Thursday, November 03, 2016

Group Coaching: The Group is often it's greatest own complexity

In any group work - coaching, retreats, training - the biggest complexity is often the group itself. For
years I've been talking about the importance of keeping things simple as the multitude of variables involved in group work can be what makes the work that more complex. The last few weeks have been chock full of group and team work for me - with both corporate and public programs, in person and virtual events. I've seen the complexity and fluidness of groups and teams play out with:

Last minute date and start time changes (a couple of times now in the last 2 weeks!)
Key players not being available as needed or being pulled out for other strategic priorities
Logistical glitches leading to last minute adjustments needed or phone lines being severed
Critical issues being top of mind for groups/teams that led us in entirely new directions
and of course, life and work happening for group members, and myself

Amongst all the changes I have to say it's been a really fun few weeks and as always when working with groups and teams, rich with learning!

What's helped move through the fluidness is to remember something that one of my graduate school supervisors told me decades ago which was to "embrace the chaos". In chaos theory, now known as complexity theory, it's easier to embrace and flow than to fight it. My travels over the last few weeks actually reconnected me with a couple of professionals I worked with in the early part of my career more than 20 years ago. It was so interesting that for one person who I reconnected with one of the things that had stuck out for her was my adage of "embrace the chaos". She herself has been applying it in her work over the last  two decades. We never know what mark we will make - for the positive and negative. Don't underestimate it!

 I have to say it takes a certain level of trust and groundedness not to get thrown by some of the changes that come our way.  Pre-preparation is essential. As is our own self-management and presence.

What have you been learning this year about fluidness in our work? What's helped you remain flexible?

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton

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)

About Us: Jennifer Britton is author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) andFrom One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013) . Since 2004 she and her company, Potentials Realized, have supported thousands of coaches, trainers, and leaders, design and create more impactful team and group programs (in-person and virtual). Jennifer offers customized programs for organizations, as well as virtual public training programs. Our areas of specialty are team development, leadership and coaching. Our 2017 programming starts during the week of January  9th and will include: The Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar (8.75 CCEs), The Advanced Group and Team Coaching Practicum (10 CCEs), and the Mentor Coaching Group for ACC/PCC portfolio routes. Our 2017 Learning Lab and Design Studio Group for Coaches who want to build their business and expand their group and team programs starts January as well (2 group calls on Fridays throughout 2017)

1 comment:

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