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,

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.

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