Monday, August 18, 2014

Key elements in starting a group or team coaching engagement

It is no surprise that one of the ICF core coaching competencies is about Designing the Coaching
Agreement and another is about Creating Connection and Trust. The start of a group and team coaching engagement is one of the most important things to start planning for, and considering, as your relationships with group and team members, and the expectations you create together, create the foundation for a successful engagement.

Today's blog post encourages you to consider these elements in starting up your next group or team coaching engagement:

1. Get to know group/team members: For years I've talked about, and written about, the importance of a pre-program 1-1 call in terms of getting to know your group members, identifying common issues/themes across the group, and also answering any questions about the program. These pre-calls are also important in starting to create shared expectations about the coaching process.

2.Creating Ground Rules/Ways of Working - Creating shared agreements about behaviors which will support a positive learning environment is key component of the first call. Discussion around confidentiality and what this means, and other process issues, helps to create shared understanding. It also becomes a reference point if behaviors do not match these shared agreements during your work.

3. Building connection amongst group members. Consider your introductory activities and how you want to start building relationships amongst group members. Trust and connection is key in the team and group coaching process. What will bring together the group? What themes do you want to illustrate in your work together? Whether you bring in a visual deck like Conversation Sparker Cards(TM) or look to a site such such as Wilderdom.com for inspiration, remember that people tend to remember the start and end of things, so your kick off is key!

4. Identify areas for coaching - a number of coaches ask " How is it possible to coach more than one person at a time?". Key to success is identifying the common areas people want coaching around. This can look different in different types of programs.

For team coaching, assessments often get at the core what the issues are. Assessments like the Team Diagnostic Survey from Team Coaching International, or the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team(TM) help to pinpoint areas where there may be systemic areas of focus - low trust, inability to work across conflict etc.

In group coaching you may be marketing a program publically - for example - a business group coaching program for solopreneurs. Your program description may have drawn some of your group members to the program. Ask group members to identify and prioritize key focus areas. Working together through dialogue, what are the key topics for each session

A key definer of the coaching process is that it is shaped by the people being coached, so watch your balance between coaching and facilitation.

What else do you want to consider as you move into preparing for your fall programs? What else will create a positive first session?

Have a great week,
Jennifer


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
GroupCoachingEssentials.com
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
(416)996-8326

Join us for an upcoming program including:
 The Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar starting Friday September 12  from 10:15-11:30 am ET by phone, with calls held September 12, 19, 26, October 3 and 10 (5 calls, 6.75 CCEs)
Advanced Group Coaching Practicum - starting Thursday September 11 from 10:15 - 11:30 am ET running to mid-October (6 calls, 8 CCEs)
Mentor Coaching Group starting Friday September 12 at 9 am Eastern, running for 3 months to mid-December. Meets the 10 hours of mentor coaching requirements with the ICF.



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