Thursday, May 21, 2015

Six Powerful Questions to Close a Group Coaching Session

A couple of weeks ago I started a new series on powerful questions. As coaches most of you would recognize the importance, and value, of having a wide repertoire of questions to pull from, depending on
6 Coaching Questions - Copyright 2015 Jennifer Britton
the different types of coaching conversations you are having.

Today we're going to look at six (plus) questions you might consider drawing from in closing off a coaching conversation. These are applicable whether you are coaching an individual, team or group:

1. What is your next step?
2. What insights have you gleaned today?
3. What are you committed to doing, no matter what?
4. What's the one thing you can do in the next 24 hours to move towards your most important goal/your commitment? (I really like this one and you will often notice a palpable visceral response - sitting up straighter, raised eyebrows, widened eyes)
5. What was your greatest learning/insight/a-ha from today's next conversation?
6. a) What might get the way of your success?
b) What can you do to mitigate or minimize? (as always, use language that is relevant to the client)
c) Who can support you with any hurdles?
7. Six months from now, what would you like to have achieved?
8. What's the energy you are leaving with?
9. On a scale of 1-10, how did we do in meeting your needs for this call/conversation today?

Ideally, any questions we use should be relevant to the themes we are coaching around and in the clients language. You will also want to consider making a list of questions to draw fro which might be more relevant when closing off a session, versus closing off an entire coaching process.

What are some of your favorite coaching questions for closing off a group coaching conversation? An entire group coaching process?

Have a great rest of your International Coaching Week,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC
Group Coaching Essentials | Potentials Realized
 

Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Early Bird rate now on for the 5th Annual Group and Team Coaching Intensive (19 CCEs) in Muskoka, Canada - July 16-17, 2015. Early Bird rate ends May 30th.
 Contact us by phone: (416)996-8326

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Getting the Word Out about Our Work: A bakers dozen ideas

It is International Coaching Week and an opportunity to spread the word about what coaching is, what
Getting the Word Out - Source: Dollarphoto
coaching is not, and how it can look in all its' varied forms. What are you doing this week to get the word out?

Recently as I have launched my latest on-demand learning program for coaches and others who are wanting to fill their own workshops, retreats, teleclasses, and group/team programs, I have been coaching a number of people who are wanting to get the word out about their programs. The Marketing Tips For Your Group and Team Program is a self-paced four-hour video based course, geared to give you some foundations, and practical tips, in marketing your next program. It was inspired by the hundreds of questions I have been asked over the years about getting "voices on the line" and "bums in the seats" particularly around filling public programs, and building a brand for your coaching business.

Today's post is intended to get you thinking about how YOU can get the word out about your work as a coach. Given that it is International Coaching Week how might you connect with others to talk about, and bring to life the work you do. Here's a bakers dozen (13) ideas to get you started:

  1. Write a series of blog posts on coaching
  2. Write a series of  articles
  3. Host a "drop in" coaching cafe - virtually or in person - so that others can experience coaching
  4. Band together with other coaches and have a table at a local trade show (this was something I did a couple of times in my first year of business and it was a lot of fun and great about getting the word out!)
  5. Host a focus group with past clients to see what they have enjoyed about your work and found as beneficial (be aware of confidentiality so some of you may want to hold these calls 1-1)
  6. Develop case studies based on past examples of work you have completed (again maintaining confidentiality)
  7. Host a coach-a-thon
  8. Develop a flash-mob
  9. Volunteer your time to host a coaching conversation/program at a local non-profit
  10. Record a series of audio posts or podcasts on what you focus on as a coach, OR key topics of interest to your clients
  11. Book speaking engagements with organizations related to your focus area for the next quarter
  12. Consider developing a Frequently Asked Questions sheet about your work
  13. Capture testimonials from your clients
How else might you get the word out this week, or in the near future, about coaching and the work that you do?

Have a great International Coaching Week!

Best wishes,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC
Group Coaching Essentials | Potentials Realized
 

Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)

A reminder that the Advanced Group Coaching Practicum starts this Thursday at 10:15 am ET. Geared for coaches who want to sharpen their group caochign skills and receive feedback, while taking a deeper dive into the topic of group coaching. 10 CCEs (including 9.25 core comp). Click here for more info and to grab one of the last spots!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Six Powerful Group Coaching Questions to Open a Session

"Questions are the backbone of any coaching conversation" is what I write in From One to Many: Best Practices of Team and Group Coaching.  As coaches, we can never have enough questions.

Today marks the start of a new series for me here at the Group Coaching Ins and Outs blog around powerful questions. On a regular basis I'll be spotlighting questions you may want to consider incorporating into your group or team coaching conversations.   They will also be applicable to the individual coaching conversation as well.

As I was saying recently in a Mentor Coaching Group I host for those working towards, or renewing their ICF credential, we can never have enough questions to draw on. The same holds true for the realm of group and team coaching. AS with any communication, make sure you adapt it for the needs, style and language of the people you are working with (Refer to ICF Coaching Competency of Direct Communication).

Today I wanted to put  a focus on some possible questions you may want to use in a start up of a group coaching conversation:

1. What do you uniquely bring to the group?
2. What are you hoping to get out of our conversation today?
3. What's your intention for this conversation?
4. What progress have you made on your #1 commitment from last week (this #1 commitment will change from person to person)
5. How engaged do you plan to be today? What risks are you ready to take? (Note these two questions I trace back originally to Peter Block in his excellent book - Flawless Consulting. I usually use these as an individual reflection question, and don't necessarily have people share their responses)
6. How will you know we've been successful today in this conversation (or how will you know we've been successful with our coaching overall)?


As in individual coaching, less is more. It is unlikely that you would ever use all of these questions at the start of the same session AND they are great to pull from in different touchpoints.

What are some of your favorite powerful questions? As always, please feel free to comment below.

Best wishes,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC
Group Coaching Essentials | Potentials Realized
 

Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Upcoming programs include: Mentor Coaching Group for ACC Renewals and ACC/PCC portfolio (Thurs 12 - 1 pm ET starting May 14) and the Advanced Group Coaching Practicum (10 CCes) - Thursdays 1015 -1130 am ET starting May 28th - July 23
Contact us by phone: (416)996-8326

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

May Programs - Mentor Coaching Group, Advanced Group Coaching Practicum, Virtual Facilitation Intensive

It's a new month and I'm pleased to announce our May program line up which includes the five week Virtual Facilitation Intensive for those wanting to sharpen and grow their virtual facilitation skills (15 hrs online), the 3 month Mentor Coaching Group for those interested in sharpening their coaching skills and/or working towards the renewal or new ICF Credential (ACC Renewal, PCC or ACC renewal).

Here's what is on tap for May and June:

Virtual Facilitation Skills Intensive
Tuesdays 5-8pm Eastern/2-5 pm Pacific or Wednesdays 8-11am Sydney: June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 2015
Wanting to run more engaging and effective virtual programs? Teleclasses, webinars or virtual meetings (strategy meetings, planning meetings)? Looking for a selection of virtual tools and tips to
bring into your own group or team work?
This is a fifteen hour online program where we cover the foundations of engaging and effective virtual faciltation, while giving you experience in several of the various platforms ranging from webinar, to zoom to skype and teleclass. In addition to providing you with more than a dozen virtual facilitation tools you will also have the opportunity to lead part of the call and receive feedback on your skills

Calls will be held on Tuesdays between 5-8 pm Eastern/New York or 2-5 pm Pacific. Cost: $950 US. Click here to learn more and register.

Mentor Coaching Group (10 hours)
Thursdays 12 - 1pm ET/9-10 am ET May 14 - August 13, 2015
This ten hour program meets the requirements for ICF mentor coaching for those working towards their ACC or PCC portfolio/ATSCH or ACC Renewals. The program is geared to support you in sharpening your skills as a coach, while deepending your understanding of the 11 core competencies of the ICF. You
also receive feedback on your coaching skills as demonstrated in the coaching lab. 7 of the hours are in small group setting (3-5 coaches typically) and 3 hours of individual mentor coaching are scheduled with Jennifer. Cost: $1000 US or CDN (plus HST)
The May thought August group will meet on Thursdays from 12 - 1 pm Eastern/New York and will run May 14th to mid-August. Group calls will be held on May 14, 21, 28, June 11, July 9, 23 and Aug 13, 2015 plus an additional 3 hours of individual coaching hours will be scheduled withyou (one hour a month for the three months)
Cost: $1000 US or CDN (plus HST) for the 10 hour program. Payable in one or 3 monthly installments. Click here to learn more or register.


Advanced Group Coaching Practicum - 10 CCEs
Thursdays 1015 - 11:30 am Eastern/7:15 - 830 am Pacific (5 weeks at 3 hours/week)
Looking for more practice in group coaching and getting a deeper understanding of group coaching? Geared for coaches, the program includes 6 x 75 minute group calls, 5 individual 15 minute 1-1 calls with me, along with weekly module notes full of more ideas, templates, and resources to support you in your work, along with audio and video tips.
Through practice and dialogue we take a deeper dive around group coaching topics including:

  •  Core skills and techniques in group coaching
  • Tricky issues in group coaching
  • Engagement, systems and support for group coaching
  • Virtual programming best practices (webinars, teleseminars/teleclasses, group coaching by phone)
  • Co-Facilitation and Co-Leadership
  • Advanced Issues in Marketing Group Coaching
  • Advanced Design Issues in Group Coaching

Each coach will have at least one opportunity to lead a 25 minute group coaching session as part of our class, and will receive written and verbal feedback on their skills. This will give you an opportunity to see different styles and approaches for group coaching at play. We will also hold our calls in different virtual environments so you get to experience them for yourself - bridgelines, skype, Zoom, etc.
Cost: $495 US. Click here to register and learn more.

Plus....Save the Date and take advantage of the Early Bird Rate for the 5th Annual Group and Team Coaching Intensive in Huntsville, Muskoka - Thursday/Friday July 16-17, 2015. Early Bird savings of 8 spots only! Join me in the beauty of the Muskoka region, approximately 2.5 hours north of Toronto. Drive or fly into the downtown Toronto airport take a scheduled bus from downtown.
Now 19 CCEs - Take a deep dive into learning about and practicing group and team coaching. Early Bird rate on this month - save more than $200 plus tax. Payable in one, two or three installments. Click here to learn more and reserve your spot.


I hope that you will join me for an upcoming May/June program.


Best wishes,
Jennifer


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Questions? Contact me at (416)996-8326

Business Lessons Learned as a coaching business owner

This April I celebrated eleven years as a business owner. At this stage in my work I think would find it really hard to ever go back and work for someone else. I enjoy the flexibility and creativity that it requires.  Each year I reflect on some of my key lessons learned as a business owner, and share them in my newsletter. In case you missed these last month, I thought it would be interesting to share again:

Lessons Learned from Eleven Years of Business Ownership
Originally published in the Group and Team Coaching Ins and Outs newsletter.

As I move into my eleventh year of business ownership I have come to recognize this time of year as a reflective one looking at what has worked and what hasn't in my own journey. Each year I like to share these reflections either at my blog or this newsletter. This year is no different. Rather than dedicating a lesson a year, I am going to practice my lesson #1 - Keep it Simple - and go with just five.

#1 - Keep it simple
. There can be many moving parts in any business, and keeping things simple, systematized, and streamlined for yourself will allow you to extricate yourself from what can become endless hours of admin so that you can coach. The addition of which systems or support would free up some of your time? 

#2 -  Lead with your passions and strengths - as coaches we spend a bulk of our time supporting clients - individuals, groups and teams - to idetnify and lead from their passions and strengths. We see for many of our clients how owning, and fully stepping into their own strengths can be difficult. Why expect anything different from ourselves? While it may not be a direct path to tomorrow's activities and revenue flows, consider how you can be bringing more of your own passions and strengths to the table in the work that you do. What passions and strengths do you lead from, or want to lead from?

#3 - Embrace and reframe failure to "it just didn't work" - Business ownership is not for the faint at heart. Things work, and others don't. The business context today changes so rapidly that whether we are leaders or business owners (or both) we need to be comfortable and keep moving when things done work out.  Innovation requires ongoing iteration where we learn from our experience, tweak and try again. What recently hasn't worked well for you? What is the learning behind this?

#4 - Love the Ones You Are With - For many years CSNY's song "Love the One You Are With" held a special place in my heart as I spent many holidays separated from family and loved ones. In fact, those people who originally were strangers became my second, and third, family and networks of friends. As coaches it is so important that we enjoy, and even, love the people (teams, groups and individuals) we are working with, holding the space for possibility, and excellence. What do you love about your current clients? Who else would you really LOVE to work with?

#5 - Get out of your comfort zone - As professionals we all have our own comfort zones. Every once and while it's important to continue to stretch these to learn new things,  and explore new perspectives. What's going to stretch your comfort zone this month?"

Regardless of how long you have been in business yourself, what would you say are your top five lessons learned?

Have a great week,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC
Group Coaching Essentials | Potentials Realized
 

Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Upcoming programs include: Mentor Coaching Group for ACC Renewals and ACC/PCC portfolio (Thurs 12 - 1 pm ET) and the Advanced Group Coaching Practicum (10 CCes) - Thursdays 1015 -1130 am ET starting May 28th - July 23
(416)996-8326

 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Using the Accordion in support of your group/team coaching design

In the last few weeks I've been supporting a number of coaches who are looking to sharpen their program designs. Given that there is always an inherent tension between pre-design and letting in all go as you hear about what your group members want and need in each coaching conversation, it can be  useful to design keeping the principle of the Accordion in mind. I write about this further in my latest book, From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching, as well as my first book.


As you consider your next group or team coaching conversation, what are the components that can be contracted (shortened) if the group or team also wants to spend some time looking at additional areas? Perhaps the focus of that week's conversation is having the team develop some Team Agreements around how they want to operate with each other, what they can depend on from each other and what their commitments are around other behaviors. Perhaps as the session starts it's apparent than an additional theme of managing in a changed priority realm is also key to the conversation. Keeping the Accordion principle in mind, you may already have something in mind around what can be shortened (or an alternative approach to working ith Team agreements that takes less time).

On the flipside, there may be instances where you want to take a deeper dive in service to the group or team. Thinking of those expansion points are also useful.

For those co-facilitating or co-leading, the principle of the Accordion can be a useful dialogue point so that you together can have a game plan or shared agreement of how you want to "dance" together.

As you consider an upcoming team or group program, consider what your accordion could look like. What are the segments that could be shortened? How might you do that? What segments could be lengthened?

Have a great week,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPT
Potentials Realized
Upcoming programs include the 15 hour Virtual Facilitation Skills Intensive program (5 weeks x 3 hours) - Tuesdays 5-8 pm ET/Wednesday morning Syndney/Tuesdays 2- 5 pm PT: June 1, 8, 16, 23, 30, 2015. This 15 hour program is an online train-the-trainer, supporting you in boosting your facilitation skills, tools and also confidence in working in the virtual environment. While the platform is virtual we will also be exploring tips for in  person facilitation as well. 5 spots open.

Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar (now approved for 8.75 CCEs) starts Friday May 1st at 9:15 am Eastern - 2 spots open

Monday, April 20, 2015

What's the Difference Between Group and Team Coaching?

A common question I often get asked what's the difference between group and team coaching? How are
they different and how are they the same.

I like to call group and team coaching related siblings, and the good news is, many of the skills are the same. What is different is how you might work with each "grouping". There are several key differences in terms of the role of relationships, leadership, how the process is sustained between conversations, and also what's at stake.

An article of mine on these differences between Group and Team Coaching was recently featured at Choice Magazine in the spring edition which spotlights Group and Team Coaching. For practitioners, it's a must read-edition, with other authors included such as Marita Frijohn of CRR and ORSC and David Clutterbuck, author of Coaching the Team At Work.

You can download a copy of my Choice Magazine article over at  the Resources page of the From One to Many website.

You might also find the two digital chapters on case studies which accompany (but are not part of) the From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching book. You can download these two chapters here (use code 4411 when prompted).



What do you see as the differences between group and team coaching? What different approaches do you use with each grouping?










Have a great start to your week,
Jennifer



Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC, CPCC
Potentials Realized | GroupCoachingEssentials
(416)996-8326
Join us for an upcoming program including the Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar, a five week program which explores the foundations of group coaching. Next group starts Friday May 1st at 9 am Eastern - being renewed for 8.75 CCEs with the ICF.