Thursday, January 23, 2020

Mentor Coaching: Four Things to Consider


Mentor coaching is an important part of the developmental process of any coach. Sharpening our
skills, and deepening our appreciation about the coaching competencies and what they look like, and sound like, in the coaching conversation is important at all stages. It’s also important as the coaching competencies change in 2021. What are you doing to keep abreast of the changes? 

Today’s blog post takes us into the landscape of mentor coaching, an area that many coaches will find themselves traversing into at least once, or several times, during their coaching career. 

As you consider your own mentor coaching process and support needs, take some time to explore these four areas:


#1 – Consider whether you want to group or a 1-1 mentor coaching process:
As a mentor coach myself for more than a decade, I often hear coaches hungry to hear and see other coaching conversations in action. That’s where joining a group, may be of interest. The small group process can be of great value in that it supports coaches to:
See different coaching styles at play
Hear different perspectives around the coaching process and conversation
Develop a further network of peers
Group mentor coaching is also supported by at minimum three hours of 1-1 conversations which does allow or enable a coach to go deeper into their own interest areas.

#2 – What are the areas you want to focus on?
While there are several of us offering mentor coaching groups, what are the core elements you want to explore for yourself? Are the specific skills you want to hone? New habits you want to establish as a coach?

#3 – What are you looking for from the mentor coach themself?
What are the skills and attributes you are looking for, from the mentor coach themselves? What coaching experience do you want them to bring? Are there any specific models or coaching methodologies you want them to have experience with? What type of support do you want?

#4 – What other program supports are important for mentor coaching?
Are you looking for resources to support you, a review of recordings, direction towards future training? Again, in a group coaching process this is where you may get several different insights, rather than just the mentor coach’s perspectives.

What else is important to explore or consider as you think about your mentor coaching process?

If you are looking for a mentor coach yourself, let's connect to see if I might be a good fit to support you throughout your mentor coaching process. I offer five to six mentor coaching groups each year, and also support coaches individually. Reach out and give me a call. Upcoming mentor coaching groups will be staring on February 3rd (Mondays 12 – 1 pm Eastern) running from early February to early May 2020, and then again in late March (Fridays 9 – 10 am ET) starting on March 23rd running to late June. For more on this program, please visit us at https://www.groupcoachingessentials.ca/mentor-coaching-group.html

Have a great rest of the week,
Jennifer

 ennifer Britton - GroupCoachingEssentials | Potentials Realized
Instagram @CoachingBizBuilder
Author of Effective Group Coaching (2010), Coaching Business Builder (2018), Effective Virtual Conversations (2017) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013). Check out my author page on Amazon for all publications.
Email: info@potentialsrealized.com

If you are looking for  coaching skills development through CCE approved programs - The next Group CoachingEssentials CCE approved program starts on Monday February 3rd from 9 - 1015 am ET - group calls will be held on February 3, 10, 24, March 2 and 9, 2020. This 8.75 CCE program also includes weekly 1-1 time with me (15 min each week). Is 2020 your year to get your groups going or expand the number of groups you are doing? Whether you are new to group coaching or stepping into your next year, there’s always something to learn – I hope you’ll join us. Reserve your spot here.

Starting up again soon is the  Virtual Facilitation Essentials - for those that want to expand their conversations to the virtual domain. We'll be meeting on Mondays from 1:30 - 2:45 pm ET on February 24, March 1, 8,  15, 29 2020.




Looking for a ready-made program to roll out to your clients? Consider PlanDoTrack (for remote professionals) or Coaching Business Builder (for Coaches). Next Facilitator training starts February 3, Mondays 6-9 pm ET/3-6 pm PT for 6 weeks (24 CCEs). Learn more and reserve your spot here.
https://www.plandotrack.com/facilitatorpdt.html Next Mentor Coaching Group will start Mondays 12 - 1pm ET on
February 3, 10, 24, March 9, 23, April 6 and May 4, 2020. 10 hours for ACC and PCC renewals.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Expanding Your Group and Team Coaching Toolkit - 30: Questions

Welcome back to the 30th in this series of Expanding your Group and Team Coaching Toolkit. This week we're exploring one of the core coaching skills which is at the heart of any great coaching conversation - Questions.

If you've been a reader here at the Group Coaching Ins and Outs blog for a while, you might be familiar with one of the more popular set of posts around Six Questions a Day. Take a look at them here.

Questions are at the heart of coaching conversations - and are a transferable skill we can also pass on to the groups and teams we are working with.There is an important layer of capacity building in the work that we do with many groups and teams, helping to transfer skills in key areas with the entities we work with. For many organizations the additional focus of helping teams and groups build the skills we use, is an important part of culture change.

As you think about the questions which might frame out the coaching conversation, it's likely that they will be:
* Short in length - powerful questions usually are only about 5-7 words in length;
* Mirror the language of the client/team/group - each group or team will have it's own language - is it direct, flowery, detailed, concise? What are key words being used by that group?
* One at a time - Watch for stacking questions! When we ask more than one question, it can confuse people and they may not know what to ask?
* Adjusted for different learning styles - In a group or team coaching context, it's not uncommon to see when questions do not resonate. A blank stare may signal this.  The question - What does that look like? may get reframed to What does that feel like?

A few more tips when thinking about boosting the impact of your coaching conversation:
Leave enough time for discussion around the questions. It's not about quantity, but quality.

Use breakouts if you are working with a group. Rather than always going "Around the room" pair people off so they can have a deeper level of conversation with one or two others. Provide them with a question or two.

Some of my favorite questions which I find are often transferable across conversations are:
What's important about that?
What's the 30,000 foot/meta view of that issue?
What's not being explored?
What's helping? What's hindering?
What's an enabler?
What's going to magnify that for you?
What's the flipside?
What else?
What next?

Just a reminder of the What? So What? and Now What? sequencing of questions - you can read more about that on page 73 of From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching OR take a look at this blog post here.

Enjoy your conversations,
Jennifer


Jennifer Britton - GroupCoachingEssentials | Potentials Realized
Instagram @CoachingBizBuilder
Author of Effective Group Coaching (2010), Coaching Business Builder (2018), Effective Virtual Conversations (2017) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013). Check out my author page on Amazon for all publications.
Email: info@potentialsrealized.com

If you are looking for  coaching skills development through CCE approved programs - The next Group CoachingEssentials CCE approved program starts on Monday February 3rd from 9 - 1015 am ET - group calls will be held on February 3, 10, 24, March 2 and 9, 2020. This 8.75 CCE program also includes weekly 1-1 time with me (15 min each week). Is 2020 your year to get your groups going or expand the number of groups you are doing? Whether you are new to group coaching or stepping into your next year, there’s always something to learn – I hope you’ll join us. Reserve your spot here.

Starting up again soon is the  Virtual Facilitation Essentials - for those that want to expand their conversations to the virtual domain. We'll be meeting on March 1, 8,  15, 29 and April 5, 2020.

Next Mentor Coaching Group will start Mondays 12 - 1pm ET on
February 3, 10, 24, March 9, 23, April 6 and May 4, 2020. 10 hours for ACC and PCC renewals.

PlanDoTrack Facilitator Training (24 CCEs) begins Monday February 3rd - six sessions on Mondays from 6-9 pm Eastern/3-6 pm Pacific.


Monday, January 13, 2020

Expanding Your Group and Team Coaching Toolkit - Presentations (29)

This week we find ourselves at the topic of Presentations as we look at expanding your group and team coaching toolkit.

Today's blog post is a little different in two respects. Number one, earlier this morning I recorded a short six-minute Facebook Live video with more detail about the five bullet points I want to share here.

Second, this week's post is not about what you can do with your groups and teams around their presentations  (perhaps more on this next week), RATHER it's more about your presentations of a business case, and the set up to group and team coaching. This is an area we cover more in-depth at the Group Coaching Essentials program, and at the Advanced Group and Team Coaching Practicum.

In your lead up to coaching many, there are likely to be multiple conversations with those being coached (the group members), as well as sponsors and any others involved in supporting those going through coaching. You'll want to make sure that roles and responsibilities are super clear, as is confidentiality and the role of the client.

As I discuss in this week's video message, five other areas you may want to cover in lead-up to the conversation are:

#1 - What is coaching (in general)?
#2 - How does group coaching differ from a workshop, and/or team coaching differ from team building?
#3 - What are the benefits of group and team coaching - here's where you might share case studies of your work, or benefits across the board. If you are working with a team, for example, it may be useful to share the focus on both results of the team, and building relationships.
#4 - What is the process people can expect
#5 - What are some of the critical success factors - i.e. team leader involvement and allocation of time to have conversations, and make the changes, and also their openness to receiving feedback

What are the elements you include in pre-coaching conversations? Who do you involve.
As I share in this week's video, the pre-conversations can be an important part of creating clarity for an ongoing coaching conversation.

I'm aiming do these short 5-10 minute Facebook LIves this winter (between now and early March) on Monday mornings around 845 - 9 am ET. I hope that you'll join me and you'll see when I go live at my Effective Group Coaching Facebook page.

Here's a link to this week's video

Enjoy!
Jennifer

If you are looking for  coaching skills development through CCE approved programs - The first Group CoachingEssentials CCE approved program of 2020 just started on Friday. IT will kick off again on Monadys from 9 - 1015 am ET starting February 3rd (running for 5 week) This 8.75 CCE program also includes weekly 1-1 time with me (15 min each week). We cover the best practices of designing, marketing and running your own group or team coaching processes. Weekly assignments support you in drafting out your own program. Reserve your spot here.

Starting later today is the Virtual Facilitation Essentials  program, geared for those who want to become better in leading virtual calls -like zoom calls, or webinars, or virtual team sessions.  We are meeting for 5 weeks starting today - Monday January 13th from 130 - 2:45 pm Eastern - 5 weeks, 8.5 CCEs.

The Winter 2020 Mentor Coaching Group just started Friday and will be running for 3 months until April 18th. Geared for those applying for ACC/PCC with the ICF.

Looking to grow your business this year? Join me for the 60Day Coaching Business Builder Accelerator where you will be focusing on taking daily steps and consistent action around your coaching business. This program is based on my 2018 work, Coaching Business Builder. You can join the winter session up to the end of this week - January 17. Program runs to March 15th.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Expanding Your Group and Team Coaching Toolkit - Fluidity (28)

This week's Group and Team Coaching Toolkit focuses on the topic of Fluidity. Operating in an era of VUCA, where things are volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, means that what worked
yesterday may not work today.

In supporting our clients, one of the skills we may explore is the concept of Fluidity. I often liken fluidity to be a combination of flexibility and adaptability.In my former role as a leader of teams, I often said that this was one of the hardest skills to hire for, but one of the most important. It's difficult to teach flexibility and adaptability, and this may require a mindset shift as well as a change in terms of how we operate. Learning to become comfortable with the unknown, learning to become comfortable with not knowing, and learning to embrace change and what might appear to be chaotic, can all be elements of work in this space.

What does fluidity mean and look like for each person we work with? I like to start the conversation here  and generally have people use questions and possibly visuals to enter into the exploration of this.

Questions to consider:
1. What does fluidity mean to you in your work/life?
2. What is important about being fluid?
3. What's the opposite of fluid in your work/life/team? What does it look like? What impact does it have?
4. What would make you/your work/your systems be more fluid or flexible?
5. What can you do to cultivate more fluidity?
6. What else is important in exploring this topic?

This is an area where using visual cards or images can create new awareness and insight. You might have people draw or sketch out what FLUIDITY, or Flexibility or Adaptability means to them.

Like the water metaphor in this week's photo, you could also have them sketch out bodies of water, or the voyage down a river with key spots along the way (i.e. eddies, rapids, slow turns, bays, coves etc).

Coaching around this area can be a very creative conversation. Join me next Monday, January 13th from 11 - 11:30 am ET as I explore different approaches for working with visual cards in one of my community calls this month. You can join me live in zoom room 270-302-0415. The call will also be recorded and you can catch up with it at my YouTube Channel as well.

Enjoy the conversation,
Jennifer

If you are looking for  coaching skills development through CCE approved programs - I’ll be kicking off the first Group CoachingEssentials CCE approved program on Friday January 10th at 1015 am ET. This 8.75 CCE program also includes weekly 1-1 time with me (15 min each week). Is 2020 your year to get your groups going or expand the number of groups you are doing? Whether you are new to group coaching or stepping into your next year, there’s always something to learn – I hope you’ll join us. Reserve your spot here.

Also starting in January is the Virtual Facilitation Essentials - spaces are still open in the Monday group starting on Monday January 13th from 130 - 2:45 pm Eastern - 5 weeks, 8.5 CCEs.

The Winter 2020 Mentor Coaching Group starts on Friday January 10th - Fridays 2nd and 4th weeks of the month from 9 - 10 am Eastern. Reserve your spot now in this 10 hour program which meets the requirements of the ICF.

Finally, starting this month with the first live call on Monday January 6th - calling on coaches who want to focus on growing their coaching business. Reserve your spot for the 60Day Coaching Business Builder Accelerator where you will be focusing on taking daily steps and consistent action around your coaching business. This program is based on my 2018 work, Coaching Business Builder.

Thursday, January 02, 2020

2020 focus areas for group coaches

Happy New Year! I hope that your 2020 has started off well. Keeping with tradition, I wanted to
dedicate my first few blog posts of 2020 to some of the key focus areas we may see in the year ahead when we work with groups and teams as a coach. I covered these more in-depth in the 16th annual year end group and team programs call I hosted just before the holidays.

Here are four areas you may want to keep in mind as you go to design and lead your group coaching conversations this year:

#1 - Connection
#2 - Trust
#3 - Adding value
# 4 - Micro-conversations

Inherent to a group coaching process are numbers 1 and 2. Ensuring that there is connection in the group, with you as the coach, and also with other group members. If people do not feel connected, it's likely that the conversation will remain on the surface, not dipping into the areas which are more personal to ourselves. It's these deeper layers that are the focus of coaching. If we stay at the surface due to lack of trust there is a missed opportunity.

Consider how you are going to build connection, and how your programming is creating the opportunities for connection. Are you building in breakout work? Handing things over to the group? Pairing people in pairs or triads for conversation between calls. Inviting people to always be on video? Building in agreements that group members will be present and actively engage during calls. Size matters in this as well and you will want to consider how you connect.

A second area which is critical for group coaching is TRUST. This has also been a key issue for leader, teams, business and communities for many years now. What are you doing to create transparency, engagement, and safety in your groups. What does follow through and follow up look like? What are you doing to address issues swiftly and respectfully if they emerge? Without trust, groups will also stay at the surface. This is where people will opt out as well. Consider what you can influence, including group size and the right fit of the program for the group members.

Third, what is the value add for your group members. Understanding our clients is key to success. What does adding value mean to them? How are you ensuring that they are setting the roadmap and focus? This may entail dedicating part of your first session to creating a roadmap together, having people complete pre-work in terms of goal setting and sharing with others, as well as undertaking pre-calls with everyone to learn more about them.

Finally, another influence in the group coaching space is the time available on the part of our clients. Going back to the value add, different clients may have different preferences in terms of conversation length and frequency. What are their preferences? What are yours?
One area which has shifted significantly in the last decade is the perceived time urgency many clients have mindsets around. This may translate to offering shorter call lengths - i.e. 45 minutes vs 90 minutes, as well as thinking about the overall elements of a program - including pre-work rather than doing it during the call, so you can use the time together to go deeper into the topics you are exploring.

Shorter conversations don't always mean less impactful conversations. Be noticing your assumptions as a coach and also your own preferences and biases in this area.

Our work as coaches in bringing together people for connection, sharing and learning, is so important at this moment in time. I hope that 2020 is going to bring you and your clients many opportunities to have great conversations together!

If you haven't seen the 2019 Year End Group and Team Coaching Call I hosted last month, check it out - 20 minutes.



If you missed my Countdown to 2020 posts before the holidays, be sure to catch them here. They focused on some of the essential elements and components in our work as group and team coaches including resourcing, questions, tools and focus areas.

Enjoy and I look forward to bringing you 1-2 blog posts each week throughout the year. Up next - winter program announcements (see footer) and next post will be dedicated to some of the team coaching themes we may be seeing in 2020.

With best wishes,
Jennifer


If you are looking for  coaching skills development through CCE approved programs - I’ll be kicking off the first Group CoachingEssentials CCE approved program on Friday January 10th at 1015 am ET. This 8.75 CCE program also includes weekly 1-1 time with me (15 min each week). Is 2020 your year to get your groups going or expand the number of groups you are doing? Whether you are new to group coaching or stepping into your next year, there’s always something to learn – I hope you’ll join us. Reserve your spot here.

Also starting in January is the Virtual Facilitation Essentials - spaces are still open in the Monday group starting on Monday January 13th from 130 - 2:45 pm Eastern - 5 weeks, 8.5 CCEs.

The Winter 2020 Mentor Coaching Group starts on Friday January 10th - Fridays 2nd and 4th weeks of the month from 9 - 10 am Eastern. Reserve your spot now in this 10 hour program which meets the requirements of the ICF.

Finally, starting this month with the first live call on Monday January 6th - calling on coaches who want to focus on growing their coaching business. Reserve your spot for the 60Day Coaching Business Builder Accelerator where you will be focusing on taking daily steps and consistent action around your coaching business. This program is based on my 2018 work, Coaching Business Builder.