Tuesday, March 30, 2010

6 Ways to Boost Group Engagement

I've had a lot of emails from readers of my monhtly newsletter indicating that they really enjoyed March's article on boosting group engagement, so I thought that you might like to read it here:

6 Ways to Boost Group Engagement
Copyright 2010 - Jennifer Britton, All Rights Reserved.

Engaging your groups can mean the difference between a mediocre group program (workshop, retreat or group coaching program) and a GREAT one. So, how exactly do you boost engagement?

Here are a few tips:

1. Remember less is more. How much time are you talking and how much air space are you leaving for people to be in converstation with one another? Build in opportunities for both large group discussion, as well as paired or triad work.

2. Meet the needs of different personality styles. Keep in mind that more intraverted members of a group, and those who need more time to process, may require more time to speak or answer. Don't be afraid to build in pauses for reflection and note-taking or journalling. Silence is good!

3. Mix up your program approaches to meet the needs of different learning styles. Keep in mind that you will probably have a mix of different learnimg stylesduring your programs. There will be those who prefer to learn (and perceive the world) visually, by hearing and those who like to learn by doing (kinesthetically). What changes or options can you provide with the different exercises you are incorporating into your programs?

4. Take the pulse of the group regularly throughout a session. Notice, and get the group to notice, and comment on, the energy levels (and dips of the group). If a dip occurs what do you need to do next?

5. Ask the group. One of the great strengths of the group coaching process is the ownership the group has the potential to create over time. Ask the group what will boost their engagement.

6. And finally! Remember that sometimes a "change is as good as a rest". Changing pace by asking a question, moving to a samll group discussion, paired exercise, or relfective writing piece, may provide the boost that the group needs.

What tips will you incorporate into your next group program?

Warm wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPT
Group Coaching Essentials - next programs start April 6th (7-8:15 pm ET) and April 14th (12:30 - 1:45 pmET)
Author of Effective Group Coaching
Phone: 416.996.8326
Email info{at}potentialsrealized.com

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Join me Tuesday at 2 pm ET at the Coaching Toys Unboxed Brain Series

Please join me on Tuesday March 30 at 2 pm ET for the FREE Unboxed Brain Tele-Seminar with Marcy Nelson Garrison of Coaching Toys. If you haven't visited her site and store geared for coaches yet, do check her out at www.coachingtoys.com. She stocks terrific items!

I'll be speaking on Tuesday about Group Coaching: Tips and Best Practices

Here's a brief description of what I'll be speaking about:

Are you curious about all the buzz about group coaching and what it can do for your business? Join me for a resource rich call which will look at:
o What is group coaching, and how does it differ from a teleclass or training?
o What are the benefits for clients, and the coach/facilitator?;
o 3 Core Best Practices for your Group Coaching Work.

You can register for the call at http://www.coachingtoys.com/unboxedseries.html

Looking forward to "seeing" you there!


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPT, CPCC
Group Coaching Essentials
Author of Effective Group Coaching
Phone: 416.996.8326
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Join me on Saturday to TAKE ACTION on your next program

Have you been sitting on the fence around working on the design or marketing of an upcoming group program you have planned?

This Saturday March 27 from 10 - 4 pm Eastern (Daylight) I will be hosting the Group Program Virtual Intensive, designed to provide coaches and trainers with a six hour structured focus on the design, marketing and or/implementation issues of an upcoming program you have planned (or want to offer).

The program is a combination of short group calls, and structured individual exercises undertaken off line each hour.

Past participants have left the program with:
- Program design skeleton
- Exercises researched/selected for their programs
- Marketing Materials drafted
- Web page copy written
- Draft announcements
- Draft Participant Materials

The possibility is limitless as to what you can focus in on, and TAKE ACTION Around during the 6 hours.

Participants will receive the Virtual Intensive E-Manual which includes the exercises for the day, along with many more tools, links and resources. I will also be accessible during several points of the day for any questions that emerge. We will also hold a group follow up call one month after the retreat.

Cost: $125 US or CDN

Interested or want more info? Visit http://www.groupcoachingessentials.com/pages/virtualretreat for more info.

Here's what Coach Tanya Smith said about her recent experience with the program:

" Jennifer has offered a great and invaluable program that was right on time for me. I was looking for something to kick me into high gear in launching my group coaching model, and this was just what I needed. Thanks to the intensive, I actually created a work space that let me take the action I needed without interruptions or distractions. - Tanya Smith

I hope that you can join us! There are 7 more spaces still open for Saturday's program.


Jennifer Britton
Author of Effective Group Coaching
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com
Phone: 416.996.8326

What happens after training?

Many readers will know my story of what brought me into coaching years ago - namely the question around boosting rates of transfer of training back to the workplace. As a manager and director who also wore a trainer's hat for my team, I consistently noticed how even with the best of intentions, the transfer of learning was never 100%. I continue to advocate for coaching, including group coaching, as a way to boost learner integration of these new skills and ideas. In fact, we've seen already this year in all of the projects I have led, how important group coaching is in what I call "keeping the learning alive" once people are back at work.

There was a great article recently published in the Guardian which focuses on the outcomes of a 3 year evaluation study by Knowledge Pool which analyzed the "transfer of learning to the workplace" and the impact on performance, of over 10,000 learners. You can read it here.

Here's what Kevin Lovell of Knowledge Pool writes,
"The results show that 69% of learners use what they learn and experience significant performance improvement from training. A further 6% don't use what they learn, yet they experience performance improvement anyway. 25% of learners doe not experience significant performance imprvement as a result of learning. Of these learners most also say that they did not use what they learn.

We can conclude, firstly, that a quarter of all training fails to deliver a significant performance improvement. Secondly, line manageer support to help learners use what they learn is a major factor in tackling the lack of performance improvement. The study found that where learners do receive line manager support, 94% go onto apply what they learn, and performance improvement invarably follows".

So, how are you engaging managers in the training and/or coaching work you are doing? What do you notice about the transfer of learning - do you see it as high within the industries, sectors and locations you work in? How are you "keeping the learning alive"?

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to post below.

Have a great week

Jennifer Britton
Author of Effective Group Coaching
Email: info@potentialsrealized.com