There have been a number of buzz words thrown around this past year made trendy by the pandemic including: ‘ADAPT’, ‘PIVOT’, ‘CONNECT’, HYBRID’ and more…

Some you may recognise as perhaps being a little overused at times, though all with good intention and reason.  I am guilty of using the above words a lot more recently because- well they are all relevant to many situations myself and others have encountered this past year in particular.

The word ‘CONNECT’ has come up regularly with many of us working extra hard to stay in touch with our clients and contacts at a distance, maintaining those business relationships we have worked so hard to build up over the years.  As with the words ‘ADAPT’ and ‘PIVOT’ which were particularly prevalent within my online events, where most business owners I interviewed said that they had to adapt and pivot their business models in order to stay afloat and keep going.

I want to on this occasion focus on that other buzz word of the moment ‘HYBRID’, which seems to be on trend as the word to describe many new versions of anything from the style of working (to depict the combination of both working in office and from home) to the format of events and training sessions.

During lockdown I facilitated A LOT of hybrid online events and training sessions, which turned out to be really successful and well received.  The talk in the event industry now is all about hybrid events – the combination of live and online events essentially, with live events being streamed so that guests have the opportunity to either attend in person or to tune in from the comfort of their own homes or offices.  Whilst not the first of its kind, this format was used back in 2020 by Ted X for the climate summit with Al Gore and has been replicated all over the world ever since.  I predict that there will be many variants of this style and format within both the events and education industries with universities already jumping on the band wagon.

When it comes to training and consultancy, the word ‘HYBRID’ is already well underway as being integrated into support sessions.  For example, as a qualified business coach myself, I have always combined a certain level of consultancy within my sessions with of course the agreement and full knowledge of the client.  Going one step further, should the client require focus in a specific area, then training may also come into play – for example if they need additional support in social media marketing or communication this would come under a specific training session in the form of a masterclass or workshop. 

Coaching alone provides support, motivation, inspiration, thought provoking discussion and empowerment- it allows me as a coach to conduct discussions that lead you as a client to make decisions of your own accord and to find the answers you are looking for, alongside achievable and measurable goals and actions.

Consultancy allows a more two-way discussion and the freedom for me as a consultant to share both my knowledge and experience with you as a client, so essentially, I can give you the answers to your questions if you want them, I can guide and facilitate and we together can get creative, make plans of action and see them through.

Training as previously mentioned can combine elements of consultancy and coaching in a more direct and often interactive format – my favourites being workshops and masterclasses that integrate interactive exercises, often conducted in a group setting both on or offline.

By combining the necessary above elements, this provides me with the flexibility required within client sessions to allow for free-flowing discussion with the limitations coaching often implies.

This hybrid approach offers:

  • Support
  • Understanding
  • Thought provoking questioning
  • The sharing of knowledge
  • The sharing of experience
  • Creative conversation /idea generation
  • Interactive learning

So, whether you are a giver or receiver of support, the question to ask yourself is what style and format suits you right now…Perhaps the hybrid way is the way forward?

Fiona Duncan-Steer