Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Presence in Group and Team Coaching

As coaches one of our greatest instruments is ourselves and our presence. Over the last month my travels have taken me to several ICF chapters to deliver in persona nd virtual training, and I've also had the chance to work with several teams of leaders and facilitators as well. Interestingly enough, the concept of presence has emerged as a key discussion point in a lot of these discussions.

Presence = Our being. Who we are

Consider your recent work with teams and groups and how you have shown up in this work. Is it any different than your presence with an individual coaching client?

One theme I have been talking about has been the different role of the group or team coach where we "fade in and fade out" of the coaching conversation, more often than not, encouraging group and/or team members to direct the conversation amongst each other. Our presence plays a different role than in individual coaching where  it is only us and one other person.

Our presence is key in setting the context or container for the work we do. Our energy will have an impact, positively or negatively, with clients we work with. Consider how your presence has added to, or detracted, from the coaching conversation recently with team and group coaching clients.

Here's an activity to undertake :
Reflect on your presence - what three adjectives would you use to describe your presence in recent coaching engagements. Think of how this is different in a couple of examples.
Where possible, ask for feedback from clients or those you have worked with, regarding your presence. What three adjectives do they use to describe how you show up, and what space you create for your clients.
Over time be noticing what common themes and adjectives are being used to describe your presence.
What changes do you want to make?

Have a great week,

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

Join us for an upcoming program including:
Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar (8.75 CCEs with ICF): Fridays 1:15 - 2:30 pmET May 6, 13, 20, June 3 and10  A resource rich look at best practices and techniques around design, implementation and marketing your programs.
Group and Team Coaching Intensive - Muskoka - July 14-15, 2016 (Being renewed for 19 CCEs with ICF)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Looking to Engage your Groups More? 5 ways to experiment.

While coaching is grounded in being shaped and paced by those we are working with, if you are
leading webinars, training and facilitation events, engagement can be a key issue. In today's post I
Using Photos in creating an agenda. Copyright J. Britton
wanted to cover five approaches you may want to explore, or consider incorporating in your next group or team process.

What I love about group and team work is that every conversation is different. The personalities and styles of the people we get to work with shape our approaches, language and pace. This is important to keep in mind, and points us to the value of having a robust toolkit, one that you are adding to year after year. What are you adding to your own toolbox right now?

Rather than just the ho-hum routine of most group sessions, why don't you consider some of these engagement strategies:

1. Using more images and/or photos - You may have heard me gushing about my love of using photos and images in the programs I design. I've been incorporating photos into my group and team work for more than eight years now. This is in part because I am often working with a global audience where there may be different first languages. Photos can also serve as a spark for new ideas. I continue to hear from groups of all types how they find the use of photos as a way to access more of their "gut" or intuitive knowledge.
Consider how you might bring in more inages or photos into your work.
For some ideas view my November 2015 blab on Visuals in Our Work, and/or check out the 40 Ways to Use Visuals E-manual which includes step by step instructions on how to use visuals in programs around change, innovation, working with vision, values, planning, etc.

2. Using icons - related to the last point around images and photos, consider you how might use icons in an upcoming program. For years we have stressed the importance of reinforcement and have recognized how graphics can replace a lot of text. How might you be able to use icons in your work. How can you have group or team members create their own lexicon of icons as well?

3. Using the body - Getting people up and moving around is another strategy to boost engagement. i even know for myself as a learner that if I am needing to sit all take and take in information I will zone out, even with the best intention of staying focused. Consider what you have in your backpocket with respect to energizers, and movement based activities. As always, be aware of safety and risk implications with movement.

4. Using Post-Its  - For the last 20 years I've incorporated post-its and index cards into my work with teams and groups. Whether we use them as a way to get everyone's voice on the table around evaluation or whether we use it as a way to explore perspectives or priorities, post-its are a must for any facilitation toolkit. They are very handy even in environments where you need to be more mobile. Make a list of where you could incorporate post-its into your upcoming work.

5. Adding more experiential approaches  - My own roots were in the experiential world, and some of my fondest early memories in leading groups were using the great resources of Project Adventure. in the 1980s. I truly believe we learn through being active and engaged, and in my own program design try to build in as many group engagement opportunities as possible. When working with groups and teams as facilitators remember that we make for a richer experience by setting  up the environment or container for learning and then stepping back and letting the group do the work

Stay tuned for part two of this post next week as I will share resources you may want to explore each of these five areas as you build your engagement toolbox.

Have a wonderful week,

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPT
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Email: info {at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Upcoming programs include:
Advanced Group and Team Coaching Practicum (10 CCES with the ICF including 9,25 hrs core competencies): Gain practice and confidence in your group and team coaching skills in this hands-on practicum based class. We'll be taking a deeper dive into content around group and team coaching, as well as giving you a chance to lead us through some group and team coaching activities. Starts Thursday March 31st at 12noon ET. Calls will be held on March 31, April 7, 14, 28, May 6 and 13 (Thursdays 12  1:15 pm ET). 3 spots open. Click here to learn more and register

Group Coaching Essentials (8.75 CCEs) - Our flagship program celebrating our 10th year in supporting coaches through the best practices of designing, marketing and implementing group coaching programs. We cover content related to best practices, and model a number of approaches you can use in your own groups (in person, virtual, corporate and public groups). Weekly assignments support you in moving from program ideas to skeleton structure. Starts Thursday April 6th at 10:15 am ET. Calls held April 7, 14, 28, May 6 and 13. Five spots open. Click here to learn more and register.

Mentor Coaching Group for ACC Renewal and PCC - Looking to recertify or work towards your ACC or PCC? Join us for this 10 hour mentor coaching group where we take a deeper dive into the core coaching competencies - what they are, what approaches we use and what they look and sound like. Seven hours of small group calls, and 3 hours of 1-1 mentor coaching with me. Group calls are held on Thursdays from 9-10 AM ET  - March 31 - end of June. 3 spots open. Click here to learn more and register.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Quarterly Community Call this Thursday at 230 pm ET

This Thursday at 230 pm Eastern I'll be hosting our first quarterly call for 2016 for the group and team coaching
community on Building the Business Case for Group and Team Coaching. Whether you are an external coach, or an internal coach, building a business case for why group and team coaching work, and are a valuable modality is important.

As part of the Group Coaching community I hope that you will join us. Details are in this month's newsletter which you can access here. If you aren't a subscriber, I hope that you will consider joining our list. Read the March 2016 newsletter here where this month's article is on six tips for integrating video and audio into your programs, and you can also see our upcoming spring programs.

You can check out the February Group and Team Coaching Nuggets Newsletter here (Monthly article on different ways to support Introverted Group Members) and our January newsletter here (8 Ways to Make 2016 your best year yet). If you prefer, you can access any of our last 11 years of newsletters at our archive.

Hope to see you on Zoom this Thursday at 2:30 pm ET for our first quarterly call of 2016. Check out the computer or dial instructions at the bottom of this month's newsletter. No cost to join other than your time, and any long distance charges. The call will run for 30 minutes.

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC, CPCC | Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Phone: 416-996-8326
Upcoming programs include:  The next Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar (8.75 CCEs) program starts April 6. the next Advanced Group Coaching Practicum starts Thursday March 31st (10 CCEs. i'll be holding a one day Business planning Virtual Retreat on Tuesday March 22nd from 8-4 pm ET (8 hours of group and individual activities geared to support you in your business plan and development).  More info and registration here.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Six Coaching Questions - Goals

Last week I lead a one day coach training session up in Thunder Bay for a group of HR professionals
and program managers. One of the areas we discussed was how important goals are to the coaching process. In fact, goals frame the context of the conversation as well as help connect that conversation with the bigger picture of what each person is working towards. whether you are working with individuals, teams or groups as a coach, working around goals is critical

Today's post include more than six coaching questions you might want use to explore when working around goals in coaching.

As a starting point, you may want to have some discussion around how goals are SMART-E - as I write in From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching. SMART goals can be made into SMART-E goals, ensuring that goals are not only Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound, but that they are Exciting as well. If goals are not exciting, what is the likelihood of follow-through?

Remember that goals are of then the "bookends" of any coaching conversation. We generally start and end coaching conversations by asking what the focus of the conversation is, what success will look like at the end of the conversation, and making sure we circle back to check in at the end of the conversation in terms of how we did.

Questions you may want to ask:

1. What's important about that goal?
2. What will success with this goal look like?
3. What will success around that goal enable you to do?
4. What might get in the way of success? (OR What could derail your progress with this)?
5. What will help you be successful?
6. What lessons learned will help you be successful this time?
7. Who can support you in your actions? Or What will support you?
8. What will you do to keep this goal in front of you?
9. What milestones are there along the way?
10. How will you celebrate when you complete your goal?

What are some of your favorite coaching questions? Feel free to comment below or post them on our Effective Group Coaching Facebook  page.

Best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC, CPCC | Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Phone: 416-996-8326
Upcoming programs include: the Mentor Coaching Group (10 hrs for ACC/PCC) starting Friday March 4th at 11 am ET. The next Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar (8.75 CCEs) program starts April 6. the next Advanced Group Coaching Practicum starts Thursday March 31st (10 CCEs)

Mentor Coaching Group (for ACC/PCC) starts Friday March 4th at 11 am ET

A quick reminder that the March - June Mentor Coaching Group will start Friday March 4th at 11 am
ET. Consisting of 10 hours of calls, this program meets the ICF requirements of the ACC and PCC. It consists of 10 hours of calls - 7 hours as a small group, and 3 hours individual calls over 3 months. Group calls will be held on Fridays from 11 - 12 noon ET on March 4, 11, April 1, 8, 15, May 13 and June 10th.

Here's what coaches have said about their experience in the program:

"After having doubted whether or not to take the Mentor Coaching program from Potentials Realized, boy, am I happy I did! As a full-time professional business coach, I found that I had been slowly leaning into the consulting aspects of my "blended coaching” practice and letting some of my most powerful tools get somewhat rusty. The Mentor Coaching program is an exemplar of professionalism and know-how: The program is excellently organized, Jennifer’s comments, worksheets and time-and-content management are top of the line, and her coaching and facilitation skills really shine. I have gained new knowledge, and regained use of some forgotten skills, and have greatly benefited from the program." - Coach Juan Antonio Martinez, Spain

 "An excellent programme, supporting me to develop my confidence and capability as a coach.Jennifer is a brilliant facilitator and very generous coach, sharing her comprehensive knowledge and expertise.The opportunity to work with other coaches in the group calls and practicums was particularly empowering and affirming.I loved it.I feel I’ve really grown as a coach.” - Lorna Shaw

The program costs $1000 US or$1000 CDN (plus HST) and can be paid in one installment or three monthly installments.

Click here for more information and to reserve your spot

Best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC | Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Phone: 416-996-8326
The next Group Coaching Essentials telseminar program starts April 6. the next Advanced Group coaching Practicum starts Thursday March 31st (10 CCEs)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Four Essentials In Making Group Coaching Work for You

Group Coaching can be a great addition for coaches who love working within the group context, and who get energy off of working with more than one person. Over the last ten years as I'v worked with hundreds of great coaches in the Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar program, I've encouraged people to think about what systems are going to support them in accelerating their work.

Four key areas, or essentials, I think are critical to consider when stepping into group coaching, or expanding your work are these:

1. Marketing - Where do you want to spend your time and energy in marketing, and letting others know about what you have to offer in the group context. Marketing is about consistent action over time, so consider what activities will leverage your strengths, be enjoyable to undertake and can also be built upon, or repurposed for other medium. In my program, Marketing Tips for Team and Group Programs, I go through four hours of video tips, and a dozen worksheets, to support you in developing your marketing strategy, and exploring several approaches (blogging, article writing) that you might want to incorporate.

2. Registration - Enabling people to easily register in a way that works well for them is key. Consider where your market is. What's going to make it easy to register? For years I have stayed with PayPal as my registration system of choice, in part because it is a global brand and makes it much easier for those outside of North America to utilize, and two, because it allows me to invoice easily in myriad of currencies.
What registration systems work best for your business. What do you have in place to not only register people, but also accept the financial part of the transaction quickly and securely?

3. Supports for you- Not all of us bring experience in the myriad of areas which make a great group program - facilitation, coaching, logistics, program design, workbook design, activities. Who can you add to your team (even as a sub-contractor) to help you create programs you are proud of. I know that having several exceptional graphic designers around me have helped up the ante in several of our programs in the past few years, including designing brilliant worksheets for programs such as the Inner Biz Leader(TM) Virtual Business Planning Retreat.
As facilitators we need support too. Consider what is going to keep you renewed and at your best every time you work with groups.

4. Platforms for Building Community - Supporting alumni, individually, and collectively, from my programs has been key in the work I've done since opening our doors in 2004. Every quarter I host community calls for the alumni of the Group Coaching Essentials programs, and late last year I experimented with using Blabs as a way to connect with more people.
This year the Learning Lab and Design Studio is a robust, and growing, community of group program practitioners who are coming together for a series of group and individual calls throughout the year.  This year long group (which you can join for a month, six months or a year) is gaining traction after our first month. We meet on Fridays (usually at 12 noon ET) for a blend of group calls, facilitation labs (next one this Friday Feb 26th), and some 1-1 coaching. Check it out.

What other systems and focus areas will help you in making group coaching work for you?

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC | Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Phone: 416-996-8326
The next Group Coaching Essentials telseminar program starts April 6. the next Advanced Group coaching Practicum starts Thursday March 31st (10 CCEs)

Monday, February 08, 2016

Six Coaching Questions - Focus

Coaching as an approach may be one of ony a few pause points in the course of a week for an
individual, team or group. Today's blog post includes a few more than six coaching questions you may want to be asking the people you are supporting:

1. What's important to you right now?
2. What does success look like?
3 Who can help you focus on this?
4. What do you need to say NO to order to be successful?
5. What could get in the way of your focus?
6. if you look at the big picture/or 30,000 foot view, what's in focus? What's not?
7. If there was one thing you could add or take away to help with your focus, what would it be?

If you enjoyed this post on coaching questions for focus, you may want to check out these other Six Questions posts including:
Six powerful questions to deepen awareness in groups - read it here.
Six coaching questions to strengthen connection in groups and teams - read it here
Six coaching questions for business building - read it here.
Six coaching questions around priorities and time management - read it here

Have a great start to your week!

With best wishes,

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

Join us for a 2016 program including:
The Learning Lab and Design Studio Coaching Group - join us for six or twelve months at the LLDS - group calls, facilitation lab and dozens of hours of audios, videos and templates to support you in your work! Click here to learn more. Calls are held on Fridays at either 12 noon ET or 8 am ET.  Cost $250 US/month. Join us for a year and get 2 months free!

Virtual Facilitation Skills Intensive - want to lead more powerful webinars, teleclasses and virtual retreats? Join us for this online train-the-trainer.  Jump in with us in week 2 this Thursday at 12 noon ET.