Friday, December 12, 2014

11th Annual Year End Group Programs Call with Jennifer Britton

This week it was a pleasure to host two separate events in honor of the 11th Annual Year End Group Programs call. This call has been an annual tradition for me since my first year of business, where I highlight some of the trends in the world of group programs. Even as the world of business has changed, I know many of you look forward to this call, and listen to it over the holidays when you have more time.

This year I wanted to bring you the content in two different ways:

The first, as a 45 minute screen cast, which as you will see, will take you through some key highlights from 2014 for group and team coaching, some 2015 possibilities for our work, and a couple of activities to support you in reflecting on your year, and what lies ahead for you. The nice thing about the screen cast is you can watch it on demand as your time allows.

You can view the 45 minute screen cast here - so please grab a coffee, a note pad (for the two activities) and a comfy chair:
video


I also hosted a shorter 30 minute call for those who were interested in more of the traditional drop in call (no screensharing) which you can listen to here. The focus does not go as deep, nor does it include the exercises the screencast does. You can listen to that here (flash required which may make it difficult to listen to on mobile devices):

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Next year, I will be continuing to offer either the screen cast or drop in call for the alumni community every quarter. Depending on your questions and interest, I may also be supplementing this with other screen casts and videos.

What are your biggest questions about group and team coaching for 2015? Feel free to send them to me and I can spotlight them in one these upcoming calls, videos or screencasts.

It's also that time of year for creating and developing a vision for 2015. While I continue to offer virtual business retreats a couple of times a year, I know it is hard for many of you to attend live. I am really pleased to announce that I now offer a virtual retreat you can access 24/7 at your own pace. For those interested in taking advantage of the special rate for my newest on-demand course - the Inner Biz Leader(TM) Virtual Business Planning Retreat - you can save $100 on this seven hour virtual business planning retreat by using this special link to register for the program on Udemy. there are 14 spots available at the special pricing of $97 US (instead of $197) for the first 14 who take advantage of it before the coupons run out or December 17th (at midnight PT). Again this is a video based virtual retreat program which includes seven hours of structured activities to support you in creating your vision and plan for 2015, along with exploring your own internal (inner) business foundations - strengths, values and opportunities. Enjoy!

Have a great holiday!
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC, CPT
GroupCoachingEssentials.com | Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
(416)996-8326

Join us for a 2015 program including the Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar starting Thursday January 8th (6.75 CCEs),  the 10 week Virtual Facilitation Skills program starting Thursday January 15th at 11:45 am ET OR one of the Mentor Coaching Groups (for ACC Renewal and ACC/PCC portfolio routes) starting Monday January 12 or Friday January 30th.
 
You can also access our NEW On-Demand Inner Biz Leader(TM) Virtual Business Planning Retreat for Leaders and Business Owners at Udemy 24/7, 365 days a year!





Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Top Ten Group and Team Coaching Posts of 2014

As we start to wind down the year it's an opportunity to take stock of the year, what's changed and what
may lay ahead.

I'll be hosting my Annual Year End call later this week. One of the continued changes this year is that coaches continue to enjoy the on-demand format of learning. If you would like to join me "live" for this annual year end tradition, please join me this Friday December 12th  at 2 pm Eastern/Toronto at 1-857-232-0155 access 503003. The call will run for 30 minutes. Your only cost is your own long distance charges, and of course, your time! I'll post the link next week to the recording, in case you are not able to make it.

For the next few weeks we'll take a look back at some of the key themes and favorites for the year and what lies ahead, starting with today's post on the Top most-read posts for 2014. Enjoy!

I started with the top five and then realized that there were way more than five posts this past year that were widely read. Here are some of the most widely read for the year (in random order):

Four Stretch Points for Group and Team Coaches: January 27, 2014: Read it here

Audio Post - Group and Team Coaching Process: June 14, 2014: Read it here

March Video - Virtual Programming: March 24, 2014:  Read it here.

Team Coaching and Team Building - March 3, 2014 and Feb Newsletter: Read it here

Creating Conversation Amongst Group Members - February 2014: Read it here

Four Facilitation Tehcniques to Benefit Any Team or Group Coach - September 15, 2014: Read it here

Key  Elements In Starting a Group or Team Coaching Engagement - August 18, 2014: Read it here

Five From One to Many Tips - August 9, 2014: Read Here

Four Neuroscience and Learning Considerations with Group Coaching (July 31, 2014) - Read here

Which posts have been your favorite? What would you like to see covered in 2015? As always, please feel free to comment below.

With best wishes
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC, CPT
GroupCoachingEssentials.com | Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
(416)996-8326

Join us for a 2015 program including the Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar starting Thursday January 8th (6.75 CCEs),  the 10 week Virtual Facilitation Skills program.
You can also access our NEW On-Demand Inner Biz Leader(TM) Virtual Business Planning Retreat for Leaders and Business Owners at Udemy




Monday, November 24, 2014

Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar for 2014 starts Tuesday Nov 25 at 12:45 pm ET: 6.75 CCEs

Are you looking to get your own group coaching work out into the world in 2015? Looking to not have to reinvent the wheel by building onto best practices, and also wanting to create something unique for your own client groups? The last Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar series for 2014 will start tomorrow, Tuesday November 25th and will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays (no class November 27th) until December 11th. The program is approved for 6.75 CCEs with the ICF.

Over this accelerated three week period, each call you'll be breathing life into the design, approaches, marketing and implementation of your program. Calls are 75 minutes each and will be held on Tuesdays from 12:45 - 2 pm ET/New York, and Thursdays from 1 - 2:15 pm ET/New York. Short assignments accompany each session so you can end the program with a draft in hand.

We'll be exploring topics including:
* What can group coaching look like?  How does it differ from 1-1 coaching?
* What best practices underpin this work?
* Exercises and Resources to incorporate into your work
* Structuring a program for your client needs (whether it is in person, virtual, corporate or public)
*  Tricky Issues
* Marketing your programming - promotion, finding your sweetspot, pricing

In addition to the five group calls you will have access to me for short 1-1 15 minute lazer calls, and will also benefit from session module notes, which include a number of resource links for you to follow-up with. Cost: $425 US. Calls are recorded if you can't make a session.

I hope that you'll jump in and join us to start bringing your group program ideas to life for 2014!

Best wishes,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC, CPCC
GroupCoachingEssentials
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Three Practices for Gratitude

As we move into the year-end holiday season it’s an opportunity to stop and pause, as well as connect
with those we might not see regularly. It is an opportune time to be grateful. Gratitude as a practice has many physiological and psychological benefits, including higher levels of optimism, increased positivity, more pro-social relationships , happier relationships, and also lower levels of toxic thoughts.
This fall I returned to school as a student and participate in the first Positive Psychology MOOC (Massive Online Open Enrollment Course) hosted by University of Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center.  As we explored the research around gratitude I was not surprised about the impact of gratitude. As many of you know I spent several years working in youth leadership development in the late 1980s and early 1990s. One of the most popular books at the time was “10,000 things to be happy about”. My own lists of “things to be happy about” became a standard practice for my work throughout Algonquin Park  and throughout my decade plus of journaling while I worked globally with international NGOs and the UN.   Through some of the more stressful moments of my leadership experiences globally these lists remained a beacon of light and grounding for me.
As coaches, many of our clients are looking to create more space to pause and practice gratitude. Today’s blog post looks at three practices which focus on gratitude. 
Practice #1 - Gratitude Journal
The practice of keeping a gratitude journal has been shown to be very effective as a practice. Keeping a journal of things you are grateful for is a great way to also focus attention. As a practice, set aside time once a week to write down five things you are grateful for. Use this as an opportunity to connect with the experience, how it made you feel as well as other details. Interestingly enough researchers have found that journaling too frequently did not have the same impact of doing it once a week.
Practice #2 - Take It Online - A Digital Gratitude Journal
The Center for Greater Good has launched an online digital gratitude journal to study the impact of gratitude. Entited, Thnx4u.org, you can access it at: http://thnx4.org/. Similar to the paper based Gratitude Journal idea,  this digital approach may hold appeal for some of the clients you work with who prefer the online experience.
Practice #3 - Gratitude Letter
A third practice is to write a letter to someone you are grateful to. Describe what you are grateful for, and plan to share this with them, in person, by phone. The act of sharing it is as important as writing the letter. Who are you grateful for?
On the group and team realm, these are all practices people can undertake individually. It can also be useful to build in time during team and group coaching  sessions for sharing gratitude and acknowledgements across the team or group.
Positive psychology and neuroscience are two key areas coaches can benefit learning from, and sharing with their clients. What's on your learning list for 2015?
What other approaches and practices do you recommend around gratitude? As always, please feel free to comment below.
Have a great week,
Jennifer
 Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC, CPT
GroupCoachingEssentials.com | Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
(416)996-8326
Join us for one of our year end 2014 programs which include:
The Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar - Tues/Thurs 1 - 2:15 pm ET November 25, December 2, 4, 9 and 11, 2014 (6.75 CCEs)
The two day in person Facilitation Skills Intensive (a two day train-the-trainer): December 15-16, 2014 (Downtown Toronto)
Virtual Business Planning Retreat for Coaches - Wednesdays 4:30 -7:30 pm ET by phone: December 3 and 10, 2014.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Virtual Facilitation Skills Intensive - November 25-26, 2014

Are you looking to add teleclasses, webinars or virtual group or team coaching to your mix for
2015? Looking for resources and practice to support you in acquiring and sharpening your skills as a virtual facilitator? Join Effective Group Coaching author Jennifer Britton for a two day online train-the-trainer. Since 2004 Jenn has led thousands of hours in the virtual classroom - from skype, to zoom, to bridgelines and webinars. She has packaged up her most critical tips, tools and resources in the two day Virtual Facilitation Intensive. It is a two day online train-the-trainer, where you not only learn, but get to practice facilitation in the virtual environment.

The program will be held on Tuesday November 25 and Wednesday November 26th online from 8:00 - 4:30 pm ET.

Topics we will cover:
Foundations of Adult Education andVirtual Learning
Core Virtual Faciltiation Skills
Designing Powerful Virtual Programs
Systems for Virtual Facilitation - Skype, Zoom, Bridgelines, Webinar
Tools and Resources for Facilitation (creating connection, consensus building, strategic planning, openers and closers etc)
Engagement issues
Tricky issues and Dificult Participants
plus you will have multiple opportunities to practice and get feedback on your skills.

What you will need:
Access to a computer and long distance phone throughout the two days
Skype account

We will be taking breaks throughout the two days, just as in a face-to-face environment. Further details will be sent out about other preparation to make the most of the two days.

Your registration includes:
The two-day program
A program e-manual
A dozen templates to support you in  your own virtual programming work
A pre-call with me
A follow-up group call in mid-December (to be set by group)

Cost: $950 US (payable in one or two installments)

Click here to learn more and register. Space is limited to 5-6 participants.

Questions? Please email me or phone (416)996-8326

With best wishes,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching
(416)996-8326

Prefer to learn in person? There are still spots in the two day Facilitation Skills Intensive program which will be held in Downtown Toronto on Monday December 15 and Tuesday December 16. More information at FacilitationSkillsIntensive.com.




Virtual Facilitation Tips 13 and 14

Today's post covers virtual facilitation tips 13 and 14. In a couple of weeks on November 25 and 26th I will be hosting a two day Virtual Facilitation Skills Intensive, a two-day online train-the-trainer for coaches and other professionals who want to sharpen their virtual facilitation skills. We'll be covering the A-Z of virtual facilitation, including giving you practice on many different platforms. You can read more about the program here and reserve your spot here.

Today we're going to look at virtual facilitation tips 13 and 14:

 Virtual Facilitation Tip 13 encourages us to leave space and time for silence. Many facilitators may initially feel uncomfortable with silence on the line, and it is important to leave time for reflection, capturing thoughts and getting grounded. What is the pace of the program you are running? Is it too fast? Too slow? When you do have multiple touch-points with a group, and trust and connection is formed, you will likely find that there is less "itchyness" around pauses and silence. Having a timer or clock with a second hand at your desk is useful to really see how long it takes. If you are using a shared whiteboard, you may also want to specify how much time people have for reflection (i.e. over the next two minutes I am going to invite you to...) and share the countdown timer with them.




Virtual Faciltiation tip 14 encourges us to have a back-up for recording. Many of your group members may want to go back at a future date and listen back/watch the recording of the call. Most bridgeline services offer this option. As a facilitator you will want to know how to record, share and download the recordings. Always have a back up as sometimes the original recording does not work. My back up is usually the voice recorder on my computer system, and I file away my recordings using One Note.
For your original bridgeline recording services you may be using free ones (which still do incur a long-distance charge to dial into) such as FreeConferenceCalling.com or FreeConferencing.com, or a paid service such as Maestro Conferencing. Part of your own development as a virtual facilitator will be to explore these different options, to explore the pros and cons of each and see which ones you like. We'll be covering this in a few weeks at the Virtual Facilitation Intensive.

Have a great week,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC, CPT
GroupCoachingEssentials.com | Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
(416)996-8326

Monday, November 03, 2014

Group and Team Coaching : Four Key Areas

This past weekend I hosted the Group and Team Coaching  Intensive here in Toronto and had the
chance to work with an exceptional group of coaches. Over the weekend we took a deep dive into the best practices, skills and approaches to working with groups and teams as a coach. We looked at the benefits of group coaching, as well as expanding our toolbox with resources.

I thought that you might be interested in some of the key themes we touched on throughout the weekend including:

1. Having a variety of tools to draw on makes your work with groups and teams even richer and more powerful. AS you move through the coming weeks take stock of everything you already have in your toolbox. Placing these on a MindMap can be really useful as a one page resource, as well as seeing these laid out with possible interconnections.

2. Group coaching is  a small group intimate conversation which takes place over multiple touch points. While we can being group coaching approaches into workshops, teleclasses, the real coaching conversations which take place in groups require trust and connection. This means that the smaller the group, the better. In fact, most coaching groups may only be 4-8 group members. Here's a link to one of my 2011 articles which appeared in Choice Magazine, exploring what else is important in group coaching.

3. Group and Team Coaching is an extension of the core coaching competencies. Here's a link to the International Coach Federation competency model which should underpin every group and team coaching conversation. Team and group coaching approaches are grounded in goals (as set by the clients - individual and collective (especially with teams) and provides accountability for movement and insights. Group and Team coaching is a sustained series of conversations, supporting groups and teams through the process of change.

4. Where we place attention: In a team coaching conversation we want to place emphasis on the collective focus of the team, and sometimes the individual development of each member. In group coaching it is more likely to be focusing on the individual development of each member especially if there is no bond that draws them together on a regular basis outside of the coaching.

As you consider the work you have been undertaking, or the work you are creating, what do you notice about key themes and areas which are important.

Have a great week,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC, CPT
GroupCoachingEssentials.com | Potentials Realized
(416)996-8326

Join us for an upcoming program including:
Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar (6.75 CCEs with ICF): Fridays 10:15 - 11:30 am ET November 7, 14, 21, December 5 and 12. A resource rich look at best practices and techniques around design, implementation and marketing your programs.
Mentor Coaching Group - For ICF Credentialing - Mondays 9-10 am ET/New York: November 10 - February 10, 2015. 10 hours including 7 hrs of group calls.
Virtual Facilitation Skills Intensive - A two day online train the trainer geared for those who want to run virtual programs (webinars, teleclasses, virtual retreats  etc) Tuesday November 25-Wednesday November 26.