Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Group Facilitation Tip - Visual Learning

Group Facilitation Tip - Visual Learning
Copyright 2007 - Jennifer Britton

Did you know that almost 60% of adult learners are primarily visual learners? This means that they have an affinity for seeing things in order to learn. How do you enable participants to access the visual side of things in your group programs?

Whether it is a workshop, retreat or group coaching program, here are some suggestions for supporting the visual learners in your programs:

1. Provide a particpant's notebook or other handout, where participants can see and follow along what you are discussing. Participant's notebooks and handouts can serve additional purposes, including:
* capturing the main learning points for people to take forward
* a marketing tool - include your contact details, bio and any other information on upcoming programs that may be applicable to the group
Take a look at a post from early 2006 entitled "The Power of a Takeaway"

2. Provide small discussion groups with a piece of flipchart paper so they can capture the key points they have discussed. These can be shared with the larger group, and then posted on the walls for future reference.

3. One of my favorite closure activities is the Gallery Walk. During this exercise, each participant is given several minutes to walk around the room where the program is being held and look at all of the flipcharts which have been created during the workshop. I often set up this activity by asking participants to come up with a list of their top three learnings, or top three action items.

4. Another tip I usually introduce to participants is the importance of writing things down. Physiologically our brain gets imprinted as we move through the simple act of writing. Writing things down becomes a reference for the future, helps to keep people focused, and also supports the brain learning function!

5. Use visual aids - Powerpoint (sparingly! as I indicated in my Death by PowerPoint article), flipcharts, photos and other props to make things memorable. When developing exercises, also consider how participants can create "visual output" such as collages, drawings, vision boards, rather than just verbal discussion.

What other methods do you use to support visual learners in your programs? What ideas will you incorporate into your next program? I'd love to hear your thoughts -- please feel free to comment below.

Have a wonderful week,

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

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

When Conflict Emerges within Your Groups

I've had a number of questions recently from newer facilitators regarding what do you do when conflict emerges within the groups you are working with.

The good news is, that conflict is inevitable within the group context. Just as I wrote several months ago on my post about the Stages of Group Development, part of the process of group formation is conflict during the storming stage. It is during this stage that conflict emerges as the individual group members start to feel out their roles within the group.

Conflict can be as subtle as the withdrawl of a participant (shutting down) or as extreme as verbal conflict emerging between two participants. So what do you do?

Typically when conflict emerges in one of the groups I am working with, I point to what I am observing, indicating that conflict is the sign of a healthy team/group. If the conflict is disrtuptive for the group process, I will speak privately with the pair/individual at a break (at the usual time or a "spontaneous break" if things are spiraling downward). Duing this one-on-one discussion I will indicate what I am observing and what I am seeing in terms of the impact on the group. Using a powerful question such as "What do you want to create in this environment" shifts the reponsibility and outcome fully to the participant.

Conflict can emerge due to :
* Lack of clarity of roles within the group
* Lack of clarity of where the program is going
* Expectations not being met
* Insecurity
* Fear

What situations have you had when conflict has emerged in your groups? How have you handled it?

As always, I would welcome your thoughts and comments - please feel free to comment below.

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Group Coaching Essentials
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Two powerful programs start Tuesday July 19th

Just a quick reminder regarding two programs which start Tuesday that might be of interest to you as you move forward in developing your own workshop, retreat or group coaching programs.

The next Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar program launches again on Tuesday at 10:30 am (EST). Group calls will be held from 10:30 - 11:45 am (EST) on Tuesday July 17, 24, 31 and August 9/07, plus a follow-up call in mid-September (at a date convenient to the group). If you are looking for tools, tips and resources for designing, marketing and implementing your group coaching program, please check out the program. There are a couple spots remaining -- are you ready to take the plunge? The program costs $225 US and in addition to the group calls, you also get an E-Manual and 1-1 support from me as needed during the course of the program.

For more information, and to register click here. Note pricing will likely be increasing for this program in the fall.

Here's what past participants of the program are doing and saying about it:
"Thank you, Jennifer, for expanding my knowledge of group coaching immeasurably. I not only learned a terrific amount of useful, practical information, but appreciate the division of how you covered it. The pacing of the classes was perfect-- with time in between to practice what we learned. In my group coaching practice, I’ve implemented many of the tools and resources you provided to give further value to my clients. "
Ellen Schuster-Nastir, CPCC, http://www.focusbydesign.com/

Sheila Christianson's Hawaiian Grief Wellness Cruise (September 2007): http://www.sheilachristianson.com/grief-wellness-cruise.asp

If you are just looking for a one-off booster shot of ideas and tools for your programs, please consider joining me for the Tips and Tools for Your Workshop and Retreat teleseminar. This 1.5 hour teleseminar will be held on Tuesday July 19th from 4 - 5:30 pm (EST). I'll be covering 10 tips and tools to take your workshops and retreats from good to great! You'll also receive a workbook with this call. Cost $39 US. For more information and to register, click here.

I'll also be doing a two hour speaking engagement next week in Huntsville, ON from 7-9 pm on Thursday night (July 19th) at the Independent. Entitled "Life on Fire!" I'll be taking you through some powerful coaching and experiential exercises to get you connected with what matters most to you. This is a lead up to the one-day Relationships on Fire couples retreat program I will be leading with Sharon Miller, PCC on Saturday August 25th (9:30 -4:30 pm) in Huntsville. If you and your spouse/significant other are looking for a special end of summer treat and want to take your relationship from good to great, we hope that you will consider joining us. Visit us at http://www.retreat2muskoka.com/ for more information and to register.

I'll be heading north tomorrow evening for the next several weeks (I am hoping six) to work out of my northern office -- my place of creative inspiration. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more substantial posts and new program offerings!

With best wishes,
Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPCC
Potentials Realized
Group Coaching Essentials
90 Day Biz Success Group Coaching Program starts July 24th (7-8pm EST)
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

More trends in learning and development

I stumbled across a great blog this morning called Corporate Training and E-Learning. A little while ago, Jenna Sweeney the blog host, posted a great article "Bersin's 2007 Predictions" back in March, with some predictions about the training industry in 2007. As we are now more than mid-way through the year, it is quite interesting to see how many of these trends are actually gaining mainstream focus.

Of particular note:
* Focus on leadership development
* Talent Management changing the role of HR
* E-Learning 3.0 (self-published training using blogs, wikis and podcasts to deliver training)

While at the page, check out Jenna's post in January on Jay Cross' 2007 personal predictions for elearning. He's right on the mark with many of them!

How are you keeping abreast of these changes within the learning and development industry? What changes have you made to your product and service offerings?


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT, CPCC
Potentials Realized
Group Coaching Essentials
Email: info{at} potentialsrealized{dot}com

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Group Facilitation Tip - Death By Powerpoint

How are you avoiding Death By Powerpoint in your group programs? PowerPoint is something I try to use very sparingly and only when I am speaking to larger audiences or when there really is a training component.

For those of you who have to use PowerPoint and do a lot of presentations, I wanted to share a post I wrote a few weeks ago over at my sister blog Biz Toolkit. Here it is - I hope that you enjoy:

Are you looking for some great resources to amp up your next presentation? Did you know that speaking in front of a large audience is one of business professionals' greatest fears?

Here are some great sites to get pointers from, to boost the impact of your next presentation.

1. Presentation Zen: Garr Reynolds Presentation Zen site is chock full of amazing insights, recommendations and tools for making your presentations sizzle. He walks his talk and shares personal insights in such a juicy way.

Check out Presentation Zen for some amazing resources including a post on three strategic questions you should answer at the start of any presentation:
Who are You?
What do you do?
and Why does it matter?
These are an extension of a story from Brand Gap regarding a consultant who started every meeting with a client using these three questions.Who are you? What do you do? Why does it matter? - So simple, yet so powerful.
Read his post on: Why does it matter and What's your contribution here.

2. Powerful Presentation Techniques from Paul Gibler, the Web Chef, CONNECTINGDOTS. Paul has over 200 blog posts at his PPT site...dig around there's some great stuff!

3. The PowerPoint and OfficeArt Team Blog from Microsoft -- this is not an extensive blog, but there are some neat pointers on how to leverage your powerpoint!

4. Fortify Your Oasis also has some fantastic postings on Presentation tips. Click on over to Rowan Manahan's blog. He's also got a lot of great stuff related to career management and working life.

What specific questions do you have about being able to make your presentations sizzle? Feel free to post them here and I can respond to them in future blog posts.

Have a wonderful week,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC, CHRP, CPT
Email: jennifer[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com
Potentials Realized
Group Coaching Essentials - The next Group Coaching Essentials program starts Tuesday July 17th. Are you ready to move forward with your group coaching ideas and are looking for some tips and tools and not wanting to re-invent the wheel?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

July Program Line-up - Boost Your Programs this Month

As we are moving into the heat of the summer, I am asking myself, “When will it slow down?”. It’s been a busy spring and summer for me, as it has been for many of the coaches I have been working with. Summer is one of the most popular times of year for participants to take in a workshop, a retreat or invest in themselves. Are you leveraging this?

This month, we have a number of programs to support you with your own workshop, retreat or group coaching program development, implementation and marketing. I hope that you will consider joining me for one of our upcoming programs:

Group Coaching Essentials – Starts Tuesday July 17th
(Tuesdays 10:30 – 11:45 am EST: July 17, 24, August 2 and 9/07, plus a call in September – By Phone)

The Group Coaching Essentials provides you with a step by step process, and toolkit, to support you in developing, marketing and implementing your own group coaching program – whether it is in person, by phone, corporate or personal. This is an interactive, hands-on program.

The program covers:
* The Foundations of Group Coaching – What it Is, Best Practices, Adult Learning
* The Nuts and Bolts of Developing Group Coaching – Making Your Program Development Fun and Effective: Technical issues, Techniques and Templates for Developing and Running Your Program
* Marketing Group Coaching – Knowing Your Audience, General Marketing Principles and Materials
* Filling Up Your Toolbox – Exercises and Other Resources for Group Coaching

You receive:
· 5 x 75 minute teleseminar calls
· A pre- and post-course individual call with me
· A 75 Page E-Manual
· Support as needed from me throughout the program (by phone and/or email)

"Group Coaching Essentials is a wonderful laboratory for learning key concepts about adult learning, instructional design, group dynamics and more. Jennifer Britton's wonderfully organic facilitation style allows each session to be a flowing, dynamic group conversation that is rich in learning and personal insights! I recommmend this program for anyone who wants to gain confidence, knowledge and resources in preparation for launching their own group coaching program"
- Erin Curran, CPCC,

Cost: $225 US. To register, contact Jennifer at 1-866-217-1960 or pay by PayPal here . Space is limited to 6-8 coaches.

Tips and Tools for Your Workshop or Retreat
Tuesday July 17th: 4 – 5:30 pm (EST) – By Phone
During this one and a half hour call we will cover ten tips and tools to get you moving forward with your workshops and retreats, including exercises, marketing tips and networking advice. I will discuss systems and tools to make your program development and marketing easy and fun. You will leave the call with a number of concrete tools to add to your own workshop/retreat toolbox. The teleseminar also includes an E-Workbook to assist you in your workshop design process.

“I found the "Tips and Tools for Your Workshop and Retreat" most interesting. It opened up a whole new perspective to me about marketing and how to organize my workshops. And most of all how quality information is much better than quantity, and to stay focused at all times. I thank Jennifer for the time she took to put this workshop together and her quality of service and dedication. Thank you Jennifer!” - Inga Bertlemann, Coach, Pathways to Bliss
Cost: $39 US

Register and Pay by PayPal here: http://www.groupcoachingessentials.com/pages/workshoptipsandtools

And if you are looking for something for yourself, I hope that you will consider:
Your Balanced Life Virtual Retreat - Saturday July 14/07 (10 – 4pm EST)
Join me and 7 other participants for a one-day virtual retreat, held by phone. You can retreat from the comfort of your own home or cottage while gaining valuable tools for balance. The group meets by phone for the first 15-20 minutes of each hour, with the remaining time spent undertaking individual exercises off-line.

The program includes the one-day virtual retreat, a group follow-up call and a retreat manual. You also receive a follow-up 30 minute coaching call with Jennifer.

Cost: $97 US.
For more information, to register and/or pay by PayPal here: http://www.groupcoachingessentials.com/pages/balancevirtualretreat

Relationships on Fire! – A one day retreat for committed couples
Saturday August 25/07 (9:30 – 4:30 pm) – Huntsville, Ontario, Canada
Join myself and PCC Sharon Miller, with your partner/spouse or significant other to take your relationship from good to great.
During the day you will acquire practical tools to:
IGNITE: Rekindle your friendship, connection and relationship
REDISCOVER: Enhance understanding of each other’s needs, dreams and what’s important
EXPLORE: Go beyond your habitual understanding of each other, yourself, and your relationship
FOCUS: Take away a Couple Game Plan and Alliance
Early Bird pricing of $399 Cdn/per couple is in effect to July 15th and includes the one-day retreat, lunch, a couples workbook and retreat manual, plus a follow-up couple and group coaching session (by phone). For more info please visit: http://www.retreat2muskoka.com/.

I look forward to hearing from you!

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