Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Group Facilitation Tip - Using MindMaps

I was recently reminded about the power of MindMaps during a program I was leading on Project Management. Many participants had not yet been exposed to what MindMaps were, and the glistening in their eyes when they got the Ah-ha was amazing.

MindMaps are a tool I use with individual clients when they are stuck or overwhelmed. It’s a great way for people to purge their ideas and get them out on paper.

I also use MindMaps to develop most of my group programs. I was reminded of the power of the tool for this purpose during this month’s Workshop and Retreat Essentials program, when current participants applied this tool to their own program development.

There are a number of applications for the use of MindMaps including:
* Project Management
* Brainstorming
* Creating new possibilities or opportunities
* To undertake a SWOT (for strategic planning for teams or small business owners)
* Program Development
* When clients are stuck or overwhelmed

You can use a simple piece of paper to have people create their own MindMap. For those more technically minded, you can also download a free trial of MindJet software at http://www.mindjet.com/.

For an earlier blog post I wrote on Mind Mapping click here.

I’d love to hear how you are using MindMapping and your experience with the tool. Feel free to post your comments below.

With best wishes,

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

Monday, June 18, 2007

Group Facilitation Tip: What's your greatest ah-ha?

How many times do you check in with participants to find out what is their greatest ah-ha? Do you leave it for the end of the day, or end of the program, or do you check in at strategic points along the course of a program?

A great powerful question to ask before coffee breaks, or lunch, is to ask participants, “What is your greatest ah-ha so far?”. Pose this question to the group, and give them a minute or two to write down their responses. Alternatively, you can close off before a break (lunch/coffee) and ask them that question, encouraging them to share their responses with other participants during the break. When the group resumes, pick it up again. It’s a great way to have participants share their learning and hear what others have to say, which usually leads to some new insights for them as well. It’s also a great way to review content covered over the course of a day.

Also ask yourself, “What’s your greatest ah-ha as a facilitator as you close off a session?”. What new learning have you acquired? What lessons are you learning? What would you do differently next time?

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Email: jennifer(at)potentialsrealized(dot)com
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960

Looking for some new exercises for your workshops, retreats or group coaching program? Join me for a teleseminar on Wednesday evening from 8:30-10 pm (ET) on Engaging Exercises for Your Teams and Groups(TM). Participants also receive the Engaging Exercises for Teams and Groups E-Manual as part of their registration. Register here.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Current Trends in Learning and Development

Current Trends In Learning and Development
Copyright 2007 - Jennifer Britton. All Rights Reserved

Attending the 2007 ASTD Conference last week was positively stimulating and I wanted to share a bit of the "energy" created during the five days in Atlanta.

Overall, some of the main messages were that Learning and Development will continue to play an increased role in organizational success to meet the current opportunities and challenges in the business world. Whether you are a coach, trainer or facilitator, indicators say that our professions will continue to be in demand as employers grapple with the following trends:

1. The Need for Just in Time Learning
As employees become more mobile and are asked to take on more responsibilities with information flows increasing, employers are looking at opportunities to create Just in Time Learning. Whether it's mobile learning options through podcasting, or mentoring programs, just in time learning is one of the latest trends in the T and D field.

Question: How are you offering just in time learning solutions through your work?
What possible solutions could you create for just in time learning?

2. Inter-generational Management Issues
How do you support organizations on inter-generational management and leadership issues? There was a lot of discussion around techniques to harness the unique capabilities of the Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomer generations. What challenges and opportunities are showing up in organizations that you work in?

3. Talent Shortage
With the imminent retirement of the baby boomer generation in the next five years, professionals in HR and the learning field continue to shine light on possible talent shortage and skills gaps that may occur.

Question: How do your coaching services address the talent shortage?

4. Globalization opportunities and challenges - Globalization of business continues to be a very real trend. Organizations are continuing to place a focus on building global leadership skills, looking at how global can be local as well as at hard skill development in the areas of cross-cultural communication, global leadership competencies and team building.

5. Leveraging Strengths:
Strengths Based management and development continues to demonstrate very important results. I attended a number of sessions presented by Gallup on their research around employee engagement and their work on the StrengthsFinder 2.0.

Another very interesting resource which I discovered at the conference is the work by Sara Orem, Jacqueline Binkert and Ann Clancy - Appreciative Coaching. Their model is grounded in Appreciative Inquiry and coaches individuals from a strengths perspective. Fascinating work and model! I'll definitely blog more on their work in the future!

6. The importance of building relationships:
Keith Ferrazzi of Ferrazi Greeenlight and the author of Never Eat Alone gave a stirring keynote on the importance of relationships in business. I would invite you to check out his website: http://www.nevereatalone.com, and also to ask yourself, how are you building relationships with others? With clients? With possible collaborators?

I would welcome your thoughts in terms of what you see as trends in the field of learning and development -- please feel free to comment below. One of the main messages I took away is that it continues to be an exciting time to work within the sphere of learning and development, with indicators that the demand and needs will continue to grow.

Have a wonderful week,

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

The Workshop and Retreat Essentials teleseminar program starts on next Monday, June 18th at 7 pm (ET). Are you looking for tools, templates, resources and exercises to add to your toolkit for your own workshops and retreats? Space is limited to 8 and a few spots still remain. More information and a registration link can be found here. Calls will be held on June 18, 25, July 8 and 15/07.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Workshop and Retreat Essentials Teleseminar starts Monday the 18th

Are you looking to launch your own workshop or retreat program this summer? If so, I hope that you will consider joining me for the Workshop and Retreat Essentials teleseminar program which starts on Monday June 18th from 7 - 8:15 pm (EST). We will be meeting for five teleseminar sessions on June 18, 25, July 9, 16th and one session in August (scheduled at a time convenient for the group).

The Workshop and Retreat Essentials program gives you an entire toolkit for developing successful workshop and retreat programs for your clients. From design tools and templates, to exercises to marketing tips, the program makes designing your programs fun, simple and exciting! Since the program launched in October 2004 (originally called the Training Essentials for Coaches program), over 100 participants have taken it from across North America, Europe and as far away as New Zealand. I hope that you will consider joining me!

The program includes:
* 5 x 75 minute teleseminar sessions
* A pre- and post-course 1-1 coaching session with me, and additional support as requested throughout the program
* An 85 page manual (delivered in modules electronically)
* A supportive environment to take your ideas and turn them into reality
* Dozens of tools, templates and exercises you can use right away
* Participation in free quarterly community calls for alumnae of the program

Topics include:
* Adult Learning Principles, Learning Styles, the Nuts and Bolts of Developing Effective Programs
* Workshop and Retreat Design Tools and Templates
* Logistical tips to make your programs run smoothly (including checklists)
* Exercises you can use in your own programs
* Marketing Ideas for your programs

Click here for a full description of the program.

The program is limited to 8 participants to ensure maximum interaction during our sessions. The cost of the program is $225 US (with PayPal and phone based Visa payment options).

For more information about the program, click here.
To download a registration form and reserve your spot, click here.

I hope that you will consider joining me and 7 others this month! To reserve your spot, call me toll free at 1-866-217-1960, or use the PayPal link at the bottom of the program page.

Questions? Please feel free to email me at jennifer(at) potentialsrealized(dot)com.

I look forward to having you join me this month. Note the program will not run again until October and the price will be going up then.

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: jennifer(at) potentialsrealized(dot)com
Web: http://www.groupcoachingessentials.com

Monday, June 04, 2007

Group Facilitation Tip - It's all in the Question

I'm blogging tonight from Atlanta where I am attending, and facilitating at the 2007 ASTD Conference. There is nothing like the energy of being surrounded by 8000 delegates and some of the best minds in the field of learning and development. I have to say I love the buzz!

During the conference, I am co-facilitating three Learning Labs, a space for participants to reflect on their conference experience and unearth the learnings to take away, along with concrete action steps to move forward with their learning. We had our first learning lab this evening for coaches and it was great for both participants, myself and co-facilitator Deborah Riegel.

My learning theme for the day circles back to one of our most powerful tools as coaches and group facilitators --- the power of a powerful question. Jim Collins started off the day with the morning keynote, speaking on Sustaining Greatness. He indicated that one of the words of wisdom Peter Drucker had once told him was that "A great teacher asks great questions". This theme of powerful questions continued throughout the day, right up to our learning lab which really was just a series of powerful questions that participants coached around.

Take some time and reflect on your most recent, or upcoming group coaching or group facilitation program. What powerful questions are you asking? Who is doing all the work? Who is doing the talking? How are you creating the space for participants/clients to explore their own answers?

After all...it's all in the question!

Have a great evening,


Jennifer Britton, CPCC, CHRP, CPT

Group Coaching Essentials -Potentials Realized

Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960

Email: jennifer[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com

Saturday, June 02, 2007

June Booster Shots to Amp Up Your Programs

I will be offering a number of programs in June to support you in your workshop, retreat and group coaching program development and marketing. I hope that you will consider joining me for one of the following programs:

Workshop and Retreat Essentials: This five-series teleseminar program supports coaches, trainers and other professionals who want to create high impact, interactive workshops and retreats. The program covers the foundation of adult education, workshop and retreat design tools and templates, exercises to include in your programs, and marketing ideas. The program includes: 5x 75 minute group calls (limited to 8 participants), a 75 page manual delivered as weekly modules, and 1-1 support from me as needed throughout the program.

Workshop and Retreat Essentials will be held on Monday from 7:15 - 8:15 pm (ET) on June 18,25, July 9 and 16th, plus a call in August at a time convenient for the group. If you are looking to offer your own workshop and retreat programs later this summer or in the fall, I hope that you will join me. The cost for the program is $225 US. More information can be found here.

Virtual Retreat - Group Program Creativity Day: Friday June 22: 10 - 4pm (EST)
The ever popular virtual retreat will run again this month. This six hour program provides space for you to focus on the development and marketing of your own group program. When was the last time you carved out a day to focus only on your own programs. We will meet each hour for 15-20 minutes for a group exercise, and the remaining part of each hour will be spent working individually from our own home/office on our programs. Each hour has a different theme. For more information about the program, click here. The cost for the program is $119 US and includes a 30 minute follow up coaching session with me, as well as a group follow up call.

Engaging Exercises for Teams and Groups Teleseminar: Wed. June 20: 8:30 - 10 pm (ET)
Are you looking for some exercises to include in your next program? This one and a half hour teleseminar covers different exercises you may want to use in your own programs - from icebreakers, to energizers to closing activities and evaluations. The teleseminar also includes an electronic copy of the Engaging Exercises for Teams and Groups (TM) Manual which gives you a new treasurechest of activities (25) you can use for your next workshop, retreat or group coaching program. The telseminar, including the manual costs $59 US. For more information, click here.

If you have any questions about any of these programs, please do not hesitate to contact me toll free at 1-866-217-1960 or by email at jennifer[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com. I hope that you will join us. Most sessions are limited to 8 participants to ensure individualized attention. PayPal links are available at the links above, or you can pay by Visa by phone. Registration forms can also be downloaded at the site.

I look forward to having you join me!

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960