Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Summer Community Call - Five Areas you may want to revisit in your group and team rogram design work

Last week I hosted our summer community call. The focus was on five areas you might want to revisit and tweak within your own group and team programming. In the call I also share the evolution of some of my own programming over the last 12 years, such as the early days of the Your Balanced Life(TM) program in 2004 and how it has evolved into a program which is now licensed for other coaches to offer.

Thanks to those that joined live and who have listened in already. I host these calls quarterly with the intent of shining the light into different areas of our work and also bring people together for dialogue and learning.

I've posted the Call to our Resources page over at FromOneToMany.com - view it here (scroll down to the bottom) or view it on YouTube.

The call runs for 32 minutes. View it here:



Stay tuned for our fall community call which will happen in September!

What's your favorite pointer? Some attendees indicated they liked the piece around engagement, and also hearing about the evolution of some of my program work. Feel free to share your favorite below.

Enjoy
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)
Looking to Building Your Toolkit as a Coach, Trainer or Facilitator? Join us throughout 2016 on Fridays at the LearningLabandDesignStudio.com. Special summer rate on - join us for the rest of the year for $1100 US.
(416)996-8326

Monday, July 18, 2016

Four Activities for Opening Group and Team Coaching Sessions

Having a robust toolkit of activities in your back pocket is a must have for team and group coaches.  Building onto other posts here at the Group Coaching Ins and Outs blog (Four  Ways to Create Coaching Closure with Groups etc), today's post covers four of my favorite activities for opening group and team coaching sessions.

Trust and connection is key to successful coaching conversations, and in a group setting, it is likely that people will not know each other. In a team setting, history, roles and power differentials can also impact trust and connection.

These four activities can be adapted for the different groups and teams you work with:

1. Personal Logos: I've used this activity with multiple groups and teams. With teams it is always really interesting to see what themes emerge from the logos people choose. Instructions are simple, ask people to create a logo which represents what they bring to the group or team. Have them write it down as part of their name card. Get each person to introduce themselves according to their logo. Have the group or team notice the patterns, similarities etc.

2. Visual Cards -
Visual cards can provide a new "spark" for conversation. Lay photographs (your own or a photo deck like Conversation Sparker Cards) out on a table and have people select the card that either:
1. Represents that they bring to the group;
2. Represents their hope for the work together;
3. Signifies where they see the team right now (for teams)

If you have time, you may want to ask people to select a second photo which represents:
1. What they hope to gain or achieve through your work together
2 Where they would like to see the team going (for teams)

Check out one of the blabs I did last fall, dedicated to working with visual cards. As I mentioned in my July Team and Group Coaching Newsletter (subscribe here), one of my biggest sellers at last month's ICF Mid-West Conference was the 40 Ways To Work With Visual Cards E-manual. Check it out here.

3. Patrick Lencioni's Personal Histories
 - Many coaches and trainers love the resources included the Patrick Lencioni's Five Dysfunctions of Team Playbook. One you will want to look up and consider using is his Personal Histories exercise. I have used it with executive teams from mining, full teams involved in television, and also with teams in customer service. When time has been available, it's been a valuable exercise in building connection at the start of one day and longer sessions.

4. And the generic go-round - Who are you, what's brought you here. For virtual shorter calls giving people an opportunity to connect and hear each other's voices can be important and can help with boosting engagement and ownership of the call. When people come to a virtual call and realize that something is a little different with their introductions, it may be easier to cut through the assumption that your program is goingt to be another experience of "Death by Conference Call"

People remember the start and end of things and a memorable kick off can be very important.Taking time to focus on creating the space for trust and connection helps people feel safe to take the conversation to a deeper level, and really bring themselves into the conversation.

What's going to help you feel confident around that? What are your next steps around this?

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)
Looking to Building Your Toolkit as a Coach, Trainer or Facilitator? Join us throughout 2016 on Fridays at the LearningLabandDesignStudio.com. Special summer rate on - join us for the rest of the year for $1100 US.
(416)996-8326

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Four Activities for Coaching Closure with Groups and Teams

Four Activities for Coaching Closure With Groups and Teams
Jennifer Britton, GroupCoachingEssentials.com. Copyright 2016.

It's the early part of June and a popular time of month for many groups to wind down for the summer. In the Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar, and the Advanced Group and Team Coaching Practicum, I get a lot of questions about different activities coaches can use to create closure with the
groups and teams they are coaching. Today's post includes four of my favorites:

1. Photo Cards - Many of you know my love of incorporating different photo cards. They are a different way to "spark conversation" for multi-lingual groups, and connect with people in a different way than questions do.  Whether you are using my Conversation Sparker Cards (TM) or CCL's Visual Explorer, of the Points of You cards, consider bringing these in as part of your closure.

Possible questions can be:
Select the card which represents what's changed for you during our work together.
Select the card which represents what's next for you.
Select the card which highlights your learning.
In a group coaching context you may have each group member select a card, wheras in a team coaching context they may select both an individual card and a shared card.

For more ideas of how to use visual cards check out the 40 Ways to Use Visual Cards e-manual I released a few months ago which includes detailed instructions around how to bring visual cards into your coaching, facilitation and training work around topics like innovation, change, closure, strategic planning etc.

2. Creating a Roadmap of Next steps - Coaching has goals, action and awareness at its core. What are the next steps the group or team members are committing to? Who will they be accountable to? Have people either write these out, or jot them down in a one page plan (check out this month's newsletter for a downloadable One Page Plan). You can also give them a blank roadmap and have them write out their next steps. This is something I incorporate into alot of my own programming, and it has a different impact that just writing it out in a table.

3. Appreciations - This spring I 've been doing a lot of work with global, virtual and intact teams. In today's business world there is not a lot of time built in for sharing with peers. That can be one of the major benefits of team and group coaching processes. Leave time for group members to share appreciations with each other. A small token may help to lock in the learning, or a written piece of paper with comments from peers may solidify the coaching process and be a valuable takeaway for each group member.

4. Closure Metaphors - Metaphors are a powerful tool for coaches. Whether we are creating these through drawings, or photos or verbally, what is the metaphor people are closing off with?

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

You may also want to check out my 2006 post on The Importance of Closure For Groups here.

As popular a time a year it is to close off with groups, summer is also a popular time to start new groups. Next week's post is going to focus on four activities for kicking off your group and team coaching. Stay tuned!

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)
Join us throughout 2016 on Fridays at the LearningLabandDesignStudio.com
(416)996-8326

 You'll get hands-on practice in more than 24 group and team coaching activities during the July 14-15 Group and Team Coaching Intensive - Join us in beautiful Bracebridge Muskoka on July 14-15
(Thursday and Friday) for a two day hands on training around best practices for team and group coaching. We have just submitted a CCE renewal application for 19 hrs (including 17 hrs core competencies). Register with a colleague and each save $200 plus tax. Special room rates available for those coming in from out of town. Bracebridge is 2 hours north of Toronto, easily accessible by bus (takes you to the front door of the venue!) and car.
Can't join us this summer in person? Consider the Summer 2016 sessions of the Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar (starts Thursday July 7th at 10:30 am ET - 8.75 CCEs) and/or the Advanced Group Coaching PRacticum (starts Thursday July 14th at 12 noon ET - 10 CCEs)



Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Five Posts on Creating Awareness in Group and Team Coaching

I'm sure that if you are a coach you too often get asked, "What makes coaching different from other modalities?". I often point people (prospective clients, organizations etc) over to the research the ICF has done over the years, including the 2009 Global Coaching Client Survey. Goals, Action, Awareness and ongoing accountability were all highlighted by clients in that survey as being definers of the coaching process.

A few weeks ago my post looked at Five Past Posts I had written on Goals. Goals to me are the foundation and starting point of any coaching process, especially for teams and groups. In a team you will likely have the team focusing on collective goals, and also possibly have individual members working on goals. In a  group coaching process, while there may be a shared META goal such as "I want to grow my business" or "enhance my work life harmony" it is likely that each group member may be working towards separate, and possibly unrelated goals.

In today's post I wanted to highlight another layer of the team and group coaching process. once goals are clear, we then want to focus on creating opportunities for group or team coaching clients to expand awareness around their goals, their vision etc. The land of Awareness in coaching might take us into the terrain of:
Values
Assumptions
Paradigms
Beliefs - empowering beliefs, limiting beliefs (including Saboteurs/Gremlins/Inner Critics - depending on the coaching models you are using)
Future/Ideal/Best Self
Other selves
Perspectives
Enablers/Derailers
Opportunities/Roadblocks
etc.

This can be a very rich area to be coaching in, and I always like to assert that in coaching for awareness and action it's not always a 50/50 balance. This week notice where you are spending your time with different clients/groups/teams - what's the mix of action and awareness?

Here are five past posts I've written here at the blog on the topic of Creating Awareness:

Six Powerful Questions to Deepen Awareness - Click here to read

Group and Team Coaching: Four Elements of Good Design - Click here to read

Group Coaching : Awareness and Action Through Questions - Click here to read

Six Ways to Bring Visuals into Your Work with Groups and Teams - Click here to read

Exercises for Group Coaching - The Importance of Closure - Click here to read

Have a great week,
Jennifer

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

Creating Awareness is one of the 11 core coaching competencies of the ICF. We explore this in greater depth during the Mentor Coaching Group. Next group starts Thursday June 2nd at 9:15 am ET by phone/zoom. 3 month program - 10 hours. Click here to learn more or reserve your spot.http://www.groupcoachingessentials.com/pages/mentorcoachinggroup

We explore the topic of creating awareness in the Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar as well as the Group and Team Coaching Intensive - Join us in beautiful Bracebridge Muskoka on July 14-15 (Thursday and Friday) for a two day hands on training around best practices for team and group coaching. We have just submitted a CCE renewal application for 19 hrs (including 17 hrs core competencies). Register with a colleague and each save $200 plus tax. Special room rates available for those coming in from out of town. Bracebridge is 2 hours north of Toronto, easily accessible by bus (takes you to the front door of the venue!) and car.


Friday, May 27, 2016

What to Look for in a Mentor Coach

Since 2006 I've been involved as a mentor coaching in supporting CPCC candidates through the CTI coach training program, and since 2007, coaches from all backgrounds through the ICF ACC and PCC credentialing process. Whether I'm working one-on-one as a mentor coach or taking small groups of coaches through the Mentor Coaching Group process, I continue to love the learning and sharpening of skills that happens through the process.

As coaches start exploring what mentor coaching is, and the myriad of possibilities which exist, it can be useful to consider the following as you look for a mentor coach:

1  What skills, knowledge and experience does the mentor coach bring? How does this match what you are looking for?
2.  What coaching skills training have they undertaken? What coaching models do they use or integrate into their work?
3. How do they keep their skills sharp? What regular learning do they undertake?
4. How do they demonstrate their understanding of the ICF core competences?
5. What has been their experience in supporting others through the mentor coaching process? What experience do they have with coaching? (Consider their experience in the types of clients they support, the different industries they work in, if they expand their work outside of 1-1 coaching to incorporate other areas)
6. What resources are they connected to which can help you learn, grow and sharpen your skills?
7. What do you notice about the fit between the two of you? How can they support you in your development?

 Finally....What are your preferences for being supported? Do you want to take the deep dive of doing all your 10 hours of mentor coaching 1-1, or would you like to mix it in participating in a smaller group. ICF allows for 7 of the 10 hours of mentor coaching to be undertaken in a small group context. This can provide the benefit of seeing other coaching styles at play and learning from peers who might bring different coaching approaches and resources to the work.

Several years ago I wrote an article for Choice Magazine on the considerations in developing your skills as a mentor coach. While it is several years old now, the points are still very relevant. Download your own copy of my Choice Article "Mentor Coaching: Developing  Your Muscle and Refining Your Craft " here.  Check out the questions I have posed in the side bars on page 32. These are questions a mentor coach should be able to answer quickly if you reach out and interview several before choosing one.

AS you go about thinking about how to sharpen your coaching skills to take them to the next level, what's going to be important for you?

If you are looking for some support from a mentor coach like myself, please reach out and email me and let's see how we fit. I offer Mentor coaching Groups for ACC renewals and ACC/PCC portfolio routes (10 hours including 7 hour small group) and also individual mentor coaching (for CPCC and also ACC/PCC).  The next Mentor Coaching Group will be held by zoom on Thursdays from 915-1015 am ET starting on June 3rd running to September 8th. Click here to learn more and reserve your spot.

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

2.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Five Posts on Coaching Goals

Welcome back to another top five series, where I'm pulling together some past posts from the last 12
years as we look at different coaching competencies of the International Coach Federation.

Planning and Goal Setting is one of the eleven core coaching competencies of the International Coach Federation. You can view the ICF competencies here.

ICF defines Planning and Goal Setting as "the ability to develop and maintain an effective coaching plan with the client".

 Consider what you do to support your clients in goal setting and focus. My guess is that it looks a little different whether you are focusing on individual coaching, group coaching, and team coaching.

At the core of my work across these three modalities, is the One Page Plan. Providing clients (individuals, groups and teams) with the opportunity to write out their top 3-5 goals during our work together and keeping them visible in one page is key for success with many of my clients. From the One Page Plan I have people creating MindMaps or using Post Its or Index Cards. Within a team context people may have their own individual plan as well as a collective one.

What are your best practices around goal setting and suppport? As always, please feel free to comment below.

Here are five past posts from the Group Coaching Ins and Outs blog which explore this foundational topic area:

From March 2016: Six Coaching Questions Around Goals. Click here to read.

Goal Setting at Multiple Levels in Group and Team Coaching - Click here to read this 2014 post.

Core Coaching Competency - Goal Setting - Click here to read this 2013 post.

A reminder of the 1% rule to business development - Click here to read this 2012 post.

The Power of a One Page Plan. Click here to read this 2015 post. 

What resources do you recommend as a coach? Please feel free to share these with others in comments or over at the Effective Group Coaching Facebook page. 

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
Goal setting is something we explore in the Mentor Coaching Group for ACC Renewals and ACC/ PCC portfolio - next group starts Thursday June 2nd at 915 am ET. Runs to September 8th.

We'll also be exploring goal setting in the context of group and team coaching during the 6th Annual Group and Team Coaching Intensive which will run in person on July 14-15 in beautiful Muskoka Canada. Early bird savings on until May 30th.



Thursday, May 19, 2016

Five posts on Supporting Accountability in Group and Team Coaching

Over the last eleven years since this blog launched, I've written hundreds of blog posts. Over the next
few months I'll be trolling through some of my older posts, dusting them off and pointing you to them in a new way. Today marks the start of a new series of Top Fives! In today's era of information overwhelm, it can be nice to have information curated, and that's what this series will do.

In the speaking, writing and training work I do with coaches interested in group and team coaching. I often get asked about how the core coaching competencies look when working with groups and teams. In light of this we'll start our Top Five series will a list of five posts which have addressed the topic of Supporting Accountability.

Competency #11 is about Managing Progress and Accountability with the International Coach Federation (ICF). They define Managing progress and accountability is "the ability to hold attention on what is important for the client, and to leave responsibility with the client to take action". Core skills found here relate to returning back to/following through on the coaching plan and goals the client has identified, working between the 30,000 foot view (the big picture and/or vision) and also the immediate focus areas of the clients, and also leaving responsibility with the client to take action. The client in coaching is always the one driving the bus - whether they are an individual, a group or team.

Throughout the last six years of running Mentor Coaching Groups for those working towards their ICF ACC or PCC credential or renewing their ACC, this is an area many coaches are interested in and want to hone. 

Take a look at some of these posts which address accountability in team and group coaching:
The Role of Accountability in Group Coaching - Click here to read this May 2013 post

Six Ideas for Field Work in your next Coaching Engagement - Cick here to read this November 2013 post

Accountability and Group Coaching - Click here to read this 2011 post.

A 2007 post on Creating Accountability Structures - Click here to read post.

The Value of a Team Coach - Check out this 2014 post which goes into some of the benefits of working with a team coach.

Questions to consider:
What accountability structures, processes and frameworks do you create with your clients?
What does accountability mean for them?
How do you foster the client taking the lead around accountability in coaching?
How does accountability look different with groups, teams and individuals you work with?

Have a great weekend,
Jennifer

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

A reminder that the next Mentor Coaching Group for ACC Renewals and ACC/PCC will take place on Thursdays from 9-10 am ET starting June 2nd running to early September. There are still 4 spots open - learn more and reserve your space here.

Also, the Early Bird rate for the 6th Annual Group and Team Coaching Intensive will be ending on May 30th.  The program will be held in Muskoka, Canada on Thursday and Friday July 14 - 15.  We will be applying to have the program renewed for 19 CCEs with the ICF. Over the two days we take a dive into the related disciplines of group and team coaching, also giving you ample practice and feedback on your skills. You can access the Early Bird rate through our most recent newsletter - click here to access.