Thursday, June 30, 2011

Group Coaching Intensive Accredited for 15 CCEs

A quick note to let you know that the Group Coaching Intensive has been accredited for 15 CCEs (13 hours of Core Competencies and 2 hrs of Business Development). Join us in Huntsville, Muskoka for this two day in-person program July 14-15, 2011. There are still a few spaces open.

Who the program is for:
This program will be of interest to:
- coaches wanting to add group coaching to their service offerings
- experienced coaches wanting to refine their group coaching skills
- coaches looking for tips and road-tested group coaching techniques
- ACCs, PCCs, and MCCs looking for ICF recertification hours (course accredited for 15 CCEs

What we'll cover:
The program covers topics including:
- Best Practices of Group Coaching
- Core skills and competencies, along with practice and feedback opportunities
- Tricky issues, and how to avoid them
- Filling seats - marketing for group coaching
- Group Dynamics
- Structuring Group Coaching
- Virtual Programming Considerations
- Corporate Programming Considerations
and many more topics.

Cost: $950 CDN (plus HST) which includes the program, a copy of the Effective Group Coaching book, a light lunch both days, a Group Coaching Toolkit to take home. Coaches responsible for their own accomodation.

Dates: Thursday July 14 (9-6) and Friday July 15 (8:30 - 5) at the Holiday Inn Huntsville (Pre-registration required)

Registration/More Info: Online or contact me (Jennifer) directly at (416)996-8326
Program size is limited to ensure individualized attention.
Can't make it to Muskoka? Bring us to you - we will deliver the program to groups of 8-10 coaches at your location/venue.

I look forward to having you join us.

Warm regards

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching
Host of the Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar (6.75 CCEs). Next course starts July 13th by phone.
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Two weeks & Two Spots Left for the Group Coaching Intensive (Muskoka)

It's just a little more than two weeks until the Group Coaching Intensive in beautiful Huntsville, Muskoka on Thursday July 14 and Friday July 15th. Three spaces are still open for this 2 day group coaching training program. If you are a coach who is looking to run their own group coaching programs, this will be of interest to you.

Over the two days there will be ample opportunity for you to practice and receive feedback on group coaching skills as we explore topics including:
- Core skills and best practices of group coaching
- Structuring a group coaching program - Essential Components
- Group Development and Group Process Issues
- Tool and Exercises for Group Coaching
- Avoiding Tricky Issues in Group Coaching
- Filling Your Seats - Marketing Strategies

A special room rate is available at the venue in Huntsville for participating coaches until this Thursday. A variety of accommodation is also available within driving, and walking, distance.

Your Registration includes:
- 15 hrs of in-person training (an application has been submitted to the ICF for 15 CCEs)
- a copy of my book, Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
- a toolbox of physical resources to take back for your work in the Group Coaching Toolkit
- a group follow up call one month after the event
- a light lunch both days

Cost: $950 CDN plus HST (total $1073.50 CDN) - Installment payments are available. $150 Discount each when you register with a colleague.

You can register here. More information, a downloadable program outline and registration links can be found at our site.

I hope that you will join me in beautiful Muskoka in a few weeks! It's been voted the #1 Summer Vacation Getaway destination for 2011 by National Geographic. What great reason for a working holiday.

Take a look at what Muskoka has to offer through these YouTube videos from Discover Muskoka.

If you have any questions about the Group Coaching Intensive, would like to register offline, register with a colleague, or pay in installments, please feel free to contact me directly by email (info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com) or at (416) 996-8326.

Please spread the word to any other coaches you may know. I look forward to meeting you in Huntsville!

Warm regards

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching

Visual Map by Julie Gieseke of of one of the Group Coaching Essentials sessions (an ICF accredited CCE program)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The imporatance of trust within the group coaching process

Establishing Trust and Intimacy with your clients is one of the ICF Core Coaching Competencies (Competency 3 under Co-Creating the Relationship). This coaching competency is defined by the ICF as:
"Establishing Trust and Intimacy with the Client - Ability to create a safe, supportive environment that produces ongoing mutual respect and trust.
  1. Shows genuine concern for the client's welfare and future,
  2. Continuously demonstrates personal integrity, honesty and sincerity,
  3. Establishes clear agreements and keeps promises,
  4. Demonstrates respect for client's perceptions, learning style, personal being,
  5. Provides ongoing support for and champions new behaviors and actions, including those involving risk taking and fear of failure,
  6. Asks permission to coach client in sensitive, new areas."
International Coach Federation - Core Coaching Competencies

As a group coach, establishing trust is a critical component of the group coaching process. Just as we hold "intake" sessions or foundation sessions with individual clients, group coaches need to spend time co-creating the relationhip and establishing trust within their own groups, pre-program and throughout the intial group sessions.

Practical activities group coaches can use to Establish Trust and Intimacy are:
1. Hold pre-program 1-1 calls with individual participants prior to the program start. A short 15 minute call can help to start developing a bond with each participant/client and get to know them. Find out what brought them to the program, what they want to learn, what's unique about their own learning style preferences. This call can also provide an opportunity to answer any questions, and also check out that the program is going to be a good fit for them. This pre-program contact can be an important step in building rapport with each group member.

2. Leave time at the start of programs, particularly phone based programs for participants to introduce themselves and get to know each other. Knowing who is who is an important part of the group coaching process.

3. Discuss group expectations/develop ways of working - What are the groundrules for group participation? Behavior? What can people expect? Spend time discussing this as a group, including key ground rules such as confidentiality.

4. If pre-program 1-1s are not possible before your first meting, leave time and space to discuss expectations, hear from each participant about what they want out of the process and what's brought them there.

5. Walk your talk - follow through as you have promised. Circle back to check in on commitments. Check in with the group regularly throughout a session to see what's working and what changes may be needed.

Check out the ICF Core Competencies for a full listing of all 11 core coaching competencies.

In closing, consider the following for yourself:
Which competencies are you strongest at?
Which ones do you want to further develop?
What can you do in your own group coaching program to strengthen the competency of Establishing Trust and Intimacy?


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Join me starting August 12th for a Mentor Coaching Group, an opportunity to expand on your core coaching competencies. The program also meets the mentor coaching requirements for ICF Credentialing. Space is limited to 4-6 coaches. Group calls meet Fridays 12 - 1 pm Eastern.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Coaching Business Builder - Focus on Ease and Impact

For years I have held the perspective that my best work is work that is fun, easy and impactful. In running a business, if I don't make it fun and easy, who will? Perhaps the concept of fun and easy is also something that is a key learning from the 12 years I spent living and working out of the Caribbean. As we move into the summer months, I'll be making the move part time to work out of my northern office in Muskoka.

It's been very interesting to see how the concept of Easy is starting to be echoed across the coaching world, and others are starting to talk about easy business.

As you approach your own business development activities in the next few weeks, consider the following:

What activities do you find easy in your business?
How are these having an impact?
What do you notice when you approach activities through the lens of easy, rather than "challenging" or "a struggle"?
What do you need to be letting go of, because it's not easy? Because it's not having impact?
What do you need to be doing more of?
What easy and impactful activities do you want to incorporate into your schedule this week?

This week, see what happens when you lead from ease and impact, rather than hard.

Warm regards

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley 2010)
Join me this summer for high impact programs including the 2 day Group Coaching Intensive (Huntsville Muskoka - July 14-15) and the ICF Accredited CCE Group Coaching Essentials program (by phone - starts July 13th and Aug 4th)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Group Coaching Niches

To niche or not to niche, that is the question. Whether you have been coaching for a short time, or a long time, the question of "who do I serve" is a big one. The same holds true in the group coaching context. It is much easier to market and tailor a group coaching program when there are common themes tying a group together.

"A niche market is a focused, targetable portion of a market.

By definition, then, a business that focuses on a niche market is addressing a need for a product or service that is not being addressed by mainstream providers. You can think of a niche market as a narrowly defined group of potential customers." - Susan Ward

Here's a quick list of niche areas I've seen coaches run group coaching programs in:
- New business owners
- Women business owners
- Career transition
- New parents (moms/dads)
- New managers
- New retirees
- Musicians
- Teachers/Educators
- Students
- Professors
- Professionals in specific industries (i.e. financial services, safety, transportation, education etc)
- Virtual Assistants
- World Changers
- Social Entrepreneurs

This list is by no means exhaustive. You may also notice how each one of these niches can be broken down into subsets. For example, career transition - may include a group of people who are moving from career to self-employment, or entry level to supervisory roles, those staying in the same field, those moving to a different industry.

Being as specific as you can who the program is for will help you with your program design, how it is offered, when it is offered, pricing and what else is included (i.e. additional individual coaching sessions, manuals, e-manuals, audio). As you undertake your work, notice who you enjoy working with, who is being pulled towards your programs.

We spend some in the Group Coaching Essentials program looking at what your particular clients really want. What do you want to ask your clients about their needs this week.

What other group coaching niches have you heard about? Who do you want to work with? As always, please feel free to comment below.

Warm regards

Jennifer Britton
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com
Phone: 416.996.8326
Join me July 14-15 in Huntsville, Muskoka for the 2 day Group Coaching Intensive. The focus of this program is to give you tools you can use immediately in your own group coaching work, as well as opportunities for practice and feedback on your skills. A couple of spaces are still open - would love to have you join us.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Evaluation Questions - Group Coaching

Earlier this week I posted on the importance of evaluation in the group coaching process, with a couple of coaches emailing me asking "What type of evaluation questions might I want to ask"?

You may wish to ask for feedback on the following (in no particular order)
1. Venue/Bridgeline
2. Ease of Program Registration
3. Materials provided
4. Facilitation/Coaching quality
5. Benefits the clients/participants viewed from the process
6. The most important goal the client has taken action on as a result of the program
7. The most important learning/new insight as a result of their participation
8. What they really found useful (topic/homework assignment)
9. What topics/themes they would add and/or take away
10. Price Point
11. Individualized attention to their needs
12. What they wish they had known before participating in the program...
13. What they know now (knowledge/insights) because of participating in the program
14. Group/Individual Support between sessions
15. Quality of the coaching requests/fieldwork/assignments/inquiries

This is by no means a comprehensive list, and certainly you will not want to ask for feedback on all these areas at once. These are areas you as a coach will want to take a look at and reflect upon in terms of impact and potential improvements each and every time you run a program.

In addition to asking for written feedback, also ask for quantitative (numerical) feedback.

You will also want to ask for testimonials/recommendations from participants to provide prospective clients/participants with real-life feedback and insights from those who are alumni.

As I mentioned earlier this week, there is a lot more on this topic in Chapter 10 of the Effective Group Coaching book and I spend time covering this in the Group Coaching Essentials program.

As a coach, what other areas are you eager to get feedback on? As always, please feel free to email below!

Warm regards

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Group Coaching Essentials - New Group starts July 13th (Wednesdays 10:30 - 11:45 am Eastern/New York) - Registration now open. 6.75 CCEs.

Join me on July 14 and 15th in Muskoka, Canada for a 2 day in person Group Coaching Intensive (Holiday Inn Huntsville, ON) program, geared to provide you with tools, and practice in the area of group coaching. We'll also cover evaluation! 15 hours of training, ICF CCES have been applied for (15 hrs - 13 hrs Core Competencies, 2 hrs Biz Development)
Questions? Please feel free to contact me directly at info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Monday, June 13, 2011

Evaluation Feedback and Group Coaching

Evaluation plays a key role in any group coaching context. How are you incorporating feedback and more structured evaluations into your programs?

Feedback is important for:
1. Taking a pulse of the group each and every session
2. Making changes as you progress through each session
3. Making changes for new programs
4. Testimonials at the end of a program are an important marketing tool
5. Feedback at the end of the program can point to benefits clients receive from participation, what they really enjoy, quality of materials/coaching/ assignments etc.

Resources you may want to explore related to the topic of evaluation are:
Donald Kirkpatrick's 4 Levels of Evaluation (the seminal work in the realm of evaluation and training and development)
Jack Phillips numerous writings on the topic of ROI (Return on Investment)
Anderson and Anderson's Coaching that Counts

Many of these books are listed as some of my favorites on my Amazon storefront.

What other resources would you recommend for coaches to refer to as it relates to evaluation? As always, please feel free to comment below.

You may also be interested in checking out Chapter 10 of my book, Effective Group Coaching, which goes into greater depth about evaluation for coaches for their group coaching programs.

Have a great start to your week,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Group Coaching Essentials
One month to go! Join me in Huntsville, Ontario for the 2 day Group Coaching Intensive (July 14-15, 2011). Special pricing for ICF-GTA members and alumni of the Group Coaching Essentials program.
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Monday, June 06, 2011

Join me Thursday for the Accelerated Group Coaching Essentials program

A quick note to let you know that there are still a couple of spots open for the accelerated Group Coaching Essentials program, starting this Thursday at 7pm ET. This is an ICF accredited CCE program (6.75 hours), geared to support coaches in the design, marketing and implementation of their own group coaching work.

The summer accelerated program will be meeting on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7-8:15 pm Eastern/New York by phone on June 9, 14, 16, 21 and 23rd. It is perfect timing for coaches wanting to run programs this summer and fall, who don't want to reinvent the wheel and want to build onto the tried and tested tips and tools for group coaching.

We cover the following topics:

· The Foundation of Group Coaching – What is Group Coaching, How does Group Coaching Differ from Training and Workshops, Best Practices of Group Coaching, and Adult Learning Principles

· The Nuts and Bolts of Developing Group Coaching – Making Your Program Development Fun and Effective: Technical issues, Techniques and Templates for Developing and Running Your Program

· Marketing Group Coaching – Knowing Your Audience, General Marketing Principles, Finding Your Marketing Sweet Spot

· Filling Up Your Toolbox – Exercises and Other Resources for Group Coaching. The 8 Habits of Highly Effective Group Coaches

Here's what coaching alumni have said:

“I have been leading group coaching programs for more than three years now. Jennifer Britton’s Group Coaching Essentials program provided me with the knowledge, insights and tools to take my programs to an even higher level! I highly recommend this program to every coach has or wants to add group coaching as part of their offerings.

Ann Farrell, CPCC, PCC, Quantum Endeavors®, Inc.;

"I love programs that give lots of useful takeaways. By that, I mean that I can use the materials I receive immediately in my business. The Group Coaching Essentials program gave me just that. Not only has it jump-started my group coaching offerings, it will pay for itself many times over in the additional revenue I will generate" - Nan O'Connor, MCC,

For more info and to register please visit Current pricing is $325 US or CDN (plus HST). Pricing will increase in September.

The program includes:

* 5 x 75 minute teleseminar classes

* a 75 page manual with modules delivered weekly by email

*Pre-program 1-1 with me, as well as lazer coaching calls throughout the program (15 min each)

* Recordings of each call if you cannot make one

Additional sessions will start :
Wednesdays 10:30 - 11:45 am ET: July 13, 20, 27, August 3 and 10, 2011

Thursdays 10:30 - 11:45 am ET: August 4, 11, 18, 25 and Sept 1, 2011

Space is limited to 6 -8 coaches per class to ensure maximum interaction, and customization for your learning needs.

Many coaches opt to follow it up with the Advanced Group Coaching Practicum, and may also participate in the in person Group Coaching Intensive (next one July 14-15 in Huntsville, Ontario).

I hope that you will join me. Questions? Please give me a call at 416.996.TEAM (8326).

Warm regards

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Group Coaching
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Group Coaching - Working with Your Participant's Styles

I had a great weekend, spending Saturday leading an offsite retreat for a client. A major focus of the day was around strengths, and strengths based leadership, key topics which I think are crticial in today's business environment.

The day reminded me of the importance of providing different options to meet the diverse learning needs and different styles of group members.

Helping group/team members identify what their unique styles are, and how they impact their work and relationships (personal and professional) can be a very impactful activity. Some of the style assessments you may consider looking at are:
- the DiSC
- MBTI (note certification needed)
- Personal Style Inventory (PSI)

Of course the whole realm of strengths based work, which is not styles per say, but help teams identify and understand their differences:
- Strengths Finder 2.0
- VIA Strengths

Questions to consider:
1. What assessments do you have at your disposal, or enjoy working with?
2. What impact would style considerations or strengths based work have in your own work with groups/teams?
3. What do you know about your own style preferences? How does this impact your work positively, negatively?
4. What do you know about your own strengths? How are you leveraging these yourself? What else could you be doing to ease into them?

Have a great start to the week!

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPCC, PCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Phone: 416.996.8326
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Friday, June 03, 2011

New Audio - 28 Group Coaching Exercise Ideas

Throughout the course of the Group Coaching Essentials program, I often get asked about what are some exercises/tools I can bring into the Group Coaching context. We spend one of the five classes of the program looking at concrete tools you may wish to bring in and adapt for your groups.

Earlier this week, I recorded a short 5 minute audio which includes 28 Group Coaching Exercise ideas. You can listen to it here.

I hope that it will spark some new ideas for you for your own programs!

Warm regards
Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC, CPT
Group Coaching Essentials - Join us for the June Accelerated program (Tues/Thurs 7-8:15 pm ET/New York: June 9, 14, 16, 21, 23) and get a head start on your summer and fall group coaching programs. Spaces still open. The course is accredited for 6.75 ICF CCEs.
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and the Engaging Exercises for Teams and Groups Manual
Phone: 416.996.8326

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Upcoming June Programs: Group Coaching, Mentor Coaching, Biz Building

June is always a popular month for coaches to get focused on their own business development and plans for late summer and fall group programs (group coaching, workshops, retreats, teleseminars). Here's what's on tap this month:

Group Program Virtual Retreat - Friday June 3 and 10 (1-4 pm Eastern/New York both days): Geared for professionals who want to focus and take action on the planning, design and marketing of an upcoming group program (workshop/retreat/teleseminar/group coaching). The retreat includes 6 hours of structured individual exercises, a manual and access to me throughout the course of the program. We'll be meeting for 15 minutes of each hour as a group, with each hour focusing on a different component of your group program success! Exercises and support focus on program design, marketing and exercises so that you've got a skeleton by the end of our time together. The program will be offered again on Tuesday July 26th (10-4 pm Eastern).
Cost: $175 US or CDN.

for more info or to register for the Group Program Virtual Retreat

Summer BizSuccess Virtual Retreat - Friday June 17 and 24 (1:30 - 4:30 pm Eastern/NY)
Geared for business owners eager to create the space and focus to plan, and take action on key business goals and activities. The BizSuccess Virtual Retreat is especially geared for coaches, trainers and other service based professionals who want to look at, AND ACTION on, their core business components such as their business vision, goals and marketing strategies. The program includes 6 hours of structured exercises, a manual which includes related business templates as well as the opportunity to meet during the program with me. Cost: $175 US or CDN (plus HST). Click here for more info or to register.

Mentor Coaching Group (including ACC Renewals) June 24 - September 30, 2011
Starting June 24th (Fridays 11 - 12 noon Eastern) I will be offering a special mentor coaching program which meets the requirements of the ICF for ACC renewal for mentor coaching. Coaches will participate in 7x 1 hour group calls over the 3 month period, and will undertake 3 x 1 hour individual mentor coaching calls with me. Each call looks at a different ICF core coaching competency. Coaches will have the opportunity to practice and receive feedback on their coaching skills. Each lesson will also be accompanied by a coaching tool or template I use in my business, along with a business tip to support your own business development. The program meets the 10 hour requirement of mentor coaching for ICF re-certification. Another group will start in early August - contact us for more details (runs August - November)
Click here for more info and to register.

and of course, our programs geared specifically to Group Coaching include:

The Group Coaching Essentials program (Accredited by ICF for 6.75 CCEs):
Summer Accelerated Program starts June 9th (Tues and Thurs: June 9, 14, 16, 21 and 23, 2011
July 2011:Wednesdays 10:30 -11:45 am Eastern/New York/Toronto:July 13, 20, 27, August 3, and 10, 2011
August 2011:Thursdays 10:30 - 11:45 am Eastern: August 4, 11, 18, 25 and September 1, 2011
Each month I work with a small group of coaches (maximum 6-8) in the Group Coaching Essentials program. The program covers tools, exercises and resources to support coaches with the design, marketing and implementation of their own group coaching programs. We look at both in person and virtual (web and phone) based programs, as well as tips for groups from the general public and organizations. The program includes 5 x 75 minute calls, access to lazer/laser(15 minute) 1-1 calls with me (at no additional cost), and an 80 page manual (delivered in weekly modules). Benefit from the accountability and structure of the program to get your own group coaching program going!Price: $325 US or Canadian (plus HST). Note pricing will increase in September to $375 US or $375 CDN (including HST)
Click here for more info and to register for the Group Coaching Essentials program.

Group Coaching Intensive (In Person Training, 15 hours)July 14-15, 2011: Huntsville, Ontario (Muskoka) and October 2011 - TorontoThis two day in-person group coaching training program focuses on providing coaches with both knowledge and content as well as practice, and feedback, on their group coaching skills. The course covers core group coaching skills, along with practical tips and tools for designing, running and marketing your own programs. Both new and experienced coaches can benefit from this program, as can alumni of the Group Coaching Essentials program. Participants will leave the program with tools, resources, skills and practice in group coaching.
The program includes:
* 15 hours of instruction and contact in an in-person envrionment (our April program was accredited for 15 hours of CCES with the ICF - 13 hrs Core Competencies, 2 hrs Business Development)
* The Group Coaching Intensive Manual
* A Group Coaching Toolbox (yes! your own physical toolbox of program tools and resources)
* A copy of the Effective Group Coaching book
* A follow up call with Jenn and the group in August/September (time to be determined by group)
Price: $950 CDN plus HST
Click here for more info or to register

I look forward to having you join me in an upcoming program! Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Warm regards

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Group Coaching Essentials