Monday, June 28, 2010

8 Advantages of Phone Based Group Coaching Programs

Whether you offer group coaching programs in person or by the phone, it's always good to reflect on why phone based programs may be a great stream for your work. Back in 2005 when my son was born I literally 'virtualized' all my work with groups and teams overnight so that I could spend as much time with him as possible. Since then I have returned to a balance between in person and phone based work, and it is always nice to know that I have choice.

Here's what I commonly hear as some of the advantages of phone based group coaching programs:

1. Enables participation of participants/coachees from all parts of the world, regardless of timezone or location;
2. Potential for global learning and sharing of experiences, and insights from across the global community;
3. Less travel time (and cost) for you and the participants;
4. Reduces your carbon footprint for the program;
5. Lower overhead cost - many bridgeline services are free or a low cost to the facilitator (note participants typically have to pay for their long distance charges to access the bridgeline);
6. Ability to call in from any location (great for the coach and participants. I have had group members call in from beaches, forests, hotels, home and of course the office)
7. Potential for lower cost per hour given that less time may be required for delivery and participation
8. A feeling of "anonymity" or "safety" for participants to share more, especially for people who may be in highly competitive industries, or smaller communities, where it can be liberating to just be "Jenn" in a more neutral context

I'll be speaking further about some of the benefits as well as techniques for virtual faciliation on next month's Effective Group Coaching call.

What do you see as the benefits to phone based group coaching work for you, and for your clients/coachees? As always, please feel free to comment below.

Warm regards,

Jennifer Britton
Group Coaching Essentials - Next ICF Accredited CCE training starts on July 8th (Thursdays 10:30 - 11:45 am ET).
Phone: 416.996.8326
Email: info{at} potentialsrealized{com}

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What Goes into a Group Coaching Proposal?

I often get asked by coaches "What should I include in a group coaching proposal for organizations"? Here's an excerpt from my book, Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010), on the topic:

"Most organizations have thir own internal reqruiemrnts for proposals, workselection, and standard contracts. Agreements may range from written approval of proposals to letters of agreement. The organization may have their own standard format, or they may ask you to provide one. Much of this depends on your local context.
With your organizational contact or the sponse, confim what is reqruiemd in a proposal. Basic elements you will want to consider including are:
  • Background;
  • Objectives;
  • Program components - including needs assessment, design, delivery, evaluation, and any other follow-up;
  • Proposed work schedule;
  • Pricing
  • Similar programs delivered (maintaining confidentiality and non-disclosure as needed);
  • Any subcontractors (or other coaches) you will be using- including their bio; and
  • References/testimonials"

(Copyright: Jennifer Britton, 2010 - Effective Group Coaching, pp. 184, John Wiley and Sons)

What else do you find useful including in your proposals for group coaching or other work? As always, please feel free to comment below.

Have a great week!


Jennifer Britton, CPCC, PCC, CPT

Potentials Realized

Group Coaching Essentials: the next ICF Accredited CCE program stars on Thursdays from 12 - 1:15 pm ET on July 8, 22, 29, August 5 and 12th). I'll also be offering an accelerated summer version of the program starting July 22nd (Tues/Thurs 2 - 3:15 pm ET)

Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Phone: (416)996-8326

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Group Coaching and Your Personal Cultural Identity

Guest blog post for Group Coaching Ins & Outs

Submitted by Jennifer Bradley

If you coach groups or teams it is very likely that you will have individuals from different cultural backgrounds as coachees. Have you considered your personal cultural identity? Most interculturalists contend that an in-depth understanding of your own culture is the foundation of your ability to work effectively with diverse groups.

I invite you to try the exercise below as a way of exploring how culture has shaped your identity today. This exercise, adapted from the work of psychologist Larke Nahme Huang, asks you to consider both how you see yourself (personal internal identity) and your views on how others see you (social external identity). Answer the questions below to explore these two different dimensions of cultural identity.

1. (a) Make a list the groups that you belong to that you feel have shaped who you are today.
Examples might be groups based on nationality, ethnicity, language use, religion, politics, region, or socioeconomic group. Select those groups that you feel have been most significant to to you personally.

1 (b) Extend your list by adding other groups, roles, or attributes that you feel have been or are important to how you see yourself. Examples might be family (sibling, son or daughter, parent, partner, spouse, etc.), profession, gender, age, health status, or role in your community.

1 (c) Different attributes may be salient at different times and in different contexts. For instance, if you are bilingual but now live in a community this is largely monolingual, being bilingual may be more salient if you experience this as a loss, or less salient because this aspect of your identity is in the background. It depends on your personal experience.

Review your list of responses to both (a) and (b), and mark the top 5 or 6 influences that seem most relevant to you today. Your answers to question 1 gives you information on your personal internal identity.

2. Next, think about how others might perceive you. For example, as a coach beginning work with a new group, what do you think is most salient to group members as they figure out who you are? What sources of information are they most likely to rely on to construct your identity?

Examples might be physical attributes such as skin color, appearance, gender, age, language use and accent, group memberships, professional, and community roles. This list gives you information about your social external identity in the context you have chosen.

3. Now compare the dimensions of how you see yourself (internal identity) with how you perceive that others see you (external identity).

What similarities and differences do you notice?
What aspects of your internal and external identity are congruent or dissonant?
Which aspects do you experience positively or negatively?

In his book, Coaching across Cultures, [link:]
Philippe Rosinski argues that by leveraging cultural differences coaches expand the options available and improve coaching outcomes.

What new opportunities have you identified based on this exploration of your cultural identity? Share your thoughts and feedback below.

About the author:

Jennifer Bradley, Ph.D. helps mid-career professionals and expatriates craft a work-life environment where they can flourish both personally and professionally. She is a Registered Occupational Psychologist (U.K.) and Accredited Coach (ICF). She holds a Doctorate from the University of Manchester (U.K.) and a Masters Degree in Intercultural Relations (University of the Pacific, CA). She currently resides in Dallas, TX. She can be reached at

Monday, June 14, 2010

Coaches Toolkit Must Haves:

During the Group Coaching Essentials program I often get asked by coaches who are newer to business "What are the items I should have in my toolkit?". Rather than rehashing many of the lists you can find here of my top 10 favorites, some basic items I strongly recommend for those starting out:

- A great long distance phone package and head set (especially if you are doing phone based work);
- A way to track the marketing efforts you are taking. Notice what steps are giving you results (in the short, medium and long-term);
- A professional support network - fellow coaches, as well as other business owners and allied professionals related to your niche areas;
- A personal support network - friends and family members who will cheer you on and help with some of the not so glamorous business building efforts (typing in your mailing list, proofing documents, putting together binders/packages)
- a daily task/practice that will help you start building your content/approach/focus.

Remember, a business is not built in one day. There is a lot of hype and noise on the net in terms of "what you NEED to have". Take your time and do some research. At the same time look at the small, and daily, steps you can take to build your presence, your reputation and your skills. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking you are not ready, or the website is just not quite ready yet.

Ask yourself, if you only had 3 months of funds to support your business development what action would you take today to generate results and bring in business?

I'd love to hear your insights or stories about what worked with your own business development. Feel free to comment below.

Warm regards,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Group Coaching Essentials: 2 spots left for program starting Tues June 15 (7-8:15 pm ET)
Summer BizSuccess Virtual Business Retreat
Phone: 416-996-8326
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Friday, June 11, 2010

Group Coaching Essentials starts June 15 - Last time at current pricing

Our prices for programs will be increasing as of July, and I don't want you to miss out on taking advantage of the current Group Coaching Essentials pricing. Join me for our final program at the current pricing next week on Tuesday June 15th from 7-8:15 pm ET.

Now in it's fifth year, the Group Coaching Essentials program is an ICF Accredited CCE program (6.75 CCEs) is designed to provide coaches with tips, tools and exercises for own group coaching programs design, marketing and implementation.

This June session will be held by phone on Tuesday June 15, 22, 29, July 12 and 27, 2010 from 7-8:15 pm ET/4-5:15 pm PT.

The program covers:
Week 1: The Foundation of Group Coaching
What Group Coaching is, how it differs from one-on-one coaching;
The differences and similarities between group coaching, workshops and retreats;
Adult Learning Principles and the Experiential Education model;
12 Best Practices of Group Coaching
Week 2:The Nuts and Bolts of Developing Group Coaching Programs
Creative Processes for Developing Group Coaching;
Structuring your sessions;
The How To's: Technical and Logistical Issues;
Techniques and Templates for Developing and Running Your Program
Week 3: Marketing Group Coaching
Knowing Your Audience;
General Marketing Principles;
Materials to support you in the development of your marketing efforts
Week 4: Filling Up Your Toolbox – Exercises and Other Resources for Group Coaching
Tools you already have as a coach which you can adapt for a group coaching session
A mini-toolkit of new exercises for you to bring into your next group coaching program
Week 5: Habits of Great Group Coaches

Each week there will also be exercises assigned to support you in immediately applying your new knowledge and moving forward with your own group coaching program ideas.

Current pricing (for June's program) is $275 US which will increase to $325 US starting with our July 2010 programs (Thursdays 12 - 1:15 pm ET starting July 8th and the accelerated program Thursdays 2 - 3:15 pm ET starting on July 22nd).

To reserve your spot, or for more information, please visit There are 4 spots left for the June program. Space is limited to ensure maximum interaction.

If you are just looking for some structured space to undertake some design and/or marketing steps for your program you may want to join me next Friday June 18th for the one day Group Program Virtual Intensive (10-4 pm ET). Click here for more info and to register.

I look forward to having you join us!

Warm regards,

Jennifer Britton
Group Coaching Essentials
Phone: (416) 996-8326
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Friday, June 04, 2010

Assessments and Group Coaching: Questions to Consider

This week in one of my Group Coaching Essentials programs I was asked about using assessments in connection with group coaching programs. It was a great question, one which I wanted to share some information on the blog.

Assessments can be a wonderful add-on tool to a group coaching program - whether you are wokring with the general public, in corproations/nonprofits, or with intact groups that engage you. You may choose to use assessments as a pre-work piece before th start of a group coaching process, which can inform the discussions, or you may wish to make it part of homework in between sessions.

Assessments provide an opportunity for clients to get a snapshot of where they are at a particular point in time, and can often serve as a benchmark for seeing what changes they make. Assessments can support clients to identify areas for focus, as well as areas of strengths.

Alot of my programs in the last year with corporate clients have involved the use of assessments at one point or another, and the range of what's on the marketplace is vast. You may wish to click over to some earlier posts I had this year on specific assessment tools I like.

When considering integrating an assessment into a group coaching program, some questions you may wish to consider are:
1. What's the purpose of the assessment?
2. How will the assessment integrate into the gropu coaching process?
3. When would it be best to include the assessment?
4. What follow up coaching questions can I include to debrief this?
5. How can the assessment inform action steps or insights for my clients?
6. What budget do I have available (Assessments are available at a range of different prices)?
7. What additional support will my clients need in undertaking the assessment?
8. How will this be relevant and meaningful to the entire group?

What other questions would you consider when looking at assessments?

As always, please feel free to comment below.

Have a great weekend,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)

Phone: 416-996-8326
Group Coaching Essentials - New classes just announced including a new start date on June 15 (Tues 7-8:15 pm ET) as well as our accelerated summer program (Tues/Th 2-3:15 pm ET) starting July 22nd