Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Two upcoming October trainings for coaches - Group Coaching Essentials and Virtual Facilitation Practicum

A quick reminder that there are 2 upcoming (virtual) training programs starting in the last half of October 2018.

First of all, starting this Friday October 19th at 11:45 AM I'll be launching the 6-week Virtual Facilitation Practicum. It’s geared for coaches, trainers. and professionals who want to get more experience and gain confidence in conversation. This program covers the gamut of virtual conversations.

It is a small group setting and each professional leads a virtual call on the platform of their choice,
Virtual Facilitation Skills Intensive
receiving feedback on their skills. In addition to the practicum element of the course, we’ll be taking a deeper dive on topics related to design, exercises, leading and marketing virtual programming (webinars, conference calls etc). This is the second part of the program that makes up the Virtual Facilitation Skills Intensive (a 15 hour virtual train-the-trainer).

Cost for this 6-week program is $495 US and you can register by contacting me.

Interested in this 15 hour series? The Virtual Facilitation Essentials will start up again in November. It's a five week 75  minute program held weekly, and has been approved for 8.5 hours of CCEs.

The second program I wanted to tell you about is the flagship Group Coaching Essentials program. Our next fall 2018 group will start on the afternoon of Tuesday October 23rd with calls meeting on October 23, 30, November 6, 13, and 20th. Group calls will run from 3 to 4:15 PM Eastern on zoom.
This program is approved for 8.75 CCE is with the I CF, geared for coaches who want to explore best practices of design, marketing, and implementing their own group coaching. The program will be of interest to those  who wanting to add this on to their mix of offerings. Weekly assignments support you to further your own ideas and program planning actions.

I do hope that you'll join us for one of these upcoming programs this month.

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, PCC
Potentials Realized | /GroupCoachingEssentials
Email: info@potentialsrealized.com
Phone: 416-996-8326
Group Coaching Essentials - All things group coaching
Effective Virtual Conversations.com - All things virtual
Coaching Business Builder.com- All things business related (for coaches)  

Sunday, October 14, 2018

What to Pack and Prep for Back to Back In Person and Virtual Group Engagements

This week I'm facilitating a number of different back-to-back programs. It’s one of the crunch weeks that usually emerge every quarter. From new virtual groups, to in-person groups, from one off team events to in-person speaking. In one week, I'll pretty much be leading the full range of what I offer in my work.

A question I often get from coaches and others new to this work is "What do you pack and build in as you go to prepare for your own work?".

Prepping for Back-to-Back Group Engagements
I thought it would be useful to do a bit of an exploration of what's in my toolkit as I step into this week of both in person and virtual calls. 

First, remember that we work doesn’t start when you meet with the group or team. It begins way before that. Have you built in enough time to meet with them and get to know them? Have you built in the the time you need for preparation?

One of the key success factors to ensuring that programming is the right fit for everyone attending is holding a pre-call one on ones. While this may not meet everyone's needs, it does provide a key component of building trust and connection as you go to design and pull together program elements. While it’s easy to think that group A will be like group B, more often than not, they will be different. 

Our work needs to be tailored to the different groups that you work with. This can take some time, and shouldn’t be left to last minute. 

You may also want to include multiple pre-checks along the way (through phone calls or sharing materials for review) to make sure that there is enough time to make changes as needed. 

If you are a solopreneur and don't have a team around you, be sure to do a last minute quality check. It can be useful to run it by others who can catch any last minute typos or changes in font size. These are little details but it is a big one!

Some of the other things I always want to make sure I have for in person-programs include enough materials plus an extra copy or set of all handouts and eval forms. Also, for for every in-person engagement,  I like to pack:

  •  Post it notes
  •   Colored Dots
  •  Markers and some extra pens
  • masking tape 
  •  any visual cards I'm going to use
  • a spare set of the handouts/worksheets or binder I am using.

I also always carry my presentation or any files on earth on USB key, in addition to having it on my laptop. I also want to make sure I have my remote control for slides/laptop. 

Before I close my briefcase I do a final check for cords. It's inevitable that once in awhile cords got left behind so create a bit of a checklist for yourself at just to see what you're missing!

This week, in between my in person work I'm also going to have to be doing some calls on the road. Given that “technology usually happens”, what's critical for making this happen while on the road is:

  • 1   making sure I have the contact details for each call I am leading. This usually includes access codes, back up dial in and url links;
  • 2.       making sure I have the backup contact details and number;
  • 3.       making that the app on my phone works;
  • 4.       Ensuring I have the participants email addresses and phone numbers in case tech happens.

 I also need to remember to pack headphones and a spare battery charger.

These are small details but they mean the big difference of being able to do work well on the road.

When getting ready to deliver back-to-back programs during the week, a final area is to make sure that your building in enough time for yourself what will help you transition from activity to activity.

Anytime you have “crunch weeks”, it is important to pause once it’s done. How will you take some time to recharge afterwards? When you are working for yourself, you may find you have 80 hour weeks but these should not represent every week. It is important to build in “focus breaks” for yourself before, during and after the event.

The last part of the year can be a very busy time for teams and groups as they are usually trying to fit in events during the fiscal. It an be important for you to decide what you can, and cannot take on, and who you might be able to refer to.

Let us know what you pack in your kit for either in person and or virtual programming by commenting below.

Have a great week everyone!

 PS - I hope that you'll join me for an upcoming program including our upcoming community calls – including Monday October 15th 11:15 – 11:45 am ET call on Team Tools for the Virtual and Digital Space. This call will be held in my zoom room (zoom room 270-302-0415).
Tomorrow I'll be sharing more about 2 additional October programs starting in the next 10 days. Stay tuned!

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, PCC
Potentials Realized | /GroupCoachingEssentials
Email: info@potentialsrealized.com
Phone: 416-996-8326
Group Coaching Essentials - All things group coaching
Effective Virtual Conversations.com - All things virtual
Coaching Business Builder.com- All things business related (for coaches)  

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Scaling your work as a coach

When I first started training to be a coach back in the early 2000s, I was still working as a leader with
the United Nations, responsible for programming and a staff team across a sub-region of 10 different countries. I had stumbled across this thing called "coaching" at a conference, and immediately saw potential for bringing these types of conversations into my work to support enhanced learning, insights, and also action. What I couldn't see clearly was how I was going to do it 1-1. My work in those days, as it is now, was primarily with groups and teams - from community groups, to teams, through to government agencies.

In those days when I first started as a coach, gorup and team coaching were very much in their infancy. Today, we still have a long way to go, however, these modalities are now recognized as sub-disciplines of the coaching profession.

Since opening my doors to business through Potentials Realized in 2004, I've been fortunate to work directly with thousands of coaches - from individual clients, to ICF chapters. A common question I get asked is "how do I scale my work as a coach"?

Today there are a lot of options to expand your coaching conversation. Consider these different ways:

Group and/or Team Coaching
On-demand Video Based Programming
VIP Days
Peer Coaching

What are the ways you are adding different revenue streams onto your business? What are avenues you are interested in exploring?

For more posts on this topic, do check out:

These past posts from the blog on Program Design here
These past posts from the blog on Business Development here.

As with most program development initiatives, developing new programming can take time, AND one step at a time, programs can be out the door in weeks. I've just started a new series on Instagram called the #90DaysPlanDoTrack, where I'm sharing a different question fo you to consider and take action on around your business for each of the 90  days of fall (or spring) this year. I hope that you will follow along at https://www.instagram.com/coachingbizbuilder.

The new 4 hour Plan.Do.Track Virtual Retreats I am hosting this fall, also are gong to support coaches and other professionals in carving out time to Plan important projects, take some steps in action and identify how they will track there results. Check the upcoming dates here, including next Thursday October 4th from 1 - 5 pm ET.

What are the modalities you'd like to add to your programming in the next 12 -15 months?

Enjoy the rest of your week,

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, PCC
Potentials Realized | /GroupCoachingEssentials
Email: info@potentialsrealized.com
Phone: 416-996-8326
Group Coaching Essentials - All things group coaching
Effective Virtual Conversations.com - All things virtual
Coaching Business Builder.com- All things business related (for coaches)  

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Essential Coaching Questions - Fall and Q 4

Several years ago I ran a series here at the Group Coaching Ins and Outs blog entitled "Six Coaching
12 Coaching Questions for Fall/Q4
Questions" where I did a series of posts on potential coaching questions you might incorporate into the coaching conversation when working with:

You can read those posts here.

 As I wrote in From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching "Questions form the backbone to the coaching conversation).

Tomorrow, Thursday September 20th, I'm hosting the first of three separate fall business planning virtual retreats. Fall officially arrives on Friday/Saturday, and it's a great opportunity to pause, and take stock of where you are at.

Given the popularity of the past questions series, I thought that it would be useful to share with you a series of questions you can incorporate into your own work with clients, or  your own business, as you step into fall.

Here are some of the questions I have been asking my clients this week:
As you reflect back on the last quarter/summer:

1.  What has worked? What hasn't?
2. What's been your greatest success?
3. What's been your greatest learning?
4. How is your work/business different today, than it was on June 20th?
5. What habits have helped you? hindered you?
6. What relationships have been critical for success?

As you look ahead to the fall (or spring if you are in the Southern Hemisphere) or Q4:
1. What are your top 3-5 priorities?
2. What will "wild success" look like at the end of the year around these priorities?
3. What do you need to say "no to" in order to focus?
4. What resources and partnerships will help you with these priorties?
5. What strengths can you lean into?
6. What blindspots do you want to avoid?
7.  What milestones do you want to plan (and schedule) to check in around your progress?

I hope that these are useful questions for you, and your clients. They can be useful journaling questions, peer partner questions, or incorporated into any quarterly check-in meetings you facilitate.

Coaching Business Builder - Virtual Biz Planning RetreatI'm hosting three separate fall virtual business planning retreats in the next few weeks and am looking forward to them. They are at 3 separate times to try and catch a variety of time zones. We'll be using my latest book - The Coaching Business Builder Workbook and Planner as a foundation - but if you don't have a copy yet, and it won't arrive in time, I'll set you up with the pages you need.

Cost for this 4 hour virtual program $97 US.

We meet the first 10 - 15 minutes of every hour online and then you'll have activities to undertake for
the rest of each hour.

During the program you'll take stock of your past quarters successes, do some planning for the quarter ahead, set some marketing goals and GET THINGS DONE - take some action on one of your projects.

I'm offering three separate time zones -  you can register for the one that's most convenient:
Thursday September 20 - 1 - 5 pm ET
Saturday September 22 - 10 - 2 pm Eastern
Wednesday September 26 - 12- 4 p ET

Check out this business development program and other offerings at the Upcoming Events page at the new Coaching Business Builder site. These are separate from the GroupCoachingEssentials.com offerings but in the coming months you should see more integration of registration options.

Can't find the link to register? Email me directly at info@potentialsrealized.com, and I'll send you a direct invoice.

If you are on Instagram, I hope that you'll follow along with the regular posts and videos I am doing at https://www.instagram.com/coachingbizbuilder (specific to Coaching Business Development) as well as https://www.instagram.com/jenn.britton (focus on the wider coaching and leadership conversation).

Let us know how you enjoy using the 12 questions I've included here!

Best wishes,

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized | /GroupCoachingEssentials
Email: info@potentialsrealized.com
Phone: 416-996-8326
Group Coaching Essentials - All things group coaching
Effective Virtual Conversations.com - All things virtual
Coaching Business Builder.com- All things business related (for coaches)  

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Systems Check Questions for Coaching Programs as You Get Back to Fall

With Labor Day just behind us, many coaches are "getting back to business". As I just wrote earlier
Getting Back to Business
Getting Back to Business
today in my monthly Group Coaching newsletter, taking time to do a systems check around your business is key at this time of year.

In my latest publication, The Coaching Business Builder Workbook and Planner, I explore five different areas coaches will want to develop systems around in for their business. If you've picked up a copy of this analog planner and workbook at Amazon or the new CoachingBusinessBuilder.com website, check out pages 70-76.

Five of the key areas you will want to take stock around this fall are your systems related to:

1. Sales and marketing
2. Product and program services
3. Registration and client onboarding supports
4. Financial systems
5. Communication

In this month's newsletter I zoom into #3 - Registration and Client Onboarding support a little bit more. You can read the newsletter online here.

For this blog post, I thought it would be useful to explore a different area - Product and Program Services, which is more the focus of this blog. As you step into the month of September here are a number of questions for you to consider:

  • What is the current mix of your coaching business? 
  • In addition to individual coaching, what are the different products and services you offer?
  • What is working?
  • What feedback have you received? When did you last review it?
  • What is in development?
  • What do your clients say they want more of? Less of?
  • What's not working as you have planned?
  • What steps are you committed to undertaking, this month? By year end?
  • Who can help you with this?

Product and program development projects often evolve into as much time as we want to give them. As an author I know how wonderful it would be, and how much I'd love to just carve out vast stretches of time to just write. Practically my business and client needs usually come first, requiring me to work around the margins of larger projects for my writing work. I've learned to find a rhythm of making this work for me, and the business, refining it with each project. I've also come to realize that the dynamic tension of practice and reflective writing is an important part of the writing I do.

As a former program manager and developer, and in the last 15 years of my business, the varying steps of the program design process have become more engrained in all aspects - from pre-program tasks, to design, delivery, evaluation and sustainability.

Key here is getting into action, and learning through the action and feedback each step creates. What feedback are you getting from your efforts?

For more on the Coaching Business Builder Workbook and Planner, check out the new site, including the related blog where you'll find more resources to support you in growing your coaching business.

Later this week, on Thursday September 6th from 11 - 11:30 am ET, I'll be hosting my fourth Virtual Book Club call related to the Coaching Business Builder Workbook and Planner. You are invited to drop in for this complimentary 30 minute call as I explore Habits and Mindsets for Back to Work and Back to Fall. The call will be held in zoom room 270-302-0415. Hope you can join us!

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized
Group Coaching Essentials - All things group coaching
Effective Virtual Conversations.com - All things virtual
Coaching Business Builder.com- All things business related (for coaches)  

 Fall programs are starting in the next couple of weeks including:

The Group Coaching Essentials program - my flagship 5 week virtual program which provides tips, tools and ideas for group (and team) coaching. Coaches are invited to apply their learning weekly around their own projects. The September group will be held on zoom on Fridays from 1015 - 11:30
am ET with calls held on September 7, 14, 21, 28 and October 5, 2018. 8.75 CCEs. This program is related to my 2010 book - Effective Group Coaching.

The Virtual Facilitation Essentials is geared for professionals who want to sharpen and build on their virtual facilitation skills to host more engaging and effective virtual sessions - coaching groups, webinars, even conference calls! 5 weeks, now approved for 8.5 CCEs. This program is related to my 2017 book - Effective Virtual Conversations. Group calls will start Friday September 14th from 11:45 - 1 pm ET with calls September 14, 21, 28, October 5 and 12, 2018.

Mentor Coaching Groups for ACC/PCC - Two groups will start this month - 10 hours meeting the ICF requirments for ACC/PCC. Geared to support coaches in sharpening their skills and deepening their underastanding of the ICF competencies.
Group A - Fridays 9 - 10 am ET: September 14 - December 14 (meeting 2nd and 4th weeks of month)
Group B - Tuesdays 4 - 5 pm ET September 18 - mid-December with group calls being held September 18, 25, October 1, 15, December 18 plus 2 other calls.

The Coaching Biz Growth Lab - Meets on Fridays from 3 - 4 pm ET the 1st and 3rd weeks of the month this coaching group focuses on supporting coaches around their business development. Join us monthly or for the quarter. More info and registration here.