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