By Martin Vogel
The Real Sessions programme is based around three themes:
- Conversations with real business leaders
- Peer CPD, usually hosted by APECS members
- Business development for coaches
Our session this month is the first in the business development theme. It’s a peer learning session, focussed on sharing and challenging our constructs of how we win business.
The idea for the evening began with APECS member Frances White who suggested that we explore whether, as practitioners, we are too stuck in a client-provider model in how we see organisations. She wondered if we could open up the idea of what we do – from coaching, as a reasonably structured process for working with individuals, to conversations, as a more fluid way of working with people and the organisations of which they are part.
In planning the session, it struck us that there is probably much more diversity among APECS members in how we work than is normally surfaced when we get together. While APECS has led the way in developing accreditation for team coaching, our discussions are often tacitly informed by the assumption that what we have in common is working with individuals in a one-to-one process. That we draw frequently on thinking developed for therapeutic contexts – such as last month’s trauma conversation – underlines the point.
So what we want to do this month is surface more of the diversity that exists among us in how we practice – and, by extension, enrich our shared understanding of how we can position ourselves and win business as coaches.
A number of questions come to mind to shape the evening.
Foremost is: who are we talking to when we sell coaching? Are we selling directly to end users or to the business owners or business leaders who will sponsor coaching for their staff or to their representatives in HR departments?
What are we pitching when we sell coaching? Do we have quite clearly defined products, framed around a one-to-one or team coaching process? Or are we more fluid in how we can apply our capabilities as executive coaches?
How do the sectors in which we work influence how we market ourselves? Are there transferable insights that those of us working in one sector can pick up from those of us working in another?
Our aim is to see if we can collectively share and then let go of some of our long-standing models of how coaching has to happen. In doing so, perhaps we can gain some ideas about how we can construe ourselves differently to win more work. It’s all about creatively applying our skill-sets more effectively to meet the rapidly changing needs of the organisations we serve.
The Real Sessions are a platform for fostering connection between participants and tapping into the insight of the people in the room. This month, we’re dispensing with the stimulus of a guest speaker and cutting to the chase. There’s lots we can learn from each other. Come along to give your business development strategies an MOT and contribute some fresh thinking to those of your peers.
Changing how coaching happens
22 March 2016, 6.30–8.30pm
Space in Marylebone, 10 Daventry Street, London NW1 5NX
Members £36 inc. VAT; Non-members £42 inc. VAT
Image courtesy Karen Axelrad.