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  • Writer's pictureFreia Muehlenbein

Using external coaching & mentoring to make your agency a better, happier place to work

What makes us better, happier, and more fulfilled at work?

I’ve worked with counsellors, life coaches, career coaches, and business coaches for nearly a decade to work this out for myself, and I’m still working on this now. Without this outside perspective, I would have felt very lost at various stages of my life and career.

When I was agency side, I scaled my own departments from 0 to nearly 100 members of staff. One of the things I enjoyed most during that time was one-to-one time with my team, and coaching and mentoring them through their challenges and long-term career ambitions. I didn’t always get this right. I was in a bubble with them, working on the same clients and with the same people day in and day out. I wasn’t always able to give them the necessary time, perspective and objectivity.

It was around that time that I first started working with my own external support network of coaches and mentors. These sessions enabled me to take a step back, get out of the bubble, and discuss my challenges and thoughts with an impartial person.

As a consultant, I am now in the fortunate position to coach and mentor agency owners and senior leaders myself. Where needed, I can draw on my own experiences of growing and improving agencies for the last 12 years, whilst still giving people the space to explore their own solutions. In 90% of cases, I am finding that my clients want to know “how I did it”.

I’m a strong believer that agencies will be better, happier, places to work if they offered external coaching and mentoring to their staff. We all need to step out of the bubble sometimes!

We live in our agency bubble

•Dissatisfaction at work often stems from a lack of perspective. We only know what we know.

•Our thoughts, challenges and frustrations become exacerbated because we experience them without any objective input.

•We often wonder if we’re doing the right things.

Over-reliance on managers

•We can’t rely on managers alone to mentor and coach agency teams. They live in the same agency bubble and have to prioritise the day-to-day running of projects and teams.

•Staff might not feel comfortable talking to their manager about job challenges, admitting that they need help, or discussing their future career ambitions.

Life can be lonely at the top

•Agency owners, Directors, and senior leaders often don’t receive the same level of manager support as delivery teams.

•Your most senior agency team still want perspective, accountability, and counsel, but they often have nowhere to turn to.

Examples how coaching and mentoring can help your business

For agency owners

  • Perspective: Insight into how other agencies operate

  • Problem-solving: Guiding you through decision-making and resolving business challenges

  • Accountability: Regular check-ins to help you stay on track with priorities

  • Prioritising: Helping you to work more on the business, as opposed to in the business

For senior leaders

  • Leadership: Coaching/mentoring on how to lead, develop, and change teams and service offerings

  • Problem-solving: Guiding you through decision-making and resolving team challenges

  • Career progression: How to maximise your current responsibilities for your future career

  • Confidence: Gaining confidence and feeling ready for management responsibilities

For delivery teams

  • Client service: Understanding what clients need from you and how to deliver quality service

  • Problem-solving: Guiding you through challenges you have with clients or campaign teams

  • Career progression: How to maximise your current responsibilities for your future career

  • Confidence: Gaining confidence and feeling happy and content in your current role

What happens during coaching and mentoring?

  • We establish your goals and uncover the biggest challenges you want to overcome or biggest opportunities you want to explore

  • We have a one-off meeting, or regular chats, about your goals, how to achieve them, and how to keep the momentum

  • I will offer you perspective from 12 years experience of growing agencies and scaling teams

  • All meetings finish with actionable takeaways for you to embed into your day-to-day

Why not trial if coaching or mentoring is right for you?

I offer a free non-committal taster call so you can give it a go.


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