Monday, March 24, 2008

Keeping the Client as Center

Last week I spoke to the ICF Education SIG about coaching for teams and groups, and how this can be a natural extension of the work you already undertake as a coach doing 1-1 work.

A basic tenet I hold central to any group coaching work, to distinguish it from a training/seminar/workshop approach, is holding the clients agenda. Just as in individual coaching, our role a coach is to hold the client's agenda as central, the same principle applies to group coaching – however in this case you may have anywhere from 2 – 15 agendas at play.

Getting to know your clients and their needs, their aspirations is a central part of a group coach’s work. As many of you will know from reading earlier posts, I spend a significant time up front prior to the start of any program, “meeting” with each participant, to find out what they want to take away from a program, find out about their expectations, as well as starting to learn about their “agenda” – what they really want in the bigger picture.

Keeping the Client as center – or as I always say “Knowing Your Client” – is a best practice for any group coaching work. Knowing them as best as you can will help you exponentially in terms of:
* Creating and delivering meaningful programs
* Marketing your services most appropriately (using the best method, placement and wording) -- click here for a post from 2006 where I touch on Knowing Your Client, as well as some other marketing tips
* Offering programs at the most convenient time
* Offering programs in the most convenient format
*Providing meaningful resources for their needs

When was the last time you stepped back and really asked yourself, what do my group coaching clients really want? How do their needs infuse the programs I offer?

In its purest form, the client will always be at the center of a group coaching program.

Have a great week,


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT

PS - Still wanting to get your group program launched this spring or summer? Here are two programs you may want to consider:

Saturday March 29th (10 - 4pm EST): The Group Program Design Virtual Intensive. This coming Saturday I'll be working with a small group of coaches who are commited to getting their own programs launched. We'll go through 6 hours of structured exercises as a group by phone and individually at our own homes or offices. You'll leave the program with at least one program design, exercises and ideas to market the program. 75% of past Virtual Intensive participants have actually sketched out 2 programs during the day. Cost: $150 US/Cdn. For more information and to register, please click here.

Next Week two new sessions of the Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar program will start - Wednesdays from 8-9:15 pm (EST) or Thursdays from 10:30 - 11:45 am (EST). Click here for more information or to register. Sessions will run throughout April and into early May. Space is limited to 6 coaches per session.

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