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 Britton, MES, CPT, PCC, CPCC
Potentials Realized | GroupCoachingEssentials
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.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Power of a One -Page Plan

Supporting our clients with goal setting is a critical part of any coaching conversation, whether we are working with individuals, teams or groups. Support for goal setting at both the macro- or Meta levels (the big picture of our life and work) as well as at the micro- or more immediate level, can serve as the frame for our conversations
Over the years whether I have been coaching professionals and leaders individually or in groups, I've become quite fond of getting my clients to develop a one-page plan. I should preface this with the fact that many of my clients operate in data and file overload and that anything we add on should serve to simplify, rather than expand. This makes the popularity of a one-page plan quite consistent whether I am working with emerging leaders, new business owners or authors.

Prior to the start of our first coahing  onversation (whether it's a first group coaching call, or an individual intake session) I ask clients what are their top 3-5 goals for our work toether. This usually gets people thinking. I get them to elaborate on this fruther in our first conversation, and usually ask them to complete the first draft of their One Page plan (see photo above) between session 1 and 2.

Part of our focus in a second group coaching call is usually a sharing of these one page plans amongst group members. I ask group members to bring this with them to each of our group coaching conversations and will often ask them to make reference to how they are proceeding with their plans specifically at the start of each session. Having group members share their plans (in the confidential forum) can be very empowering and it can add onto the peer accountability mechanism as well.

Questions to consider:
What do you do to support individual goal setting and tracking in your coaching work?
What frameworks do your clients enjoy?
How do your clients track their progress?
What tools would you recommend to others?

As always, please feel free to comment below and let us know your thoughts.

Have a great week, What's your most important goal this week?

Best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC, CPT | Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Goal setting is something we explore in the Mentor Coaching Group for ACC Renewals and ACC/ PCC portfolio - next group starts Monday April 20th at 10:30 am ET. 3 spots still open.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

April 2015 Upcoming Programs: Advanced Group Coaching Practicum, Group Coaching Essentials, Mentor Coaching

It's a new month and a busy one for us at Potentials Realized and Group Coaching Essentials. I've got a number of upcoming programs which you might be interested in:

Group Coaching Essentials (CCE renewal in process - 6.25 - 8.25 hrs) - 3 spots open
Thursdays 10:15 - 11:30 am Eastern/New York: April 9, 16, 23, 30 and May 14, 2015
Looking to boost your toolkit in the foundations of Group Coaching? One of our flagship programs, this five week teleseminar covers practical tips in the areas of designing, marketing and implementation of group coaching programs. Weekly assignments support you in moving from vision to a draft of your own program. Registration includes the 5 group calls, weekly 15 minute lazer calls with me, and weekly module notes (15-20 pages of content and resources). Cost: $425 US.  Click here to learn more and reserve your spot.

Advanced Group Coaching Practicum (10 CCEs - including 9.25 hours of Core Competencies)
Thursdays 1:30 pm Eastern - 2:45 pm: April 9, 16, 23, 30 and May 14 and 21, 2015- 3 spots

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, Google Hangouts etc.

Cost: $495 US or $495 CDN (plus HST)

Here's what past participants have said about the program:

"I highly recommend the Advanced Group Practicum with Jennifer. It provided me with tools and insights to be able to develop and implement my own group coaching program. The materials and content over delivered so the value enormous. The practicum was awesome and it gave me a safe space to try a group coaching and to receive feedback.  I would do it again!”
Cindy Hooker, CPCC, ACC,Gold Dog Consulting,
 "The Advanced Group Coaching class created an environment where I finally gained the courage to try it out! I was fully supported by the wonderful leadership of Jennifer Britton, equipped with great planning tools, a safe space to explore new technology, freedom for creativity, wonderful collaborative learning, and a very positive environment to grow ~ a true gift! Truly life changing for me :)"
- Coach Michelle Mullins

Mentor Coaching Groups for ACC Renewals and ACC/PCC (portfolio Routes and ATSCH)
Mondays 10:30-11:30 am Eastern: April 20 - mid July 2015 - 4 spots open
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)
Click here to learn more and reserve your spot in one of the spring group.

I do hope you will join us this spring!

Questions? Please contact me by email or phone.

Have a great start to April,

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)

Monday, March 09, 2015

Creating Shared Expectations and Shared Agreements Early on is Key

Over the past few weeks I've been leading a lot of in person programming - from coaching skills training
for leaders, to team coaching engagements and leading facilitation skills training. What's been so important for success in all of these engagements has been working with each group and team around creating shared agreements and creating shared expectations early on in our work. Checking in to see  how we are doing along the way has also been critical in creating the space for WOW programming.

Whether you are coaching, training or facilitating it is important to have dialogue with the groups and teams we are working with around how we will operate. What is, and what is not, acceptable. For example, what agreements are around phone and technology use, start and tend times, as well as respect for the differences which inevitably exist within a group or team of individuals. Confidentiality is another area which will be important to define.

Our ability to walk our talk - returning back from break early ourselves and starting as we said we would or putting our own phone away - is part of the equation as well, and is inherent in building trust.

Questions to consider: What are the shared agreements the team/group you are working with wants to create? Where will you build in time for this conversation? How much time do you think it will take?

A related area for group connection is creating shared expectations with you and with each other. What can your group or team members count on from you? From each other? Expect from you/each other? Are you a diplomat, or a on-the-table truth teller. Really, what can people expect. As coaches it is critical to be ourselves and also to let people know what they can expect.

Questions to consider: What can groups or teams expect from you? What can they count on you for? What can they count on from each other? What strengths do they each bring? What is the role you find you comfortably play? What are your biases?

As you go to launch new programs consider how you want to support the group in creating shared expectations and shared agreements early on.

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC, CPT | 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 me for a spring program -
Advanced Group Coaching Practicum (now 10 CCEs with the ICF including 9.25 hrs of core competencies): Thursdays 1:30 - 2:45 pm ET starting April 9th
Group Coaching Essentials - Thursdays 10:15 - 11:30 am ET starting March 26th
Mentor Coaching Group - for ACC Renewals, ACC/PCC portfolio - Thursdays 9-10 am ET starting March 26th or Mondays 1030-1130am Eastern/New York starting mid-April 
OR join me in Toronto (in person or virtual) the weekend of April 11-12 for the Team and Group Coaching Intensive (being renewed for at least 15 CCES)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Join me Thursday and Friday for a two day train-the-trainer - In person or by skype

I'm so looking forward to innovating with several of you later this week as the Facilitation Skills Intensive program goes virtual and in-person at the same time. For most of us across North America this winter we've been pummeled by snow, record breaking cold  AND the show must go on! This Thursday and Friday I'll be opening the Facilitation Skills Intensive program, a two day in-person train-the-trainer, to skype participants.

Over the course of the two days we'll be:
  • Looking at creating powerful, and engaging, group and team processes
  • Identifying how our skills stack up as facilitators
  • Building our toolbox! Exploring more than 2 dozen facilitation techniques to help groups gain consensus, prioritize, problem solve, plan etc.
  • Discovering key tips for making any presentation or learning event more impactful
  • Experimenting with how to create rich learning environments when blending in person and virtual participants - through our own experience!!!!
The program will be held from 830 - 4:30 pm Eastern/Toronto Thursday and Friday February 26 and 27 in downtown Toronto (College and Yonge). Can't join us in person? Join via skype for the two day program and you'll be able to participate in small group discussions, and even lead us through dialogue!

In addition to a 100 plus page binder, the two days of training, and a group follow-up call, you'll get to connect with a variety of other professionals undertaking this work in organizations and communities.

Download a two page program description here. Cost for the program is $850 CDN plus HST. Joining us via skype? Benefit from a great US/Canadian exchange rate! Register with a colleague and each save 15% - Payment links here.

Hope that you will join me later this week!

With best wishes,

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

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Three Keys in Marketing Your Group Coaching Work

Three Keys in Marketing Your Group Coaching Work
Jennifer Britton, 2015. All Rights Reserved

Business development and marketing are usually not what attract coaches to the profession. AND it is inherently a critical part of what most of us do to build a sustainable business particularly if you are a solopreneur.  It's pretty common to be asked several times a month "how do I fill my groups when I am a group coach"? For many of us who opt to run group programs to the public, marketing is a key, on-going activity. The specifics of what that marketing will entail is going to look different for each coach based on his or her client needs, AND
there are some key principles in marketing group coaching. Today's post looks at three key principles, and encourage you through questions to consider what it can look like for your own work.

1. Consider your Sweet Spot. Inspired by Jim Collin's Hedgehog Principle in Good to Great, the Sweet Spot gets us to think about What I'm great at? What I'm passionate about? and What my clients want, need and prefer. This place of overlap is a place of leverage. you can read more about it in Effective Group Coaching (pg 157-158) or in the digital marketing chapter of From One To Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching. (Use code 4411). Reflecting on these three questions can provide some interesting insights around leverage, and possible quick wins and traction points for marketing.  It's been interesting to meet many coaches who have now gone through this exercise as part of their own coach training process.

Questions to consider are:
What is your sweet spot? 
What do your clients really want? 
What are they looking for? 
What can you provide as a solution to this need? 
What will this look like?

Read a 2007 post I wrote about Leverage and Impact and Marketing for Coaches here.

2. Be consistent with a strategy  - As you get clearer on who your ideal clients are, what lights you up, and where your strengths lie, you will develop a better sense of what you want to include in your strategy. Your strategy for business development, building relationships, developing a platform and also promotion. Notice these are all different things. Have a plan, work the plan as we used to say, and take consistent action.

In group coaching particularly numbers are key as are relationships. Filling groups may take time and it is important that you are communicating about programs regularly. I continue to go against the grain of other marketing "experts" and advocate with group coaching that it can be important to offer multiple dates at at time and let people know about how frequently programs will be offered. In my own work this has paid off time and time again, where people are able to budget and plan for attendance.

The marketplace continues to shift and change. As I look at blogging, something I have been involved with actively for 10 years now, I smile when I hear "experts" saying that blogging is a #1 strategy for getting business. Track your results, and know what is important to your people. Leverage the strengths you bring and notice over time where you get your traction. The great thing with something such as blogging is that over time it does create a "digital footprint", which can be more easily traced and followed over the longer-term compared to otehr social media strategies. Again, it's one part of a strategy!
Questions to consider: What is my strategy? Where do I want to put attention, resources etc? What does consistency mean for me in marketing? How will I track my results?

Read my 2011 Coaching Business Builder blog post on Focus, Track and Consistency here.

3. Experiment -Not all coaches are entrepreneurs, embracing risk. At the same time, in service to designing with our clients the best solution for them, we need to experiment. We may need to go out of our comfort  zone in using new technologies, or returning to old ones, in order to create the richest environment for dialogue.
As this relates to marketing, listen to the adage of "experts" (myself included!) with the lens of what's going to work best for me, and for my clients. In this work it is not a one-size fits all solution. Experimentation and trying things out is key to finding the strategies and approaches that will work best for you and your clients. 

Read my post from earlier this year on Experimentation an Our Work as Coaches here.

Question to consider: What does experimentation mean for me as it relates to marketing?

As you consider what you want to create during 2015 around group coaching, what's the question you want to consider around marketing success for you and your clients? What's the action you want to take?

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Group Coaching - Next classes start this Thursday February 12th at 10:15 am ET (3 spaces still open) and in early April 2015
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)

In case you are interested I've just released my second on-demand video training at Udemy on Tips for Your Group and Team Programs. Based on my 2014 e-book, 28 Tips for Group and Team Programs, this class includes more than 3.5 hours of video lectures with me, and 28 structured activities you can undertake at a pace that works well for you. Do it in one day or one tip a day over the course of a month, I cover 28 tips in areas of pre and post program ideas, design and implementation. They are all road-tested, practical tips you can apply to a workshop, retreat, teleclass, group or team program. Part 2 will follow as soon around marketing your group and team programs. Click here to sign up for the course (or use this special link  until Feb 13th to save 50% on  your registration).

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

February Programs: Group Coaching Essentials starts Feb 12 and Facilitation Skills Intensive Toronto February 27-28

Did the groundhog see its' shadow in your part of the world! The days are getting longer here in Toronto, signalling that winter should hopefully soon be wrapping up! This month I have two new programs starting including:

February 26-27 in downtown Toronto Canada the Facilitation Skills Intensive, a two day train-the-trainer geared for leaders, coaches and trainers who want to add more facilitation skills to their mix.

We're going to take an interactive and engaging look at the foundations of great group and team experiences, as well as explore more than 2 dozen facilitation tools and techniques. Whether you are looking to increase your own toolbox in working with groups and teams, or are looking for more experience and feedback on your skills, this two day immersion is a powerful small group experience, packed with practical facilitation approaches you will be able to apply in meetings, workshops, webinars and other small group events.

Register with a colleague and save 15%, register with two colleagues and save 20%. Price is $795 CDN plus HST and includes the two days of training, a program binder and a group follow-up call.

The program will be held in downtown Toronto on Thursday and Friday February 26-27 (8:30 - 4:30 pm ET both days).

Click here to reserve your spot or contact Jennifer directly by email if you have a group that would like to register.

You can also view a short 7 minute video here as I talk about the program:

Group Coaching Essentials Teleseminar - 6.75 CCEs with the ICF
Are you a coach wanting to add groups to your mix? Join Jennifer, author of Effective Group Coaching, for this five week teleclass as we look at the best practices of design, marketing and implementing your own group coaching programs. Benefit by avoiding many of the pitfalls new group coaches fall into, an
d avoid reinventing the wheel by benefiting from dozens of tips and frameworks that Jennifer has used in her own group coaching work.
The program is approved for 6.75 CCEs with the ICF and will be meeting on Thursdays from 10:15 - 11:30 am ET on February 12, 19, March 12 and 26. 

In addition the calls you will receive weekly module notes, and have short assignments geared to get you applying your ideas into your own program ideas. Weekly lazer calls (15 min 1-1) are also included as part of your registration. Space is limited to 8 coaches. Cost: $425 US or CDN (plus HST)

Click here for more info or to reserve your spot.

I hope that you will consider joining us or pass this information on to others who might benefit from the programs.

Have a great start to February!


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