For the last several years in early January I've blogged on possible priority areas for group and team coaching. It's become somewhat of an annual tradition. Last week here at the blog I posted on some of the key themes from 2015 we saw in the realm of group and team coaching. Here's the post if you haven't read it yet, and make sure to check out the December blab I hosted as part of my 12th Annual Year End Group Programs call.
Some of the key themes and priorities which I see as being priorities this year include:
1. Clearer definition of group and team coaching competencies. For many years I have written that as sub-disciplines of the coaching profession, we lead from our core coaching competencies (link to ICF Competency framework), AND as the profession becomes more nuanced, there are some important additional skill areas and nuances around the current competencies. Additional skills such as an understanding of group dynamics, process orientation, and a more robust toolkit of resources specific to group and team coaching are some areas. There have been several studies that I am aware of which have started to explore this topic around team coaching, and I'm looking forward to being part of additional conversations which are tackling this important topic area.
What do you see as additional skill sets required for team and group coaches?
2. Continued definition of the field of team coaching - In recent months I've heard a lot of coaches saying that they feel that "team coaching is coming into its own". I fully agree, and just like in the wider coaching profession we need to be vigilant in terms of how we define the field and approaches of team coaching, as well as what it looks like.
I continue to go back to some of the core research which defines coaching as a profession. What is the focus in the work we do around goals, action, awareness and accountability? How does the "intervention' support sustained conversation and change in a team? Who owns the process? How does the team define success? How are we holding the team "naturally creative, resourceful and whole"?
How do you define team coaching with your clients? What makes it distinct from other team interventions?
3. Continued focus and expansion in virtual programming - For coaches and clients alike virtual programming can be a mysterious entity. It does provide so many benefits for clients from greater anonymity, to convenience, and ability to connect with others in a much wider geography. As many more teams become virtual in nature, building our skills in this area will be important. As coaches, the time and cost savings, added to a much larger market reach, continue to be popular selling points.
As someone who has led a bulk of my work virtually for the last 12 years as a coach (and longer than that as a former virtual leader in my earlier career), I continue to work with coaches who are wanting to shift into the realm of virtual programming (Check out the Virtual Facilitation Skills Intensive which will start online on February 4th, or the Learning Lab and Design Studio a longer term group which launches later this month).
What do your clients value - in person? Virtual? What's going to support you in expanding your skills in the virtual domain if it's of interest?
While I think that there are many more areas which are priorities including measurement, engagement approaches, sharpening our skills, I think these three are quite critical for both team and group coaches. I'd love to hear your comments - as always feel free to comment below or join the conversation at the Effective Group Coaching Facebook page.
Have a great first week back to work for 2016!
Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC, CPT
GroupCoachingEssentials.com | Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Join me in January to sharpen your coaching skills, amp up your group and team coaching work and/or coaching business:
Group Coaching Essentials teleclass starting Thursday January14th from 10:15 - 11:30 am ET (8.75 CCEs with the ICF)
Mentor Coaching Group starting Friday January 8th from 9-10 am ET (for ACC Renewals and ACC/PCC portfolio routes
Advanced Group Coaching Practicum - 10 CCEs starting Friday Jan 8th at 10:15 am ET giving you more practice and feedback on your group coaching skills, and exploring topics such as virtual programming, engagement, and activities
The six and twelve month Learning Lab and Design Studio membership group
which includes two group calls a month, a Facilitation Lab, access to a
treasure-trove of resources, and some 1-1 time with me monthly. We'll be kicking off on January 22nd or 29th.