Investing in outside support for your team can be intimidating. If you are a business leader, founder, or manager, you might be asking yourself what kind of service provider to invest in for that support and how to get the most out of your investment.
Here you will learn why it's important to reflect on the type of help your team needs, and all about pricing and whether the cost of bringing in a professional is worth the investment.
As a certified professional coach, facilitator, and speaker, Akua Nyame-Mensah has an insider's perspective on pricing and budget to share with you. She'll also help define what success looks like as you're supporting your team or individual.
This episode is the last in a three-part #ASKAkua series in which Akua guides you through the process of finding an outside service provider to support your team or a team member.
In part one, Akua talks about how to identify if your team could benefit from a professional coach. In part two, she discusses the types of service providers and the differences between a course, workshop, and coaching.
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What's Covered in this Episode About Learning Development
- Because each team is different, Akua shares the importance of coming up with your own metrics and approaches when you are thinking about working with a coach, trainer, or facilitator.
- Akua describes some misconceptions decision makers often have when considering external learning and development service providers.
- When working with someone outside your business, it's important to consider timelines, scope, and pricing.
- As you're engaging with the possible service provider, keep in mind who this person will be supporting. Is it you, your team, or an individual?
- Understand this potential service provider's direct experience. Are they going to deliver content, or are they facilitating, or both?
- Akua outlines the questions you need to ask about a service provider: Are they part of a larger company or a "one-man band"?
- When it comes to pricing, you want to know your budget beforehand. It saves a lot of time and energy for both sides.
- When you hire a service provider, don't ask for an hourly rate. Providers are pricing based on the result they hope to bring you, not the time. Remember, you are paying for the experience and possibly even additional accountability after the training is over.
- Akua talks about the many things involved behind the scenes when it comes to a service provider's time. It's not just that "one hour" of consulting.
- When comparing prices and coaches, remember that price is not a good indicator of their impact.
- Akua talks about overwhelm when it comes to reacting to a provider's cost and puts it all into perspective.
Quotes from this Episode of Open Door Conversations
- "Pricing is not a good indicator of impact. And it's not a good indicator of whether or not they're going to have the results that you want." - Akua Nyame-Mensah
- "The top question need to ask when hiring an external facilitator is, what would success look like really being able to walk through that and potentially that coach or facilitator might need to help you with it." - Akua Nyame-Mensah
- "You probably don't want a member of your team, that's a discount team member, right? And this is something I've actually said to someone, it's like, well, yeah, you know, of course, I can give you a discount. But would you like me to show up as a half assed facilitator, right?" - Akua Nyame-Mensah
A note from Akua: Enjoy this podcast content and guests? These are the kinds of conversations (and amazing humans) we will have in my new community and container. If you are an action-oriented and accomplished professional who is pivoting into service-based entrepreneurship and are ready to get out of theory and into practice, join my wait list to cut through the noise and get to the money here: www.akuanm.com/cheatcode
Get to Know the Host of the Open Door Conversations Podcast
Learn more about your host, Akua Nyame-Mensah.
Akua is a certified executive and leadership coach, recognized learning and organizational development facilitator, speaker, and former startup executive.
Since 2018, she has had the opportunity to partner with amazing organizations, from high-growth startups to multinational brands all around the world, to maximize people, performance, and profit. Outside of her coaching and corporate speaking engagements, she is a regular mentor, coach, and judge for various entrepreneurship-focused organizations.
Stay in touch with Akua Nyame-Mensah, Leadership & Culture Advisor:
Here’s the transcript for episode 59 about The Top Questions You Need to Ask When Hiring an External Falliciator or Coach
NOTE: Please excuse any errors in this transcript; it was created using an AI tool. Akua Nyame-Mensah 0:07 Welcome to the open door podcast. My name is Akua Nyame-Mensah. I also respond to Aqua and I'm a certified executive and leadership coach recognised facilitator and former sort of leader that loves supporting reluctant buyer fighting and overwhelmed leaders. I've worked with them to help them clarify where they should focus their time and energy each and every day so that they can love themselves, love their work, and ultimately love their life. If you're looking to learn leadership information and hear different perspectives, you are in the right place. My aim in this podcast is to help you see that one of the most productive and profitable things you can do is deeply understand yourself. Understand how you show up, understand how you thrive and allow yourself to align everything in your work in your life, and in your business to support that think of this podcast as your weekly opportunity to receive leadership support. And remember, there is no one right way to lead yourself or others. Thank you so much for taking the time to join me today. Let's get started. Hello, and welcome to this week's podcast episode of the open door conversations Podcast. I'm really excited because this is part three of my three part series, all about investing in coaching and facilitator support. So today we're gonna be talking about the top questions you need to ask when hiring an external facilitator or coach and I put together this entire series which is based off of live stream. So please keep in mind that this is a repurposed podcast episode. But I put this together because I know it's not easy to invest in your team. It's not easy to invest in your company. And I know it's even harder to invest in yourself. So I'll be talking through the misconceptions that decision makers have when looking for and considering external learning and development service providers. In addition to sharing my perspective on pricing, I will share the importance of defining the scope securing timelines, not asking for a discount, and remembering that service providers are not full time team members. All right, so please take a listen to this week's podcast episode. Let me know what you think. Let me know if you agree or disagree with what I share. And also reach out if you use some of the questions to secure your next coach or facilitator. Let's get into the podcast episode. Hello, hello hello Aiko here also respond to Aqua and Korea. I'm a certified executive and leadership coach recognised facilitator and speaker and I am finishing up my three part series on how to hire external coaches facilitators, service providers who are supporting you, with learning and development, really excited to be finishing up the conversation with my thoughts on what to keep in mind when you're actually hiring that service provider that's going to be focused on providing learning and development support. Right. So the first part of this series, we talked a little bit about what is coachable and being coachable. And the important elements that you should keep in mind if you are looking to hire an external, professional coach, for a member of your team, or even for yourself. The second part of this series, we talked a little bit about some of the things that internally, you need to think about if you're a decision maker in terms of the type of support that you want. I talked a little bit about the difference between a workshop, a training and even courses and how all of them have different pros and cons and how all of them can provide a different level of support for members of your team. But it's really key to have an understanding right of your budget of what you want, and also have the capacity of the individuals or individual who's going to receive that capacity building right. So all of those pieces are key. And that's why today the last part of this series, I want to talk a little bit about some of the things that you might want to keep in mind some of the questions that you should ask, and some perspective from someone who's been doing this for four years now, as a, you know, external certified professional coaches, someone who's also facilitated and also someone who's a speaker, and I also am someone who supported others and coached others to help them think about their business from this perspective as well. Right? So not only have I done it for myself, but it's also something that I've taught and supported others with as well. I've had lots of conversations about pricing, about budgets, about really what to keep in mind. And I think most importantly, what success looks like as you're supporting another team or another individual with their own learning and development. So let's get into it like title. This, you know, initially was sort of like how to hire a facilitator or how to hire a coach. I think I ended up with the top questions you need to ask when hiring an external facilitator or coach. And you know, it really just comes from this place of recognising that it's not easy to invest in your team. It's not easy to invest in yourself, especially if you've had bad Add experiences, right. So this is a key thing here also to recognise that we will bring along experiences that we've had on the past, as we continue to engage with potential service providers, right with potential external consultants or facilitators or coaches. So this is something that's really important to keep in mind. And that we need to make sure that we cultivate our self awareness around some of the biases that we might be holding on to some of the stories we tell ourselves some of the things maybe that other people within our network that we maybe trust have told us about learning and development, and really recognise that there is no one right way to do any of this, that no two facilitators or coaches or speakers, or, you know, consultants are really the same, right. So it's really important that you come up with your own metrics, your own approaches, your own checklist, when you are thinking about working with someone. And my hope, really is that by listening to this conversation, by taking a second, to reflect on some of the things I have to share, that you'll be able to come up with your own checklist, your own approach that really works for you and is able to help you find a service providers that are going to be able to support you and your team with your learning and development goals. So there are a lot of misconceptions I think that decision makers have when they are looking for and considering external learning and development service providers. So these are some of the things I'm going to be talking a little bit about that are really important to keep in mind. So the first really, that I put on this list here is really, it's really important that you define the scope. And that's why if you are interested in understanding that a little bit better listen to the second part of this series, where I share a lot of questions to help you think about, like what that scope could look like, who really needs support, what's their capacity, the different types of learning and development modalities, I think that's a good way to describe it, that you can also keep in mind, also, when you're working with anybody who's external of your own business, the importance of timelines, you know, defining what success looks like. And then that element of pricing right, and how a lot of people are very price sensitive or have very what I would describe as very emotional responses to pricing as it relates to learning and development in hiring an external facilitator coach or consultant. So really wanted to talk through some of those elements are eight. So once again, if you haven't had a chance to take a listen to the first two parts of the series, I really would recommend that you take a second to because all these three different parts to this series really add on top of each other. Alright, so let's really get into it. So some of the things that you really might want to keep in mind when you are looking to hire an external facilitator or coach or consultants. So this is really just, you know, as you're engaging with them, you know, building a relationship with them, seeing whether or not they have rapport, really just recognising, you know, that first part is, you know, is this external facilitator or coach for you? Or is it for another team or somebody else? Right, I think that's something that you definitely want to keep in mind as you're engaging with them. So some of the questions that you might want to ask or keep in mind is trying to understand their experience, and whether or not they're coming in to actually provide direct experience, or if they're just going to be facilitating a conversation with contents, right. So are they actually a, you know, an experts, you know, a content experts? Are they a knowledge expert? Or are they just someone who can facilitate. So that's something that you want to keep in mind as you're bringing in people, because there are some facilitators that are also content experts. So they themselves have experience, you know, in relation to whatever they're sharing. Other times a facilitator is just sharing the content, right? So they're an expert in facilitation, sometimes you get a combination of the two. So keeping that in mind as you are looking for people to support you and your team. Another thing that you probably do want to ask or you want to keep in mind is Who else they've worked with? I think that that's a very valid question to ask. And you want to get some idea potentially, of the types of businesses they've worked with individuals they've worked with, I think that's a great question that you want to ask. Another thing that you want to keep in mind as you're engaging with external consultants or facilitators and coaches is whether or not they come from a larger company, or if they're a one man band, I think that this is something that shouldn't necessarily change. Whether or not you think that they're helpful, or that they're useful, but I do think it's something that you want to keep in mind. So just a quick example, I'm pretty much just a one man band. And as I select opportunities and think about the people I want to support, that's definitely something I keep in mind. Another thing that you probably want to ask yourself is whether or not this coach, consultant facilitator does this full time or not? Once again, if you do ask a question related to this, it's not that that service writer needs to answer it. Once again, I don't think that necessarily changes whether or not they'd be good at supporting you. But I do think it's a good thing to keep in mind, especially as it relates to timelines. Right? So those are some of the initial questions I really would recommend that you start with that you ask you get some idea about, based on the documents, they share with you any element in relation to that, right. So just getting an understanding of where they are in their business, who they tend to support, what their capacity their availability might look like. Because that's really going to have an impact on whether or not they're able to start with you immediately. or whether or not they're going to start with you into the future. Just a quick example, or using myself as an example, it's typically when I work with someone, if they you know, sign on, I'm typically going to, you know, implement that engagement. So whether it is that coaching session, or that facilitation or that workshop, it's going to be probably about three weeks into the future, simply because of the way my schedule works, that makes the most sense. I'm pretty much a one man band. And so whenever I am booking clients or engagements, it's really going to happen into the future. And that's something that I definitely do tell my clients up front, and you want to make sure that you have the answer to that. So as you are thinking about when this individual or this company would start with your, you know, would start with your team or with you, you have a clear understanding of what that would look like. Alright, so in terms of what else I have on here, you know, the first thing I definitely wanted to put on here and talk a little bit more about is just keeping in mind that pricing bid. So this is something I know, that's very difficult for a lot of companies to sort of wrap their head around, especially if you're a smaller company. So I work with a lot of startups, a lot of fast growing startups, a lot of smaller businesses. And for them, right, really coming up with a budget is quite difficult. But one of the things I always, you know, want to recommend, if you are thinking about trying to, you know, bring in an external facilitator, a coach or a consultant is that you want to have some idea of your budget beforehand, this is going to make the conversations just so much easier, it's going to be a lot more of a, you know, just a very simple negotiation, because it won't be prolonged. And what I find a lot of times is that companies are typically taking a longer time, or companies want you to present them with a price or an investment amounts, and then sometimes will come back to you. So I find that sometimes that makes it a little tricky or difficult, because then they'll come back and say, Hey, we don't have the resources for that. But all of that could have been eliminated, if they had been forthright with the budget, or you as the decision maker or forthright with the budget or have a very good understanding of what that budget looks like. I also know that this has happened to me in the past, when companies just want to get an idea of all the different things that I can do in the price ranges, what they do it that I don't know, because typically, they'll come back and say that they can't afford to work with me. So really just recognising that you can save everyone a lot of time, a lot of energy and resources, just by knowing your budget in advance. And this is super key. Once again, if you are working with individuals who are more of a one man band, like me, or smaller companies, because the opportunity cost of going in and having these marketing conversations, if you're not, you know capable of investing in them that is, you know, time and energy that they're spending on someone that's not going to invest in them. And it's a lot harder because of the way you know, this business works for them to then go and find other opportunities, because you've taken up that time. So once again, that might not be something that's important to you, you might even say, Hey, you don't care. But it's just something to keep in mind about the structure of you know, most coaching consulting practices, there is an opportunity cost of going into having these conversations. So just having that information available. And of course, hopefully, the coach or consultant facilitator also has an idea of their pricing as well. So you can have those conversations sooner rather than later. Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to talking to an external facilitator, consultant or coach around their pricing is really just recognising that when you ask for an hourly cost, or their hourly rate, it's not just an hourly rate, right. So this is really something that I'm always sharing with people that I'm working with, simply because, you know, for so many people, they'll simply say something along the lines of hey, like, you know, it's just one hour, what is just one hour. And here's the thing. So whether you're a coach or a facilitator, or even a consultant, there's a lot more that just goes into that one hour, I'll give you the quick example of being a coach, when I go into a coaching call, typically, I'm doing some pre or prep work, I'm checking what we did previously, I'm checking in maybe with the goals that we set previously, you know, maybe even sometimes doing a little bit of accountability, we then have that one hour call. And then afterwards, I'm also sometimes following up as well. Right? So just recognising that it's not just that one call, it's not just that one hour, and you're not just paying for one hour of my time, you're also paying for my experience, you're paying for the fact that you know, I'm a certified coach, or my credentials, and the fact that I'm bringing that into the conversation, as well as the additional accountability and support that I provide outside of that one hour, right? By wanting to take this a little bit further. Right. And once again, for some of you listening to this, you might say that this is too much or you don't care. But if I take it a step further, especially as someone who is primarily are pretty much a one man band, there is also the cost to having to follow up right on an invoice being paid. There's a cost to sometimes having to engage with a supervisor or a board, if there's some sort of reporting involved within the coaching that I'm doing. So there's so many other elements that are involved in just having that maybe one hour coaching call, right? If we're going to break it down in that way. And if we're looking at it from the perspective of individuals who are doing facilitations or workshops, there's a lot more actually, that even goes into it because right, you have to prepare for that workshop. So there's that prep work related to it, once again, you have the workshop itself, right, that does take a lot of time, it takes a lot of energy that does take, you know, you probably have trained and practised all of this prior to that. And so when you are looking at the cost of once again, whether it's that facilitation, or that coaching session, it's a lot more than just that hour, or that 90 minutes, or those three hours that they show up, and they're actually doing something or engaging with you. Alright, so that's just something that I wanted to share there as it relates to pricing. Another thing about pricing to keep in mind is that no two coaches, no two facilitators. You know, we can even bring in consultants in this if you want price the same, there's so many different ways to price. So I have a particular matrix that I use, that includes a lot of different elements, I also do this full time as well. So in terms of how I come up with my pricing, and once again, this is not something that I need to validate or legitimised anyone but just giving those of you who are interested in you know, investing in or bringing on external consultants or facilitators, or speakers, this is something that you want to keep in mind is that, you know, in terms of how I come up with my pricing, right, there's a certain way I do that. So no two coaches or consultants necessarily come up with the same approach, unless maybe you're working with a company that's a lot more structured and has a very structured way in which they do it. So that's also something to keep in mind. If you are thinking to yourself, I want to sort of compare the pricing potentially, between different service providers. And I always recommend that you do that. But just keep in mind that no two facilitators, no two coaches, no two workshop trainers are the same, that's really something to keep in mind. And so if you're just looking at pricing, as sort of an indicator of someone's ability, or the impact that they're going to have on your team, or the results of your team are going to get, that's probably not the best indicator to use. So that's something that you want to keep in mind. And you also want to make sure that you go into having conversation with them to get a better understanding of who they are, once again, what they've done some of the questions I shared initially, because pricing is not going to be a good indicator of that. And that's something I see time and time again. And as someone who's done things, and partnered with lots of different amazing coaches and consultants around the world, pricing is not a good indicator of impact, it's not a good indicator, if they're going to be a good speaker. And it's not a good indicator of whether or not they're going to have the results that you want. Okay, the last bit that I really did want to share in relation to pricing, as you can tell that this is a huge part and I might come back to this a little later on, is really just taking a second to reflect on how you respond to a proposal, or the amount that facilitator or workshop trainer or coach is asking for. In terms of the investment. I simply say this because as someone in the past who's hired a trainer for my team, when I worked full time is that I remember thinking to myself, like oh my gosh, this is a lot, this is more than I make close to what I make within you know, a month, right? You know how much their session that was maybe an hour or two hours was about how much I make in a month. So a key thing here is really to recognise that for a lot of us, especially if you don't work for a big company, or we've never really been in this space before, it might be very overwhelming to see some of the levels at which some facilitators or speakers, or coaches are asking in return for the work that they do. So it's really important one right that I think it's completely natural, right? So let's let's definitely acknowledge that it might seem like a lot, and that you're, you know, you're welcome to have a reaction, I think it's completely natural and human to have a reaction. But then it's also very important to take a deep breath and really reflect on this response I have, right? It's because I'm comparing myself to this individual that's doing something very different, very unique, and very specific from me working full time, right? There are two very different things, two very different, you know, business models, if you want to take it from that perspective. So it's so so important that you keep that in mind, if you are a decision maker, especially within a smaller business, trying to make a decision about who you want to support you and your team in their learning and development. If you are, you know, responding or shocked. And you know, your response is, hey, this seems like a lot of money. This is more than I pay someone within a month, then you need to really reflect on you know, what your priorities are the fact that you know, you might be you know, really focusing on the wrong thing, because that individual is probably an expert, that individual is probably going to be able to support your team and the impact that they're going to have on your team, it's probably going to be a lot more than what you're going to invest in them. So really just getting very clear on your response, getting very clear on you know why it is you're responding that way and why you think potentially they're too expensive actually before you know just getting a little curious and really trying to get a better sense of what comes with or what the outcomes are, or really what goes into, you know, getting this type of support. And my hope is that this conversation gives you a little bit more of an idea of really what goes into coaching, facilitating and speaking, and allows you to make better decisions so that the primary metric you're using is not just price, because once again, price is not a good indicator of whether or not they're going to have the results or impact that you want. Alright, so I think that's all I really want to share about pricing, I could probably go on and on about this, I think I had a last note on here really around. Pricing, this is something I get quite a bit within my part of the world, I don't know if this happens within other places. But one thing I do get in my part of the world is around asking for discounts. And I find that this is such an interesting sort of approach, right? You know, someone is, you know, you've come to someone, you know, potentially. So if I'm thinking about once again, my own, what happens, I guess, in my own work is that someone will come to me, I don't go to them, someone will come to me, they see me as someone who can support them in their team. So really just recognising that if you are coming to someone, you see that they can support you and that they have value, then devaluing them by asking for a discount. Once again, I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't see, hey, are there other ways in which we can look at the price are there you know, special deals that we can do or special rates, but sort of being very aggressive about getting a discount because of where a person, you know, maybe lives? Because you know, that person looks like you has a similar culture to you. I don't think that's necessarily the best way to go about it. It's super, super important for you really, just to keep in mind that, you know, you probably don't want a member of your team, that's a discount team member, right? And this is something I've actually said to someone, it's like, well, yeah, you know, of course, I can give you a discount. But would you like me to show up as a half assed facilitator, right? Or would you only like me to pull out half the amount of coaching tools and techniques that I have. So really just recognising that you do need to balance this idea of, you know, getting the support that you need with recognising that every single coach facilitator, once again, I can loop in consultants into this will have, you know, potentially a different investment amount, has had different levels of results. So that's why it's so important for you really, to listen to the first part of my series, and the second part of my series to really get to an understanding of first and foremost, what is it that I really need? And can my team really benefit from the investment that I want to give them, right? Because maybe if you feel like having someone come in and do this work, that just a regular course, will be good enough, right? Especially if you don't feel like you know, investing in external person makes the most sense for your budget at this time. So really just recognising that you're gonna get different things at different levels. But you know, asking for discounts, you know, especially if you know you're working or you want to work with someone who, you know, works primarily by themselves is pretty much a one man band like me, that's asking for a lot. That's not to say, I don't give, you know, quote unquote, discounts, or sort of shift my rates depending on the types of work that I get, but just really recognising that when you do ask for discounts, that can be, you know, a really big issue, right, that can really cause a lot of problems. So really just recognising that you don't want to discount a team member. So you probably don't want a disgruntled or discounted external, you know, service provider who's supposed to support you and your team and really help them to perform a lot better. Alright, that's all I'm going to talk about in terms of pricing. If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to let me know in the chat. I do have some amazing people in the chat here on LinkedIn that have been sort of chiming in. So I just wanted to do some quick call outs. Thank you so much, William Brown, for joining. David King. Great to see you here. Thank you so much for joining. I saw that you typed here that guilty of doing this well in my corporate roles. I also was guilty of this right and I think that's a key thing really to recognise when you are a regular nine to FiVER, when you have a full time job, your perspective on your salary and how much you make. It's very different from being an independent contractor, or, you know, an external coach or facilitator. My perspective on salary is how I get paid, my value is completely shifted and changed. Because when you are a nine to FiVER, and of course we can think about this for the perspective of like capitalism and how it works like you're actually drastically underpaid. If you took a look at the number of hours you work and divided it by your full time salary, you'll see that very clearly, you know, when you sort of compare that to an external facilitator or coach or consultant who has to go out and get their own business, right, that's one of the reasons why the rates are so high because we're going out and doing our own business development. We have to cover our own insurance, we have to cover our own retirement, there's so much more that goes into it. So really just recognising that there are two very different things. But if you're coming out of conflict from the perspective of a regular nine to FiVER, the pricing to work with a lot of coaches and consultants and facilitators might seem like a lot, which is why one of the things I always recommend is that you take a second right you will have that reaction and that's okay, but you take a second to really reflect on the stories you're telling And yourself, and why that might not be the best story for you to keep in mind. Alright, so let's get into some of the other things I have on here. So the next thing I have on here that you really want to make sure that you keep in mind, and the questions you want to ask are really around timelines and expectations. As I mentioned earlier on, typically when I start to work on a new engagement or new project, I typically can't touch it until about three weeks after the initial payment is made. That's the way I've set up my business. Some, you know, coaches and consultants and facilitators can do things a little bit differently. But for me, my calendars typically booked out about three weeks in advance. So it's really important that you get an idea, a picture of what that looks like, for that external, you know, facilitator or coach that you're looking to hire, it's also very important that you're clear on your expectations. An external facilitator or coach is not a musician, they're not going to be able to magically, you know, improve your team within a very short period of time. And that's why, once again, it's important for you to reflect on the type of support that you really need, do you need someone who's going to be there for a little bit longer, right? Who can provide support over time, right, so maybe it looks like some individual one on one coaching and some facilitating of workshops, and maybe some engagement via email. So that engagement can look very different, depending on you know, what success looks like what you're looking to achieve. And that's why it's so important that you need to get clear on that. And you can communicate that to that external service provider, so they can come up with the best proposal for you. One thing that I love to do, and I think makes me kind of unique in the work that I do is that I love to leverage technology. So typically, I'll even put together the recordings of a form where people can ask additional questions. And that's a very low cost way where I can provide a highly personalised service, because I'm not doing one on one coaching. So there's so many different ways that this can look. But it really starts with you as a decision maker getting very clear on what success looks like. So that service provider can really let you know the options that are available. Okay. Another thing that you want to keep in mind as it relates to expectations, is and I mentioned this earlier before, is that if you've had a really bad experience in the past, working with an external facilitator, or coach, it's really important that you maybe communicate that or that you recognise that no two facilitators and coaches are the same. So don't take out right that bad past experience on a new external facilitator or coach that's coming out, get really, really clear on that. And really make sure that you're setting goals, really make sure that everyone's on the same page in terms of expectations. All right. And then the last thing really to keep in mind in relation to this, once again, if you're listening to this, you might say, Hey, you don't care. But if this is something you're really looking to invest in, just really keep in mind that the calendar and time of an external facilitator or coach, especially ones, the ones that work for themselves, or have a really small partnership or small business, their time is money, like literally. And so it's so important that you're clear on your timelines, and that you make sure that you're aligned with their timelines. So everyone is on the same page, and things don't slip through the cracks. So it's so so so important that you keep that in mind. All right. Some other things to keep in mind, when you are hiring, an external facilitator is reminding yourself that that external facilitator or coach does not work directly for you. Alright, so I'm not saying that they don't work, you know, for you, but it's not a direct for you, in that case, right. So what that means is, it's so important for you to keep in mind that, hey, this person is not going to be able just to show up when I want them to show up, right? So important for you as the decision maker to keep in mind that you're very clear about the meetings they need to be in if there are additional meetings that they need to be in, it's so important for you to keep in mind that right, the calendar of that service provider is super, super key and crucial. So everybody just needs to be on the same page, right? Because they don't work directly for you. And so you need to make sure that you're very clear with your communications, you're setting those expectations up front, and that everyone's on the same page. Because once again, you don't want to waste your time. And that source writer doesn't want their time wasted as well. But it's really important to keep in mind that they don't work directly for you. So you want to understand how they want to communicate the best channels to communicate with them. So for example, I prefer email. If anyone gets in touch with me, you know, via WhatsApp, I typically will tell them straight up like hey, I don't like WhatsApp, WhatsApp is really only for emergencies. Really keep in mind that the best way to stay in touch with me is via email. And then I also love using Google Docs, right. And so that might look different for every, you know, external facilitator or coach. So it's so important that you keep in mind, you know, when you ask that question upfront, okay, so I think that's all I wanted to share today. I think that this is probably quite a bit quite a long, maybe some rants in there. But you know, ultimately, I think the key things that you want to keep in mind as a decision maker as it relates to hiring external facilitator is first and foremost, like where are my blind spots? Like, Where can this external expert support me and coming into the decision about what my team needs or what I need in terms of learning and development. You know, another thing that you also want to keep in mind, right? When you are asking questions, and I didn't mention this one before is like, how do you actually want them to engage with your team and person virtual? Anybody who's reached out to me to actually work with me, you know that my fees don't change, whether they're in person or virtual, there are some, you know, decision makers that think that in person is more valuable? I don't think so. And the people who decide to invest in meat also don't think so. The only thing that would change is that if you want it in person, you'd have to pay for my transportation accommodation separately, but not all coaches, and not all facilitators necessarily have that perspective. That's my perspective. So it's so important that you asked that question. It's also very important to ask the question of whether or not a facilitator can do both in person and virtual, some facilitators do one or the other. Not everyone does both. And they are very different. And they do involve different types of skills as well. And then probably most importantly, the top question need to ask when hiring an external facilitator is, what would success look like really being able to walk through that and potentially that coach or facilitator might need to help you with it. But getting to an understanding of what success looks like and being able to communicate that is super, super key, I'm sure for a lot of you, you probably thought that budget was probably the most important but it's really not because what success looks like and the value that you want from that conversation should really drive the investment that you make in that external facilitator, or coach that ultimately will lead to results within your team or even within yourself. Alright, so that's all I wanted to share on this topic. Once again, I'm sure for some of you, this might sound like a little bit of a rant. But once again, I've been doing this for about four years now. So these are just some of the things that I've seen, from my perspective, I just wanted to put together something for once again, those who are, you know, decision makers, to help them with this thought process of how to bring on people really to support them, especially those people who are external. If you have any questions, any thoughts? If you agree, if you disagree, please let me know in the comments or in the chat, you're also welcome to send me a DM I'd love to hear it. As I mentioned, there's no one or one way or one right way to do this. But I think that if we all have conversations about this and take the time to really reflect on right, the biases and the stories that we tell ourselves, especially around people who maybe are external of what we're used to. I think it's better for the entire industry and better for everyone as a whole. So thank you again for taking the time to join me stay safe and stay safe. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to today's episode. If you enjoyed what you heard today, please share it with your friends. We can continue this conversation on social media the links to my socials so that is LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. You can find them in the show notes. If you tagged me in a story and include the hashtag hashtag ask Akua I will share a special little gift with you. Thank you so much once again for your time and I cannot wait to share my next episode with you stay safe and sane.