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}