Friday, December 28, 2007

My favorite posts from 2007

I hope that you have been enjoying your holiday and have managed to fit in some downtime. I've been relishing the time that I've had to spend with my family as well as some recharging of my batteries.

I was back in the office today facilitating the Group Program Virtual Intensive. I've run two of the programs in the last few weeks and continue to be amazed at the results participants are taking away. Most participants have taken away not just one, but two, new group programs as a result of the six hours of structured focus and exercises the program offers. Most participants have said one of the most beneficial parts of the program is the coaching that goes with the program to keep them in momentum.

If you've missed the last two programs, don't worry, I've got another one scheduled for March 10 and 12, 2008 (7-10 pm EST both evenings) and I will likely announce another new session for those who want to get a jumpstart on their group programs in January.

Here's a list of my favorite blog posts from the Group Coaching Ins and Outs blog for the year. I hope that you will take a moment and click on over -- you are guaranteed to take away some new tips for your programs!

1. Group Facilitation Tip – Co-Facilitation:

2. 5 Ways to Use Index Cards for Your Group Programs

3. Current Trends in Learning and Development:
6 current trends from this year's ASTD International Conference in June 2007

4. Selecting a Venue for Your Group Program:

5. Dealing with Difficult Participants:

6. Group Failitation Tip – Debrief Exercises

7. Group Facilitation Tip – Preparation:

8. Best Practices for Group Coaching

9. Group Coaching Best Practices Part 2

10. Workshop, Retreat and Group Coaching Checklist:

What were your favorite blog posts here this year? Which ones did you find most useful? As always, please feel free to comment below!

Warm regards,

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

Monday, December 17, 2007

Join me for my Annual Holiday Call - Thursday evening at 7pm(EST)

I hope that you will join me for my 4th Annual Holiday Call on Group Program issues Thursday evening, December 20th from 7-8pm (EST). Each year during the week before Christmas I hold a complimentary one-hour call on a topic related to tips and tools for your workshops, retreats or group coaching programs. I did some math earlier today and over 200 people have participated in these calls in the last few years.

This year's call is entitled "Make Your Group Programs Great for 2008: 8 Essential Tips". If you want to launch your own workshop, retreat or group coaching program (or amp up your current offerings with some new golden nuggets), I hope that you will join me. Your only cost is your long-distance charges to connect to the bridgeline.

To join me for the call dial into (218) 486-1300, access code 503003 at 7pm (EST). The call will last for 1 hour.

If you'd like to benefit from a special extra holiday gift (which I will send by email) please send me an email with your RSVP/reservation to

I look forward to having you join me on Thursday evening!

Warm regards,

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

Friday, December 14, 2007

My Top 10 Resource Books for 2007 - Group Programs

I often get asked “What are some of the books you recommend on group programs”. Here are my top 10 favorites for 2007 (many of which were published years ago and I still keep on recommending).

Program Design/Exercises:
The Trainers Handbook – Karen Lawson
Retreats that Work – 2nd Edition –Liteman, Campbell, Liteman
90 World Class Training Activities by 90 World Class Trainers – Elaine Beich
QuickSilver – Rohnke/Butler (Project Adventure - - still a classic after all these decades – one from my roots in the experiential education field in the 1980s)

Facilitation Skills:
Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision Making - Kaner et al.
Mastering Virtual Teams – Duarte/Snyder
Facilitating with Ease – Fran Rees

Building Your Business:
Get Clients Now! – CJ Hayden

Co-Active Coaching, 2nd Edition – Whitworth, Kimsey-House, Kimsey-House, Sandahl
Appreciative Coaching – Orem, Binkert, Clancy

Most of these books are available for purchase at the bookstore I host with Amazon – along with many more. Click on over to the bookstore here.

In a future post, I will follow with my top 10 list of books I’ve been recommending to clients this year. What books have been on your top 10 reading list? Feel free to comment below.

Warm regards,

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

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Top 10 Favorite Group Program Tools and Tips for 2007

Top 10 Favorite Group Program Tools and Tips for 2007
Copyright 2007 - Jennifer Britton, All Rights Reserved

This year has been a rich time for me to work with many group clients – from individuals and teams representing the virtual world, for profit, not for profit and global organizations.

Here are some of the tools and tips that have come in very handy for the year. I hope that you will find them useful too!

  1. – If you are looking to host your own conference calls and want to record them at no cost, this service offers it all for free! You can also convert your audio recordings into podcasts.
  2. Post-it notes: I don’t know how many dozen post it notes I have gone through this year with group and team programs but it’s been a lot! Post- its are a great tool for capturing thoughts for program design, vision work and also evaluation from participants.
  3. Printing Needs: VistaPrint. If you haven’t discovered Vista Print yet, I hope that you will check them out. They offer a wide selection of products you can customize – from postcards, to business cards and T-shirts. If time is on your side, you may appreciate the value of their products.
  4. Group Coaching and Training Checklist:
  5. MindMapping – I love using MindMaps with my clients. They are a great way to support people to think outside of the box! You can have groups create them, individuals create their own, draw them on paper or use a computer program such as MindJet ( What can you MindMap today?
  6. Co-Facilitation – When co-facilitation really works, it rocks! When it doesn’t, it doesn’t. Click here for some tips on preparing for your next co-facilitation : Looking to design your next co-facilitation? Book a 45 minute partnership alliance coaching session with me for you and your partner!
  7. Remember that 60% of adult learners are visual learners. What support are you providing them? For more info:
  8. Keep it Simple – Systems for your work and programs can save you a lot of time and headaches. Here’s a post from late 2006 on some of the systems you may want to create.
  9. Create a clear vision for yourself and the work you want to create and keep it close at hand. What do you want to create in 2008?

    And of course….my favorite:
  10. Less is more! If you haven’t heard me talk about this one before here it is. One of the greatest pitfalls for coaches and trainers is trying to fit too much in their programs. Think about the value you would be providing by taking out 20% of the content you hoped to deliver/cover during your program, so that you leave more space for discussion and participant exploration.
    Your Challenge: Take out 20% of the content you want to deliver in an upcoming program and put it aside as the seeds for a new program.

I'd welcome your comments -- what were your top 10 group program resources this year?

Warm regards,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT

Group Coaching Essentials

Itching to create a group program for 2008 before the end of the year?

Have you got a great idea for a group program (workshop, retreat or group coaching program) for 2008 and haven't had the time to design it? Itching to get it launched? Here's your chance! Join me Monday and Wednesday evenings next week (December 17 and 19, 2007) from 7-10 pm (EST) both evenings for a 6 hour Group Program Virtual Intensive.

I'll also be holding a special holiday Virtual Intensive on Friday December 28th from 10 - 4pm (EST) if you can't make next weeks. So if you are looking to take advantage of a quieter week -- here's your chance.

The Virtual Intensive will create the space for you to focus on getting your group program designed and initial marketing concepts in place, in a structured, supportive environment.

How it works:
Each hour of the Virtual Intensive will have a different theme/focus (design , marketing, implementation etc). We will be meeting for 15-20 minutes of each hour as a group to cover some main concepts related to the topics. The rest of the hour is yours to work on your own program at your own home or office. We'll connect again at the top of the next hour to discuss how things are going, any questions you have, and to fill up your toolbox with some new tools.

What some of the former participants have completed during the Virtual Intensive:

  • Initial program design
  • Marketing strategy and copy for their program
  • Assessment of their ideal client for the program
  • Their program's accompanying workbook
  • Material for their website

The possibilities are endless -- what do you need to focus on to get your group program up and running?

What you'll receive with your registration:

  • 6 hour virtual intensive
  • Group Program Virtual Intensive Manual (packed with 25 tools, tips and resources -- we won't have time to cover most of these in the program but you will be able to take them away for the future use)
  • Access to me during our group call time, as well as in the 40 minute "offline" time each hour
  • A group follow up call at a time convenient for the group in January (1 hour)

Your Investment: $125 US OR $125 Canadian.

For more information and to register, please visit:

If there is sufficient demand, I will also hold a special one-day Group Program Virtual Intensive on Friday December 28th (10-4 pm EST)

Space is limited. You can also register by contacting me by phone toll free at 1-866-217-1960 or by email at .

I look forward to having you join us on Monday or on the 28th.

Warm regards,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC, CHRP

Group Coaching Essentials and Potentials Realized

Monday, December 03, 2007

Join me for the 2008 Biz Success Virtual Planning Retreat

Are you a business owner who hasn't had the chance to do your business planning for 2008 OR

Want to develop a vision for what you want to create with your business next year?

If you said yes, I hope that you will join me on Tuesday December 11th and Tuesday December 18th from 7-10 pm (EST) each evening for The 2008 Biz Success Virtual Business Planning Retreat for small business owners.

Participants will:
* Develop their vision for 2008 for their business;
* Explore or reconnect with their business values;
* Set their major Business Objectives for 2008;
* Develop a Business RoadMap for 2008;
* Develop their 2008 Marketing Strategy and Plan;
* Develop an operational budget and partnership strategy for 2008.

The Biz Success Virtual Planning Retreat (TM) will be of interest to new and seasoned business owners who are committed to conscious, intentional action and planning for their business.

Retreat participants will receive:
* 6 hours of structured retreat time (combination of group work and individual planning time)
* A virtual retreat manual with exercises, tools and templates for their business planning
* A follow up call in January
* Individual follow up coaching sessions (Gold and Silver packages only)

The virtual planning retreat is structured to give you tools that you will immediately apply to your own business planning. The program will be held by phone so you don't even have to leave your office -- everything will be right at your fingertips! We will meet as a group for the first 15 - 20 minutes of each hour during the retreat, which will then be followed by approximately 40 minutes of individual planning work.

Space is limited to 12 participants per session. As I mentionned last month on the blog, 10 minutes of planning can save up to 2 hours of unfocused effort. Imagine giving yourself the gift of 6 hours of focus towards your business.

You can purchase the virtual retreat as a standalone at $150 Canadian (about $150 US with today's rate) or you can bundle it with one or two hours of one-on-one business coaching with me (Gold and Silver packages).

For more information and to register please visit As always, you can give me a call toll free at 1-866-217-1960 to speak with me directly (and I will be in the office most of this week other than Thursday!).

If you really want to take your business from good to great next year (or even 0 - 60) I hope that you will join me. I've been working with small business owners for more than 4 years now, as a former Business Studies Faculty Member, and as a guest lecturer for many government sponsored small business programs. It is one of my passions (just behind group coaching!).

Looking forward to having you join us next week!

Warm regards,


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT

Group Coaching Essentials ~Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960 ~ Email: jennifer{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Group Facilitation Tip: Quick and Dirty Evaluation

Quick and Dirty Evaluation
Copyright 2007 - Jennifer Britton. All Rights Reserved.

Evaluation is an often overlooked component of any group program. How do you evaluate your workshop, retreat or group coaching program?

Evaluation plays a key role in any group program, and can provide the following information:
1. What idd the participants like about the program?
2. What did participants learn from the program?
3. What changes may need to be made before the program is run again?
4. What is the value or benefits of the program?

If you are not yet familiar with the work of Donald Kirkpatrick, often called the Grandfather of Evaluation, I would suggest you check out his book " Evaluating Training Programs". This is seminal work in the area of workplace learning and development. His four levels to evaluation are:
1. Reaction - What were participant's reaction to the program? Did they like it?
2. Learning - What did participants learn from the program? Often measured pre and post program.
3. Behavior - How did participants' on the job behavior change due to the training?
4. Results - What business results were obtained due to the changes in participants' behavior on the job?

Many of you will also be familiar with a fifth level of evaluation - Return on Investment - ROI developed by Jack J. Phillips. This month's Performance Improvement Journal has a wonderful article by Jack on Measuring the ROI of a Coaching Intervention. An interesting read.

At minimum, whether I am running a full blown group program, or even offering a one-hour speech, I ask participants three questions:

1. What worked well?
2. What did you take away?
3. What should we do differently next time?

I hope that you will try out these questions with your next group. What impact did they have on your learning?

Have a wonderful week,

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