Tuesday, March 31, 2009

6 Tips for Your Next Phone Based Group Coaching Programs

More and more coaches are expanding their work these days to include group coaching programs run by phone. Phone based programs have the benefit of being able to reach a much larger cross-section of individuals, as well as the convenience for particpants of being able to connect, and learn, from whereever they want -- home, office or even cottage.

As a facilitator or coach, phone based programs offer the added advantages of low (or no) overhead, and the convenience of connecting in "right away" with your clients, with no travel time!

Whether you are new, or experienced, when it comes to phone based group coaching work, here are some key considerations when hosting your next call:

1. Select a reliable bridgeline service: Not all bridgeline services are equal. Select a bridgeline that works for you and your clients in terms of location, relability and services associated. Does the bridgeline offer a toll free call in option? At what cost? Does the bridgeline offer call recording services -- free or at cost?

2. Call Recording: I often get asked about recording group coaching calls...how to do it and if you should do it. Typically, I digitally record each call for internal group playback only. This added feature is often seen as a great benefit for participants who might not be able to make all the calls, and want to be able to listen in at their convenience.

3. Examine your call length: How long do you really need for your group coaching call? Will an hour be enough? Map out your exercises and content prior to finalizing your call length and time (see next point).

4. Examine your call content: Many of you have heard me speak, or have read my comments on, the 80/20 rule to content development. Less is more is an adeage I promote with group coaching. When considering what to include in your next group coaching session, set aside 20 percent of what you thought you would cover and leave this as seeds for a new program, or a new session. Notice what happens when you provide more space for dialogue.

5. Check In with Your Clients Regularly - Lacking the visual cues of face to face work, group coaching work by phone requires a different focus on how engaged your clients are throughout the session. Check in frequently with your clients -- it may be by asking a question and having all participants pop with their responses, or it may be asking them to self-evaluate their own engagement levels of a 0-10 scale.

6. Consider what twists or adaptations you need to make on some of your favorite face-to-face exercises and tools. Many coaches and facilitators are surprised at how some of their favorite activities can be adapted for phone based work. What changes do you need to make? What pre-work can be undertaken before the call? What new supports/tools need to be developed to have this exercise fly by phone?

Phone based work can have tremendous impact for both your client and yourself. What's your learning edge around taking your work to a virtual setting? What skills do you need to develop? What things do you need to put into place?

Consider these 6 tips prior to your next phone based program, and see what difference it makes. As always, I welcome your comments, questions and thoughts -- please feel free to comment below.

Warm wishes,
Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT
Group Coaching Essentials: Next Session starts Monday April 6th at 7pm (Eastern): 2 spaces remain!
90 Day BizSuccess Group Coaching Program: Starts Tuesday April 7th at 10:30 am (ET):3 spaces remain!

Tomorrow (April 1) marks the start of our 5th Anniversary Celebrations! Join me for the month of April as I celebrate this Business Milestone.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

BizTip on Thursday: Perseverance

Coaches who run their own business often underestimate the importance of perseverance when it comes to marketing their products and services. A famous marketing principle is that it takes a consumer (client) 7-11 times of seeeing a product before they decide to buy. And this is not to say that they will in fact buy the product.

The power of repetition and persevernce is critical for small business owners, even more so today where purchase decisions are often taking longer to make or being given more thought by consumers. Coaching services are no different.

Here are a few questions to consider as it comes to business development and perseverance.

  • How are you approaching your marketing efforts these days?
  • Where are you persevering?

  • How are you continuing to reach out to your audience while adding value? Adding value is a key piece here. Ask yourself also how your communications/outreach is adding value.

  • What short term strategies are you employing?

  • What long term platform are you building?

  • How are you allocating your time between the short term immediate gain, and the long term payoff?

Have a great week! As always, your comments are most welcomed below!

Warm regards,


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC, CHRP

Potentials Realized

90 Day BizSuccess Group Coaching Program (TM): Next Program starts April 7 (Tuesdays 10:30 -11:45 am ET)

Looking to launch your own Group Coaching Program? The Group Coaching Essentials program starts again next week - Tuesday 12 - 1:15 pm (ET) and will be held on March 24, 31, April 7 and 14, plus a 5th call in May. The April group will meet on Mondays from 7-8:15 pm (ET) on April 6, 20, 27 and May 4th plus a fifth call in June. Click here for more info or to register for either program.

Monday, March 02, 2009

10 Core Questions to Bring Into Your Next Group Program

10+ Core Questions for Your Next Program
Copyright 2008-9. All Rights Reserved. Jennifer Britton

We often say that questions are a coach's best tool. I've spent that last few weeks on the design of a new coaching program for managers and in designing it, I was struck once again by the power and simplicity of the powerful question.

In the next few days become consciously aware of the questions you are bringing into your work with clients - whether it's in 1-1 work, or with groups or teams. Are your questions:
  • Open-ended
  • Leaving the client breathless before they answer, or leading them to pause or say "Wow. That's a great question".
  • Between 5 and 6 words in length (One of my key takeaways from my own coach training years ago was that powerful questions usually are 5 or 6 word long - take a listen to yours!)
  • Leading a client to really think differently, or deepen their understanding, as a result of the question

Here are some of my favorite core Questions for the Group Context. They are not all powerful questions, but they do get people thinking and conversations flowing:

Starters/Warm up:
What’s your hope for today’s session? What’s your fear? What’s your fantasy?
What do you want to take away from today’s session?
What is your intention for the day?
What will you commit to bringing to the group?
What role do you want to in the group?
On a scale of 0-10 how engaged will be with the process?
What risk will you take today?
What is one action you can take today to stretch your comfort zone?

Check Ins along the way:

What’s been your biggest ah-ha so far?
What is one thing that you can do in the next hour/day/session that will stretch your comfort zones?
What has shifted for you since we started?

Taking Action:

What action can you take to make this happen?
What do you want to commit to?
What do you need to say yes to? What do you need to say no to?

What will success look like?

Enjoy and try weaving these questions into your next session.


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC

Group Coaching Essentials

Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

This Month's Program Line-up: Group Coaching and Business Development

With spring just around the corner, it's a popular time to launch your own group coaching program or retreat. Group coaching programs an appealing alternative for individuals and businesses alike, as virtual offerings -- lower cost and lower carbon footprint.

Here's our program line up for the next month:

Group Coaching Essentials: This program is designed for coaches who want to expand their work to the group coaching environment. The program is a resource-rich, interactive program focusing in on the design, marketing and implementation of your own group coaching program. Packed with tips, tools and templates to make your process easier, this program includes 5 calls, 1-1 lazer sessions with Jennifer, and an 80 page manual. Space is limited to 6-8 coaches as it is a hands-on, interactive program.

Two new sessions starting soon. Choose from either:
Tuesdays from 12 - 1:15 pm (Eastern): March 24, 31, April 7 and 14 2009 plus a 5th call in May (date to be set by group)
OR Mondays from 7-8:15 pm (Eastern): April 6, 20, 27 and May 4 plus a fifth call in early June 2009 (date to be set by group)

Click here to register and reserve your spot.

90 Day BizSuccess Program:
Ready to focus in on your business and take it to the next level? The 90 Day BizSuccess Program will provide you with new tools and ideas for your business, as well as dozens of business development exercises, tips and templates. The program will provide you with 3 months of accountability and focus on growing your business, all within the structure of a group coaching program. Join other coaches, trainers and small business owners as we focus in on you and your growth!

Topics covered include:
  • Developing a Powerful Vision for Your Buinsess;
  • Creating Your Business RoadMap;
  • Identifying What Makes You Uniquely Powerful as a Business Owner;
  • Identifying Your Niche and Clients;
  • Expanding Your Web and Networks;
  • Leveraging Tradition and Social Marketing Approaches

Jennifer brings the best of her tried and tested small business toolkit which she once shared as a Business Faculty Member working with business students.

The next program will start on April 7th on Tuesdays from 10:30 -11:45 am (ET)
Group Calls held on:
April 7, 21, May 5, 19, June 2, 16, 31. Celebration call scheduled by group later in the summer.
Cost: $347 US. Click here to register.

Workshop and Retreat Essentials: The program that started it all, celebrates it's 5th birthday in April. If you are a coach looking to expand your work into workshops or retreats this program will support you in designing, marketing and implementing your own workhsop or retreat. The program will also cover the popular virtual retreat design.
Fridays 10:30 - 11:45 am(EST): April 24, May 1, 8 and 15 plus 5th call in June (set by Group)

Questions? Please feel free to drop me a line at info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com.


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