People remember the start of any process, and getting things right from the start with your groups is key.
1. Pre-program calls - Getting to know each individual participant prior to starting the group process can be important for getting to know each person's reasons for joining the group, their own learning goals and how they interact. I typically schedule short 15 minute calls with each participant to learn more about them and answer any questions they have. It's always interesting to note the themes that start emerging even before we start our work together, and I find these calls are a key part of building trust and connection. Finally, the pre-call serves as a forum to make sure that each participant understands what they are getting out of the process.
2. WOW - Ways of Working or Group Agreements - In a group process, connection and creating shared expectations amongst group members is key. Working with the group to create shared Ways of Working and how they want to operate is essential. It ensures that everyone is on the same page and also helps to mitigate against tricky issues which may surface.
3. Goal Setting - the One Page Plan - Goals are critical in any coahing process and in a group each individual may have their own goals that they are working towards. One activity I like to give as an assignment usually between calls (or session) one and two is getting people to work on their one page action plan. I go into greater depth around the One Page Plan in one of the lectures of the Tips for Your Team And Group Programs. You can access that program on-demand at Udemy or at our new Learning Lab and Design Studio.
I'll be going into more examples of key opening, closing and ongoing group and team coaching activities this coming weekend at the Group and Team Coaching Intensive - 2 spots still open - November 7-8 in Downtown Toronto (19CCes with the ICF including 17 core competencies). Also two spots are open this weekend for virtual participation (via skype). Save 15% if you register with a colleague.
Have a great 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)