Monday, November 26, 2007

Group Facilitation Tip: Creating Ground Rules with Your Group

Building in time at the start of your next group program (workshop, retreat or group coaching program) for the group to create some groundrules, ways of working, or terms of engagement, creates a safe and even playing field for all group members.

I typically spend 5-10 minutes with each group I am working with in creating a group charter or set of ground rules which we will all follow for the time we are working together. It is very similar to designing the alliance in an individual 1-1 coaching session, however, in the group context it facilitates the design of a group alliance. I use this exercise with groups that are just forming, as well as intact teams that may be joining me for a half day program or longer.

I like to have the group come up with their ways of working - how they will be together. Some of the ground rules I will propose for the group to consider include:
* Starting and ending on time
* Respecting each other's ideas, thoughts and opinions
* Respecting confidentiality (so what is discussed in the room, stays in the room)
*Agreeing to play fully during the course of the program

It's also amazing to see what group's come up with as well -- often suggestions like only having one person speak at a time.

Some of these guidelines/ways of working may seem very basic, but people are people, and groups are groups. I will post the Group Charter/Ground Rules/Ways of Working in the venue setting so we can refer back to them as we move forward with the program. It's interesting to see how we sometimes need to refer back to them even six weeks into a multi-week program.

You can also facilitate this process in a virtual environment during teleclasses or teleseminars.

What are some of the ground rules you usually propose, or have seen with groups. Feel free to share your comments below.

Have a wonderful week,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP
Potentials Realized
Group Coaching Essentials
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Team Building Resources

I've spent part of the morning putting some of the finishing touches on a one day program I am running for a team in a few weeks time. I work with this team on an annual basis and so they have already experienced some of my favorite exercises for exploring team relationships, team possibilities and business planning.

As I always say, the Web is a great resource for juicy team building resources. If you haven't checked out these sites already, I hope that you will -- they are jam packed with great exercises you can adapt for the different teams you are working with - whether you are wearing a coaching, training or facilitator's cap.

Teach Me Teamwork - Tom Heck's Amazing Site - Great site out of Australia -- I love the outdoor experiential slant as these are my own roots from the late 80s.
Business Balls - always getting updated, business balls has been a site I've enjoyed for the last 6 years -- always gives you some great ideas.

And of course I will be bringing in some of the great relationship systems coaching tools from the Center for Right Relationship.

What are some of your favorite team building resource sites? Feel free to comment below.

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Group Coaching Essentials

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Creating Time to Plan

Did you know that for every 10 minutes of planning you can save 1 hour of unfocussed effort? How often do you spend time on a weekly, or daily, basis making a list of what you need to get done and what's a priority?

As business owners it is pretty easy to get swamped by the juggling of multiple contracts and clients, and planning falls by the wayside. And what's the cost? To you? Your business?

As many larger companies are moving into their planning phase for 2008 (if it's not done already), how much time have you dedicated towards creating your Business Roadmap for 2008? What are your major goals for next year? How much will you grow? What will be your priorities?

I will be offering two different programs in the last 6 weeks of this year to help coaches and other business owners to focus on their business plans or group program plans for 2008.

Group Program Design Virtual Intensive (Monday November 19 and 26th from 7-10 pm EST both evenings by phone): For coaches, trainers and other professionals wanting to create the space to plan and act on their plans for 2008 group programs. Cost $125 Cdn. Includes the reteat, a group follow up call and virtual retreat manual.

2008 Biz Success Virtual Planning Retreat: A virtual business planning retreat for small business owners and solopreneurs. (Held by phone)
Offered over the course of two evenings:
Monday December 3 & 10 (7-10pm ET) OR
Tuesday December 11 &17 (7-10pm ET)
Cost: $150 Cdn or bundled with individual coaching sessions. Also includes a group follow up call and a business planning e-manual.

Imagine the payoff of 6 hours of dedicated time to focus on your business and its goals. At very least, I hope that you will take up the challenge of creating time in the coming weeks to close your door, turn off the phone and do some visioning of what you want to create in 2008.

If you'd like more information on these programs, I hope that you will check out the links, or feel free to call me toll free at 1-866-217-1960. Space is limited in both programs so please register early.

Have a great start to the week,

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