Monday, August 08, 2016

Four Activities for Building Trust and Connection in Group Programs

My recent series of posts on activities and approaches has been warmly welcomed by readers, according to the blog stats. Continuing along in this vein I wanted to share with you four different activities I've used throughout the years in building trust and connection in groups. Taking time to not only create ways of working or group agreements at the start of our work, but also to get to know each other, is key to success within the group coaching process. Without trust and connection it's hard to drop into the depths needed for a coaching conversation.

Here are four of my favorites. Each can be used both in person and virtually:

1. Personal Logos - One of my favorite at the start of a group process is to get each person to introduce themselves to the group and to share one thing that they bring to the group process is to draw it in a logo. It's always amazing to see what similarities and differences show up in groups, and when working with teams have them notice and comments on the synergies, themes and gaps that show up.

2. Visual Cards introduction - as a twist to personal logos, lay photographs out in the raining room (or on a whiteboard  - with copyright approval) - and have people select the photo that represents what they bring to the conversation.

While these two are great starters,  you will want to introduce activities that provide the opportunithy to share at different levels.

3. A third favorite I've been using was introduced to me by a participant in a Facilitation Skills Training I did (thanks Jason!) called COINS. Get people to select a coin from their pocket or from a cental source you have. Ask them to look at the date on the coin and have them share something about themselves and the experience they had in that year. Several times now I have seen this be a significant activity in accelerating the trust factor in groups, depending on the vulnerability demonstrated by group members and what they choose to share.

4. Who am I when I am at my best? Providing people with the opportunity to leverage their strengths, or think about who they are at their best, provides the opportunity for expansion. This is a short activity which can be very powerful, especially if done in a team, where team members can share with each other, their memories when they have seen each other at their best.

What are some of your favorite activities to create trust and connection with groups?

Here are some other posts on connection you may find useful:

Creating Connection amongst group members - from 2014. Click here to read

Check out the Appendices of both of my books - Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013). Available at Amazon, Indigo and other booksellers.

Have a great start to your week,

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC,
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Email: info {at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Registration is now open for our fall programming including:
Advanced Group and Team Coaching Practicum (10 CCES with the ICF including 9,25 hrs core competencies): Gain practice and confidence in your group and team coaching skills in this hands-on practicum based class. We'll be taking a deeper dive into content around group and team coaching, as well as giving you a chance to lead us through some group and team coaching activities. Starts Friday September 9th at 1:15 pm ET (runs for 6 weeks, no call 9/16). Click here to learn more and register

Group Coaching Essentials (8.75 CCEs) - Our flagship program celebrating our 10th year in supporting coaches through the best practices of designing, marketing and implementing group coaching programs. We cover content related to best practices, and model a number of approaches you can use in your own groups (in person, virtual, corporate and public groups). Weekly assignments support you in moving from program ideas to skeleton structure. Starts Friday September 9th at 10:15 am ET *runs for 5 weeks, no call 9/16)Click here to learn more and register.

Mentor Coaching Group for ACC Renewal and PCC - Looking to recertify or work towards your ACC or PCC? Join us for this 10 hour mentor coaching group where we take a deeper dive into the core coaching competencies - what they are, what approaches we use and what they look and sound like. Seven hours of small group calls, and 3 hours of 1-1 mentor coaching with me. Group calls are held on Friday September 9th - two separate groups (Group A - 9-10 am ET, Group B - 12-1 pm ET)  Click here to learn more and register.