Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Marketing Your Group Coaching Services

Have you developed a marketing strategy or plan for the rest of 2011, and into 2012? Last week during the Group Coaching Essentials program, I explored the ever-rich topic area of Marketing Your Group Coaching Services.

In today’s business environment, marketing approaches are plentiful and within reach to most solopreneurs or business owners, including coaches. From websites, to blogging, to social media, to promotional products, to video, to trade shows, to article marketing, producing an e-book, the number of ways you may consider marketing your services is endless.

As you go about thinking where you want to invest your time, focus and resources, consider the following as you develop your marketing strategy:

  • What do you like to do? Where do your strengths lie?
  • What are the topics you are passionate about?
  • What do your clients want? Where will they look for resources? What approaches will be most appealing to them? Where will you find them?

Where these three areas intersect I call the Marketing Sweetspot. It can be very useful to step back and think about these three questions before investing significant time and resources in approaches that may not necessarily align with your client’s preferences. Read more about what I have to say about the Marketing Sweetspot in my book, Effective Group Coaching.

As you move forward with your work and marketing this fall (or spring), what do you want your 3 focus areas to be?

Have a terrific week!

Warm regards


Jennifer Britton, MES, CPCC, CHRP

Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)

Host of the ICF Approved CCE Program: Group Coaching Essentialsstarts September 15th at 10:30 am Eastern (4 spots left)

Two Day In Person Group Coaching Intensive, Toronto Early Bird rate on to September 15th (November 5-6th)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Conflict and Groups

The ability and confidence to deal with conflict in a group context is often a big question on the minds of coaches and facilitators who are starting to work with groups. Often practioners new to this work are uncomfortable or nervous when it comes to dealing with conflict.

As I wrote in my book, Effective Group Coaching, "conflict can emerge when

There is a lack of clarity of roles within the group;

There is lack of clarity, or uncertainty, about where the program is going;

There is insecurity {on the part of participants}

There is fear {around an issue}

Expectations are not being met

Conflict can be as subtle as the withdrawal of a participant (a participant shuts down) or as extreme as verbal conflict emerging between two participants” (Britton, Wiley, 2010)

Consider for yourself:

  • What conflict if any has shown up in this group?
  • Is there potential for conflict?
  • What needs to be made more explicit/more clear?
  • What does this group need as it relates to the conflict that is showing up (or is possible)?
  • What will make you more confident in your ability to work with conflict when it shows up in your groups?
Remember that conflict is not always bad. In fact, conflict is often the seeds for creativity and change.

Warm regards


Jennifer Britton

Group Coaching Essentials.com

Early Bird rate on the Toronto Group Coaching Intensive (November 5-6) until September 15th. The next Group Coaching Essentials program (6.75 ICF CCEs) starts Thursday September 16th at 10:30 am ET.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Virtual Facilitation Tips for Teleclasses and Group Coaching

Whether you are running a teleclass, teleseminar or group coaching program by phone, facilitation techniques may be different than those needed in the in person environment. For the past decade a bulk of my work has been bringing together groups, and teams, in the phone based environment.

Here are four tips to keep in mind when facilitating your next program in the phone based arena:

Engage your audience every 5-7 minutes. Whether it is posing a question for people to consider, having group members write something down, breaking groups into virtual breakout rooms, or asking for audience input, creating a switch every 5-7 minutes is important in the phone based domain. While best practice research points to 5-7 minutes as being optimum for groups, take the pulse at the end of each and every call to see what the pace of the call has been like for them and adjust accordingly.

Less is more – I often talk about how important less is more in creating more powerful teleclasses, workshops and group coaching programs. We often have the bias to throw way too much content into our programs. As you start looking at design of your next phone session be clear with yourself about what is the need to have versus the nice to have in terms of content, exercises and other tools. Consider what sections can be elongated if you are moving too quickly, and which can be shortened (or dropped) if you are moving too slowly.

Pre and Post Work – I usually opt for more meaty pre and post work when delivering programs by phone, leaving time for our calls to focus on sharing and processing of what people have read or discovered. Some ideas for pre- and post-work you may want to consider could include journaling, reading lists/assignments, assessments, checklists, coaching exercises.

Ask Yourself: What pre work would benefit your next group session? What follow up post-work/homework or field work would help to lock in the learning/insights of the call?

Create opportunities for reflection – Don’t be afraid to have pauses or silence throughout a phone based program for people to reflect and write out their thoughts or insights. If you choose to do this, depending on the type of program and size of your group, you may opt to provide music in the background, or you may want to know how to mute to avoid the background sounds such as fingers taping on keyboard, paper shuffling etc.

What tips would you provide to facilitators/coaches/trainers new to leading group programs in the phone based environment?

Warm regards


Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC

Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)

Host of the Group Coaching Essentials program and the Group Coaching Intensive

Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Coaching Business Builder - Systematize

Why re-invent the wheel when you don't have to? In building your business, creating systems to support you in your work, making more repetitive items easier through a process, can cut down on a huge amount of time (and headaches!).

Sometimes we aren't quite aware of what we might need in terms of systems until they become urgent because business has come through the door. Here's a quick list of some of the business systems you will want to consider creating:

Client intake packages - whether you work with individual clients, teams or groups, streamlining your intake process, questionnaires or pre-program discussions, can save a lot of time. Take a look at what you have - does it really help you understand how you can support your clients in the best possible way? Is there too much? Enough?

Payment Systems - Of course, a dedicated bank account for your business, and possibly merchant abilities to process credit cards. PayPal or other online merchant systems (options and pricing will vary according to where you live). Related to payment systems are of course invoicing and other financial trackers such as budgets, cash flow etc.

Registration Trackers or Group Lists - essential to keep all the details straight - who is who, contact details (phone and email). Space for notes on attendance or individual meetings. Dial in details and back up bridgeline (if virtual program).

Coaching Log - For those working towards a credential (or maintaining a credential) keeping a coaching log up to date is critical. Whether paper-based or computerized (using a program such as Coaches Console), keeping details straight, and secure, are important.

Take a look at other posts I have written about systems to gain other ideas about what you might want to include.

What systems will move your business forward for the rest of this year?

Have a productive week!

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Host of the Group Coaching Essentials and Group Coaching Intensive programs

Monday, August 01, 2011

Group Dynamics and Group Coaching: This Thursday at 3 pm ET

This week I'm the guest speaker for a couple of Special Interest Groups on the topic of Group Coaching. I know that many of you are interested in the topic of Group Coaching and Group Dynamics. On Thursday Augsut 4th from 3 - 4 pm Eastern I will be this month's Guest Speaker for the Group Coaching SIG hosted by Suzee Eibling. It's a great group which meets every month (1st Thursday of each month at 3 pm Eastern). It's open to all coaches so hope that you will join us this Thursday. There is no charge for the call, other than your own long distance charges.

Here's the info below, along with a subscription link to the monthly SIG calls (highly recommended!).

Thursday Aug 4th, 2011 at 3pm Eastern
Bridge Number: 402-237-2153 pin1234#
Back up Bridge Number: 407-318-2773
Host: Suzee Ebeling PCC, PMC suzee@intuitioncoach.com

Subscribe to the Group Coaching SIG: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GroupCoachingSIG/

Group Dynamics and Group Coaching: What? So What? Now What?

The call will explore the topic of group dynamics in group coaching with Effective Group Coaching author Jennifer Britton:

Tricky Issues with group dynamics

Tuckman’s model of Group Dynamics;

Techniques and exercises for different stages

Considerations/issues for virtual, in-person, public and corporate programs

About Jennifer Britton, MES, CPCC, PCC

Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010), Jennifer weaves together her rich experience as a former manager with the UN, coach, trainer and performance improvement specialist. Jennifer brings a 20+ year history of high impact group and team facilitation in over 18 countries. She leads the Group Coaching Essentials program (6.75 CCEs) and the Group Coaching Intensive (15), supporting coaches with their own group coaching work. Check out Group Coaching Ins and Outs blog for more tips & ideas. You can also connect at twitter.com/jennbritton & www.facebook.com/effectivegroupcoaching.

Looking forward to having you join us!

Warm regards


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC

Group Coaching Essentials

Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)

Upcoming programs include the Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar (6.75 CCEs starting Aug 11th) and the Mentor Coaching Group (August 12th). Early Bird rate on now for the November 5-6 Group Coaching Intensive in Toronto.