This week we are connecting with Jalyn Gordon, Activistpreneur & Visionary of The Afrocentric Communiversity to learn more about creating the best work culture in your relationship with your Coach or Consultant.
So, what is The Afrocentric Communiversity? Founded in 2017, The Afrocentric Communiversity, LLC is a consulting company that helps Activistpreneurs align activism + culture + entrepreneurship. Our Vision Statement? We imagine a world where Black communities thrive, embrace and infuse culture in all they do. Our speciality? Helping Activistpreneurs operationalize culture in their work.
Introducing Jalyn Gordon of The Afrocentric Communiversity…
As a Coach & Consultant to Activistpreneurs for 6+ years, my favorite thing to experience is a future partner (client) walking into a consultation and taking charge of how they want ME to show up for THEM.
I mean think about it.
Coaches and Consultants are folx you will share intimate details about your life and life work (business) with. We do our job best when all parties’ values & principles are aligned. Typically, this person will cost you and your organization thousands of dollars and countless intimate conversations. So why not ensure this is a match made in heaven?
Below are a list of questions I suggest everyone ask a Coach or Consultant before hiring them ~ especially if you are big on principles and values like me and The Afrocentric Communiversity:
- What intellectual or business framework do you follow?
Let’s be clear – all consultants and coaches (CC’s) have a framework for doing their work. If they don’t, how will you know how to hold them accountable to a standard of excellence you both agree on?
- How many projects are you currently working on or will be working on during my project?
In other words, how thin will they be stretching their time to work with you?
- What is the average cost of this service?
Don’t let them tell you they can’t deliver this information. As an organization, you have a budget. It’s important to make sure this service fits within your budget line early so you can redirect funds, ask your Board for extra assistance, or create a biz savings plan.
- Can you tell me about yourself?
A typical, but VERY essential question. This is an interview YOU are facilitating. Get down to the nitty gritty – ask about personal strengths and weaknesses, what the CC did before this work, what professional organizations or community institutions do they belong to, etc. Get a holistic picture of your CC. You want to not only be able to work with them, but create a long-term relationship as you journey throughout your Life Work.
- What is the most common feedback you receive from clients?
Know what you’re getting into early. The answer to this question isn’t always a deal breaker. Instead, it can provide clarity about what you need to navigate in the client/CC relationship.
- What expectations do you have of your clients?
This is good! Knowing what is expected of you early is never a bad thing.
- What would success for my project look like to you?
Did this response align with the vision of your project?
- How do you invest in the communities you work in?
As you know, the Communiversity is HUGE on community engagement. This will help you understand the depth of understanding the CC has for the culture of your organization and the communities you serve. The community is a place of reciprocity. Are you willing to invest in someone that does not invest in community?
- What is your specialty?
Yes, definitely a want-to-know. Again, every CC has a specialty or area of expertise. How closely does your project fit with the CC’s specialty?
- How are your clients better after working with you?
Asking this question on the spot tests the CC’s ability to effectively communicate their successes outside of the typical client testimonial or annual report. This forces the CC to put themselves in the place of their clients and express their ROI (return on investment) .
- Can I reach out to past clients to ask them questions about your work?
If they get nervous, RUN! Trust, this is not an out-of-the-ordinary request in the consulting world.
- What vendors do you work with to assist with project completion (i.e. graphic design)?
Do these vendors and their work align with the mission and vision of your organization?
- Are you accessible on nights and weekends?
A.C. partners enjoy having more access to our team than most consulting firms, which we don’t mind. For some folx, it’s needed. Their problem or venting session can’t wait until the next scheduled meeting. Is that something you need from your CC?
- What is your spiritual foundation?
Prayer before meetings? Meditation or moments of mindfulness during meetings? The answer to this question might also be an indication of how meetings and services will be. Not everyone wants a traditional professional relationship with their CC. Again, assess whether or not you need spiritual integration in your services. The A.C. always suggests it. 🙂
- How is your approach different from others?
Hopefully, you survey the landscape of coaches & consultants before you choose someone to work with. Take the answers to this question from every CC and do a compare & contrast. If it’s becoming a challenge to decide which CC to hire, the answer to this question might be a way to distinguish the winner.
Hope these questions help you on your life work journey! If you’re looking for a Coach or Consultant to support your work, schedule a consultation with The Afrocentric Communiversity on our website!