Monday, August 28, 2006

Why are exercises important for group programs?

Here's my second post on exercises for group programs - have you thought about what exercises you have at your disposal? If not, take some time thinking about what you already have in your toolkit, and do some web based research into areas which are lacking.

So, why are exercises important? The most important factor for me is that it provides the opportunity for participants to get involved, engaged and in charge of their learning. Think back to some of your worst learning experiences. I am sure that they probably entailed listening to a person lecture on and on, or prehaps a speaker who was over-passionate about following a Power Point presentation.

Exercises are the cornerstone of group coaching, as well as workshops or retreats. Exercises allow us to create a framework for our participants to:
  • Explore major topics
  • Deepen the learning
  • Reflect on their experience, knowledge and feelings
  • Make connections between what they already know

Exercises can set the tone for a program and play an important role in energizing a group or providing closure.

In following posts I will be talking more about exercises you can use to energize a group, provide closure and use to kick a program off.

Stay Tuned!

Jennifer ~ Potentials Realized

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Power of Exercises

Exercises are an important part of any group program - whether it is a workshop, a retreat or a group coaching program. What exercises do you have in your back pocket?

Over my next few blog posts I am going to be sharing some information and resources on exercises to use throughout a group program. As an experiential educator, exercises are the foundation of any program I run.

Reflect on what exercises you have available at your disposal. If you are a coach, what exercises do you currently use with your individual clients that could be translated into the group context? My guess is that you can come up with a list of at least 10 - 15 that could be modified for the group context.

To start filling your "back pocket" (what I call as those activities I always have in the back of my mind which I can pull out at any time" do a web-based search for terms such as "icebreaker", teambuilding exercises, group exercises. I often recommend to coaches and other group facilitators to start a file, or even a binder, with exercises they have come across that are interesting. You will never know when you can use them!

A note on copyright (a pet peeve of mine when it is infringed upon, as I discussed last week to a group of business students I was lecturing to on this subject). Make sure that you have copyright access/authorization to any materials you are using. Check what the author of the activty has said in terms of use, attribution etc.

Stay tuned, lots more to come on exercises...What's your biggest question regarding exercises? - I'd be happy to include it in a future blog post.


Jennifer Britton, CPT, CPCC, CHRP
Potentials Realized
Web: - Group Coaching Essentials Website - Potentials Realized Website

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Knowing Your Client

As I have posted before (see Jan 15th post - Group Coaching Client Assessment now available), Knowing your Client, is a key component of group coaching program success - for both implementation, marketing, and impact.

Whenever you are looking to develop a group coaching program, one of the primary considerations should be "What will these clients want?". This will influence everything from program design, to how and where it is delivered (venue/phone/in person), how you approach the marketing, what topics are covered etc.

In the training realm, we call this Needs Assessment, which according to most Instructional Designers should comprise about 15-20% of your total program time. How much time do you spend thinking about Knowing Your Client (TM) when developing a group program? What has the impact been when you really knew your client?

The Group Coaching Client Assessment (TM) is still available at no charge for coaches who want a structure to further define their group coaching client base. Feel free to email me at jennifer[at] potentialsrealized [dot] com to request your copy.

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, CPCC, CHRP
Potentials Realized
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