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REVIEW: XECN EVENT ‘PLANTING ROOTS: MAKING YOUR COACHING BUSINESS BLOSSOM’

Updated: Nov 15, 2022

Five guest speakers uncovered industry secrets, tips, and tricks, to heighten the effectiveness of the lucky handful of external coaches that attended the event.


Three plants with two leaves, at different stages of sprouting from soil alongside the text "planting roots:making your coaching business blossom"

Overcome the notion that you must be ordinary, it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary Uta Hagen

This is just one inspirational notion that John Hague referred to in our XECN event ‘Planting Roots: Making Your Coaching Business Blossom’. John Hague, alongside four other guest speakers, uncovered industry secrets, tips, and tricks, to heighten the effectiveness of the lucky handful of external coaches that attended the event.

These coaches started the new year off right by taking the opportunity to reflect and explore new challenges, new goals, and new relationships. More than anything, however, this conference wanted to inform people of new trends, and areas of development, in the hopes that external coaches might just have that eureka moment that drives them forwards and changes the way they practice coaching for the better.


No one of us is the finished article. To what extent are we getting into a regular pattern, and how should we shake it up? Suzanna Prout,

XECN events are great for networking with others, bringing, and sharing best practice. XECN co-founders Suzanna Prout and Catherine Boddington began ‘Planting Roots’ with a moment of self-reflection for all to consider just exactly how mixing things up can re-invigorate you as a coach, and level up your coaching skills.


Before moving on to the outstanding guest speakers, Catherine opened up the doorway into the world of digitisation. Technology, automation and AI are becoming more and more prevalent in today’s modern world, and it makes sense for coaches to branch into these technological advances to accelerate, sustain, and grow their coaching practice. Social media, coach directories, project management systems, and coaching artificial intelligence are just a few of the tools that External Coaches can use.


Modesty is the enemy; Say to your clients what nobody else would dare to say.” John Hague

Coaching is about honesty, authenticity, and openness. This is the key takeaway from John Hague’s talk on the book ‘The Prosperous Coach’. Nothing is as freeing as being able to say what you feel and enact your coaching practice the way YOU want. Coaches often become annexed into a particular way of working, and it’s important to positively exert control over yourself, and your clients, to create lasting impactful progress, through relevant practical changes.

John delivered a novel’s worth of advice and imparted impactful, thoughtful wisdom. Ultimately, John wants you to invest in happiness, design your own lifestyle, lead powerfully, and do not coach to please. Coach to serve.


We can’t change what we don’t see – What are we measuring and how do we measure it? Jodi O’Dell

From John Hague’s emotive talk, we move on to the ENGAGE model. Evidence-based, scientifically validated, but still focused on the internal workings of the coachee. It seems almost impossible; how could we possibly measure something as abstract as how somebody feels?


ENGAGE is a powerful self-awareness tool that measures mindset and change readiness. ENGAGE identifies drivers and barriers to change, such as beliefs that help you grow, and beliefs that hold you back, driven by the idea that mindset underpins behaviour change.


What works for coaching individuals may not always work for coaching teams. You need the right tools. It’s like using a meat cleaver to peel an apple.” Georgina Woudstra

Team Coaching teammates Georgina Woudstra and Allard De Jong delivered a fantastic discussion on the distinctions between individual and team coaching. These partners in coaching pointed out some of the common pitfalls that External Coaches can often find themselves tripping into.


Georgina and Allard taught this team of coaches that it’s important to work through the resistance, and a more hands-off approach may even generate more engagement than a hands-on approach, as long as they can accept guidance, and move with the tide. When you are one voice amongst many it’s important to give the team their own voice and make them take responsibility for their own improvement.


We rely too much on people who have perceived experience. People don’t have the confidence in themselves and don’t recognise their unique skills.” Hannah Butler

For Hannah Butler, Director of Knowledge Exchange for EMCC, connection is truly at the heart of what she does. Hannah gave these external coaches some great advice on how to make their coaching practice unique, engaging, diverse, and connected.


Being an external coach, especially being self-employed, can feel quite isolating, so it’s good to ask yourself the tough questions, be creative with how you engage with your coachees, and find unique ways to connect with other coaches to learn, and grow your coaching practice.


“Physics tells us that the hummingbird should not be able to fly… but nobody told the hummingbird this.” John Hague

‘Planting Roots: Making Your Coaching Business Blossom’ was filled to the brim with fantastic advice, unique perspectives, excellent tools, and exceptional speakers. From being true to yourself to taking control of teams, to staying connected with coaches, this XECN lived up to its namesake. The collective knowledge garnered from this experience can tell you just how to grow and maintain your coaching practice.


For external coaches this event shone a light on a range of coaching topics, highlighting problems and solutions, and posing questions and answers, and it brought together a group of external coaches that could connect, learn, and grow together.


With some good soil and the right amount of sunlight, you can plant your feet, branch out, and blossom.



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