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 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)


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 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 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 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.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Next Mentor Coaching Group (ACC/PCC) starts Thursday June 2nd at 915 am ET

Are you a coach working towards your ICF ACC or PCC credential, or are you needing to compete
your ACC recertification mentor coaching hours? Join me for the 10 hour Mentor Coaching Group. Meeting over a three month period with a small group of other coaches (3-6 typically), we take a deeper dive into the ICF core coaching competencies, and provide you with practice and feedback on sharpening your coaching skills!

The next Mentor Coaching Group includes 7 hours of group calls (7 weeks, 1 hour each) and three hours of one-on-one mentor coaching with me (scheduled as 30 or 60 minute 1-1s over the three months).

The next Mentor Coaching Group will be meeting on Thursday June 2nd from 915 - 1015 am ET. You can use zoom or phone to connect. Our group calls will be held on June 2, 9, 16, 30, July 21, August 11, and September 8, 2016. Each group call is accompanied by a set of module notes with information about the competencies we are exploring, as well as space for reflection and resources.

There are several spots open in the June session. Cost is $1000 US or CDN (plus HST) payable in one installment or 3 monthly installments ($333, $333, or $334). Learn more about the program and reserve your spot here.

This road-tested program has benefited dozens of coaches since its' launch in 2010. Here's what several recent alumni have said about their Mentor Coaching Group experience:

"The Mentor Coaching Group exceeded my expectations. Each week we were given an incredible opportunity to learn more about the ICF competencies, engage in interactive group sessions, learn from each other and receive outstanding support during the one on one sessions. I highly recommend this program." - Coach Michelle Mullins

"Jennifer Britton is a wonderful mentor coach. She keeps the groups moving at a good pace. She is able to accomplish much in a little time during the group sessions. And she has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share in one-on-one sessions for anyone who wants to grow in their journey to mastery as a highly skilled coach. I heartily recommend Jennifer and the Potentials Realized Mentor Coaching Group" - Coach David Brooks

I hope that you will join us for a summer program. If you can't make June's dates there will be another start in July and one again in early September (Fridays starting September 9th). Questions? Email me (info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com or call (416)996-8326.

Best wishes,

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

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.