Friday, January 05, 2018

Setting New Year Intentions at the Learning Lab and Design Studio

Today was New Year Intention Setting day at the Learning Lab and Design Studio, an annual group I
2018 Intentions at the Learning Lab and Design Studio
host for coaches. We’re stepping into year three at the Learning Lab and Design Studio this month. The LLDS is a group I host for coaches, trainers and other professionals who are looking to expand their work and business in the areas of group and team work.
Every month we meet for two calls – one a hands-on Facilitation Lab where I bring real-time tools and approaches and we apply it to our monthly theme. The second call is a content/learning call where I share resources you can apply right away in your work (upcoming 2018 themes are exploring are video-based learning, building trust, program hacks, core skills and building your toolkit).

As I went to wrap up our call today, I pulled some cards for my own intentions at the LLDS this year and wasn’t it interesting what showed up.

From the Points of You Deck I pulled the card – LOVE – lucky #88. The LLDS is one program I LOVE facilitating. It’s also probably one of the lesser known programs of mine. It’s been a way that I hve been able to develop an extended relationship with coaches who don’t just want to quick dive into group and team coaching, or growing their business, but want a longer term focus. You can join us at any time (and of course there’s a 50% New Year Special on it right now)

From Wayne Dyer’s card deck, The Power of Intention, I pulled the “Practice the Power of Intention Card” which I take as a reminder to me to get more into the practice of intention setting, or thinking of what outcome I am looking for in my work, before taking action.

Finally, the last tool I shared this morning were Rory’s Story Cubes….As you’ll see from the photo above the following story showed up for me around the LLDS 2018:

The apple – As the first cube selected, I take the apple as a representation of Knowledge – very appropriate for us at the Learning Lab and Design Studio where the lens is about all things learning, and creating engaging learning and growth experiences for the groups and teams we work with as coaches, trainers and facilitators.

Magnifying glass – Every month a different theme gets put under the magnifying glass. As a facilitator myself, it encourages me to continue my pursuit of learning, keeping abreast of new trends in our field, and exploring topics I can bring in my own work to my clients.

The Flower – As an avid gardener in the warmer months I was pleasantly surprised to see this come up. It got me to researching to see if different flower symbols have different meanings – and in fact they do – here’s a cool list - . For this story, I’m taking the flower as a representation of the importance of building up your garden bed, and taking time to appreciate the beauty they exist. I think that for many of us doing a lot of work with groups and teams we are moving so fast (like our clients are) that it’s quite rare to have a quick pause to take stock of what we have, and what we can do. The LLDS creates one of these important pauses.

Footprints – The LLDS is also about taking action, and leaving your mark. Once a quarter I host a 4 hour virtual retreat afternoon, geared to get you into action around your own work. This year I’ll also be hosting quarterly program hacks so you can do some real-time design work in a compressed timeframe.

Lightening Bolt – One of the two calls each month is a facilitation lab. In establishing this program in January 2016, I felt that it was really important to create a place where we as facilitators could try out different tools, and experience them as learners ourselves, before taking them into work with our clients.

Book - There is an abundance of topics we cover throughout the year, and I’ve loved how there are now more than 24 sets of templates, articles, and almost 50 recordings for LLDS members to explore when they have time.

Conversation – One of my favorite symbols (the conversation bubble which is also on the title of my newest book, Effective Virtual Conversations) was next in the storyline. The other element I love at the LLDS is the conversations that ensue. It is a small group conversation experience, and unlike larger group webinars where  everything might be chat only, we engage every week in rich conversation.

Fountain – The fountain to me represents the fact that there will always be a myriad of topics left to explore. Our work and professional field is not static. It’s ever changing and evolving. The LLDS provides a regular reminder to keep learning.

Tree – For the last three or four years now I have been returning back to my roots as an environmental scientist in different ways, particularly as I speak and write about ecosystems. My work has always been very multi-disciplinary and the tree symbolizes how at the LLDS many of our conversations span the different disciplines of coaching, training, learning, education, e-learning, facilitation, social change….

As a writer and author I love seeing how these cubes spark a new storyline for the teams and groups I work with!

I hope that today’s blog post has given you more insights about what we explore and the conversations we have at the Learning Lab and Design Studio.We’ll be meeting throughout 2018 on Fridays from 845 – 930 am Eastern (slightly later than our last two years of programming, but early enough so you can catch us as you head into work on Fridays). Calls are held twice a month with the next one on Friday January 19th.

My 50% off New Year’s special is on for a few more days (until our next call). Save $625 US on the annual rate of $1250 US. Use code 2018NewYear at checkout. More info and registration at
I'd love to have you join us this year! Email me to set up a time to discuss how this program could support you.
With best wishes,
Jennifer Britton
Author of Effective Group Coaching (2009), and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013) and Effective Virtual Conversations (2017)
Phone : 416-996-TEAM (8326)

Most 2018 programs kick off on Friday January 12th with the return of the 3 month Mentor Coaching Group (for ACC/PCC), the Group Coaching Essentials program (8.75 CCEs). The Advanced Group and Team Coaching Practicum (10 CCEs) starts 1/19. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

2017 Trends in Group and Team Programs - Coaching, Webinars, Training

A few weeks ago I hosted my 14th Annual Year-End Group Programs call, where I review some of
14th annual year-end group programs call
the trends we saw this year in workshops, group and team coaching and webinars. I also take a look ahead at some things that might be on the horizon in the new year around group and team programs.

If you didn't get a chance to join me live, check it out. As you listen, note the things you want to incorporate in your own upcoming programs.

Some of the the themes I touched on included:
  • Micro-learning
  • Brain-based learning
  • Team Approaches
  • Expansion of virtual

View the video here at my Effective Group Coach Youtube Channel. It runs for approximately 30 minutes.

I go more into depth with these themes in the Learning Lab and Design Studio, an annual membership group which meets throughout the year on Fridays for two group calls a month, to focus on growing group and team programs. Stepping into the 3rd year of programming you get exclusive access to materials not available anywhere else in my work - my books, courses, and
Every month members receive:
  • A template you can use and customize for your own work
  • A new article covering topics ranging from tips for creating video-based learning, to micro-learning to 
  • Two live calls with me (held on Fridays from 8:45 - 9:30 am Eastern/New York) each month with a different theme. Upcoming themes will include more around video-based learning, team development, boosting your groups, and building your toolkit 
  • You can also add on one-on-one coaching time with me.
  • 4 Quarterly Virtual Retreat Days geared to support you in Getting Things Done! These run for four hours each
  • In 2018 I'll be adding a private Facebook group for members to communicate in
The Learning Lab and Design Studio is ideal for coaches, trainers, facilitators and any professionals who want focus, tools and accountability in boosting and refining their work (and business!) with groups and teams. 

For the next few weeks, I'm making available a special coupon and discount for those who want to join us in the LLDS for 2018. Until January 4th you can join us a deeply discounted rate of 50% off. I'm doing this as we move into our 3rd year as I want to provide more opportunity for more professionals to join us.  USE Coupon code YEAREND17 on your check out to benefit from this reduced rate. Reserve your spot to work with me here.

Check out the schedule of live calls for the first six months of 2018 (which are recorded in case you can't make a call!) here.

Looking forward to seeing you in the Lab and/or continuing to join us here! Have a fantastic holiday season!

Best wishes,

Jennifer Britton
Author of Effective Group Coaching (2009), and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013) and Effective Virtual Conversations (2017)
Phone : 416-996-TEAM (8326)
Most 2018 programs kick off on Friday January 12th with the return of the 3 month Mentor Coaching Group (for ACC/PCC), the Group Coaching Essentials program (8.75 CCEs) and the Advanced Group and Team Coaching Practicum (10 CCEs)

Monday, September 11, 2017

Boosting Your Toolkit for Group and Team Coaching Work

Expanding the variety of resources to support group and team coaching conversations is something I
hear from coaches regularly, along with the question, Where can I go to find more?

Today's post zooms into several sites that might provide inspiration for ideas of what to do. At the same time, it can be useful to spend a few minutes thinking more about what you are looking for, or what the groups and teams you are working with need.

As you go to explore resources be sure to ask yourself the following questions:

1. What could this team or group benefit from right now - more support around goals? Action? Awareness? Accountability?
2. What am I doing to meet the different learning needs of the group or team I am working with?
3. What am I doing to make our work  more visual, particularly if it is a virtual group?
4. What opportunities am I creating for my group/team members to bring it into their body (more kinesthetic or experiential ways)?
5. What auditory engagement points am I including?
6. Is there enough time between activities, or during exercises, for group/team members to gain as much as they can from the activity?
7. What set up, or pre-work is needed to "prime" people for learning?
8. What follow-up would be of benefit?
9. What is the inquiry or what are some possible inquiries which could connect with this conversation?
10. How else  does it connect with other topics?
11. What else is important to consider about this topic?

Several sites which may provide some inspiration for you are:
Coaching - Coach Marcy Nelson-Garrison hosts a rich portal of different resources (including our own Conversation Sparker Cards and the 40 Ways to Work with Visual Cards e-manual) - Check out the links to hundreds of group games and activities which can be adjusted for coaching conversations. Think how the activity can support groups/teams in their exploration of goals, action, awareness and/or accountability - A collection of different ways to "break the ice". Many are great to forming connection. - Always a terrific place of inspiration and great content. Clients will find it valuable as well. - Another site with ideas for you to get inspired by.

What's going to make your next conversation a great one?

For those who have any of my books, I'll invite you to check out the following chapters around this important topic of boosting your toolkit:

Effective Virtual Conversations (my newest book out on all things groups and teams in the virtual realm) - Chapter 7 -

From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching - Check out the appendix, as well as the activities included in the digital chapter on Team Coaching In Action (

Effective Group Coaching - Check out the Appendix

Have a great start to your week!

Best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Email: info{at}
Phone: (416)996-8326

Join me this fall twice a month for complimentary community calls related to my new book, Effective Virtual Conversations. Calls are usually held on Monday mornings. Pick up a copy at Amazon or a signed copy from the new site -

Fall programming has just started with several offerings for coaches - Group Coaching Essentials (8.75 CCEs) - next group starts October 16th, Advanced Group and Team Coaching Practicum (10 CCEs ) - join our Friday group - 1:15 - 2:30 pm ET. 
There are also a couple of Mentor Coaching Groups running this fall - September 8 and 25th starts
The Virtual Facilitation Essentials will start on Monday October 2nd at 1:45 pm ET. 5 weeks of tips, best practices and ideas to boost your virtual programming. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

See you at ICF Converge later this week and Fall 2017 programming

I'm looking forward to meeting many of you later this week in Washington DC at the ICF Converge Conference. I'll be speaking on Thursday afternoon around my newest book, Effective Virtual Conversations, in a presentation entitled - Expanding the Coaching Conversation to Many Virtually!

I hope that you will join us. It's going to be a practical, resource-rich interactive presentation.

If you haven't joined me for any of the initial community calls for Effective Virtual Conversations,  I hope that you will check them out. For the next few months I'll be holding a couple of calls each month on Monday mornings covering topics related to making your virtual calls more effective and engaging. You can view past calls, and download a call listing at the new site These calls are open to everyone and have no cost - only your time and connection (calls are held on zoom). The next call is September 11th at 11 am ET for 30 minutes. I hope that you will join us!

For those inquiring, we've got a full line-up for fall programs, with some spaces still remaining. Consider joining us for these upcoming programs:

Group Coaching Essentials (8.75 CCEs): starts Friday September 8th 10:15 - 11:45 am ET - runs to Click here to learn more and register. (5 spots open)
mid-October (5 weeks). My flagship program packed with dozens of best practices for designing, marketing and leading your own group coaching work (in-person, virtual, corporate or public groups). 5 spots still open.

Advanced Group and Team Coaching Practicum (10 CCEs): starts Friday September 8th at 1:15 pm ET with calls being held for 6 weeks on Fridays from 1:15 - 2:30 pm ET. This program looks at the art and practice of group and team coaching. We take a deeper dive into creating and leading group and team coaching work, and each coach has the opportunity to lead a practicum, getting feedback on their skills. Click here to learn more and register. (3 spots open)

Mentor Coaching Group - Fridays 9-10 am ET: September 8 - December 8 - This 10 hour small group mentor coaching program meets the requirements of the ICF for both ACC (renewal and new) and PCC. We take a deeper look at the 11 core coaching competencies and coaching rounds sharpen your skills. Space is limited to 6 coaches. Click here for more info and to register. (3 spots open)

Virtual Facilitation Skills Essentials - Mondays 1:45 - 3 pm  ET: Looking to amplify your webinars, conference calls and other virtual events (i.e. virtual retreats, virtual team building)? Join Jennifer for her newest program based on her book, Effective Virtual Conversations, as we explore best practices and practical tools and approaches for creating more engaging virtual events. Calls starts Monday September 8. 5 weeks with calls held September 11, 18, October 2, 16 and 23, 2017. Click here to learn more and register.

See you later this week!

Best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, PCC, BCC
Potentials Realized | GroupCoachingEssentials
Facebook: EffectiveGroupCoaching
YouTube: EffectiveGroupCoach
Pick up an autographed copy of my new book Effective Group Coaching, or order one directly from Amazon.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Summer project ideas - 2017 (Audio)

How's your summer going? As some of you know I had some surgery last month and am in the process of recuperation. It's been interesting to downshift things for what will be a couple of months. The timing was perfect for me as summer usually is a quieter time where I get to work on more creative projects. This summer the one item I'm continuing to move along is the launch of my new book - Effective Virtual Conversations - which will be released in about 3 weeks! I'm excited and also appreciative that virtual work and planning allows business to continue rolling along.

One of the most popular summer posts I have had in recent years has been an  annual summer project audio which I've recorded.

I've just done a short 8 minute audio which includes half a dozen ideas you might want to consider putting some attention around this summer. I hope that you will enjoy it! You'll find the audio at the bottom of our resources page over at If you didn't catch my spring community call on Five Ways to  Take Your Programs Virtual, I hope you'll check that out as well. You can find the recordings here (scroll down to end of page)

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized | Group Coaching Essentials
Phone: (416)996-8326

​Connect with us to be the first to know more about launch events around my newest book - Effective Virtual Conversations - coming out in a few weeks!

I'm starting to transition back to some part time work, with calls on Monday and Friday mornings, which will be my schedule for the rest of the summer. Next week, Monday July 17th, I'll be launching the summer Group Coaching Essentials class. If you are looking to learn more about group coaching and want some structure to move your ideas forward, the program could be a good firt for you. We'll be meeting on Mondays from 9-10:15 am ET on July 17, 24, 31, August 7 and 14th. The program also includes short 15 min weekly calls with me, and lots of content and additional resources to sink your teeth into. The program is approved for 8.75 CCEs with the ICF. More info and registration at

Monday, May 15, 2017

Happy International Coaching Week

This week we celebrate all things coaching with International Coaching Week (#ICW2017). All around the world, different chapters are celebrating through learning events, pro-bono coaching and other initiatives.

I myself am just back from speaking at the ICFAtlantic Conference held on Friday and Saturday in Halifax. With wonderful speakers on topics including neuroscience, creating safety in teams, team and group coaching, and spirituality, it was a great kick off to this year's ICW. Having just visited the ICF Raleigh Chapter the week before I was struck at how similar our conversations are at the chapter level, even with different geographical contexts.

We often get asked why coaching? What's the impact? I usually like to point prospective clients back to the ICF Research around the Benefits of Using a Coach Article, which you can access here.

Research from the ICF has found that there are a number of benefits because of coaching including:

Increased productivity measures include:
Improved work performance (70%)
Improved business management (61%)
Improved time management (57%)
Improved team effectiveness (51%)

and Improved positivity measures include:
Increased self-confidence (80%)
Increased relationships (73%)
Improved communication skills (72%)
Improved work life balance (67%)

What have you seen to be the benefits of coaching?

I'll be posting a couple of times this week in honor of ICW...stay tuned for a few more posts.

Have a great start to your week,

Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized | Group Coaching Essentials
Phone: (416)996-8326

Our spring 2017 Group Coaching sessions start later this week with the Group Coaching Essentials training (Fridays 11:15 -12:30pm ET - 8.75 CCEs) and the Advanced Group and Team Coaching Practicum (10 CCEs). I will also be offering the in person Group and Team Coaching Intensive on June 19-20 in Toronto, CANADA (19 CCEs)

​Connect with us to be the first to know more about launch events around my newest book - Effective Virtual Conversations - coming out later this spring/early summer!

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Five virtual program faux-pas to watch out for

 As more and more coaches are exploring the realm of virtual programming in their work  - whether
you are meeting clients by zoom, or phone or skype - it's important to regularly revisit how we are approaching our virtual work. What could use some attention on your part? Where do you feel less comfortable in the virtual domain?

Today's post goes into five virtual program faux-pas or mistake areas to watch out for. These are all small things which can make a difference in shifting from a one way monologue in the virtual realm, to a interactive, engaging conversation:

1. Not having a plan around process - Process is king in the virtual realm, and remember that process is not content. For those of us that are coaches, having a strong focus on the process, while leaving space for our group members to come with their focus and content, is where we lead from. Take stock of the tools and approaches you could incorporate into a call. What are the elements (such as a check in and check out) you want to ensure do fit in.

2. Not building in silence or work time - we often feel that virtual calls need to be chock full of speaking and dialogue. In today's frenetic world there can be real value in leaving some time for short periods of note taking, and reflection on questions posed to the group. There's also an opportunity for people to "do things now!" in the virtual world - not just as a bi-product of multi-tasking, but as something intentional.
Let the group know what they should be bringing to the call, or how they can use parts of the call to take action. Consider what might be useful for people to take action on, so they can either be more present, or be able to move their own initiatives forward.

3. Not making it visual - With so many great techologies today like zoom and skype, consider how you can bring the option to join in a visual way. Having moved many of my own groups over to zoom from phone based programs only in early 2016, I can attest to how quickly "seeing each other" can bring a group together in terms of identity, common ground and a sense of belonging.
Making things visual also gets you to thinking about what handouts, videos or other visual materials you could incorporate into your work.

And finally, two that I've pulled from an earlier post of mine at the Teams365 blog (#742) -

4. ​​Not starting and ending meetings on time. This is critical in the realm of virtual meetings, particularly as it is common that people will be at different parts of their day. Waiting for someone who is not there at the start of the call, could mean waiting the entire call if they don't show up. If you are leading a group or team call, let people know that you will be starting and ending on time, to signal expectations.

5. Not calling on people you haven't heard from - Virtual Meetings, particularly  when you can't see each other - are a ripe opportunity to multi-task and sign out. Key to success on this one is to let people know what's expected so when you do call on people ​it's part of the norm and not being seen as "being picked on".

As you consider these five virtual faux-pas, which are important to keep in mind? What do you want to do to avoid them?

On a personal note....
As many of you would know, the bulk of much of my programming over the last 12-13 years has been in the virtual domain. This was in large part a deliberate choice and increasingly for ease of scalability and interactivity.

As I set up my company, Potentials Realized, back in April 2004, I was just coming off 13 years of very intensive global work. I had been based outside of Canada for the bulk of my career, virtually leading teams and programs across countries, and eventually regions of the world. Several years of heavy travel to see my staff members and teams (consider almost 180 nights logged in hotels one year) left me really run down in my early to mid-30s, so much so that a regular eye infection got out of control and leaving permanent scarring in one of my eyes.

After this happened, I spent my next year while working considering what my next step would be. The next step I had been offered was no longer a real, or safe option, given my vision. Did I want to transfer to a more administrative headquarters role with the organization I was with, or was it time to go out on my own and return back to Canada. Looking back now it seems like the decision was so clear to me, and I do recall how challenging it was to transplant myself back to Canada after all those years. From today's perspective I can say with surety I'm glad I made the move! I still get to work globally, see the ripple impact of the conversations I have, and I don't have to travel as much!

Stay tuned as my newest book around creating more engaging virtual conversations is going to be released in late spring! More to come and stay abreast with #letstalkvirtual.

Have a great rest of the week,

 Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized/GroupCoachingEssentials
Email: info (at)potentialsrealized (dot)com

About Us: Jennifer Britton is the author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013) . Since 2004 she and her company, Potentials Realized, have supported thousands of coaches, trainers, and leaders, design and create more impactful team and group programs (in-person and virtual). Jennifer offers customized programs for organizations, as well as virtual public training programs. Our areas of specialty are team development, leadership and coaching. Our 2017 programming includes: The Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar (8.75 CCEs), The Advanced Group and Team Coaching Practicum (10 CCEs), and the Mentor Coaching Group for ACC/PCC portfolio routes. Our 2017 Learning Lab and Design Studio Group for Coaches who want to build their business and expand their group and team programs meets twice a month on Fridays 8am Eastern.  This month (March 2017) our focus at the LLDS is on creating and designing your own Video Based Programming. Learn more here or jump into our calls for the month, or longer!