Monday, January 29, 2007

Coaching Trends -- What do you think?

There have been a couple of interesting articles on trends in the coaching profession that have come out in the past few weeks which I thought you would be interested in.

First, from Andrea J. Lee, a blog post on 7 Coaching Predictions and What to Do With Them. Andrea's post is uplifting and foreshadows continued growth in the coaching profession in some interesting angles.

The second report was mentioned in the January 3rd Newsletter from Coachville, linked to a report put out by Peer Resources. Peer Resources hosted a teleconference which made some "dismal" predictions for Coaching. You can link to the article here.

Two opposing views - one predicting the decline of our profession, the other seeing continued growth in the industy ....where do you stand on the continuum?

I certainly fall in the realm of Andrea's approach. From what I am seeing with my own business this year, clients are continuing to seek out new, innovative coach solutions. My own work with the ORSC (Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching) methodology is continuing to grow with my clients, giving corporate clients another approach to the team coaching which I have been offering for the past three years.

I am also seeing continued growth for other coaches in the area of group and team coaching. I met last week with a number of participants from November's Group Coaching Essentials program who are moving forward powerfully with their own group coaching programs and have some really exciting initiatives on the horizon!

I'd be interested in your thoughts on the issue -- where do you stand? What are your predictions for 2007 for our profession?

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, CHRP
Potentials Realized - Group Coaching Essentials
Email: jennifer [at]potentialsrealized[dot]com

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ethics, Intellectual Property and Program Design

Ethics, intellectual property and program design. What do these things have in common?

I've read other "leaders" in our profession talk and write about how their copyright was infringed through other coaches "ripping off" their program ideas. When I first heard about this I couldn't believe that others in our profession would deviate so much away from the essential ethical and professional issues we talk about so much. Unfortunately it does happen that original programs created by one service provider are being offered by others "as is".

I recently had a situation where two of my program offerings showed up being offered by another coach in a different part of the continent -- substantively similar titles, same content and marketing material which included my writing! I am pleased to note that the coach did the right thing and has removed these program offerings. The coach had hired a marketing expert to create the programs, and had not realized that the material was not original.

I am familiar with the range of perspectives on the topic of intellectual property (and teach this during a Business Law course I deliver at the College level). From there are only so many original ideas in the world, to be abundant with your ideas. In today's Information Age, the adage "Knoweldge is power" is even more true than before. Intellectual property is considered by many a currency, similar to gold.

For those who know me, I am very generous with my knowledge and information, believing in the integrity and professionalism of coaches to take the information I share and create their own unique programs. However, when course descriptions are cut and copied verbatim and put under the title of another business owners company, intellectual property and copyright is infringed.

The reality today is that in Canada and the US today copyright is granted automatically at the time of publishing (whether on paper, a website or a blog), and registration is not essential.

According to the US Copyright Office website (
"Copyright protection subsists from the time the work is created in fixed form. The copyright in the work of authorship immediately becomes the property of the author who created the work."

With the advent of the internet, even if two businesses are located on the opposite ends of the continent or even in different countries, if programs or marketing materials are substantively the same, clients and the company will find out.

Lessons here -
1. Make sure that you are producing original work and your own unique marketing materials. People will find out if material is "borrowed" or copied. This could have significant legal repercussions.
2. When hiring others to do work on behalf of your company, make sure that they are cognizant of copyright law, Code of Ethics (ICF) and that you double check their work before publishing.

What is your take on this issue of ethics, intellectual property and programs? Have you had similar experiences? I know that this is an issue that has been discussed both in the CTI Certification program, as well as within the International Coach Federation (ICF). I'd love to hear your thoughts -- please feel free to comment. I will follow up in subsequent posts with information about what steps you can take to safeguard your intellectual property.


Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized ~ Group Coaching Essentials
Email: jennifer [at]potentialsrealized[dot]com
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Group Coaching Tool - Journaling

Photo: The Sun Journal by SynergyCoaching (Jeanne Bullock) as seen at
Article Copyright 2007 - Jennifer Britton

One of my favorite tools to bring into a group coaching program is journaling. It's a great tool for individual clients too, as well as workshops or retreats.

Almost a year ago I wrote a post called "The Power of a Takeaway" (March 2006), which highlights my own philosophy about creating materials for my clients to takeaway with them from a group coaching program, workshop or retreat.

You too may be interested in doing some journal work with your clients. You can usually buy inexpensive ones that are nice, but at the same token there are some really great journals that are put out by coaches. One journal that I know of is the Sun Journal, created by Coach Jeanne Bullock of Synergy Coaching. You can view the Sun Journal here, and learn more about it, as well as order your own copy.

You can set up your own journaling exercise for group coaching clients in many different ways. I will often provide journalling time during a program in conjunction with a nature walk (when the weather is good). You may want to create a journalling exercise for your group coaching clients by having them focus on:
* Their dreams
* Their Vision
* What's Possible
* What's Present
* An inquiry
* Where they are stuck

Journaling is a great tool to build in between sessions. I will often encourage group coaching clients to keep a journal several times a week, related to the topics we are covering throughout the program.

There are lots of great web resources out there -- here are some links you may find interesting:

Journaling Pages
Inspired to Journal
Journaling Tools

There are many, many more out there. Are there any others you'd recommend? What's your favorite journaling exercise?

Have a creative week,
Jennifer Britton
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960

Monday, January 08, 2007

Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching

I spent a phenomenal weekend at the Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching program here in Toronto offered through CTI. ORSC is an extremely valuable approach for any coach working with teams and groups, and also provides useful tools for work with individual clients around relationship issues (business or personal. The work is grounded in Systems Theory, and provides an alternative approach to working with teams, groups and any sort of relationship.

I am amazed by the applicability of the work to so many different types of coaching-- whether you are coaching organizational teams, a business partnership, couples, or family members. Relationship systems tools can also be used to support individual's exploration of their relationship with topics such as money or success. If you are a coach wanting to add more tools to your toolkit for team based work, please check out the Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching program. I've walked away with a new set of tools to add to my toolkit for the benefit of my clients which I am looking forward to applying as soon as possible.

Are you in a business or personal relationship right now and would like support Designing Your Partnership Alliance with your partner? Prehaps you have an upcoming group coaching program, workshop or retreat program that you will be co-leading, or you are entering into a new strategic alliance, or you would like to work on a relationship issue that is important to you.

I am offering complimentary 45 minute Partnership Alliance Design sessions for interested partners which can be held by phone this wintera. I would like to complete 50 of these sessions within the next month and would welcome working with you! To schedule a Partnerhsip Alliance Design session, please email me or contact me toll free 1-866-217-1960.

I look forward to heairng from you!

Jennifer Britton - Potentials Realized
Email: jennifer [at] potentialsrealized [dot]com

The January Group Coaching Essentials program starts tomorrow! Are you interested in launching your own group program this year? A a couple spaces still remain. We will be meeting on Tuesdays from 1 - 2:15 pm (EST) on January 9, 16, 23 and 30th (call on 30th from 10:45 - 12 noon EST). To join us starting tomorrow, please call me toll free at 1-866-217-1960 or send me an email. I look forward to having you join us!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

What's your vision for this year?

Happy New Year! I hope that 2007 has started off magnificently for all! I am returning to work feeling recharged and ready to spring forward, after spending a wonderful two weeks with my family over the holiday season. This was the longest holiday I've taken since starting my business almost three years ago, and I can really feel the difference today in terms of my clarity, energy, and ideas. And it's quite interesting how intentions really do start to manifest themselves -- I've had two really neat things show up today (the first working day of the year -- both related to finances and group work). What's transpired for you so far? I must say I'm quite excited to see how things continue to roll along!

I'm hoping to blog more frequently this year, and I'd love feedback from you in terms of what's working well and what you'd like to see here on the site -- please feel free to post your comments below.

I've had a number of coaching calls today and during each one we've been talking about vision. I too spent some quiet time this holiday season, reflecting on 2006 and doing some vision work for 2007. If you haven't read my December blog post on Business Vision on my sister blog - The "Biz" Toolkit, feel free to hop on over and read it. Lots of questions which should stimulate food for thought!

So what's your vision for this year? How many groups do you want to serve? How do you want to stretch yourself? What are your major goals for 2007? Have you made a public commitment yet?

Some of my aspirations for this year include launching a podcast, supporting 1000 participants through my group coaching, retreat and teleseminar programs, getting a VA, revamping my Potentials Realized website, and licencing two of my current offerings. I've also set myself a lofty financial goal, to enable us to buy a new home and spend some time with our family in the Caribbean later this year. I'm not sure how it will all happen, but it's out there in the universe and I'm looking forward to seeing how it will all unfold!

Looking forward to supporting you in 2007 and providing you with some golden nuggets for your group work!