went to set up some targets. I’m talking even about the massage person. When I go and have a massage every now again, imagine if she said, look, Robyn, it’s great that you come to me for a massage when you’re feeling tense in the shoulders, but how about we do something proactive? You know, what would it look like for you to be fit, healthy and relaxed. How many massages do you think that would take? Why don’t we set some of those times up now? See, why don’t people do that?
Andrea: It’s really the blending where the magic happens. It’s spring here now in British Columbia. We just had our garden landscaped last year and what I would give to have some gardening coaching.
Andrea: Something is happening new in this new garden every single month and I have no idea what to do about it.
Andrea: You know, once a month come coach me through my own garden so I can understand what is happening and be proactive. I mean, after an investment on landscaping, why wouldn’t I?
Robyn: Exactly, that’s another great example. That’s one that nobody would think of because what you normally do is to employ a gardener, but that’s a bit sad, isn’t it? So, you’re employing a gardener to come in and do your gardening when really you want to do it. It’s the work with you not for you concept. You could even have your gardener come in and spend time with you and then tell you what you need to do, what you need to buy, what sort of fertiliser you need and what the other element of coaching is being there to support. So if you had a question during the week, imagine if you could e-mail your gardener with that question and you got an answer. Or, imagine if the gardener has a forum for all his community, for all his clients he has a forum, the coaching forum. You can go and see and all his clients post pictures of their gardens and when they’ve got a problem they put their picture up of their garden problem and he answers it in the forum and everybody gets to see it. Group coaching!
Andrea: Honestly, there is so much potential and that’s why we really are so fond of coaching as a kind of “technology”, if you will that can really make almost anything better.
Robyn: Yeah, absolutely, totally.
Andrea: I love it, great topic!
Robyn: If people have got questions, like where to find us on the blog, you can always find us . E-mail addresses are at the end of the podcast and that nifty little music outro that we’ve got going on. Actually, the other day I was listening to that, that guy’s voice at the beginning. He’s a pretty serious dude, isn’t he? (laughs) Welcome to the CoachStreet podcast…..(laughs) It’s very funny. So, here’s an update.
Robyn: Think about what we’ve been up to…
Andrea: There are some cool stuff that’s been happening in your world as well!
Robyn: Well, there is, but speaking of your world, you are all over the world!
Andrea: I have been…I have been exercising my flying muscles.
Andrea: Yeah, it’s been a whirlwind and really joyful speaking of blended coaching. I’ve been very active lately having picked up a new role for a not-for-profit organisation as Director, Strategic Planning for a family foundation. That foundation’s focus is gender-based violence. So, we’ve been in India, we’ve been in Trinidad. We’ve done our first trainee/trainer program. The India trip was really successful. I think many people have heard about the incident where there was a rape that occurred on a bus in India, oh god. We’re working right there in that environment to bring education and teaching about gender-based violence and how to prevent it, not just from the perspective of people experiencing abuse, but also to help those who are demonstrating this abusive behavior and practicing compassion for all parties. But a lot of what we’re doing is being enhanced by coaching just like you are describing, Robyn. So we’re teaching how to say yes and how to say no clearly. We’re teaching about boundaries, we are teaching about shame and guilt, but then we are also coaching. We’re following up with coaching to make sure it sticks and that the teaching is integrated well into the culture of the different cultures in India. So, yeah, it’s kind of a fantastic example of blended coaching happening on a different topic of expertise.
Robyn: Yes, it’s amazing. So, isn’t it slightly overwhelming? I mean, it’s not just a small challenge you’ve taken on there.
Andrea: You know, it’s interesting, it’s not overwhelming. Thinking the way that you and many others mean when they ask that question. I kind of take the attitude of by just wading the square in front of me. I don’t think about the whole picture and just like this one person that I’m speaking to or this group of five women I’m working with. Personally, it’s not overwhelming. There’s so much I want to do and I need to continue to show same compassion to myself and know that I need to rest more because it is emotionally draining and have a lot more fun. Thankfully in this partnership, my role in that foundation is a super fun group of people. So you can’t be serious all the time. The more serious you work, I think, the more you need to have fun.
Robyn: Yeah, yeah, very cool. I know you’ve been traveling a lot which we can talk about some of the other places in some future episodes, but, do you have any like flying chips. You have a particular airline you like to fly with? I’m always interested in people’s experience of flying and travel.
Andrea: You know, airlines wise, not so much. I mean in Canada we have an airline called the WestJet, it is a great airline. It’s a little bit like Southwest, you can totally rely on being cracked up over the speakers, with something that you say. Eg “smoking is not permitted, anybody caught smoking will be asked to leave immediately”. Really great airline, does fly a little bit in the United States, but not globally. Flying tips wise – my best tip is to sleep as much as you can (laughs), if you can. I know some people like my husband really can’t sleep on a plane.
Robyn: Yeah, yeah.
Andrea: Sleeping as much as I can.
Robyn: I agree. I’m someone who can sleep anywhere. I can sleep standing up against the wall. Yeah, another reason I asked is because we’re planning a family trip to Europe in June and July taking the kids back as we lived in Portugal when they were 2 and 4. Now, they’re 11 and 9, we just want to take them back. They’re studying Italian in school so we’re just doing a little four-week trip which is going to be fantastic, but one of the things I’m trying to do is pack just carry on for every person – we’ll just will see how it goes, we’re going to do a first pack on the weekend.
Andrea: For 4 weeks?
Robyn: For 4 weeks because I actually think that that’s the biggest catch, because what drives me nuts about traveling, particularly with kids, is the luggage. It’s not the luggage at the airport so much because that’s pretty much handled when the case goes on, the conveyor belt. You gets off the plane, you get a trolley, you put in a taxi – so it’s not really a big deal. But if you want to hop around and go to lots of places, hire a car, get on a train, (we’re going to take a couple of those pocket airlines in Europe, you know, they have Ryanair and easyJet and lots of these) 30 pounds, get from Berlin to London airlines, and then the tours…they’re badly organized and you really have to be able to jump up quickly, that’s when waking the kids and carrying the case, like the 9 year old who’s asleep at midnight……it’s just painful. So, that’s the plan. (laughs)
Andrea: Wow, I’m so impressed, 4 weeks and one bag. Packs some laundry soap, I guess.
Robyn: I’ve got this friend, Cloe, she works at ICA, she is hilarious. I’m going to see if I can find the photo of her packing and attach it to this podcast. She’s French, she went overseas and she packed…..so she had one big bag for the family, but in that bag then member of her family had a shopping bag of their cloths each. I don’t know if you have them over there, but here we have these sort of cloth shopping bags that you can fit probably four cartons of milk, some bread and a bag of apples, something like that and they’ve got two little handles. So, her kids had to put all the stuff in one shopping bag and then she just lifted those shopping bags up and put them inside the big bag. That’s another really great way to do it. (laughs) So, she did it and I’m going to try and do it too. I’ll let you know how that goes.
Andrea: Have a fantastic time, its your trip of a lifetime.
Robyn: Yeah, yeah
Andrea: You’re making some amazing memories. I love that.
Robyn: I know. I look forward to it. Yeah, it’ll be cool. There’s other stuff too, but maybe we’ll talk about it next podcast.
Andrea: Next episode of CoachStreet.
Robyn: Which remains to be discovered.
Andrea: Yes, it was so having fun, it’s always so great to be with everyone and if you enjoyed this episode, please do share and give us a comment. Otherwise, we’ll feel, you know, I don’t know. How will we feel? Well, full of love.
Robyn: Well, we want some love, don’t we? Have a great week and I’ll speak to you soon.
Andrea: Bye for now.
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