Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year - Cheers to Greatness in 2011


Happy New Year to all. I hope that this year will be full of the success, magic and prosperity you desire!


"Let this coming year be better than all the others. Vow to do some of the things you've always wanted to do but couldn't find the time. Call up a forgotten friend. Drop an old grudge, and replace it with some pleasant memories. Vow not to make a promise you don't think you can keep. Walk tall, and smile more. Don't be afraid to say, 'I love you'. Say it again. They are the sweetest words in the world." - Ann Landers

I want to thank all of you for your support over this last year and I look forward to continuing to serve as a resource for you with your group coaching work, retreats, workshops and teleclasses as you move through 2011.

Peace and blessings to all!

Warm regards

Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Group Coaching Essentials
Effective Group Coaching
Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/jennbritton

Photo copyright of Billy Frank Alexander. Thanks Billy!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Group Coaching Day 12 of 12 - 7 Considerations for Coaches

On our 12th day of the 12 days of the holidays, I wanted to share with you what I have seen as 7 Essential items and Considerations for Coaches, which I hope you will reflect upon and integrate as you move into the New Year:

1. Being clear on what you want to focus on and create in your work. In today's world there is a lot of noise about what coaches should focus on and do. Where do you want to spend your time in your business? Who do you want to serve? What unique offerings do you want to create with your work.
2. Continued Investment in refining your skills -Working with groups is an art and science. What investment have you made lately in refining your skills? What courses would you like to take during 2011 to add onto your tool kit? What new skills will benefit you, and your clients?
3. Getting into action - As important as it is to keep abreast of the latest trends, with group coaching, training and working with groups, the most important thing is to get into action and actually work with groups. Don't fall into the trap of over-educating without practice. Look for, and create opportunities in the new year to work with groups - in person, or virtual.
4. Knowing what tools you have at hand - When was the last time you took stock of what coaching tools you have at your disposal? Take a quick inventory of what you have at hand, and what you may want to budget for in the new year.
5. Look at the sytems you have in place and what you need to not reinvent the wheel. What can become standard practice for you and your business? What systems do you have in the areas of tracking your coaching hours, invoicing, tracking expenditures, budgeting, registrations etc?
6. Track your results - What were the activities during 2010 that really gave you inpact or brough in business? Which ones sucked up a lot of time and have not given any return (now or perceived in the future). Focus on those tasks which will give you more impact and results.
7. Ask about the impact you are having - Quantifying and qualifying the benefits of coaching can sometimes be nebulous. Regularly ask your clients what impact and benefits the coaching is having for them. Feedback, both positive and constructive, can serve to point you in new and continued directions.

I hope that you have enjoyed all the holiday specials this year. They will all be available until December 31st - you can check them out here.

Wishing you a wonderfully prosperous, happy and healthy 2011.

Warm regards
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Group Coaching Essentials.com - Next Group Coaching Essentials class starts January 13th

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Group Coaching: Day 11 of 12: 5 Key Questions To Ask

Knowing your clients is critical for success, and holding the group's agenda as a coach. Today's post is not a special in terms of product offering, but 5 key questions to ask group members before the start of a program, or during a first call. These questions will give you a better sense of "who" your group is, as well as the specific needs and preferences that exist.

Prior to your next group coaching program, or workshop, or retreat, consider asking participants/clients the following:

1. What led you to enroll in this program?
2. What would you like to get out of the program?
3. What are your primary questions/challenges regarding (the topic/theme/program)?
4. What should I know about how you learn best?
5. How can I best support you during the course of this program?

I hope that you are continuing to enjoy some space for reflection and rejuvination this holiday season. Stay tuned tomorrow as I cover 7 key considerations for coaches in their work for 2011.

To access our previous specials this holiday season (which will be avaialble to December 31st) click here, or click on the 2010 holiday special tag here at the blog.

Warm regards
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Group Coaching Essentials.com

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Group Coaching: Day 10 of 12 Holiday Celebrations

I hope that you and your loved ones have been able to take some "down time" and spend some quality time together. over the last few days.

We're into the homestretch of the 2010 Holiday Celebrations and specials for professionals who focus on group programs. You can see a listing of the other daily specials throughout December here, which include an Early Bird savings of over $200 for the April 2010 Group Coaching Intensive program (until December 31st), discounts on program licensing, as well as special pricing on the Effective Group Coaching book - 20% off and a personalized autographed copy, until December 31st.

Today's special is a discount on the January 2011 BizSuccess Group Coaching program. This 3 month program is geared to provide coaches, trainers, and other service professionals with tools and an accountability structure to focus in on, and build their businesses. Until December 31st, I will be offering a $150 discount on the January 2011 program, which includes 7 group calls, 3 individual coaching sessions, and the BizSuccess manual.

Course details are as follows:
January 2011 - Thursdays 2-3:15 pm Eastern/New York:
Classes meet on:
Jan 13, 27, Feb 10, 24, March 10, 24 and April 7, 2011
Regular pricing: $497 US or CDN (plus HST)
Special 2010 Holiday Celebration pricing: $347 US or CDN until December 31, 2010

Click on over to learn more about the program and to reserve your spot at this special rate. Spaces are limited to 6-8 business owners per session. This special rate is only available until December 31, 2010.

I hope that you will continue enjoying your holidays!

Looking forward to connecting with you soon
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC
Group Coaching Essentials.com



Thursday, December 23, 2010

Group Coaching: Day 9 of 12 Days of Holidays - 8 Favorite Tools this Year

It is day 9 of the 12 days of holiday specials and I will be returning to post again next week for Days 10 - 12 in lead up to the end of the year. For now, I want to wish you and yours a very wonderful holiday season. For those who celebrate Christmas and Kwanzaa, I hope that the day is special and celebrative for you.

During this 9th day of holiday specials geared to professionals and coaches who work on group programs, I wanted to share 8 of my favorite tools, books and other resources I found enjoyable, and important, this year in my work:

1. MindJet's MindMapping Software - For years I have used MindJet's software to support me with program design as well as brainstorming with marketing and other business issues. Another great mindmapping tool, this one free, and open source, can be found at MindMeister.com.
2. Post It Notes - Yes, the simple tool of post-it notes has so many applications, from serving as a structure or visual reminder for clients, or as a great brainstorming tool.
3. Visual Explorer - I continue to bring this tool into many of my in person work, and coaches are starting to also explore how the digital option can be integrated into their virtual programs. Check out Visual Explorer from the Center for Creative Leadership.
4. The Coaching Game - Many of you may be familiar with a similar coaching tool entitled The Coaching Game. Great opportunities for application within the group coaching context as well as with individual coaching work.
5. Cindy Huggett's Book Visual Learning Basics. I continue to love the books put out by ASTD press for their practicality. One of the best ones I read this year was Cindy's Visual Learning Basics, a book I consider a must-read for coaches holding teleclasses, teleseminars, webinars or group coaching programs by phone. You can purchase a copy at Amazon as well as at ASTD's online store at http://www.astd.org/.
6. Vistaprint's phenomenal marketing materials available at low cost. Whether you are looking for business cards, letter head or banners, VistaPrint provides great quality and quick turnaround at a reasonable price.
7. Ordering from Amazon - this year coaches continued to enjoy the recommendations I've made around books (see the right column Bookstore at my Group Coaching Essentials website). As my book Effective Group Coaching has been rolled out this year to the market place I have been amazed by how it facilitates global purchasing as well as digital consumption through the Kindle and other e-readers.
8. FreeConferenceCalling.com - Looking for a reliable and free teleconferencing service? FreeConferenceCalling.com is one of my favorites as I continue to find the recording services of very good quality. I also enjoy the web dashboard I have as a facilitator to keep tabs on the call
(muting, hands raised etc).

I look forward to connecting back with all of you after Christmas as we wrap up days 10-12. You can view all of the specials over the last two weeks here at my site.

Happy Holidays all!

Warm regards,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton
Host of the Group Coaching Essentials Program: An ICF Accredited CCE Program
Potentials Realized

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Group Coaching Day 8 of 12: Individual Coaching Sessions

I hope that your holiday preparations are coming along well! Are you a coach wanting to grow their business during 2011 or a coach or other professional looking to develop their own group program - workshop, retreat or group coaching program?

Today's holiday special is a 10% discount on a 2.5 hour individual coaching package with me. Whether you want individual business coaching, or 1-1 consults on designing, marketing and implementing your group program, this package is geared to give you a jump start for 2011. These one-on-one sessions can be booked in 30, 45 or 60 minute blocks and need to be used by April 30, 2011. Special pricing of $500 US or CDN.

You can access a special payment link, as well as a listing of our other holidays special here. Scroll down to Day 8 to purchase your own individual coaching block of time with me.

Have a great day!

Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Group Coaching Essentials
Phone: 416.996.8326

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Group Coaching Day 7 of 12 Days of Holidays: Advanced Group Coaching Special Pricing

Today's Day 7 of the 12 Days of Holiday specials, which will stretch into the middle of next week. It's been great to see people take advantage of both the free and for-fee resources over the last week. All of these items will be avaialble up to December 31st for those eager to make items 2010 expenditures.

Today's special is $25 off the registration cost for the Advanced Group Coaching January teleseminar program which will start on Thursday January 20th (Thursdays 12-1:15 pm Eastern): Jan 20, 27, Feb 4, 11 and 17, 2010. Regular pricing is $325, special rate to year end is $300 US Dollars.

The program is open to Alumni of the Group Coaching Essentials program, as well as very experienced group coaches.

In addition to providing participants with hands-on practice in facilitating part of one of the calls, we will cover advanced issues in group coaching including:

Advanced Design and Marketing Approaches - other modabilities and newer technologies
Pitfalls and Tricky Issues in Group Coaching
Dealing with Difficult Clients
Boosting Engagement and Impact for Your Clients
Systems for group coaching to leverage your time and results
Advanced issues for virtual program delivery (phone/web)
Building Your Unique Platform - Leveraging the Programs you have in place for additional revenue streams
Advanced Marketing Issues
More Group Coaching Exercises!

Space for the January program is limited to 6 coaches, as this is a hands-on program, during which you will receive feedback on your skills from me and other coaches.

Click here for more information about the Advanced Group Coaching program and to access the special year end pricing of $300 US.

Hope your festivities and preparations for the holidays are coming along well!

Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching
Host of the Group Coaching Essentials program (Accredited for 6.25 CCEs - next program starts January 13th - Thursdays 10:30 - 11:45 am Eastern/New York)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Year End Group Program Call - Day 6 of 12 Days of Christmas

I hope that your holiday preparations are coming along wonderfully and that you are starting to wind down with your work.

On this 6th Day of Christmas I hope that you will enjoy listening to two of my recent year end calls:

You can access the 2009 Annual Year End Call for Group programs here

You can listen to this year's group call - 11 Tips for Making 2011 Great!

Links to both calls are better using Firefox.

Enjoy!

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Friday, December 17, 2010

Are you Dreaming Enough with your 2011 Plans?

I'm running my year end Virtual Business Planning Retreat today and am having a blast. Part of the day has been spent on envisioning and planning around where people want their business to go during the course of 2011.

Have you started your planning? Are you dreaming as well as setting goals? Are you really creating a big enough vision for yourself during 2011?

I'm reading a great book right now called the Orange Revolution by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton. For those who work with teams it is an absolute must-read.
I also really love what they say about the difference between Goals and Dreams:

“Let’s not get confused by the difference between a goal and a dream. A goal is something measurable, trackable and is built on analytics. Goals have realistic timelines, are measured by weighing out the data, the risks, and the current assets. They are essential to success, but they follow dreams. A dream is bigger – it has no boundaries, rules or past history. It’s focused on transforming business as we know it, and approaching from a direction never pursued- or at least never attained. In dreams, we seek the outstanding change – not just within the products we create but in the results those products inspire”

The Orange Revolution, Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, pp.91 and 92


If you missed today's Year End Virtual Business Planning Retreat, don't worry! I'm going to be running it again in the new year for those who are eager to create some time and focus on their business.

Have a terrific weekend,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching

Your Balanced Life Program License - Day 5 of 12 Days of Christmas

Today is Day 5 of the 12 Days of Christmas. How are your preparations coming?

I regularly get requests from coaches who are looking for programs which they can roll out right away themselves. This fall I started offering two of my own group programs as a Program License. Coaches can now obtain their own license to run the Your Balanced Life! 90 Day Group Coaching Program, as well as the 90 Day BizSuccess program.

Each program license includes:
    • Participant Materials for Each Module (Biz Success has 7 modules, Your Balanced Life! has 6 module)s
    • Overall Agenda and Time-line with key suggestions for coaches/facilitators to use
    • Individual (1-1) Coaching Sheet – potential questions which you may want to ask in individual coaching conversations (or bring into the group coaching context
    • FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for Learners
    • Tips for Making Your Program Implementation Smooth
    • Program Checklist
    • Suggestions/Ideas for Marketing


Click here to learn more about these two program licenses and to download information sheets about both licenses.

Cost: $395 US/CDN for Your Balanced Life!, $450 US for 90 Day BizSuccess Program

Holiday special to December 31, 2010: $795 US for both. You can access the special holiday link at our site. Look for the red text!

Enjoy!

Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Group Coaching Essentials.com
Author of Effective Group Coaching

Thursday, December 16, 2010

20% off Effective Group Coaching Book: Day 4 of 12 Days of Christmas


Here's your chance to pick up your own autographed copy of the Effective Group Coaching book. Through to the end of the year, I am offering through my site 20% off the cover price of my book. Published earlier this year by John Wiley and Sons, I continue to be amazed by how the book is being received around the world.

The 20% discounted rate applies to books only purchased through my site here. The discount will be in effect until December 31st. Note that Amazon.com now only offers a 15% discount on the book.

Enjoy!

Warm regards
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Group Coaching Essentials
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized.com

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Early Bird Rate Group Coaching Intensive: Day 3 of 12 Days of Christmas

Today's special for the 12 days of Christmas is a special Early Bird Rate for the April 3-4, 2011 Group Coaching Intensive, a two day in person group coaching training program which will be held in the Toronto area next year. The focus of the program is on your skill development and practice, in addition to key tips and tools for virtual facilitation, program design, marketing and implementation.

Until December 31st you can save over $200 off the regular pricing of $995 CDN (plus HST) for the April 3-4 program. The Early bird rate is $775 CDN (plus HST).

Over the course of the program we cover:
  • What Group Coaching Is, How it Can Be Delivered (in person/by phone);
  • The Continuum of Small Group Processes;
  • Fundamental Principles of working with groups
  • Competencies of Group Coaching including:
    Group Coaching Core Skills
    Group Coaching Best Practices
  • Creating Your Vision for Group Coaching
  • Tips for Designing Your Own Group Coaching Programs
  • Essential Tips for Marketing Success
  • Tricky Situations - Dealing with Difficult Participants, Ethics
  • Avoiding the Pitfalls - Tips for Smooth Implementation
  • Exercises for Group Coaching (which you will experience and be able to facilitate yourself!)
  • Group Coaching Skill Practice and Feedback

Click here to access the Special Early Bird Rate (only until December 31st), and to learn more about the program. An application will be submitted to the ICF for this program to be considered for CCEs (approximately 14-15 hours).

I look forward to having you join me in person this spring for the program!

Warm regards
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Group Coaching Essentials
Author of Effective Group Coaching

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

2011 Virtual Biz Planning Retreat: Day 2 of 12 Days of Christmas

It's day 2 of the 12 Days of Christmas and today's item is this Friday's one day Virtual Business Planning Retreat.

Have you set aside time yet to plan for your business for 2011?

Are you eager to create some space and work through a series of structured exercises designed to support you to focus and take action on your business planning and activities for 2011?

There are still a few spaces available for the 2011 Virtual Business Planning Retreat which will be held this Friday December 17th from 10-4 pm Eastern/7-1 pm Pacific by phone.

Regular cost is $175 US or $175 CDN plus HST. Register with a colleague for Friday's program and you both save $30 each (total $145 US or $145 CDN).

The program includes the six hours of the business planning retreat, a Retreat Manual (delivered by email), as well as a group follow up call in January. Jennifer will also be available throughout periods of the day to coach you.

Click here for more information about the program. Email Jenn at info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com or phone her at 416.996.8326 to take advantage of this special colleague rate before the end of the week. You will be sent a special registration link to pay online. Visa payments can also be made offline.

I look forward to having you join us!

Warm regards
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Monday, December 13, 2010

Engaging Exercises Manual: Day 1 of 12 Days of Christmas

As we move through the holiday season this year I will be offering 12 specials for coaches, business owners and other group facilitators throughout the 12 Days of Christmas.

Today's item is the Engaging Exercises for Teams and Groups manual. Designed for professionals looking for activities and other exercises to spice up their next meeting or off-site, this electronic manual includes more than 25 activities to use with teams and groups, as well as 19 pages of additional templates to support you with your next group program. Originally published in 2005, this e-manual includes many of my favorite tried and true exercises.

Cost: $25 US or CDN (plus HST)

The manual is delivered as 6 separate PDF files which you can add to your toolkit.

Click here for more info, to view the Table of Contents or to purchase Day 1s holiday special.

Enjoy!

Warm regards,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, PCC
Group Coaching Essentials
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)

Friday, December 10, 2010

7th Annual Year End Group Programs Call

Thanks to all who joined me for my 7th Annual Year End Group Programs Call today. From emails that I have received, I know that some had challenges getting on the line.

Here is the link to 11 Tips for Making Your Group Programs Great in 2011. Whether you are running a group coaching program, a workshop or a retreat, I hope that you will keep these tips in mind as you design, market and implement your own programs. (Note this is best listened to in Firefox, the browser in Internet Explorer may not work properly)



I hope that you enjoy these 11 tips and I look forward to any comments you have. As always, please feel free to comment below.

Warm regards,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton
Group Coaching Essentials
Author of Effective Group Coaching
Join me Friday December 17th for a one day Virtual Business Planning Retreat


Early 2011 Program dates:
Group Coaching Essentials starts January 13th (Thursdays 10:30 - 11:45 pm Eastern/New York)
Advanced Group Coaching starts January 20th (Thursdays 12 - 1:15 pm Eastern/New York)
Special Early Bird Discount for April 3-4 Group Coaching Intensive which will be held in Toronto. Discount on until December 31st.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Join me for Two Virtual Retreats : Dec 1, 8 and 17th

A quick heads up for the last two virtual retreats I will be holding over the next few weeks, geared to support you in taking action on key projects for the new year. I hope that you will join us!

First, if you are a coach, leader or trainer, looking to create space and focus to get your next group program (workshop, retreat or group coaching program) designed and marketed, I hope that you will join me for the Group Program Virtual Retreat. I'll be holding it on Wednesday December 1 and 8th from 7-10pm Eastern both evenings. Over the two evenings you'll move through six hours of stuctured group and individual exercises, geared to support you with taking action on the design, marketing and implementation of your program. Benefit from the accelerated accountability and focus over the two evenings. We'll spend 15 minutes of each hour by phone, the rest of the time working from our home offices.
Cost: $175 US
Dates: Wednesday December 1 and 8, 2010 from 7-10 pm Eastern (by Phone)
Click here for more info and to register

I will also be hosting a one day Virtual Business Planning Retreat for Small Business Owners. This one day program is geared to support you in setting goals and taking action on key projects for the new year. Benefit from the six hours of structured exercises supporting you in the areas of goal setting, marketing, budgeting for 2011 and closing off for 2010. Benefit from one day of laser focus and action on your business.
Cost: $175 US
Date: Friday December 17 from 10-4 pm Eastern (By Phone)
Click here for more infromation and to register.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

I look forward t having you join us!

Warm regards
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton
Author of Effective Group Coaching
Phone: (416) 996-8326
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Friday, November 19, 2010

What's needed in a Group's Forming Stage?

Many coaches are familiar with the Group Dynamics model or stages from Bruce Tuckman. His work asserts that groups go through several stages - forming, storming, norming, performing, and ultimately adjourning (or completion/closure). These stages usually play out in the background of a group coaching process, making it important to be aware of for coaches.

What's needed by a group in the forming stage? Reflect for yourself on some of your most recent group experiences. Chances are you wanted information who was in the room (or on the line), what to expect, the different roles and the terrain you would be covering.
In the forming stage people are usually at their most vulnerable. They may feel uncomfortable and be unclear as to what to expect. In this stage, it is important for a group coach to be directive and provide information, creating a safe, and confidential learning environment.

What should group coaches make sure they cover, or provide the room for, at this stage:
* Introductions - of yourself, and of each other
* Ground Rules - including the ever important one of confidentiality
* What people can expect from a group coaching process
* A high level overview of the program
* Any other logistical pieces of interest
* Designing the Coaching Alliance

What else do you think is needed in the forming stage? Are there any exercises you find useful in this first or second session with a group? As always, I invite you to comment here at the blog.

Warmly
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Group Coaching Essentials
Email: info[at] potentialsrealized{dot}com
Phone: (416) 996-8326

Note: New dates for our final Accelerated Group Coaching Essentials program of the year: Tues/Thurs 8-9:15 pm Eastern: Nov 30, Dec 2, 7, 9, and 14, 2010 (all classes will now fall in 2010 for those still requiring CCEs. The program is accredited for 6.75 CCEs, including 4.25 Core Competency CCEs)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Essential Resources: In Person Group Coaching Toolkit

I was in Michigan over the weekend talking to the Professional Coaching Association of Michigan (PCAM). It's an outstanding ICF chapter!

It's been a while since I have written about some of the core materials you will want to have available for in-person programs, so here's a list of what I had in my briefcase (or wished I'd had) over the weekend:

* Post It Notes
* Masking Tape
* Timer
* Bell/Chime
* Markers - Thick and thin
* Extra Pen
* Handouts (if appropriate)
* Back up of presentation on USB
* Extra soft copy of presentation material
* Remote for presentation projector (plus extra batteries!)
* And Whatever exercises you are going to use

My presentation to PCAM was on Phone Based Group Coaching. Even though there was quite a bit of material to cover, the groups had quite a bit of fun using Visual Explorer. Once again, the tool and it's impact was golden!

Thanks PCAM for having me. It was a lot of fun!

What other tools do you like to have at your disposal when you work with groups?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Engaging Your Groups - 4 Ways

I've spoken with a number of virtual and in-person groups over the past few weeks about the importance of engaging your groups throughout a program - whether it is group coaching, or even a teleclass. Keeping the pace of your program moving is a key consideration for any facilitator.

Here are four things you can do to engage a group during your next call:

1. Pause and ask a question to the group - If the group size is small enough, hear from everyone. If the group size is large, hear from a few members.

2. Ask group members to write down their thoughts to a question - Encourage group members to write things down during a program. This becomes a "take-away" or record for their insights and thoughts, which they can refer to at a later date. Our moments of brilliance are never planned. Who knows what seeds you will encourage through your group process.

3. Encourage kinesthetics - No, that's not calisthenics, but kinesthetics. Increasingly learners are interested in learning through doing. How can you encourage activity and hands-on practice in your next program.

4. Create break-outs: Rather than being the "talking head" at the front of the room, how can you turn the reins over and let your group do the work. Whether you are face to face or virtual, consider how smaller group discussion can foster more meaningful engagement.

What other ways do you like to engage your groups? As always, I look forward to hearing your insights - feel free to comment below.

Have a great start to the week,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, PCC
Group Coaching Essentials.com
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Phone: 416.996.8326

Next Group Coaching Essentials program starts tomorrow - Nov 16th at 2 pm (Eastern) - Two spots still open. Accredited for 6.75 CCEs with ICF. Next start dates Nov 30th and January 13th.

Registrations are also open for the Year End Virtual Business Planning Retreat - Join me for a day of FUN, reflection and ACTION on Friday December 17th (10-4 pm Eastern). Start 2011 with a plan!

Monday, November 01, 2010

When your website goes down: 5 Key Learnings

I had the inevitable happen last week - my trusty GroupCoachingEssentials.com website which has been so dependable for the last five years, went down. Even my web designer had to do some investigation to find out what had happened. As it turns out the web host had been acquired by a larger firm with no transition plans in place. Even the back-ups stored by the company that was acquired were no longer accessible.

So...a few days of going back to basics and accepting registrations for programs by phone. The site will be back up in all its glory in the next day or so, thankfully due to the support of my wonderful web guy.

It's been a good learning process for me and has underscored the importance of a number of things:
1. Systems are critical - have a copy of all your pages on back up for yourself. Run off a hard copy. Know where you have all your downloads/graphics and other add-ons to the site.

2. Diversification is key - Even though GroupCoachingEssentials went down business has continued with people reaching out to me to register through my other online presences - PotentialsRealized.com, this blog and via Twitter.

3. Remember that marketing is also about an ongoing conversation - Even though the site has been down, I know that the site is only one of a handful of communication vehicles with my community and audience. How are you sustaining an ongoing dialogue beyond your website? Are you leveraging blogging, newsletters, phone based group calls?

4. Know and Trust Your Web People -I've been very fortuante since day 1 of the design of my GroupCoachingEssentials site back in 2006. My designer was starting out then and we've worked over the years to maintain a very good line of communication. I owe a lot to his support.

5. Offer alternative ways to accept registrations - Had my website been the only way for people to register for my group programs it would have been a very challenging week. Ensure that you have alternative ways to accept registrations - by phone/fax, credit card, PayPal or other.

Hope that you will not have a similar experience, but if is should happen, I hope that you will keep these issues in mind as you continue to develop your own systems for your own business.

Have a great week,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Potentials Realized
Group Coaching Essentials.com (Hopefully back online tomorrow!)
Phone: 416-996-8326

The next Group Coaching Essentials program starts November 16th (Tuesdays 2-3:15 pm ET, nov 16, 23, 30, Dec 14 and 21, 2010). Still looking for CCEs to renew your credential? The program is accredited for 6.75 CCEs with the ICF. Registrations by phone at 416.996.8326, PayPal or back online here by midweek.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Group Coaching: What's Your Focus?

Coaches often ask What Type of Group Coaching programs can I offer? It's great to see that group coaching continues to expand in how it is being offered (in person, phone, web and some skype). Expansion also continues with the core themes or topics coaches are coaching around. As I look at the coaches who have participated in the Group Coaching Essentials program this year, there has been tremendous diversity of client groups that they work with.

Here's a sample of some of the focus areas coaches have been identifying for group coaching:
- work-life balance issues,
- new entrepreneurs,
- new managers in the onboarding process,
- professionals at different stages of career transition,
- group coaching for new dads, new moms, college students, financial professionals, nursing and health care professionals, retirees...
The list does go on and on.

In identifying your group coaching area, or possibilities, consider the following questions:
  • Who would I like to be offering this program to?
  • What topics/themes/questions are really important for them?
  • The biggest question they want answered is?
  • The resources they are looking for are?
  • The type of support they want is....
  • What do I know aout the needs of this group already?
  • How can I find out more?
  • What other programs exist to support them (group coaching, individual coaching, other training programs etc)?
  • Who else is doing work in this area? How is what I want to offer similiar? Different?
  • To move my ideas into action this week, I will....

I hope that these questions will provoke some of your thoughts.

What are you going to focus on?

Have a terrific week!

Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching
Group Coaching Essentials - accredited for 6.75 CCEs by the ICF. New start dates November 2nd, 16th and 30th.


PS - I am looking forward to connecting with many of you on Friday at 9 am ET at the Global Coach Conference where I will be speaking about 5 Keys to Successful Virtual Programs. See you there!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Accordion approach to Program Design


I often speak about the Accordion approach to Design which can be really useful to consider pre-program whether you are running a retreat, group coaching session or workshop. Many facilitators find that a common challenge is just not having enough time to "squeeze it all in". For year's I've been advocating the KEEP IT SIMPLE and LESS IS MORE principles for Coaches who join me for the Group Coaching Essentials program. Sometimes thinking about it is just not enough, because after all, we often don't know what will transpire until we are in front of a group.


When looking at your next program design, why not apply the accordion approach. Very simply, ask yourself:


1. What exercises/content/questions can I elongate - accordion out - if I need to?

2. What exercises/content/questions can I shorten - accordion in - if I need to?



It's always good to spend a short time pre-program considering the pinch points and what you absolutely want to make sure the group covers.


Hope that you find this useful with your next program! For more info on it, you can check out what I have to say in Effective Group Coaching



Warm regards,

Jennifer


Jennifer Britton

Group Coaching Essentials.com

Phone: (416)996-8326

Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com


PS - We had a great start to theOctober Group Coaching Essentials program last night. Coaches who are still needing to acquire some CEUs for December recert may be interested in our 3 programs which will be offered in November. 6.75 CCES from the ICF (including 4.25 CCEs for Core Competencies). 4 Spaces remain for the Nov 2nd start (Tuesdays 9-10:15 am ET). A new program start date has been added for November 16th (Tuesdays 2-3:15 pm ET). Hope that you will join me!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Action and Reflection

“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” - Peter DRucker

What steps are you taking to provide your participants with action and reflection?
What impact is this having?

Have a great week,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton
Next Group Coaching Essentials program starts this Tuesday (October 5th) from 8-9:15 pm Eastern. 2 spaces still open! Group calls held on Oct 5, 12, 19, November 2 and 9. Accredited for 6.75 CCEs wtih the ICF for recertification purposes.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Business Building Tips, Support and Accountability

Marketing is a critical part of any group coaching process, whether you are having to market to the public, or market a program internally.

One of the experiments I started earlier this month on Twitter is the 100 Days of BizSuccess Questions. We are now at day 27 and it's been neat to hear from business owners all over the world about what questions have resonated with them. You can follow along at Twitter @jennbritton for my daily BizSuccess tips.

For several years now I have been running the 90 Day BizSuccess program, a group coaching program geared to give business owners (yes, coaches included!) a place for accountability and dialogue, as well as tools to grow their business. Our next session starts next week - Tuesday October 5th from 2-3 pm Eastern. Over the next 3 months we'll be meeting every other week for group calls (Tuesdays 2-3 pm Eastern), and I'll be holding montly 1-1 coaching calls with each business owner. To keep the momentum going you'll receive email bytes/tips in your inbox three times a week, and there will be structured assignments to move you forward in your business.

We'll be exploring themes such as Clarifying Your Business Vision, Finding Your Marketing Sweetspot, Systems to Boost Your Business, Leveraging Social Media and Expanding Your Relationship Web, along with many other rich topics. Space is limited to 6 business owners.

There are still a number of spaces open for next weeks program. I would love to have you join us! for more information and to register you can click here, or give me a call directly at (416)996-8326.

Looking forward to hearing more about your business goals!

Warm regards,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton
Author of Effective Group Coaching
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Monday, September 20, 2010

Participate in the 2nd Group Executive Coaching Survey

Many of you will know that I am a real advocate for enhanced research in the coaching profession, and am always eager to hear of, and spread the word on, research related to Group Coaching. When I wrote Effective Group Coaching last year I found that there was really not a lot of research out there.

Jacki Nicholas of the Air Institute is undertaking the 2nd Group Executive Coaching Survey. The first one was published last year and provides an important overview of group coaching.

If you are a coach who is undertaking group coaching work, I would strongly encourage you to participate in this 20 minute online survey. It will help to boost the knowledge base of this emerging work in our profession.

You can complete your own survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/29N3WVL.

I look forward to hearing about the results Jacki - thanks for your leadership on this! I look forward to seeing the results and hope to spotlight these here down the road.

Warm regards,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton
Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

PS - Next Group Coaching Essentials program starts Tuesday October 5th (8-9:15 pm ET) - 4 spaces still open! Accredited for 6.75 CCEs (ICF). Hope you will join us!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Great Exercises for your Team and Group Work

I'm often getting asked "What are some of your favorite exercises you use when working with teams and groups"? Since I started working with groups back in the late 1980s in outdoor wilderness leadership programs I have amassed bookcases full of ideas and great ones. I always encourage professionals new to this work to spend some time collecting their own and looking for opportunities to undertake their own train the trainer education.

I had to surf the net today (one of the best resources around for collecting great ideas) and stumbled on these sites which I think provide a pretty good introduction to some different exercises:

Huddle's Teamwork - 10 Quick and Easy Team Building Exercises (Communication, Problem Solving)
BusinessBalls.com - some great business games for teams and groups
Group-Games.com - 40 free activities with instructions
and of course one of my favorites - Wilderdom.com

What exercises do you enjoy doing?

Have a great start to the week.

Warm regards,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton
Author of Effective Group Coaching

Friday, September 10, 2010

Follow the 100 Days of BizSuccess Questions at Twitter

Earlier this month I started a new Twitter experiment - tweeting business development questions once a day for a 100 days. We're now into Day 10 and I hope that you will follow along at http://twitter.com/jennbritton.

So many coaches continue to struggle on the business side of things. For the past three years I have been running the 90 Day Biz Success program for coaches, trainers and other service based professionals, and have seen what focus, and some practical business development resources and exercises can do to boost a business. The fall group will be starting next Friday September 17th at 11 am and will run until December 17th.

I'm encouraging "followers" to carve out time on a daily basis to reflect on the daily questions I am posing, as well as setting goals and taking action on these goals.

I hope that you will join me on Twitter for the next 90 days, and prehaps even in the more intimate environment of either the Group Coaching Essentials program (starts Thursday Sept 16th at 10:30 am ET) or the 90 Day Biz Success Program (starts Friday September 17 at 11 am ET).

Here's some of the first 10 questions I've tweeted for coaches and other business owners to consider since the start of the month:

Biz Success Q 3: Who haven't you connected with lately in your network?What's the 1 step u can take today to reach out?

Biz Success Question 4: What skills make you stand out as a business owner or leader?
Biz Success Q 5: What's the 1 activity you have been shying away from this week?What would be the impact if you did it
Biz Success Question 7: What's on your not-to-do list today?

Have a great weekend!

Warm regards,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Five Questions to Ask If You are Going Virtual with Group Programs


Technology has really changed the way we can deliver group coaching, and other group programs over the last few years. More and more coaches are now delivering programs by phone, skype and web. Over the next couple of months I will be speaking on key tips and ideas for coaches who are looking to take their programs virtual. On october 15th I'll be presenting 5 Keys to Successful Virtual Programs - Teleclasses, Group Coaching and Webinars at the Global Coach Conference. you can be one of 20 coaches to join me for free at the conference from 9-10 am EST that day. Click on over to http://www.globalcoachconference.com/ to reserve your seat with me.

In November I'll be presenting at the Professional Coaches Assocation of Michigan on Tips and Ideas for Phone Based Group Coaching work. You can check out this great fall conference at http://www.pcamconference.com./

So, what if you are thinking about taking an in-person program virtual? What questions should you be asking? Here are five key questions to keep in mind when moving an in person program to a virtual one:

1. What components can stay the same?
2. What modifications will I need to make (timing, pre work, post work, exrcises)?
3. Which exercises can be moved to an assignment that participants can complete between calls?
4. What changes do I need to make to the materials I provide?
5. How long will this program take to run in a virtual setting?

I go into much greater depth about other virtual considerations in the Effective Group Coaching book and would invite you to check out my other posts on the topic here at the blog.

Enjoy!

Warmly
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton
Group Coaching Essentials

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Check Point - Taking Stock as We Get Back to Fall

As we move into the fall of the year in the northern Hemisphere, thoughts shift to "getting back to work". It's often useful to build in some time to pause and take stock as to where you are, what you have at your fingertips, and where you are going. Those of you who have read my book, Effective Group Coaching, or who are subscribers of my newsletter would know that I encourage coaches to take stock at regular points of the year - quarterly or at major transition points.

Here are a few questions borrowed in part from Effective Group Coaching (lots more checkpoints included there!) are:
- I am really pleased that I have accomplished the following this summer/last quarter/since the start of the year
- The major projects I want to complete are....
- The new projects I want to start are....
- The opportunities facing me right now are....
- The challenges facing me right now are....
- I want to keep the following on my radar screen for the remainder of the year
- I want to put more attention on ______ for the next few months
- My next steps are...
- I will be accountable to....

Have a great start to September!

Warm regards,
Jennifer

PS - Some of the programs we have starting this month to keep you on track are:
Group Coaching Essentials - starts September 16th (Thursdays at 10:30 am ET)
90 Day BizSuccess Program for Coaches - Fridays from 11-12 noon ET starting September 10
Mentor Coaching Group for ACC Renewals - Fridays from 2-3 pm ET starting September 10
Advanced Group Coaching - Fridays from 12 - 1:15 pm ET starting September 17th

September Offerings - Group Coaching, Business Building for Coaches

It's September and it's back to learning and action for many of us! This month we have a number of exciting programs - both new and old - which I hope that you will consider joining us for:

NEW - Mentor Coaching Group for ACCs (Renewals and new candidates): Are you an ACC candidate or renewal and needing to work with a mentor coach? Join me and a small group of other coaches for the mentor coaching group I will be offering this fall. It meets the requirements for your 10 hours of mentor coaching needed for recert. We'll be holding 7 one hour group coaching/mentoring calls to focus in on the core ICF Coaching Competencies over the next 3 months, and I will be holding a monthly 1-1 mentor coaching call with you each month (3 hours in total). Benefit from a collaborative learning envrionment, as well as a lower cost! Calls will start on September 10th on Fridays from 2-3 pm Eastern/New York. Click here for more info and to register. Special $200 US discount off program pricing for those who register with a colleague.

Group Coaching Essentials (6.75 CCEs from the ICF): Geared for coaches who want to design and deliver their own group coaching programs, this course focuses on giving you core tools and information so you can design, run and market your own group coaching program. The program includes dozens of practical, road tested tips, tools and templates so you don't have to reinvent the wheel. Benefit from the years of experience from Effective Group Coaching author, coach Jennifer Britton. Cost $325 US
September 2010:
Thursdays 10:30 - 11:45 am ET
: September 16, 23, 30, October 7 and 14, 2010
October 2010:
Tuesdays 8-9:15 pm ET:
October 5, 12, 19, November 2 and 9, 2010
Click here for more info and to register

Advanced Group Coaching: This program is geared for experienced group coaches and alumni of the GEC program. In addition to giving you real-time practice and feedback on your virtual group coaching facilitation skills, we look deeper at more advanced group coaching issues related to tricky issues, implementation, design and marketing.
Program runs: Fridays from 12-1 pm Eastern: September 17, 24, October 8, 15, 22 and 29, 2010 Click here for more information about the Advanced Group Coaching program.

90 Day BizSuccess for Business Owners: This fall's program is geared to coaches, and other service based professionals, who are business owners. The program supports coaches to plan and take action on their own business over a 3 month period. We cover topics such as creating your business vision and RoadMap, identifying your limiting beliefs, developing a marketing plan, leveraging social media and identifying your marketing sweetspot. You will leave the program with enhnaced knowledge, core plans and having taken action and created accountability in your business.
Program runs Fridays from 11 - 12 noon Eastern: September 17, October 8, 22, November 5, 19 and December 3 and 17, 2010
Cost: $397 US
Click here for more info or to register for the 90 Day BizSuccess program

I look forward to having you join me this fall for one of our upcoming phone based programs! All programs are limited in space to ensure maximum interaction.

Warm regards,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized
Group CoachingEssentials.com
Follow me at Twitter: @jennbritton (Follow my Twitter 100 day Biz Success Question Exercise which starts Sept 1st!)
Phone: (416) 996-8326

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Journaling and Group Coaching

Back in 2007, I wrote a post about Journaling as a Group Coaching Tool. Since that time journaling continues to move to the fore-front as a great coaching tool. If you are not yet incorporating it into your group coaching work, this fall you may want to give it a try.

Journaling can become a wonderful tool to capture goings-on, as well as a self-reflective tool to process what has occured in the span of a day, week or conversation.

Mark Smith in Keeping a Learning Journal from Infed.com suggests the following four approaches to journaling:

"A good starting point is to use four basic elements:
Description of the situation/encounter/experience that includes some attention to feelings at the time.
Additional material - information that come to our notice or into our minds after the event.
Reflection - going back to the experiences, attending to feelings and evaluating experience Things to do - the process of reflection may well lead to the need to look again at a situation or to explore some further area. It may highlight the need to take some concrete actions. In this 'section' of the entry we can make notes to pick-up later. "
(Smith, Mark (1999, 2006), 'Keeping a learning journal', the encyclopaedia of informal education, www.infed.org/research/keeping_a_journal.htm. )

Some useful journaling resouces can be found at:

CoachingToys online store - CoachingToys continues to carry a myriad of journals and journaling tools which coaches can benefit from
A Squidoo Lens on Journal Writing Prompts
Penzu.com - A private, online journal

What journaling resources do you enjoy using? As always, please feel free to share below.

Warm regards,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC, CPT
Author of Effective Group Coaching

Friday, August 20, 2010

33 Ways to Promote Your Next Group Program - Workshop, Retreat, Group Coaching

33 Ways to promote Your Next Group Program:

Not quite sure as to how you want to let others know about your next workshop, retreat or group coaching program? Here are 33 ways to get your creative juices flowing.

Announce it in your next e-newsletter
Blog About It
Tweet About it
Invite the Media to your Event
Talk about it at your speaking engagements
Participate in tradeshows attracting your idea group member
Hold a special free call in advance
Send postcards with a special personalized invite out
Talk about it with current clients
Tell your family and friends about it and have them talk about it
Network through professional associations
Get Really Clear on Who you Want to Attend and target their
Retreat listing services
Teleclass listing services
Craigslist
Partners with others
Offer an early bird special for early registration
Offer a discount for people who sign up with others (where laws permit)
See if the facility you are holding it at can promote it
Put it in your marketing budgt
Notices
Email signatures
Notify current telesemianr/group coaching clints
Write articles – build your platform!
Go out to colleges and universities to speak
Make sure that there is a notice on your website
Send a news release about the event
Put up local notices where appropriate (community centers etc)
Announce it to other social networks you belong to in their promos section
Create a Facebook announcement
Donate a spot in a silent auction
Create a series of podcasts which add value and announce your event
Develop a viral marketing campaign

Remember successful marketing is about building relationships, adding value and consistently sharing your message. You may not undertake all activities today, but which ones do you want to add to your marketing plan this quarter?

Warm regards,

Jennifer

Jennifer Britton

Author of Effective Group Coaching - Check out the book for many more ideas, and structures to support you in your next group coaching marketing

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

5 Group Coaching Exercises for Small Business Owners

Coaches who specialize in working with small business owners and may wonder what are some of the group coaching exercises I can use with Small Business Owners?

Over the years I've working with dozens of small business owners groups - from in person groups of women business owners participating in government programs, to groups of business owners part of associations, to the business owners that I work with in my BizPlanning Virtual Retreats, and the 90 Day BizSuccess(TM) Program.

Five of my favorite group coaching exercises for small business owners are:
  • Creating Your Business Vision by either providing business owners with a series of powerful questions to help them refine their own business vision, or taking the more creative and intuitive approach, of having them create a collage or vision board of their work;
  • Identifying limiting beliefs, and coaching around more empowering beliefs;
  • SWOT - yes, that favorite strategic planning tool from the 1990s, can be a great tool to support business owners explore their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats facing them.
  • Wheel of Small Business Mastery - Have you ever thought about adapting the Wheel of Life to incorporate small business skills. It can serve as a great self-assessment or intake tool.
  • Identifying core business values - What drives your business? What does your business stand for? What do you stand for as a business owner?

What are some of your favorite group coaching exercises for small business owners? As always, feel free to comment below!

Warm regards,

Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC

Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) which includes an appendix on Group Coaching Exercises

Phone: (416) 996-8326

Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Conflict in the Group Coaching Context


Group Coaches, and facilitators, may be overly concerned when conflict arises within their groups, not recognizing that sometimes conflict is a signal to "healthy" development within the group process. This week during the Group Coaching Essentials program we talked more in depth about what happens when conflict emerges.


Conflict can emerge when:


  • there is lack of clarify of roles within the group;

  • there is lack of clarity, or uncertainty, about wher the program is going;

  • there is insecurity;

  • there is fear, and/or

  • expectations are not being met.

What are you noticing about conflict within your groups? What does it signal? What action, if any, do you need to take? As a coach, will pointing to your observations be enough to let the group self-correct, or is there some action you need to take?


Have a great start to the week,


Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC, CPT

Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)


Next Group Coaching Essentials program starts this Tuesday August 19th from 7-8:15 pm Eastern/New York/Toronto(August 17, 24, 31, September 7 and 14). Accredited for 6.75 CCEs from the ICF. Spaces still open. Click here for more info and to register.

NEW - Mentor Coaching Group for ACC Renewals will start Sept 10, 2010 (Fridays 2-3 pm Eastern and will run for 3 months).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Group Coaching Essentials starts Tuesday Aug 17 (7-8:15 pm ET)


Are you wanting to launch your own group coaching program this fall, and looking for tips, tools and accountability to design, market and implement your own group coaching program?

If so, I hope that you will join me for the next Group Coaching Essentials program which will be held by phone starting next Tuesday August 19th from 7-8:15 pm Eastern/New York. We'll be meeting as a group on August 17, 24, 31, September 7 and 14, 2010. Calls will be held on Tuesdays from 7-8:15 pm Eastern each Tuesday evening.

The program is accredited for 6.75 CCEs (Continuing Coach Education) hours with the ICF for recertification purposes.

The Group Coaching Essentials program covers:
· The Foundation of Group Coaching – What is Group Coaching, Best Practices of Group Coaching, and Adult Learning Principles
· The Nuts and Bolts of Developing Group Coaching – Making Your Program Development Fun and Effective: Technical issues, Techniques and Templates for Developing and Running Your Program
· Marketing Group Coaching – Knowing Your Audience, General Marketing Principles and Materials
· Filling Up Your Toolbox – Exercises and Other Resources for Group Coaching

Each week our calls will be supplemented by written material, and exercises designed to support you in the creation of your own program design and marketing materials.

Cost of the program: $325 US (includes 5 x 75 minute calls, an 80 page manual sent out as weekly modules, pre and post 1-1s with Jenn, laser calls as requested with Jenn during the 5 weeks at no extra cost!)

I hope that you will consider joining me next week and will create a stake for yourself with group coaching work.

Click here to get more details or register.

Questions, want more info, or want to pay offline? Please give me a call at (416) 996-8326.

I look forward to hearing from you,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Group Coaching Essentials
Author of Effective Group Coaching
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Group Coaching Exercises


This week we looked at Group Coaching Exercises during the Group Coaching Essentials program.

Many coaches often wonder "What kind of exercises will I run with my groups?"

The good news is that as a coach you already have a number of really great tools that can be adapted for the group coaching context. Consider the following tools and think about how you could adapt them for your next group coaching process:

- Wheel of Life
- Values
- Visualizations
- Powerful Questions
- Creating a Vision
- Vision Boards
- Journalling
- Life Mapping

This week during the class I shared with the group some of my experience and favorite exercises I've used with different groups - business owners, professionals from financial services and health care, groups of international professionals, womens groups and those looking at work-life balance. Regardless of type of group, I do find that many of the topics/exercises listed above are relevant across client groups and focus.

Over the years I've included more detailed info about group coaching exercises here at the blog (check out the group exercises tag). I also go into much greater depth in the Engaging Exercises for Teams and Groups Manual and I dedicated a 40 page appendix in Effective Group Coaching to the topic of exercises.

In moving forward with exercises in your own group coaching work you may wish to:
- Make a list or mindmap of all of the coaching tools and exercises you have at hand
- Consider what adjustments you would make to these tools for the group context
- Research new tools and exercises
- Connect with coaches you know to swap stories and ideas
- Explore associations such as ASTD and the resources they have which can be adapted for coaching with groups

What is going to be your next step as it relates to exercises?

Have a great start to the week,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton
Group Coaching Essentials: Next session starts next Tuesday August 17 (7-8:15 pm ET). We'll spend 1 of the 5 calls of the program looking at group coaching exercises
Email: info{at} potentialsrealized{dot}com
Phone: (416)996-TEAM (8326)

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Virtual Learning and Training

Everywhere I've turned in the last few weeks there has been talk about virtual learning and facilitation. Last month my Effective Group Coaching call for Alumni and book purchasers focused on Virtual Facilitation - Tips, Tools and Resources. I attended a wonderful presentation by Jane Bozarth and Kassy LaBorie entitled "Activities, Games and Energizers for Synchronous online Training" last week presented by ASTD, and just yesterday received from ASTD a copy of Virtual Learning Basics (a must read!) by Cindy Huggett. You can pick up her book at Amazon.com or ASTD.com.

Looking at your own work and plans:
  • What plans do you have for delivering web or phone based programs this fall?
  • What are the questions you have about virtual facilitation?
  • What additional training or skills do you need to run a virtual program?
  • What support systems do you need to put into place?
  • What is the one step you can take to turn your program ideas into a reality?
  • What resource would you recommend to others on the topic of virtual learning or training?

Have a great week!

Warm regards,

Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT

Group Coaching Essentials - Next group starts Tuesday August 17th at 7 pm Eastern/New York (Tues 7-8:15 pm Aug 17, 24, 31, Sept 7 and 14, 2010 - 6.75 CCEs with ICF

Phone: (416)996-8326


Monday, July 26, 2010

Ready Made Content for Coaches

Looking for some ready made content? Check out ReadyToRollOut.com. Early last year coach and one of my favorite co-facilitators Deborah Grayson-Riegel and I came together to create a series of workbooks which can be used, or adapted for:
- Workshops
- Group Coaching
- Teleclasses
- Newsletters
- Presentations
These are turnkey workbooks which can be used “as is” or branded with your company identity. We currently offer 6 major titles:

  • Personal Productivity and Time Management
  • Networking Essentials
  • Strategies for Change Management
  • Managing Up
  • Overcoming Roadblocks (in Work or Life)
  • Should I Stay or Should I Go? (Career Transition)

Purchase gives you access to 100 licenses, so you can use it with up to a 100 clients as is.


Deb and I have woven together our decades of experience in working with corporate, non-profit and community programs as trainers, coaches and facilitators. Deb and I first met back in 2007 when we co-facilitated the Learning Lab for Coaches attending the ASTD International Conference that year. Even back then coaches were hungry for more quality content.

The workbooks are delivered in word format, enabling you to add your own touches, change the flow, or pull out what you want for your own teleclass or presentation

Pricing starts at $97 US per title, or $297 US per branded title.

Visit http://www.readytorollout.com for details on each title or to purchase.


If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me an email at info@potentialsrealized.com or call me at (416) 996-8326. Hope that you enjoy them!


Warm regards,

Jennifer


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC

Group Coaching Essentials

Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)

Phone: (416) 996-8326

Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{com}

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Group Facilitator Readiness for Coaches: Part 2

Building onto our post earlier this week, here are some core best practices for group facilitation:
  • Create a safe, and open learning environment
  • Spend time creating ground rules, or ways of working
  • speak clearly, and slowly. Avoid jargon.
  • Treat all participants as equals - and wherever possible ensure equal focus (time)
  • Stay as neutral as possible
  • Have the group be the focus of attention - not you
  • Adapt your coaching skills for the group context
  • Point to what you are noticing in terms of the group process
  • Providing particpants with a brief roadmap of what they can expect (in terms of process)

Some traps to avoid are:

  • Getting defensive
  • Taking sides
  • Knowing the answer
  • Not really listening to what is being said
  • Going over time
  • Not managing or acknowledging conflict that exists
  • Letting one person dominate

What are some of the best practices you would recommend for group facilitation?

Have a great week!

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC, CPT

Author of Effective Group Coaching

Early Bird rate for our Group Facilitation Skills Training program on until July 30th (September 24-25, 2010 in Toronto, CANADA)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Group Facilitator Readiness for Coaches

Individual 1-1 coaches who are moving into the group coaching realm often ask me "What are some of the core facilitation skills and practices I should keep in mind when working with groups?". Knowledge of how a group develops, along with core group facilitation skills and practices, plus your core coaching skills will provide a baseline foundation for you to deliver your own group coaching programs.

Here are some points to keep in mind when moving to working with groups:
  • Create a theme and a rough road map - It may not be as detailed as a workshop agenda, but loosely consider what are the major activities or themes you are going to focus in on. With mulitple client agendas present, unless group size is very small (i.e. 3-4) it can be very challenging for coach and client if everyone comes wanting coaching around very different areas
  • If possible, spend some time pre-program getting to know your participants. It may be as simple as a questionnaire or a short phone call. If you can't meet with them before, definitely spend time as a group talking about expectations and what people want out of the group coaching process
  • Be aware of the process groups (and teams) move through. Bruce Tuckman's work and theory on group and team dynamics is critical to keep in mind when working with groups. Be ready for conflict, performance and lots of other interesting behaviors in between. Leave time at the end to celebrate. I go into much more detail about the impact of group dynamics on group coaching in my book Effective Group Coaching.
  • Recognize that there will be a lot of different preferences in the room which may require different approaches, exercises and languaging.
  • Remember that group coaching is based on coaching, and that you already bring a number of tools and exercises which can be adapted. One of your most powerful skills will continue to be the power of a question!

Later this week I will go into some basic group facilitation practices - things to do, and traps to avoid!

Have a great week,

Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC, CPT

Group Coaching Essentials - Next ICF CCE Accredited Group Coaching training program starts on Thursday July 22nd at 2 pm ET. Click here for more info or to register.

Early Bird rate for our next Group Facilitation Skills Training program (September 24-25, Toronto) on until July 30th.

Phone: (416)996-8326

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Accelerated Summer Group Coaching Essentials starts Thurs July 22nd

For those eager to get their own group coaching programs positioned for fall and winter, I wanted to drop you just a quick note to let you know about the Accelerated Group Coaching Essentials program which starts next Thursday July 22nd (2-3:15 pm ET).

The program is designed to provide coaches with tips, tools and support in designing, marketing and implementing their own group coaching programs, whether they are phone based or in person programs, corporate or group programs.

The Group Coaching Essentials program covers:
· The Foundation of Group Coaching – What is Group Coaching, Best Practices of Group Coaching, and Adult Learning Principles
· The Nuts and Bolts of Developing Group Coaching – Making Your Program Development Fun and Effective: Technical issues, Techniques and Templates for Developing and Running Your Program
· Marketing Group Coaching – Knowing Your Audience, General Marketing Principles and Materials
· Filling Up Your Toolbox – Exercises and Other Resources for Group Coaching

The program is accredited for 6.75 hours of CCEs (Continuing Coach Education Units) with the ICF.

Dates: July 22, 27, 29, August 5 and 12, 2010 (2-3:15 pm Eastern) - Summer Accerlerated Program OR August 3, 10, 17, 24 and September 14, 2010 (Tuesdays 10:30 - 11:45 am ET)

Cost: $325 US or Canadian

To find out more about what coaches have said about the program and to register you can visit www.groupcoachingessentials.com/pages/gec. Registration is online or offline by phone at (416) 996-8326 (Visa and AMEX).

For those just looking to focus on "getting it done" and working on their program design, you may also be interested in joining me for a 1 Day Group Program Virtual Retreat on August 4th (10-4 pm ET) where we will spend the day online and offline working on our group programs.

I look forward to having you join me!

Warm regards
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton
Group Coaching Essentials
Author of Effective Group Coaching
Phone: 416-996-TEAM (8326)
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized.com

Generational Differences in Group Learning

It may be possible that in any of your group programs you have a range of age groups, or different generations, participating. There is getting to be a lot more information and research into the diferent preferences of the different generations. one of the sources I have found useful is the work of Cam Marston at www.generationalinsights.com. You can check out his blog as well.

I write more about the impact of Generational Preferences as it relates to group coaching in my book Effective Group Coaching. I would encourage coaches to continue considering what you include in your programs, and how you deliver it. Different technologies may have impact on different age groups, and different age groups, such as Millenials/Gen Y may have a natural inclination for group work, based on their educational experiences.

Issues to consider are:
- How to leverage the expertise of all participants, recognizing that there may be different levels of experience
- How to support participants through any technological challenges/hurdles they may face in participating
- How to celebrate the diversity of perspectives that exist across age groups, and to support sharing of insights and a valuing of all perspectives

On a practical note you will also want to consider how people would like to receive their materials (online PDFs, materials delivered on a USB or by email versus hard copy materials)

At the end of the day, we need to continue on what is it that our clients, or audience, wants and values. What will best support their learning styles?

What do you notice about the different needs of different generations in your programs? Any trends? As always, please feel free to comment below.


Warm regards,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Phone: 416-996-TEAM (8326)
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized.com

Monday, July 12, 2010

5 Great Summer Reads

This summer I have built in several weeks of holiday time, where I am working remotely a couple of days a week from my cottage. This has given me the added benefit of finally getting back to reading - a pastime I love, but haven't had a lot of time for these past few summers with my son (who is now 5)and other projects on the go. This year Matthew is a lot more independent and enjoys exploring the surroundings for fish and frogs and worms. It's allowing me to get a head start on some reading.

Here are 5 of my favorites so far this summer:

1. Happy - Ian Smith
2. Mojo: how to Get It, How To Keep It, and How to Get It Back If You Lose It: Marshall Goldsmith (http://www.MojoTheBook.com)
3. Collaboration: Morten Henson
4. The Happiness Project: Gretchin Rubin
5. Who's Got Your Back? - Keith Ferrazzi

What books are you reading and enjoying this summer? What would you add to the Summer 2010 Reading List?

Have a great week,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching
Phone: (416) 996-8326
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized.com