Towards the end of last year, I wrote a blog about Hannah and her goal of going self-employed with her pet portrait business. One thing I didn’t really discuss was the process and relationship between the Change Coach, Digital Trainers and the participants, and how all of these elements come together to provide a service that excels beyond others and puts our clients first.

Hannah first came to us as a referral from her local job centre. She was assigned her Change Coach – Simon – who would meet her at the local library, as a casual informal destination to discuss Hannah’s needs and wants. After all the t’s were crossed and i’s dotted on the paperwork, Si would dig deeper into where she was and what she was thinking in terms of her goals.

She had an idea that she wanted to go self-employed with her pet portrait business, but didn’t have much of an idea about where to go from promoting the business, particularly online. There were other elements of support required as well, largely around the caring responsibilities she had with her mother and how that impacted her health and wellbeing. Si identified that these were two significant goals, and that if the project was going to support Hannah, additional resource was going to be required.

That’s where I stepped in. Si referred Hannah to me – a digital trainer – to discuss her self-employment idea from a digital perspective. It was quickly evident that whilst Hannah had a certain amount of digital ability, it would need to be enhanced to expand her business idea and ensure it was sustainable.

I created a digital action plan, and sent this to Simon so that we could tie this in with his change coach action plan. Whenever I met Hannah for a session I would update this action plan, and Si and I would have regular catch-up meetings to make sure we were on the same wavelength with how we were delivering support. This is something that happens on a regular basis with all of our clients – If a participant has a goal in mind that requires digital support, it’s important that we provide the change coaches with regular feedback so that they know where to go as well.

Another part of the trainer-change coach relationship is justification of equipment. Hannah needed a new iPad and Apple Pencil in order to ensure she could touch her work up and sell it digitally as well. Once I had identified the need a few sessions in, I could provide a justification to Simon and he was able to purchase the equipment. This process requires a certain level of trust between trainer and change coach. As trainers we’re not allowed to buy equipment, but we have the knowledge of what a participant might need, so building that strong working relationship with a change coach is crucial in doing our jobs.

Between the three of us we identified appropriate outcomes for Hannah in Self-Employment and Training. Simon, Change Coach for Positive People, would go on to say, “With the change coach role being wide and varied, we explore multiple different avenues and solutions. Having the ability to call upon digital trainers to deliver very specific training to targets firstly allows the change coach to see how things are progressing, but also allows the participant to feel they are achieving consistently.”

“I was stuck in a rut and didn’t know how to go forward. Although I was comfortable with social media from a personal perspective, I didn’t understand how quite a few things worked for a business venture,” Hannah said. “Positive People has given me an eye-opener into social media, online safety, blogs, and finding a way through the ‘Digital Mess’,” she concluded.