Monday, September 15, 2014

Four Facilitation Techiques to Benefit any Group or Team Coach

Four Facilitation Techniques to Benefit Any Group or Team Coaching
by Jennifer Britton, CPCC, PCC. Copyright 2014 - All Rights Reserved

Group coaching is a fusion of our core coaching competencies, supported by additional skills from the facilitation realm.

Masterful group coaches have a variety of facilitation skills at their fingertips to support groups in prioritizing, conversing and moving through the rough patches teams and groups can go through.
Today's blog post explores four facilitation areas caoches can benefit from.

Number one, prioritization techniques. From using post-its to colored dots, helping group and team members prioritize the focus is key in the coaching conversation. With groups, lack of focus can feel like a scattered process for group members. Goals form the anchor points of any coaching process, and coaches will want to consider spending time having group members identify key goals they want to work on throughout the coaching process. Session by session/conversation by conversation you wil want to leave space for group members checking in around their process. Actual sessions may focus on exploring these goals and related issues such as enablers, beliefs, strengths, vision etc.

Six Hats: DeBono's Six Hats model provides teams and individual group members with a  structured process to unpackage and unlayer issues facing themselves. You can read about the six hats here.

Each of the six hats represents a different way to "think" about the issue. For example, you might be working with a team who is struggling to get results. Over the course of one or more conversations you may be exploring different perspectives around the issues. The yellow hat (like the sun) encourages the team to explore the issue from the optimists perspective. The black hat takes the opposite - the pessimists view. What do these perspectives infuse into the commitments for the team/group?

SWOT - The SWOT is an age-old strategic planning tool. Many coaches will find that this tool provides
teams and groups the opportunity to identify and explore their individual terrain (strengths and weaknesses), along with opportunities and threats (their external terrain).

Whether it is a 20 minute conversation or something more extended, the SWOT often provides a safe space for some teams to raise issues which have been under the surface. Of course, it is also a useful foundation for teams to continue to build upon as they move forward.

Force Field Analysis -Coaching is a process of change, and gap analysis is critical in helping clients (team, group and individual) articulate where they are now, where they want to go, and what's in the way. Force Field Analysis encourages groups to explore what are those factors that are enabling change, and which are in the way. You can work with the group/team to use different colors and/or boldness to identify the strengths of these factors.

As you consider your next team or group coaching engagement, how might you be able to incorporate one of these tools? Which one would add a layer onto the work you are doing?

Have a great week!


Jennifer Britton, MES, CPCC, PCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (,ossey-Bass, 2013)
Conversation Sparker Cards(TM) - a visual deck to bring into your coaching, team meetings, workshops and retreats

Join us for an upcoming program -
The Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar (6.75 CCEs) - road-tested tips and ideas for designing, marketing and running your own group coaching work - by phone: Tuesdays 7-8:15 pm Eastern/NY starting October 7th
Virtual Facilitation Skills Intensive - a 15 hour program geared to equip you with facilitation skills and practice. You can join us in Toronto for face-to-face training or take this 15 hr progam online. We cover virtual facilitation to a great depth with the online version. Groups starting Mondays 8-11 am Eastern/NY (5 weeks - September 22, 29, October 6, 20, November 3) OR Wednesday evenings 6:30 - 8 pm Eastern/New York starting October 8 (10 weeks runs to December 10)
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