Monday, December 29, 2008

Taking Stock of 2008 and Planning for 2009

I hope that you are having a wonderful holiday season and are finding the time to do those things you love to do.

Every year at this time, I encourage my newsletter subscribers to carve out some time to do some year end reflection, and new year planning. Give yourself the gift of 15 minutes of quiet reflection time over the next week or so to look at where you have been and where you want to go.

To support you in this process here are some of the questions I'm posing this year:

What was your greatest success as a business owner this year?
What was your greatest step forward this year with group work?
What did you become known for this year?
Where do you want to shine more light?

Looking Ahead to 2009:
What (and who) do you want to be known for during 2009?
What is a STRETCH Goal for you for 2009?
What work do you want to continue doing? Why?
What work do you want to stop doing? Why?
What work do you want more of? Why?
What do you need to say no to? Why?
What's going to be your primary FOCUS this year?
What 1% change will you commit to in the early part of the new year?

I hope that you will have a terrific start to 2009!

Warm wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Potentials Realized
Phone: (416) 996-TEAM (8326)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

9 Tips for Your 2009 Group Programs: Workshops, Retreats and Group Coaching

I want to thank those of you who joined me late last week for my 5th Annual Year End Group Programs call. I really enjoy this year end tradition which I started in the first year of my business. This year we had callers from the West and East Coast of Canada, the US, and also a caller from Jamaica. It is really great to see more and more coaches and trainers connecting from all over the world!

This year's call focused on 9 Tips for Your 2009 Group Programs. If you weren't able to join us for this year's call, here's the first 19 minutes of the call. I hope that you enjoy! I will eventually be posting the recording on the Group Coaching Essentials website...but until then, please enjoy the first part of the recording here.

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I also hope that you will take some time to explore the blog -- there's over 3 years of material here to support you with your workshop, retreat or group coaching program.

For those looking to expand their work in the realm of workshops, retreats and group coaching, and if are looking from a structure, tools, resources and support, I hope that you will consider joining me in the new year for one of the following 2009 programs:
Workshop and Retreat Essentials - Fridays 10:45 - 12 noon, starts January 23
Group Coaching Essentials: Wednesdays 8-9:15 pm (ET), starts January 14

The 90 Day BizSuccess program will also return in January on Fridays from 12-1 pm (ET) starting January 16. This 3 month group coaching program provides small business owners and solopreneurs the opportunity to focus in on the growth of their business, while gaining essential tools and systems to make their business work for them. Topics covered include business visioning, establishing your niche, how to leverage social media and networking to leverage your business, and building your platform. We meet twice a month as a group, and for a 15 minute 1-1 lazer monthly. Cost: $347 US for the program. Click here for more info or to register. 5 spaces remain!

Have a great holiday season!

Warm wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC, CHRP
Potentials Realized
Group Coaching Essentials
Mobile: (416)996-TEAM (8326)
email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Sunday, December 07, 2008

5th Annual Group Program Call - Friday December 12

I hope that you will join me this Friday December 12th from 12 - 1 pm (Eastern) for our 5th Annual Year End Group Program Call. This call is for anyone working on retreats, workshops or group coaching programs -- coaches, trainers, managers, leaders!

It's hard to believe that this the 5th year! This year's topic is 9 Essential Tips for Your 2009 Group Programs.

There is no cost to attend other than your own long distance charges. Call in at 12 noon (Eastern) at (218) 486-1300, access 567160.

I look forward to having you join me!

Jennifer Britton
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

What's hitting your radarscreen?

Open any newspaper, or turn on the TV, and change being effected by the economy, and politics (particularly this week in Canada), is evident. In fact, a major theme of a team coaching engagement I completed this morning was all around change. Many of you who are coaches are probably finding more and more clients (individuals and teams) are wanting more around support for change.

I've been receiving some interesting links to what's being reported on in the learning and organizational realms from many of the professional associations I belong to like ASTD and CSTD. I wanted to share a number of articles which I have found interesting over the last few weeks.

It seems like business owners, trainers and coaches are being impacted in different ways. Depending on services, pricing, clients, diversification some businesses are flourishing, while unforunately others are having to close their doors. What is happening within your business right now? Where are you positioning yourself in 2009?

Here's an interesting article on Speaking Fees from the NY Times
Think Horizontal from the Conference Board (great article about teams)
The 2008 ASTD State of the Industry Report was also published last month. Check out for up to date industry information.

What interesteing resources have you come across lately?

Have a great week

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Potentials Realized

Monday, December 01, 2008

Group Program Virtual Intensive - Sunday Dec 7 (10-4 pm ET)

If you are like a lot of coaches, you’ve got some terrific ideas about new group programs you could be offering for your clients in 2009 AND you haven’t had time to act on them.

Join me for the 6 hour Group Program Design Virtual Intensive on Sunday December 7th (from 10 – 4 pm Eastern) as I provide you with a roadmap and the space for you to start designing your 2009 Group Programs.

This program is suited for coaches who want to develop a workshop, retreat or group coaching program – either a phone based program or face to face program. This Virtual Retreat is held by phone and will provide you with:
* 6 hours of dedicated space and focus on creating your next group program
* 6 hours of structured exercises (group and individual exercises) to help you:
- Draft the format of your next group program
- Identify your ideal market/program participant
- Draft your initial marketing strategy and message
* A mini-tool box of templates and resources to support you in your next program design and delivery
* A comprehensive resource list for further follow-up

The main focus of the day is to provide you with a structure and the space to focus on creating your own group program (workshop, retreat, group coaching). The program includes:
* The six hour program (approximately 15 min of each hour is on the phone)
*The 35 page Virtual intensive manual
* A one hour group follow up call after the program
* Access to me by phone throughout the day for any 1-1 support needed

Cost: $125 US

You can register online or call me toll free 1-866-217-1960 (voice mail only). To register online or find out more about the program, please visit

I look forward to having you join me on Sunday.

Warm wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Group Coaching Essentials
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Mobile: (416) 996-TEAM (8326
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Group Coaching Pitfalls - and how to mitigate!

For many coaches starting to do this group work, a major question is what should I be aware of. Today's post is about things that can go wrong with the group coaching program. Prehaps:
· the room you have booked is not set up as you had hoped.
· Materials that you prepared cannot be printed, due to printer malfunction ink running out or printer malfunction.
· Participants get lost on way to venue.
· Bridgeline malfunctions.
· You acquire laryngitis.

In fact all of these issues, while we could look at it as something going wrong in fact, they can be great learning moments. The other good piece of news is that for many of these you can mitigate the risk (lessen the likelihood) by putting a few systems in place.

Room Set up and Arrival: A best practice for any in person program is to arrive at the room that you've booked at least half an hour OR More before the earliest participant may show up, so this may mean one hour to an hour and a half before participants are due to arrive.

Even with the most is explicit directions from. It is quite common that you arrive and the location is not set up as she would've liked. Do not fear find it who is in charge of the room area and work with them support you in getting the room and order.

Materials production: Always have a spare cartridge on hand or even a spare printer. If you are and sourcing this provides some breathing space. So that materials can be shipped to you in time.

Venue Directions: Another best practice or participants don't get lost on the way to the venue is to be explicit with directions. If you are hosting in a hotel or other public venue. Provide a URL link bracket ensure that this URL link works and of bracket. So that you are not responsible for the love of location.

Acquiring laryngitis: It can happen from time to time and has less of an impact on face to face programs, but tremendous impact for phone based programs. For phone based programs, you will want to have a backup -- either postphone or provide a recording. For Face to Face programs youmay use need to use a lot more nonverbal than before. It's a great opportunity for participants to take on leading roles (if it is a multigroup session). Provide the group with more questions and give them more time to work in small groups and present back their findings to the larger group.

Bridgeline Malfunctions: Always have a back up bridgeline AND a plan which is communicated to partcipants about what they should do if the bridgeline malfunctions (i.e. you will send out an email or will automatically switch to another line). For large group programs always do a test! The quality of your bridgeline says a lot about you, and your business.

What other tricky issues have you encountered? How did you deal with them? What questions do you have?

Have a great start to the week,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPT
Potentials Realized
Group Coaching Essentials
Mobile: (416) 996-TEAM(8326)
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Group Coaching Tricky Issues: Difficult Participants

What to do with difficult participants?

Even with the best training as a coach, chances are that as you start working with groups, there will be some tricky issues that pop up.

Today's post all about dealing with difficult particpants during a group coaching session, workshop or retreat.

Remember that some of the reasons why participants become "difficult" is that they do not feel:
1. heard
2. valued
3. comfortable
4. safe

Take a look at your program and ask yourself, "How am I creating a safe space for everyone to participate?".

Some additional considerations to be proactive in avoiding difficult participant issues include:

1. Create ground rules with the group at the start of a program which everyone agrees to and subscribes to
2. Undertake pre-calls with each participant as they register. This can help to answer any questions they have regarding what they can expect about the program
3. Let participants know what they can expect as clearly as possible.
4. Be clear on what your expectations are as a facilitator.

What's been one of the trickiest issues you have faced with a group coaching program? When in doubt, lean into some of the best practices that have been covered here over the last 3 years.

Have a wonderful week!


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

PS - Spaces are filling quickly for the Group Program Virtual Intensive - a 6 hour program designed to provide you with the space, a structure and roadmap to quickly design your next workshop, retreat or group coaching program. The program will be held on Sunday December 7 from 10 - 4 pm ET. Cost: $125 US. Click here for more info or to register online.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

My colleague, Deborah Grayson-Riegel, has come up with a terrific resource for those of you looking to add some content to your toolkit. Entitled, Should I Stay or Should I Go, Deb's resource is terrific for coaches, trainers, and speakers who are looking for a turnkey product to integrate into workshops, group coaching sessions and speeches.

Here is what Deb has to say about Should I Stay or Should I Go:
"Attention, Fellow Coaches! Does the economy have your business -- and your clients -- feeling the strain? If so, here's a way to bring in some quick and easy coaching income while giving your clients the support they need right now. By tomorrow, you could be offering your clients this READY TO ROLL OUT, timely and lucrative teleclass or workshop:
“Should I Stay or Should I Go? How to Get the Most out of Your Job in a Tough Economy”

Certified Coach Deborah Grayson Riegel, ACC, MSW is delighted to offer this professionally written and formatted (in Word) 3500+ word workbook which includes:
* An introduction letter – from YOU
* How to know if you’ve quit your job emotionally
* 10 categories that contribute to job satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) for your clients
* 10 strategies for getting more from your current job
* 8 circumstances for knowing when it’s time to leave
* 6 steps to a smooth job transition
* Self-assessments
* Reflection Exercises
* Action-Oriented Worksheets

For only 97 USD, it's yours to customize, repackage, repurpose -- or USE AS-IS for Teleclasses, Live Workshops, individual coaching sessions, group coaching, newsletters, e-books, podcasts and MORE!

If you are interested in a copy you can view more information and purchase online here.

Deb's work is fantastic! Benefit from a ready made product to support you with a specific career coaching issue. She has some other resources for other topics that will be coming out soon as well.

Have a great week!

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Group Coaching Essentials
Toll free: 1-866-217-1960

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ICF 2008 Conference Round Up

Just back from 5 days in Montreal for the ICF 2008 Conference and it was a blast! It was wonderful as always to connect with old friends and new colleagues.

This year’s emerging themes of coaching, sustainability and social action was very much about closing the circle for me. It was a privilege to be back in Montreal (which was my home for 4 years in the late 1980s) and to also connect to and hear from thought leaders who have so shaped my own professional work – especially before becoming a coach, and my own roots as an environmentalist and development worker with the UN.

Some of the highlights of the conference for me this year were:

Vandana Shiva’s keynote which covered topics such as right living, ecology, her work around the Global Seed Project.. Having first heard Vasantha speak back in 1993 when I was a grad student, it was very powerful to hear from her 15 years later. I realize now just how influential some of her earlier writing was on my career as an environmentalist and project manager. Vandana called coaching an important part of the "detoxification" movement.

John King’s presentation on his book Tribal Leadership( . I hope to be able to feature John’s work in future blog posts at the BizToolkit blog, piggybacking on to a future radio interview with Widom Year’s host – Coach Deena Kolbert, CPCC. His work is an extremely powerful model of leadership and teams.

The fantastic work of Tom Hurley and Craig Neal at the Conversation Circles. I thoroughly enjoyed the dialogue on Friday around Coaching 2.0 – What’s Next. Tom and Craig's session reconnected me with my roots in process facilitation. I look forward to continuing to resharpen my saw and am planning to look further how I can bring the World Cafe format to more of my clients.

Peter Senge’s keynote on systems and sustainability. His new book the Necessary Revolution integrates environmental principles and underscores the focus of the environment – an interconnection of economic, political, social, cultural and ecological principles. Senge’s keynote took me right back to my days as a Grad Student at FES.

Another huge theme from this year's conference was the need for coaches to move beyond a 1-1 model and to incorporate more team, group and organizational work. It seems as though moving into it's forth year that group coaching skills and Group Coaching Essentials will continue to be in high demand next year.

I have no doubt that everything I absorbed will still need a few weeks to sift in, so keep posted as new ideas continue to spring forth!

What did you take away from the conference? What was your favorite? As always please feel free to comment below.

I look forward to keeping the dialogue flowing.

Warm wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Group Coaching Essentials
Potentials Realized
Phone: (416) 996-TEAM

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

See you at the ICF Conference in Montreal

I am on the train on my way to the ICF Conference right now and just about 2 hours away from connecting with old friends, Group Coaching Alumni, and meeting lots of new acquaintances!

I am really excited to be heading back to Montreal which was a city that I called home for 4 years when I did my undergraduate work at McGill.

If you are on your way to the Conference, what are you looking forward to? What’s your intention? What connection/information are you looking for to move you forward in your work and business?

For those of you who aren’t attending the conference this year in person, I hope that you will follow my posts over the next few days as I blog from the Conference. I am looking forward to bringing straight to you some of the trends, word on the street and other happenings! Stay tuned here at the blog or follow me on Twitter at

I hope that we can meet up in person (take a look at my photo to pick me out of the crowd!). I will be volunteering as a room host for three sessions over the next few days – The Tribal Leadership sessions on Thursday, as well as Faith and Marita’s session on Satruday on Self- Management as a coach.

You’ll also find me this evening at the CTI party where I am looking forward to connectin with fellow CPCCers and CTI Grads. Tomorrow night – Thursday – you’ll find me at the ORSC party as well as one of my favorite parts of the conference – the book signing.

Looking forward to connecting with you in person over the next few days and keeping others up to date! Want to grab a café, croissant and some conversation over breakfast on Friday? Call me on my mobile at (416) 996-TEAM (8326) and let's meet for breakfast.


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Potentials Realized

Sunday, November 02, 2008

November Program Line Up

With a lot of coaches looking to get things on stream for 2009, at an affordable price, there are a few of our offerings that you may be interested in this month including:

Group Coaching Essentials - starts this Thursday
Thursdays 8-9:15 pm (Eastern)
November 6, 20, December 4 and 11 plus a 5th call in early Jan (Date to be determined by the group)

The last Group Coaching Essentials program of 2008 will start this Thursday evening and a few spaces are still open. If you are a coach looking for a structured approach to design, market and implement your next group coaching program, I hope that you will join us. This program covers the A -Z of group coaching (exercises, knowing your client, marketing tips, design templates) and is just in time for you to launch your own program for the new year. Whether you are working with individuals or corporations, by phone or in person, this program is guaranteed to provide you with some new and useful tools.

Cost: $275 US (includes the 5 group calls, 15 min lazer calls btw sessions with me as you need them, the 80 page GroupCoachingEssentials manual, as a 1-1 pre and post-course call with me).

Click here for more info or to register.

2009 BizSuccess Business Planning Virtual Retreat

When was the last time you dedicated six hours to your business planning and vision work? Give yourself the gift of some dedicated focus and planning for your business.

I will be offering the high impact 2009 BizSuccess Biz Planning Virtual Retreat by phone on Friday December 5 and 12 (from 1-4 pm ET both afternoons) OR all day Saturday December 6th. The program is held by phone and registration includes the virtual retreat, your own 2009 Biz Success BizPlanning E-Manual, as well as some daily Biz Tips delivered to your email box to keep you into momemtum into 2009.

Business owners last year loved the time and structure to focus on their business! The program is a steal of a deal at $150 US for the program and is a mix of group call time and individual planning time each hour. Click here for more info and to reserve your spot.

Looking for a longer term process to support your business development? Consider joining the 90 Day BizSuccess program. Two new groups start in January (Monday evenings on Jan 5th or Fridays at lunch on January 16th). Click here for more info on the 90 Day BizSuccess program.
I will also be holding my 5th Annual Year End Holiday call this December on Group Program issues. Please stay tuned for the date and time to be announced. If you are a coach or professional who is active with retreats, workshops and group coaching work I hope that you will join me for my year end free call. It's been a tradition since 2004!
Have a great week and I look forward to hearing from you.
Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Group Coaching Essentials
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Mobile: (416) 996-TEAM (8326)
Email: jennifer{at}

Monday, October 27, 2008

5 Essential Coponents of High Impact Group Programs

5 Essential Components of High Impact Group Programs
Copyright 2008 - Jennifer Britton.

I often get asked about some essential components for a high impact group program. Today I wanted to share with you 5 components which I see as essential for any group program - whether it is a workshop, retreat or group coaching program.

Group Ground Rules/Ways of Working
Whether you call them ground rules, ways of working, or terms of engagement, it is important to facilitate a discussion at the start of any group program as to how the group wants to work together. As participants offer suggestions, write these down on a flipchart (or have participants write them down intheir manuals for virtual (phone based programs). I always like to ensure that the following are included on the lists:- Start and End on Time- Respect of Others Opinions and Experiences- Confidentiality (for Group Coaching programs)- Playing Fully through the process

Engaging exercises make the difference between a good program and a great one! Is it time to stock up on some new exercises? Consider doing some web based research, investing in some new material from ASTD or Wiley publishers, or even the Engaging Exercises for Teams and Groups E-Manual.

Materials for Participants
I am a real advocate for providing written materials - a handout or manual - for participants/learners in every program I run. Not only is it an important takeaway, remember that 60% of adults are predominantly visual learners. This is particularly important for phone based programs where written materials on a call, interspersed by short exercises can help to keep partipants engaged.

Exercises between sessions
What work have you assigned between sessions to help participants deepen their learning or expand their understanding? In coaching we often say that the real work happens between coaching sessions, when the client starts to explore and apply what we have discussed in our session. What exercises are you providing between sessions to help deepen their learning or expand their awareness? What exercises can you create to support them in taking action and making change?

Don't forget to get feedback in the moment and after sessions so you can continue to improve your programs and participant experiences.

Question: What steps will you take to ensure these 5 essential components are in your next program?

Warm wishes,

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

Last Group Coaching Essentials program of the year starts on Thursday November 6th from 8-9:15 pm (ET). Calls held Nov 6, 20, Dec 4 and 11/08 plus 5th call in early Jan

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

90 Day BizSuccess Group Coaching Program starts October 17

I am receiving a lot of interest from coaches, trainers and other service based business owners for a business development group coaching program I have been offering since late 2006. Entitled the 90 Day BizSuccess Program this program is designed for new and experienced business owners who are looking for a supportive, action-oriented group coaching program to intentionally focus on their business development.

This 3 month program includes:
  • 7x 1 hour group coaching calls with a maximum of 8 participants (Fridays from 11 - 12 noon Eastern, 8-9am Pacific) over a 3 month period
  • Bi-weekly modules delivered full of tools, resources and exercises to grow your business
  • 36 E-Biz Tips delivered to your mailbox 3 times a week for the program length
  • 15 minute lazer coaching 1-1 session with me on a monthly basis at no extra cost!

During the three months of the program you will:

  • Create Your Business RoadMap: Develop or refine your business vision
  • Explore your unique strengths and abilities as a business person, identifying areas for leverage and competitive advantage
  • Get clear on your niche (or niches) - Who are your clients? Who do you serve?
  • Identify what unique products and services you offer and how this sets you apart from other providers
  • Explore Your Web: Identify opportunities for collaboration and partnerships with other business owners and service providers
  • Develop your marketing strategy and budget
  • Investigate how your business can leverage technology and social media to build their client base and increase sales through an introduction to blogs, podcasts and other platforms
  • Develop a concrete business action plan for the next year
  • One session will be dedicated to additional topics that matter most to participants

Cost: $347 for the 3 month program.

There are still 4 spaces remaining in the program. To register and reserve your spot you can visit us online or contact me directly by email/phone at jennifer(AT)potentialsrealized(dot)com/ 1-866-217-1960 (toll free across N.America). Curious about how the program may benefit you? Please give me a call.

If you haven't seen this side of my work yet -- please check out some of the business coaching work I've done over the years - including developing the publication "Starting Your Own Business - A Guide for Women in York Region" (2006) and the Succession Planning Webinar Series early this year.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Warm wishes,


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC

Group Coaching Essentials

In the Spotlight - Marcy Nelson-Garrison and Bill Silverman

In the Spotlight

Starting this month I am excited to be offering a new column called - In the Spotlight. These posts will be highlighting some of the work alumni of the Group Coaching Essentials program are taking out into the world.

As group coaching becomes an increasingly popular offering, more and more coaches are adding it to their service offerings. This month I am pleased to spotlight the work of two coaches and alumni-- Marcy Nelson-Garrison of CoachingToys, and Bill Silverman, CPCC. You may even be interested in attending their programs, or prehaps passing on this info to some of your clients.

Bill Silverman
Jump Start to a Career You Love

Bill's program is for mid-career folks who are stuck in a career they no longer love and want to change careers but are struggling to get their career change into motion. The goal of the “JumpStart” workshop is to help folks overcome inertia and take that all important first step on the path to a career they’ll love.

The workshop will be done by teleconference once a week for 6 weeks. Each session will be 90 minutes long and include experiential activities, coaching and thought-provoking questions and discussion between participants designed to help them get new insights and move forward. Participants will create a compelling career vision, develop strategies to overcome obstacles and commit to a plan to move them forward.

Sessions will be held by phone on Tuesdays from 7-9:00 pm from October 14 - November 18. Cost: $175 . or more information on Bill's program you can contact him directly at 609.313.2291.

Marcy Nelson-Garrison

90 Day Product Intensive Group Coaching Program

Are you sitting on a product idea or ideas?

A colleague of mine is offering a group coaching program designed to help you create products. With today¹s economy anything that can help build credibility, generate additional revenue and give you ways to have a greater impact is worth considering. Plus I know for a fact that Marcy is the expert to go to on this subject.

The 90 Day Product Intensive
With product mentor coach, Marcy Nelson-Garrison MA LP CPCC

You will learn things like; the ingredients of a successful product, how to hire and work with designers, writers and printers, simple steps to conduct your own market research, how to create a prototype, how to price your product, the best online and offline distribution channels and more.

Here's what you get:
Two group sessions per month and a bonus 7th session A 1:1 session with Marcy PER MONTH Three down-loadable products packed with valuable how to information:
The Product Planner, Print Product Basics and Research Basics Access to a private Members Only page where you can get additional resources, handouts, downloads and recordings of the group calls.

The 90 Day Product Intensive begins October 14th (Tuesdays 2-3:15 pm ET)
Early bird pricing is available through Oct 7(Save over $100 per month)
Learn More at:

Inspired by what Marcy and Bill have to offer? Join the growing ranks of coaches who are graduates of the Group Coaching Essentials program. Throughout this two month program you will design and create your own group coaching program. Registration is now open for our last two classes of 2008. Choose from either Mondays from 1-2:15 pm (ET) starting on October 20 or Thursdays from 8-9:15 pm (ET) starting on November 6. Click here for more information and to register.


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Group Coaching Essentials
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
email: jennifer{at}

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Essential Systems for Group Coaching Programs

I've had a number of emails, discussions and sessions with coaches over the summer who are looking to integrate group coaching more fully into their business. A common question I am hearing more and more these days is "What systems do I need to put into place?".

Great question and one that I wrote about back in December 2006 in a post originally called "Keep it Simple - Systems for Group Programs". Here's a recap of it:

Here are a number of systems you can put into place to facilitate your work and effort with group programs (Workshops, Retreats and Group Coaching):
1. An easy way to accept registrations
2. A list of your upcoming programs that you can quickly refer to (all in one place)
3. Credit Card processing facilities (so you aren't waiting for the check that is in the mail)
4. A list of possible venues for your group programs
5. A selection of bridgelines you can use
6. Recording facilities if needed
7. Course materials and/or modules completed that can be modified and combined for different programs
8. Promo material which can be adpated for new program announcements (e.g. postcards, website, blog, brochure or media kit)
9. A system to track course registration and payment information
10. A system to get the word out quickly to potential participants about your upcoming programs (enewsletter, facilities to post your information electronically, a mailing list)
11. A program/course overview or information package

These are just a few systems you may want to consider developing for your group programs as they evolve. The great thing about many of these tools is that once developed they can be reused every time you run the program, or when you add new ones.

Flash forward to 2008:

Looking back at this post which is almost 2 years old -- the essential systems remain the same. Here are a couple of systems changes I have also noticed recently:
  • Leaning in more to referrals as well as blogging, ezines and also post cards to spread the word about my programs
  • Continuing to offer Visa merchant services (by phone) in addition to PayPal. It is interesting how many clients want to pay offline, due to online payment experiences.
  • Recording calls becoming a much more popular must-have for participants (preferably with an online listening option)
Ask yourself:
What systems do you currently have in place that really work for your group coaching?
What one new system would really make a difference with your upcoming programs ?
What new systems would you add to the list?

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts! Please feel free to post your comments below.

Warm wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Potentials Realized
Group Coaching Essentials
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960 (Voice Mail)
Email: info{at}

September Program Line-Up

With Labor Day behind us it's a great time to look at kick starting your business, your programs or your skills. here are a few of the programs I will be offering this month:

Group Coaching Essentials -- Designed for Coaches who are looking for tips, tools and techniques to design and implement their own group coaching programs. Throughout the five 75 minute group calls over a 2 month period, you will breathe life into your group coaching vision. This is an interactive, hands on teleclass with maximum group size of 6-8 coaches per session.

Two groups will start this month
Mondays 1-2:15 pm (Eastern): September 15, 22, 29 and October 6 (plus a fifth call set by the group) - 4 spaces remain
Thurdays 7-8:15 pm (Eastern): September 11, 18, 25 and October 2 (plus a fifth call set by the group late Oct/Early Nov) - 3 Spaces Remain -- STARTS THIS WEEK!

Note Pricing will be increasing in October so I hope that you will take advantage of our current pricing of $250 US. The program includes the 5 calls, an 85 page manual, 15 minute lazer coaching sessions during the program, and pre and post course 1-1s with me.

Get Organized Virtual Intensive
Saturday September 27 (10 - 4 pm ET) - by Phone

Ready for some fall cleaning? Do you want to get things in order but haven't created the space or time? Join myself and Organizing Diva and TV personality Hellen Buttigieg by phone for a one day Virtual Intensive on Saturday September 27th (10 - 4 pm Eastern). The day will be a combination of group and individual exercises, equipping you with new tools, ideas and time to get organized! Cost $250. Space is limited -- 5 spaces still remain.
Click here for more information and to register.

90 Day Biz Success Group Coaching Program
Fridays 11 - 12 noon (Eastern)/8-9am (Pacific) starting September 19
Are you a business owner looking for a fun, supportive environment to grow your business within? Join me for a 3 month group coaching program which meets as a group twice a month, providing you with tools, structure and the accountability to grow your business. This program is suitable for service based business owners (coaches, trainers, consultants, speakers, event planner) who are looking to either grow or expand their business. For a complete description click here. Each week has a different focus and topics include: Creating a Powerful Business Vision, Essential Business Systems, Creating a Solid Marketing Strategy (Niche, Marketing Plan, innovative strategies such as blogs, podcasts and social media).

Program cost: $349 US

“Jennifer provided the knowledge, support, motivation and resources I needed to get me back on track and moving in the right direction. Thanks Jennifer!”
Top qualities: Personable, Expert, Good Value

Click here for more information and to register. Space is limited -- 5 spaces remain.
I look forward to continuing to act as a resource for you.

Warm wishes,

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

Friday, August 15, 2008

New Group Executive Coaching Survey

A number of subscribers have contacted me to see where they can get a hold of research on group coaching. And - as many of you know, there's just not a lot of information out there. Here's your chance to participate in the creation of some research for our field.

Jacki Nichols of the Air Institute is hosting a survey on Group Executive Coaching until September 30th which will be part of a book the ICF is publishing. You can access the survey here. If you are a coach who undertakes group coaching work -- click on over and complete it today!

Warm wishes,

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

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Essential Guide to Training Global Audiences

I'm really excited to announce that a book I contributed to has just been published by Pfeiffer. If you are a trainer who works with global audiences, I hope that you will consider picking up your own copy of The Essential Guide to Training Global Audiences. It's been written by LuAnn Irwin and Renie McClay (ISBN: 978-0787996611)

Several of you may know that in my early years as a trainer, I spent 12 years working (and training) globally, primarily across Central and South America, the Caribbean and Europe. I worked in the realm of cross cultural training and virtual training, before it gained it's current popularity and necessity.

I hope that you will enjoy the book - I do believe it is a keeper! You'll also find some wonderful tips for working with virtual teams as well as specifics for delivering training in different countries.

Given the number of requests that I am getting from corporate clients, as well as trainers and coaches, keep your eyes open for a new column here on virtual team facilitation tips. This will compliment other tips on virtual teams I provide to managers over at my BizToolkit blog.

Warm wishes,

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

August's Program Line-Up from Potentials Realized

Summer is a great time to refuel yourself, and get prepared for the fall -- and hopefully the offering of a number of new programs for your own business. Here are a couple of programs I will be offering in August to get you prepared for a successful fall:

Group Coaching Essentials:
Wednesdays 8-9:15 pm (Eastern): August 6, 13, 20 and 27th (3 spots still remain)
The ever popular group coaching teleseminar returns this month. If you are looking to launch your own group coaching program later this year and want to learn the A through Z of designing, marketing and implementing your own program, then join me and a small group of coaches for this 2 month program. You'll receive tools, templates and exercises for group programs - whether you are going to deliver it in person, by phone, for individuals or corporations. A fifth call will be scheduled for late Setpember/early October. The program includes the 5x75 minute calls, an 85 page Manual (delivered as e-modules), and pre-and post course 1-1 calls with me.

Cost: $250 US. Click here to register or for more information.

Here's what a recent particiant has said about her experience:"The Group Coaching Essentials programme helped me to focus both on the short term nuts and bolts and the long term vision for my group coaching course. Jennifer was inspiring and very practical. Over the 2 months of the course I went from having nothing more than the idea that I wanted to coach, to having 12 individual clients and my first course in place. The course delivers a huge impact in a surprisingly short space of time."
- Dr Judith Mohring: Claritus Coaching and Consulting, UK

Group Program Design Virtual Intensive
Monday August 18 and 25: 7-10 pm Eastern both evenings
Have lots of ideas for your next group program but need the time and a structure to create it? Join me for a six hour virtual retreat, held over the course of two evenings, where you will be guided through a series of structured individual and group exercises to make leading to the design of your next program. Past participants have developed their program outline, learner guides/manuals, web pages, and exercises for upcoming workshops, retreats and group coaching programs. You'll receive a pre call with me, a group follow-up call and a 60 page retreat manual which includes lots of follow up resources.
For more info, or to register, click here.
Cost: $125 US

90 Day BizSuccess Group Coaching Program:
Starts Friday September 19th from 11 - 12 noon (Eastern)
Especially designed for small business owners - particularly coaches, trainers and other service providers - the 90 Day BizSuccess program takes a group coaching approach to growing your business. Benefit from the strcture, community and accountability this program will offer. We meet twice a month as a group for this one hour call. You'll also receive three times a week BizTips to your mailbox. This program will be of interest to business owners in the start up, and growth, phases. Click here for more information, including group call dates.

Early bird rates are also still on for two of our in-person fall programs:

Group Coaching Essentials Intensive: Toronto: October 3 and 4, 2008 (For Coaches)
Group Program Faciltation Intensive: Toronto: November 1 and 2, 2008

The Group Coaching Ins and Outs Newlsetter went out today with these announcements, as well as two articles - 10 Reasons to Retreat Virtually, and 5 Essential Components for High Impact Group Programs. If you are not a subscriber to the Ins and Outs Newsletter and would like to, please sign up at the Group Coaching Essentials website. Note the newsletter is different than receiving blog subsciptions through Feedblitz.

I look forward to continuing to act as a resource for you!

Warm wishes,

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

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

20 Ideas for Filling Your Group Coaching, Workshops and Retreats

20 Ideas for Filling Your Group Programs
Copyright 2008 - Jennifer Britton Potentials Realized

(Originally Published in the May 2008 Group Program Nuggets Ezine)

Marketing continues to be forefront on the minds of many coaches and business owners who I am in contact with. We can have the best program designs, yet if no one is attending our group programs are simply only a good idea.

Here are 20 ideas to spark some thinking about how you may want to apporach marketing for your next group program, or even marketing in general for your business. Some of these are short term activities and others are longer-term strategies. They are all things that I have tried in my business and have seen results with.

Start a blog on issues related to the program topics
Undertake speaking engagements
Know Your Audience
Join a professional association
Host a Podcast
Develop a monthly e-zine
Write articles on topics you are knowledgable about, passionate about or are related to your group program
Develop postcards for your business (
Partner/Collaborate with others on a Joint Venture
Ask for referrals from past participants, colleagues and others who know you
Donate a prize for a silent auction
Develop a White Paper for your industry
Develop a free e-course
Write a book
Review your business vision regularly
Refer to your business plan regularly
Update your business plan/marketing plan/marketing vision on a regular basis
Build strategic relationships
offer a regular complimentary teleseminar program on a regular basis on a topic related to your group program
Send out handwritten notes along with your program notice by mail to those in your network

1. Create a Mindmap on marketing ideas for your group programs OR busines
2. Select 3-5 to focus on in the next month
3. Create SMART goals for each one of these focus areas
4. Follow the 1% rule - Imagine if you took action to make a 1% change in action towards any of your goals on a daily basis. What sort of movement forward would you see in a month? Ask yourself on a daily basis: What is the 1% change/action I can take today.
5. Keep track of what's working, and what's not over the short and long term. Remember that many of these marketing activities are like planting seeds and may require ongoing attention/focus as well as time before they sprout.

If you'd like even more ideas, feel free to email me for a free resource article: 101+ Marketing Ideas, designed to spark your creativity when it comes to filling your group programs and business pipeline. To receive your own copy email me at with 101+ Marketing Ideas in the subject line. If you are looking to dig deeper on the topic contact me to see if one of my individual, mentor or group coaching programs may support you.

Have a great week,


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC

PS - We've got a new date for the August Group Coaching Essentials (Wednesdays from 8-9:15 pm EST starting on August 6th and running for five sessions). Click on over to register!

Join me on Thursday July 24th from 3 - 4 pm (ET) when I speak on Tips for Group Coaching to the Career Coaching Community at the Co-Active Network. Visit the calendar at for more info.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Mid Year Booster Shot - How Are your Programs Coming

The summer can be a wonderful time for reflecting on how your group programs are coming, and making any necessary adjustments for the fall. It's also a great time to get some new programs up and launched.

Last week, while I was away on vacation, I took some time reviewing several of my programs -- making some "big picture" notes on changes for year end.

Mid-year is also a great time to revisit some of the key principles of program design and implementation. If you haven't listened to it yet - I would invite you to listen (or relisten) to a call I did earlier this year entitled "Make Your Group Programs Great for 2008". The call includes 8 Tips for Making Your Next Group Program Great. You can listen to the 1 hour recording here.

I'll also be speaking later this month (July 24th from 3 - 4 pm Eastern) to the Career Coaching Community of the Coactive Network on Tips for Group Coaching. You can visit the calendar at for more information or to register

I hope that you enjoy listening to the Make Your Group Programs Great for 2008. What is your favorite tip?

Warm regards,

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

July Program Line up

Summer is a really popular time of year to get your group programs (workshops, retreats or group coaching programs) designed and ready to go for a fall launch.

Here are some of our upcoming programs (all by phone) which will support you in designing, marketing and running your next group program.

Group Coaching Essentials:
Looking for tips, tools, exercses and resources to launch your own group coaching program? Look no further. Join me and a small group of other coaches for this two month program covering the essentials of designing, running and marketing a group coaching program (in person or by phone, for corporate or public groups).

Choose from either a morning or evening session this month
Tuesdays 8-9:15 pm (Eastern)/5-6:15 pm (Pacific): July 15, 22, 29 and August 5th plus a fifth call in September (2 spaces remain)
Wednesdays 11 – 12:15 am (Eastern)/8-9:15 am (Pacific): July 16, 23, 30 and August 6th (4 spaces remain)
Cost: $250 US. Click here for more information and to register

6 Hours to your new group program – Group Program Design Virtual Intensive
Monday July14 and 28 (7-1o pm Eastern both evenings)
Been putting off the creation of your new program? Already have the skills and just need the space to create? Join me for a 6 hour Virtual Intensive where we’ll go through a six hour structured process to take your group program “idea” to reality. This program involves getting your hands dirty and focusing in on program development. It’s a mix of short group calls and lots of space for you to create.
Click here for more information and to register.

Engaging Exercises for Your Teams and Groups
Wednesday August 6th: 12:30-2 pm (Eastern)
Looking for some quick exercises to add to your next group coaching, workshop or retreat program? Join me for this 1.5 hour teleclass where you will receive the Engaging Exercises for Teams and Groups Manual (electronic copy) and we will spend time discussing tried and true exercises for any team or group. Cost: $59 US (includes Engaging Exercises E-Manual).
Click here for more information and to regsiter.

I hope that you will join me for one of our upcoming programs this month.

Warm regards,

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

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

7 Quick Marketing Tips for Group Coaching, Workshops and Retreats
by Jennifer Britton, Copyright 2008.

Summer is a great time to dedicate attention and focus to marketing. Last month my newsletter included 20 ideas for filling your next group coaching sessions, short, medium and long term marketing strategies. Which ones have you tried? Which ones have worked already? Which ones have planted new seeds? This article includes 7 quick tips to keep in mind when marketing your next group coaching program, workshop or retreat:

Tip #1: Persevere with Marketing! The 7 Times Rule. It often takes 7-11 approaches before someone will decide to purchase your product or service. How many approaches have you made?

Tip #2: Develop New products and services for past and current clients. Those who already know you or have experienced your services will "purchase" more easily. These people already have grown to know, like and trust you. What offerings do you have for people who have already experienced, and enjoyed your services?

Tip #3: Ask for Referrals: Word of mouth referral often yields some of the highest return rate if you offer a solid program or service. Have you asked for your clients/customers to refer or recommend you?

Tip #4: Collect Testimonials:Prospective customers want to know what others think about your services. What testimonials (written, audio and video) do you have from clients/customers?

Tip #5: Develop Streams of Programs from Your Current Offerings:Be Creative! Don't reinvent the wheel. What streams of programs can you develop from your retreat or group coaching program? What programs do you already have that can be developed into a retreat, workshop or group coaching program? How can a current offering be adapted for a different audience?

Tip #6: Consider an Early Bird Discount
What price reduction do you offer for registrants who sign up early? Is there enough incentive for you to fill seats early, so that you can ensure that you have the numbers to proceed with an in-person venue?

Tip #7: Spread the word through your networks
Have you done everything in your power to spread the word about your upcoming program? Have you passed on the information to everyone in your network? Let people know what you have planned. You never know who may find it useful.

If you are looking to dig deeper on marketing and business building topics, please contact me to see if one of my individual, mentor or group coaching programs may support you.

Warm regards,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Potentials Realized
Group Coaching Essentials - Next sessions start Tuesdays (8-9:15 pm ET on July 15th) and Wednesdays (11-12:15 pm ET on July 16th)
Toll free: 1-866-217-1960

Want to reprint this article? Please do so, keeping copyright intact and add the following:
Since 1988, Jennifer Britton has been facilitating team and group programs (workshops, retreats and group coaching) for organizations, teams and groups across 14 countries, and many more virtually. She is considered a thought leader in the area of group coaching. She is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and offers programs for the general public as well as customized programs for governmental, corporate and non-profit clients. Through her company, Potentials Realized, programs focus on the areas of leadership, teamwork and business success. You can visit her online at or the Group Coaching Ins and Outs blog.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

7 Reasons to Credential as a Coach

ACC, PCC, MCC? What are these? What do they mean? As the coaching profession “grows up”, credentialing is increasingly a must. For the last few years, the International Coach Federation (ICF) has been working to enhance the recognition of the Accredited Coach program. For more information about ICF credentials, click here. If you are a coach and not yet a member yet of the ICF, now may be the time to join or check out your local chapter.

From my own vantage point, here are 7 reasons why it is important to credential as a coach:

1. An ICF is Increasingly asked for and is often pre-requisite for corporate and larger contracts
2. Standardization in the market place
3. Uniform recognition
4. Better Understood by the public (organizations and individuals) compared to the myriad of coach specific acronyms we carry.
5. Opens up new opportunities: Many RFPs are now asking for an ICF accredited coach
6. Dedication to the profession
7. Distinguish Yourself - Stand out in a crowded market place

Did you know that in order to apply for the ACC credential as of July 1 if you opt to go the Portfolio route, you will need to work with a PCC or MCC Mentor Coach for a minimum on10 hours? The portfolio route is for trained coaches who may not opt to certify with a coach training school. Mentor coaching in this context are defined as focusing on coaching around the ICF Core Competencies, rather than business development coaching or coaching on general issues.

Looking for to credentialize via the portfolio route? Looking for a mentor coach? I currently have space in my practice to work with two coaches who are looking to credentialize or looking for a mentor coach. Want more information? Click here. I offer a special 10 hour mentor coaching package rate for coaches (can be paid in 3 to 5 installments). Give me a call toll free at 1-866-217-1960 or email me and we can set up a time to talk to see if we are a good fit.

What's been your experience with credentialing? What opportunities has it provided for you? Please feel free to comment below.

Warm wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC
Potentials Realized
Group Coaching Essentials
Email: info(at)

Monday, June 09, 2008

10 Essential Items for Your Next Participant's Retreat or Group Coaching Kit

Looking for some quick tips on what to include in your next retreat or in-person group coaching kit for participants?

Here' s a quick list of 10 items I always include for each of my in-person programs:

  1. Welcome Letter
  2. Learning Guide/Manual to accompany the program (with ample space to write on/in)
  3. Book (or e-book link to sustain the learning once back at home/the office
  4. Notice of group follow up call or individual coaching session
  5. Invitation/announcements of future programs
  6. Resource List/Bibliography for further follow up
  7. Business Card
  8. Postcard (which participants can also use at the end of the program as a "letter to themselves about their greatest learning which you collect and mail out at a later date to remind them)
  9. Personalized pen from your company
  10. Gift Certificate for discount to future programs or services
Running a virtual program (one by phone)? Consider how these items can be modified and distributed to participants by email or snail mail prior to the programs. Remember, 60% of participants are visual learners, and in a virtual or phone based environment, it is still important for participants to have some immediate visual cues.

Warm wishes,

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

PS - I've had a lot of emails indicating that you are finding the Top 10 lists quite useful for your work related to group coaching, workshops and retreats. What other top 10 lists would you like to see? Drop me a quick email and let me know! I'm happy to feature your request in any upcoming post.

Just Added: Next Group Coaching Essentials starts Thursday June 19th

You asked for it and I’m pleased to announce that I have added a new session of the Group Coaching Essentials program, which will start next week. The June/July Sessions will be held on Thursday evenings from 8-9:15 pm (EST)/5-6:15 pm (PT) on June 19, 26, July 10 and 17, 2008, plus a fifth call at a time convenient to the group.

If you are a coach who:

  • Wants to launch their own group coaching program?
  • Is looking to not reinvent the wheel with their own group caoching program?
  • Wants some tried and tested tips related to designing, marketing and running their program?
  • Is looking for engaging exercises to adapt to their group coaching program?
  • Is seeeking accountability to moving their vision for group programs into reality?
  • Wonders how their individual coaching skills can be adapted for a group context?

Now is the time to get your group coaching programs ready for launch for late summer and early fall, whether they are in-person, by phone (virtual), for the public or corporations. I hope that you will join me for this month’s teleseminar program. Calls are recorded if you can’t make a session. Space is limited to 6-8 coaches per session.

Click here for more information and to register. Cost is $250 US or Canadian (plus GST for Cdn residents)

Can’t make the dates for this month? No problem, I’ll be offering two new classes starting mid-July. Choose from:

July/August: Tuesdays 8-9:15 pm (ET/New York) -- Evening Session
July 15, 22, 29 and August 5 2008 plus a fifth call in early September 2008


July/August: Wednesdays 11am - 12: 15 pm (ET/New York)/8-9:15 am (PT) - Mornings
July 16, 23, 30 and August 6, 2008 plus a fifth call in early September

Want to find out more….give me a call toll free at 1-866-217-1960 or email me at to set up a time to connect by phone.

Warm regards,

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

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Avoiding Death By Powerpoint

I have been doing a lot of design work recently in preparation for some corporate engagements. Many clients have asked for very experiential programs, whereas others have wanted more of a focus on the "teach" piece, which has necessitated the development of some new Power Point presentations.

I came across this wonderful, humourous PowerPoint presentation by Alexei Kapterev on Death By Powerpoint. You can access the Powerpoint here.

Coaching Challenge:
What steps will you take in your next presentation to avoid Death by Powerpoint?

Have a great week!


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

Thursday, May 22, 2008

10 Essential Items for your facilitation kit

Top 10 Essential Items for Any In-Person Program for Group Coaching, Workshops and Retreats

I’m leading a couples retreat, RelationshipsOnFire, next weekend and spent part of yesterday with my wonderful retreat co-facilitator putting finishing touches on our preparation.

As we went through our checklist, I was reminded of 10 Essential items I make sure I have packed for every in-person program I run – regardless of whether it is a workshop, a retreat or a group coaching program. So that I always ensure that I have them with me I actually have a hard plastic case (about the size of a shoe box) that they fit in. I can easily store it away after each program

Here are 10 favorite items I have in my toolbox for every retreat:

1. My 3 Essential evalution questions – What worked well? What are you taking away? What should we do differently next time?
2. Markers – the low smell ones (note some participants are highly allergic to the standard/high scented ones)
3. Blank Index Cards
4. Lots of 4x6 inch post-it notes
5. Stickers and coloured paper
6. Tape –masking tape or some of the fun coloured sticky tape you can buy at most dollar stores. I also usually like to have a spare on hand (just in case)
7. Pair of scizzors – you never know when you are going to need them
8. Coloured dots: These can be used for a number of purposes including having group members “vote” for their favorite(s), or indicate their preference. It’s a quick, colourful visual way to have all voices and opinions heard/seen within a group or team.
9. Blank Name tags (and usually blank name cards): It’s always much nicer to be able to quickly see who
10. Blank Postcards with the program name on it for participants to write a message/reminder on it. I collect these and put them into envelopes and send them out after a program. It’s a great way to keep the learning alive after a program., which I’ve mentioned before, is a great place to get small batches of postcards/rackcards/business cards printed at.

What else do you pack as an essential item for your group programs? Feel free to comment below

Have a wonderful week,

Jennifer Britton, PCC
Group Coaching Essentials
Potentials Realized

Group Coaching Essentials starts Tuesday at 10:30 am Eastern

Are you a coach who….
Wants to launch their own group coaching program?
Is looking to not reinvent the wheel with their own program?
Wants some tried and tested tips related to designing, marketing and running their program?
Is looking for engaging exercises to adapt to their group coaching program?
Wants some accountability to put their vision for group programs into reality?
Wonders how their individual coaching skills can be adapted for a group context?

If you answered yes, I hope that you will consider joining me for this month’s Group Coaching Essentials program. If you want to make 2008 your year to lead successful group coaching programs, join me and a small group of other coaches for a 2 month journey, as we cover the ins and out to designing, implementing and marketing your own group program.

The program includes 5x 75 minute group calls, an 85 page manual (chock full of tips, resources, templates which you can build onto), pre and post course 1-1s with me, and up to 2 hours of individual time during the two month period.

Space still remains in the Tuesday morning session which will be held:
Tuesdays 10:30 - 11:45 am (EST) -- Morning Session
May 27, June 10, 17 and 24 2008 plus a fifth call in July 2008
Cost : $250 US or Canadian

Initially launched in January 2006, this program has been taken by 200 coaches from around the world.

For full details and to register and pay by PayPal, please click here.

Here’s what past participants have said about the program:
"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 recommend this program for anyone who wants to gain confidence, knowledge and resources in preparation for launching their own group coaching program"
Erin Curran, CPCC,

“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, M Ed, CPCC,

You can also give me a call toll free at 1-866-217-1960, or email me to reserve your spot and set up a time for our pre-program 1-1 chat.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Warm wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

To Niche or Multi-Niche?

What's your niche?

Niche Marketing: Defined by as:
A portion of a market that you've identified as having some special characteristic and that's worth marketing to

A lot of business owners find that selecting a niche is one of the most challeging steps in developing their business, and many like me, resist niching into just one area.

Who do you want to work with? Who are your services most appealing and beneficial for?

Over the years I have remained multi-niched and serve a small handful of different groups around specific topics(business owners, teams, coaches on topics ranging from business success and performance to teamwork to group program issues). I must admit that it has been a little more challenging and more work than if I just worked with one niche AND it is very important for me to have diversity in my work. It's who I am and my professional background has always involved delivering/creating programs to very diverse groups on different topics.

Niching is very important as at the end of the day it's hard (if not impossible) to be all things to all people. Staking a claim on working with a certain group makes your marketing and program development work that much more meaningful for clients and focused.

In fact, Knowing Your Client, is a central theme and best practice of group coaching. As in individual coaching, holding the client's agenda is a central concept. Without knowing who our group coaching clients are, what their needs are, and what their agenda is, our program can either be ineffective, or more like a workshop than group coaching.

To support group coaches in Getting To Know their client, I developed the Group Coaching Client Assessment template a few years ago which is avaialble as part of the Group Coaching Essentials program, as well as in the soon to be released Group Program Toolkit. It's also a topic I cover in the BizSuccessVirtual Retreat (next dates June 9th and 23rd from 7-10pm EST).

If you are one of the many coaches or business owners working on discovering their niche, here are some great resources for you:'s Niche Marketing Article with tips and questions
Small Business Info Canada on Niche Marketing
US Small Business Association info on niche marketing

What other resources do recommend on niches?

Have a great week!


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

Friday, May 02, 2008

Co-Facilitation Tips: Part 2

Co-Faciliation Tips : Creating the Foundation for Success: Part 2
Copyright 2008 – Jennifer Britton. All Rights Reserved

Earlier this week I posted some initial questions you may want to consider asking when starting a co-facilitation relationship in part one of this post. Creating conscious, intentional relationships can mean the difference between ordinary and exceptional. Participants also have a unique ability to pick up even subtle nuances or tensions between co-facilitators.

When starting to work together as a co-facilitation team it can be beneficial to spend in person (or phone based time) creating your partnership. Here are some additional questions you may want to add to that first or second meeting you are going to have.

Questions for co-facilitators to ask each other:

* What is our shared vision for this program?
* What is our philosophy as a co-facilitation team?
* What is my stake as an individual? What is our stake as a team?
* What can we do to keep on target?
* What will we do if we get off target?
* What is the essence that surrounds us?
* How and when will we check in with one another?
* What will I be responsible for?

Co-facilitation of programs provides a wonderful opportunity for participants to view and experience a positive collaborative partnership. It also provides a richer experience for the learners who can benefit from two different personalities, sets of life experiences, communication styles, and facilitation styles.

I hope that you find these questions useful as you move forward with your co-facilitation design. In part 3 of this post, I'll be sharing with you some concrete exercises you may want to consider weaving into your own design and preparation process.

Warm wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP
Potentials Realized
Coaching for Co-Facilitators and Business Partners
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960

May's Program Line up: Group Coaching, Workshops and Retreats

Spring is here and May's going to be an exciting month. Here's our program line-up. What group programs do you have planned this summer? Need a little support or a booster shot -- check out what we've got in store!

Starting May 6th: Workshop and Retreat Essentials
Tuesdays 8-9:15 pm (EST): May 6, 13, 20 and 27, plus one additional call in June:
Our initial flagship program, now in it's 4th year, this teleseminar program is designed to support coaches, service based professionals and others who want to develop their own workshops, teleclasses and retreats. Click here for more information and to register.
Offered on a quarterly basis - next session will be offered in August/September.

May 14th: Engaging Exercises for Teams and Groups: One off Teleseminar!
Wednesday May 14th: 8:30 -10 pm (EST)/5:30 – 7pm (PT)
Looking for some exercises for your next workshop, retreat or group coaching? We’ll spend the evening looking at a range of exercises you can use in your next program. You’ll also receive the electronic copy of the Engaging Exercises for Teams and Groups Manual (valued at $25), full of 25 group exercises and a range of templates.
Click here for more info and to register.

Group Coaching Essentials: Starts May 27th (Mornings) or 28th (Evenings)
Tuesdays 10:30 – 11:45 am (EST)/7:30 – 8:45 am (PST) : May 27, June 10, 17, 24 and one in July/Aug at a time convenient to the group
OR Wednesdays 8-9:15 pm (EST)/5-6:15 pm (PT): May 28, June 4, 11, 18, and one in July/Aug at a time convenient to the group.
Calls will be recorded if you can’t make one.
One of our most popular progams, taken by over 200 coaches around the world, learn how to design, run and market group coaching programs for your clients (in person, and phone based approaches covered, applicable for corporate and personal programs). Space limited to 6 as this is a hands-on interactive program. Click here for more info and to register.

Group Program Design Virtual Intensive: By Phone
May 20 and June 2nd (Tuesdays 7-10pm EST)
Wanting to pull together a new program and you haven’t found the time? Wanting a structured process to follow to quickly design your own program? Join me for the 6 hour Virtual Retreat which has helped coaches in the last year quickly, and easily, design their own group programs. Whether you are planning a new workshop, retreat or group coaching program, join me for two evenings of focused and structured action. The program consists of a series of individual and group exercises undertaken throughout the two evenings. Participants should have at least one program idea in mind to benefit fully from this program.

And on the relationship side of things.....
RelationshipsOnFire Couples Retreat - Muskoka/Huntsville, Ontario
Weekend of May 31 and June 1
Spend the weekend reconnecting with your partner/spouse to take your relationship from good to great! Click here for more information and to register. We have space for three more couples.

Registration Now open for two our in-person intensive fall programs – mark your calendars:

Group Coaching Intensive: October 3 and 4, Toronto, Canada
4th Anniversary pricing (40% discount) available until May 16, 2008.
Regularly $695, Special price: $417
Join me in Toronto this fall to acquire and practice group coaching skills.
Click here for full details

Group Program Facilitation Intensive
4th Anniversary pricing (40% discount) available until May 16, 2008
Regularly $695, Special Price: $417
Click here for full details

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to give me a call toll free 1-866-217-1960 and leave me a message as to when it would be convenient to connect.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP
Potentials Realized
Group Coaching Essentials

Monday, April 28, 2008

Co-Facilitation : Creating the Foundation For Success

Co-Facilitation: Creating the Foundation for Success
Copyright 2008 - Jennifer Britton, All Rights Reserved

When was the last time you experienced great co-facilitation? I really believe that great co-facilitation is an art form. AND the good news is, there are things we can do to create an environment of success when we are co-leading. This is the first of several posts I’ll be doing on co-facilitation. In the coming weeks I will be blogging on exercises, tips and tools you can use to take your co-leading from good to great!

Today’s post is all about creating the Foundation for Success

From project management best practices, we know that some of the most successful ones happen when there is a strong emphasis on the planning stage.

Here are some practical questions to ask when you are starting a new co-facilitation:

* Who are we? As individuals? As a pair?
* Where do our skills compliment each other? Where do our skills match?
* Where do our personalities compliment each other? Where are they they same?
* Together, what are our strengths? What are our blindspots?
* What are our values as individuals? What are our values as a team?

Exercise: As a co-facilitation team undertake a SWOT exercise. This has traditionally been a strategic planning tool and is a wonderful tool for business owners and others.

Stay tuned for more co-facilitation tips.

Warm wishes,

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

If you are a co-faciltiation team I hope that you will consider joining me virtually (by phone) for the Revitalize Your Partnership Virtual Retreat this weekend, to put a little “spring” and intention into the relationship. Throughout the day you will have a structured process and exercises to support you from moving your relationship from ordinary to extraordinary. Our next program runs this Sunday May 4th from 11-5 pm (EST) by phone. Click here to reserve your spot and register.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Group Coaching Best Practice: Create Assignments between Sessions

Have you heard that "Coaching really occurs between sessions". That's because the impact of coaching really happens when clients are able to reflect and integrate their learning into their lives and work (deepen their learning) as well as when they can take action on their learning and commitments.

This week's post is all about creating meaningful assignments between group coaching sessions to help sustain and deepen the learning for your clients.

This is pretty easy to do if you deliver a multi-session group coaching program -- build in time at the end of your weekly session (by phone or in person) and provide the assignment to the group. It may be something you have thought of prior that week's session, or it may be something related to the themes or coaching that has emerged during your work together that day.

I will often include a structured "assignment" in my weekly modules or booklets, as well as design an assignment with the group based on what we've explored that week.

And what about if you aren't meeting with the group again and it's a one-off group coaching session? Well, it's the perfect opportunity to offer a follow-up group conference call a few weeks after the session to check in and see how their learning is coming OR you may want to consider having people email you with their actions. Either way it's an added benefit and value to your client to sustain and forward their learning.

What types of assignments do you usually create for your group coaching clients? More later in an upcoming post on this....

Have a great week!


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Potentials Realized
Group Coaching Essentials

One more week for our 40% off special 4th Anniversary pricing

It's been really fun this month celebrating our 4th anniversary, and one of the most exciting things has been to see how popular the 40% discounts have been on three of our upcoming programs this month.

In case you missed the announcement earlier in celebration of our 4th anniversary three of our upcoming programs have a 40% discount if you register and pay by the end of this month. They are:

1. Your Balanced Life! Virtual Retreat: Regularly $125. Anniversary Special: $71
Dates: Wednesday May 14 and 21, 2o08 (7-10pm EST/4-7pm PT)

2. Group Coaching Essentials Fall Intensive: Toronto, Canada
Join me in person this fall for the Group Coaching Essentials Intensive, to be held here in Toronto. The focus of this two day program is on skill development and practice. You will also acquire tools and tips for designing and marketing your own group coaching programs. Space is limited. I will also be applying to the ICF for CCEUs for this program.

Dates: October 3 and 4, 2008
Regularly: $695. Anniversary Pricing: $417 (This will be the lowest price all year!)

3. Group Program Facilitation Intensive: Toronto, Canada
Dates: November 1 and 2, 2008
Regularly $695. Anniversary Pricing: $417

If you are a trainer, coach or manager, wanting to enhance your skills toolbox to work with teams and groups, the Group Program Facilitation program will provide you with the opportunity to acquire and practice skills in group facilitation.

Don't delay -- I hope that you will take advantage of these savings before they expire on the 30th!

Warm wishes,

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

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Four Years, Four Business Lessons

I'm borrowing from my BizToolkit blog today, as I've had some great emails from readers on this post and wanted to share with you four of my most important business lessons from the last 4 years. I hope that these will give those of you who run your own business some food for thought, as well as some business coaching questions.

I’ve intentionally built some time in over the last few days to reflect on where we’ve been and what some of our goals are for the future. As a business coach, I love doing this work with my clients, and it’s been great to walk my talk and use my own tools for my business.I’ve also boiled down four of the lessons that have served me best during my first 4 years in business.

Business Lesson #1: Be clear on what you want as well as what fuels and passions you
Keeping clear about what I love and want to create has been quite instrumental in building a business and a model which enables me to enjoy the best of the city during the winter, as well as the best of Muskoka during the summer. My time up north renews me on an annual basis, providing the opportunity for more strategic thinking and program/product development.

Coaching Questions: What do you want to create in your business? What's going to give you energy? What can't you live without?

Business Lesson #2: Don’t be afraid to create your own path
When I first started coaching four plus years ago, one of the only models available was one-on-one coaching. From the start of my business I was eager to create and design coaching experiences for groups. I've loved being a pioneer in an emerging area of the coaching profession - group coaching. Rather than feeling like a renegade I created my own path. You can read more about group coaching over at my Group Coaching Ins and Outs blog.

Coaching Questions: What's your path? What unique contribution can you make as a business owner? What's the unique path of your business?

Business Lesson #3: Persevere
Strategic perseverance has played an important role in growing my business. If it didn't work, I asked why? If it didn't work, I tried again and refocused. If that didn't work, I tried again.
Most of us know the stats on marketing -- it may take 7-11 times for a consumer to purchase, so why do so many business owners give up after the first try?
Coaching Questions: Where do you need to persevere? What needs to be refocused?

Business Lesson #4: Learn from all experiences, the good and the bad
And finally -- reflection and learning has also played a key role. Whether it's been a great experience or one that's not been so great, identifying the learning and applying in the next step has been critical.
Coaching Questions: What can you learn from your most recent success? What can you learn from your most recent failure?

Some interesting facts:The US Small Business Association states that only 2/3 of small businesses survive after their first 2 years in business and less than half make it to 4. WOW!

What have been some of the lessons which have served you best in growing your own business?
In closing, I want to thank all of you who have supported myself and Potentials Realized as we've grown. I look forward to many more years of serving you -- and if we haven't had the opportunity to meet - I'd love to connect to see how we might synergize.

Have a fantastic week,

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