Monday, July 20, 2015

Virtual Facilitation - Five Great Posts (oldies but goodies)

One of the things I love about my work is the ability to work virtually from almost anywhere there is a
connection. You might have noticed I've been a little quieter on the blog for the last month. That's coincided with a shift to my summer work routine where I get to spend the majority of July and August working from beautiful Muskoka, CANADA.  My 150 square foot office space gets shrunk down dramatically during these months which also provides the opportunity to sift through physically, and mentally, the things I want to hold onto as I downsize and those that need to be put in storage.

Over the last couple of months a lot of my attention has been focused on several large projects for corporate clients, as well as continued public group programs. I trust as well that you've been able to enjoy and sift through several years of posts on group programs and group and team coaching already written. Translating in person programming to virtual programming has been a big focus for me in recent months and I thought it would be a great focus for this week's blog post.

Today I wanted to resurface a few of the oldie but goodie posts around virtual facilitation for those considering moving to a virtual format in the coming months. These are posts that those who attended my June Virtual Facilitation Skills Intensive program found interesting, as well as those who have been asking questions about leading virtual group coaching programs in the Group Coaching Essentials program (next group starts August 6th - Thursdays 1015 - 11:30 am ET).

Here are five posts you will find interesting:

7 Keys for Powerful Virtual Facilitation - read a recent post from my sister blog for team leaders at the Teams365 blog.

How to deal with difficult Participants - a 11 minute audio post based on last summer's Teams365 Cartoon on the topic, and related article for the Coaching Tools Company.

Virtual Facilitation Tips 9 and 10 from last fall's series on virtual facilitation. You can view all of them over at our Effective Group Coaching Facebook page.

Virtual Program Tips - Webinars, Teleclasses and Group Coaching (From an earlier April 2014 post here at the Group Coaching Ins and Outs blog)

Making Virtual Group Coaching More Effective - 5 Tips (From a 2011 post here at the blog)

What tips do you have for others in making virtual learning and program design more effective?

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)

August programs starting soon - Group Coaching Essentials (Thursdays 10 - 11:15 am ET starting August 6) and Mentor Coaching Group for ACC/PCC and ACC renewal (Thursdays 9-10 am ET starting August 6)
Want to boost your own virtual facilitation skills? Join me starting September 15th for the Virtual Facilitation Skills Intensive. Key Topics we're covering in the 15 hour (5 week) Virtual Facilitation Skills Intensive include: designing powerful programs, more than 2 dozen facilitation tools you can use virtually and in person, dealing with tricky issues, difficult participants, a virtual facilitation skills self-assessment, how to navigate different platforms, creating energizing and engaging virtual presentations, plus lots, lots more!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Six Coaching Questions around Priorities and Time Management

Time Management can be a key issue facing many of our coaching clients - individuals and teams.
Whether it is balancing work life issues, juggling too many things on the plate, time management may be a theme which creeps into many coaching session. Continuing on with our 6 Coaching Questions a day, today's post is about supporting enhanced awareness and action around prioritization with your clients.

Consider these questions:
  1. What are your top 3-5 priorities?
  2. What's really important right now?
  3. What's the low hanging fruit?
  4. What, if left unaddressed, could create a significant impact?
  5. What's the quickest thing to get off your plate and clear up sapce?
  6. When you clear this issue, what will be avaialble to you?
  7. What do you ned to say NO to right now?
  8. What are your next steps around this issue?
What other questions do you like to ask around prioritization? As always, please feel free to comment below!

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 this summer for the Advanced Group Coaching Practicum starting July 14th (Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:15-2:30 pm ET - 10 CCEs with the ICF)

Monday, June 08, 2015

Six Powerful Questions to Deepen Awareness in Groups

Many coaches have been enjoying my series of "Six Questions". Today we look at six powerful
questions you may want to incorporate in your next group program to deepen awareness.  Consider how you might use these:

1. What's your role (in the group, in the issue etc)?
2. What impact did you have?
3. What are the beliefs underlying the issue? (mine for enabling beliefs, limiting beliefs)
4. What perspective are you in around (insert issue...)?
5. Six months from now, how will you think about (the issue/topic)?
6. What's helping you? What's hindering you?

In a group coaching process you may be posing these questions to the entire group (one question at a time, of course) and you may get group members to:
  • Indivudallly reflect and journal around the question
  • Individually reflect and write down their responses in the session
  • Discuss the question in the group (particularly if you have a smaller grouping of 3 - 6 members)
  • Indicate if they are interested in being "laser" coached around one of these areas in front of other group member (like a fishbowl)
  • Discuss this in smaller groups or triads using a breakout (including virtual breakout rooms)
Make a list of 20 powerful questions you might use to support group members in deepening awareness around  a specific topic you are coaching around.
Use one or more of your powerful questions with your group. What do you notice about their impact? Which ones had more of a "sticky" factor or resonance?

Deepening Awareness is one of the eleven core coaching competencies. How much time are you spending as a coach with your clients in support of them deepening awareness?

Have  a great week,

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC, CPCC
Potentials Realized |
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Phone: (416)996-8326

Mentor Coaching Group starts Tuesday June 9 at 3 pm ET

Calling all coaches needing to recertify their ACC or who are working towards their ACC or PCC and
need to complete 10 hours of Mentor Coaching. The next Mentor Coaching Group will start on Tuesday June 9th from 3 - 4pm ET/New York by phone, running to September 10th.

This is a 10 hour small group mentor coaching program, where we explore the eleven competencies of the ICF. Three hours are scheduled individually with me over the three months, and seven of the hours are scheduled by phone for one hour calls in a small group setting (maximum 6 coaches). 
During our group calls we spend half of each class exploring two or three of the competencies each session, also discussing approaches and resources you as a coach utilize. The other half of each of the group call is a coaching practicum, where you on a rotational basis will have the opportunity to coach at least one other participant. You will receive feedback on your skills, and you will also benefit from seeing different styles at play.
Each group call is supported by module notes, which include more information about the competencies. 
Here’s what a recent alumni said about the program:
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,
Cost: $1000 US or CDN (plus HST) for the 10 hour program
You can learn more about the program here as well as register here.

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC, CPCC
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, May 25, 2015

Reminder - Early Bird Rate for July 16-17 Muskoka Team and Group Coaching Intensive Ends May 31

It's hard to believe that this summer I'll be hosting the 5th Annual Muskoka Team and Group Coaching
Intensive on July 16-17, 2015. Each summer I welcome a small group of coaches to my summer neighbourhood to take a two day deep dive into the art and practice of team and group coaching. We roll up our sleeves as well as engage in dialogue around the best practices, approaches and resources for designing, implementing and marketing your own group and team coaching work.

In addition to best practices around design, implementation and marketing we cover topics including:
  • 3 key elements in any group or team coaching process - before, during and after the session
  • Designing powerful programs - in person and by phone
  • Key elements for great visual design - workbooks, flipcharts, presentations
  • Approaches for boosting the conversation in team and group coaching
  • Creating trust and connection in groups
  • Working with clients around goal setting and accountability
  • Best practices for virtual programs 
  • Mitigating against tricky issues and difficult participants
  • More than 2 dozen coaching tools and approaches which can be adapted for group and team coaching
Throughout the two days I open my own toolbox to create a resource rich program. You also get multiple opportunities to lead us through both facilitated discussion and a group or team coaching conversation. Each participant receives a 100 page manual and a copy of one of my books, Effective Group Coaching OR From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching. Have them both? I'll give you a set of the Conversation Sparker cards!

Space is limited to 8 to really foster deep dialogue and connection, as well as tailor the program to those participating. The program is approved by the ICF for 19 CCEs, including 17 hours of core competencies.

The early bird rate for the July program will gives you a savings of $200 plus HST ends on May 31st, so do take advantage of this special pricing of $895 plus HST which can be paid in one or two installments.

Here's what past participants have said about the program
"WOW! A resource-packed boot camp to move from individual coaching to group and team coaching - Jeb Bates, PCC

 "An amazing opportunity for coaches to expand their capabilities and really learn what it takes to be a great group/team coach. Practical and inspiring!"

 "A must for a group coach building a practice/business" - Ellen Nyland, CPCC, ACC

 "Fast paced. Information packed. Essential for coaches and leaders of teams” - Mark

Click here for more information and to lock in your registration at the early bird rate. Pricing increases to $1095 plus HST on June 1st. 

Muskoka is well known for it's natural beauty and has been voted by National Geographic as a top summer destination in recent years. Why not make it a longer trip and take advantage of some R and R time. Click here to learn more about Muskoka.  The program will be held in Huntsville for our 5th year.

Questions? Please email me

Best wishes,

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)

Upcoming program dates include:
Group Coaching Essentials - by phone: 8.75 CCEs: Tuesdays 915 -1030 am ET: June 9 - July 14
Mentor Coaching Group - 10 hrs - Tuesdays 3 - 4 pm ET: June 9 - September 10
Virtual Facilitation Skills Intensive (online) - Tuesdays 5 -8 pm ET - June 2 - 30 (15 hours) 


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Six Powerful Questions to Close a Group Coaching Session

A couple of weeks ago I started a new series on powerful questions. As coaches most of you would recognize the importance, and value, of having a wide repertoire of questions to pull from, depending on
6 Coaching Questions - Copyright 2015 Jennifer Britton
the different types of coaching conversations you are having.

Today we're going to look at six (plus) questions you might consider drawing from in closing off a coaching conversation. These are applicable whether you are coaching an individual, team or group:

1. What is your next step?
2. What insights have you gleaned today?
3. What are you committed to doing, no matter what?
4. What's the one thing you can do in the next 24 hours to move towards your most important goal/your commitment? (I really like this one and you will often notice a palpable visceral response - sitting up straighter, raised eyebrows, widened eyes)
5. What was your greatest learning/insight/a-ha from today's next conversation?
6. a) What might get the way of your success?
b) What can you do to mitigate or minimize? (as always, use language that is relevant to the client)
c) Who can support you with any hurdles?
7. Six months from now, what would you like to have achieved?
8. What's the energy you are leaving with?
9. On a scale of 1-10, how did we do in meeting your needs for this call/conversation today?

Ideally, any questions we use should be relevant to the themes we are coaching around and in the clients language. You will also want to consider making a list of questions to draw fro which might be more relevant when closing off a session, versus closing off an entire coaching process.

What are some of your favorite coaching questions for closing off a group coaching conversation? An entire group coaching process?

Have a great rest of your International Coaching Week,

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)
Early Bird rate now on for the 5th Annual Group and Team Coaching Intensive (19 CCEs) in Muskoka, Canada - July 16-17, 2015. Early Bird rate ends May 30th.
 Contact us by phone: (416)996-8326

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Getting the Word Out about Our Work: A bakers dozen ideas

It is International Coaching Week and an opportunity to spread the word about what coaching is, what
Getting the Word Out - Source: Dollarphoto
coaching is not, and how it can look in all its' varied forms. What are you doing this week to get the word out?

Recently as I have launched my latest on-demand learning program for coaches and others who are wanting to fill their own workshops, retreats, teleclasses, and group/team programs, I have been coaching a number of people who are wanting to get the word out about their programs. The Marketing Tips For Your Group and Team Program is a self-paced four-hour video based course, geared to give you some foundations, and practical tips, in marketing your next program. It was inspired by the hundreds of questions I have been asked over the years about getting "voices on the line" and "bums in the seats" particularly around filling public programs, and building a brand for your coaching business.

Today's post is intended to get you thinking about how YOU can get the word out about your work as a coach. Given that it is International Coaching Week how might you connect with others to talk about, and bring to life the work you do. Here's a bakers dozen (13) ideas to get you started:

  1. Write a series of blog posts on coaching
  2. Write a series of  articles
  3. Host a "drop in" coaching cafe - virtually or in person - so that others can experience coaching
  4. Band together with other coaches and have a table at a local trade show (this was something I did a couple of times in my first year of business and it was a lot of fun and great about getting the word out!)
  5. Host a focus group with past clients to see what they have enjoyed about your work and found as beneficial (be aware of confidentiality so some of you may want to hold these calls 1-1)
  6. Develop case studies based on past examples of work you have completed (again maintaining confidentiality)
  7. Host a coach-a-thon
  8. Develop a flash-mob
  9. Volunteer your time to host a coaching conversation/program at a local non-profit
  10. Record a series of audio posts or podcasts on what you focus on as a coach, OR key topics of interest to your clients
  11. Book speaking engagements with organizations related to your focus area for the next quarter
  12. Consider developing a Frequently Asked Questions sheet about your work
  13. Capture testimonials from your clients
How else might you get the word out this week, or in the near future, about coaching and the work that you do?

Have a great International Coaching Week!

Best wishes,

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)

A reminder that the Advanced Group Coaching Practicum starts this Thursday at 10:15 am ET. Geared for coaches who want to sharpen their group caochign skills and receive feedback, while taking a deeper dive into the topic of group coaching. 10 CCEs (including 9.25 core comp). Click here for more info and to grab one of the last spots!