Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Group Coaching: Being Proactive in Navigating Tricky Issues

Over the past few years I have written quite a bit on Tricky Issues in Group Coaching, and cover off some of the tricky issues new group coaches may face in my book Effective Group Coaching (refer to chapter ). Being proactive in avoiding these pitfalls is paramount in mitigating or side stepping some of the tricky issues that can emerge.

Whether it is a tricky logistical issue such as bridgeline failure, or a participant issue as a dominant talker in your group, here are three things group coaches will want to keep in mind:

1. 1. Preparation and Presence – As coaches we always want to ensure that we are coaching in the moment and being fully present with what we are hearing and observing with our client group. At the same time, pre-program/session preparation can be invaluable in getting to know your clients, their needs, agendas and preferences. Preparation may include holding pre-program 1-1 calls with each participant or having a menu of exercises you can select from related to that weekly theme. In terms of preparation and presence you will want to take a look at chapter 5 (Design) and Chapter 9 (Preparation) of my book

2. 2. Systematize – I have written quite a bit about the importance of systems here at the blog. Having systems allow you to replicate your work more quickly and enable you to have the bandwidth to address tricky issues as they arise. Systems such a registration forms, payments, bridgelines can make the work easier to replicate a second, third or fourth time.

3. 3. Practice – Great group coaching is an art. Even the most seasoned coaches and faciiators will get rusty when they are not in front of a group. Practice, practice, practice, is an important part of mastery as a (group) coach. As you grow in your work, ask yourself “What are the edges to my learning?”, “What activities will help me stretch and grow?”. What opportunities do you have, or can you create, to get in front of groups?

In closing, keep an eye on the horizon for what may opportunities may emerge for you and immerse yourself in the rich experiences you create with groups.

Have a terrific week!

Warm regards

Jennifer Britton

Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2011): http://bit.ly/dAlgf3

Follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/effectivegroupcoaching

Consider joining us for an upcoming program such as the Mentor Coaching Group (for ACC Renewals or ACC/PCC portfolio routes) starting Sept 27th at 8:30 pm ET or the Group Coaching Essentials program starting October 11th at 7 pm Et.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Coaching Business Builder - Get Out There!

Today's Coaching Business Builder tip is an encouragement for coaches to "get out there" and be visible with their target clients. What would support you in getting in front of your clients? Is it writing? Speaking? Leading a webinar or teleclass? Partnering with a larger organization to gain experience and establish a reputation?

Consider the following questions:
1. What would "getting out there" look like for you? What would make this exciting and productive?
2. Make a list of 5-10 activities you could take to "get out there".
3. Review the list. Which ones are the lowest hanging fruit - or the easiest. Perhaps you already have contacts there or materials drafted.
4. Schedule in time to action these activities, starting with the lowest hanging fruit.
5. Identify any resources you need to be successful with this - budget, personal support or other
6. Track the results in the short, medium and long term. Capture lessons learned from your experience.

What action are you going to take today to get started?

Have a great week.

Warm regards

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Host of the Group Coaching Essentials and Group Coaching Intensive Programs
Phone: (416) 996-8326

Upcoming Programs:
Mentor Coaching Group (for ACC Renewals as well as ACC and PCC Portfolio Route Candidates) - 3 spaces open. Starts Tuesday September 27th at 8:30 pm (Group Calls Tues 8:30 - 9:30 pm Eastern/New York) -: 3 spots open
Group Coaching Essentials - Starts Tuesday October 11th at 7pm Eastern

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mentor Coaching Group Starts Tues Sept 27 at 8:30 pm Eastern

A quick announcement of a new program date just set for the next Mentor Coaching Group which will start on Tuesday September 27th at 8:30 pm Eastern. This group is geared to meet the mentor coaching requirements for ACC renewals, or ACC and PCCs applying for the portfolio routes for ICF Credentialing.

The program includes 7 x 1 hour group mentor coaching calls (calls held on Tuesdays from 8:30 - 9:30 pm Eastern on Sept 27 (half hour call only), October 4, 18, 25 November 1, 15, December 6 and 27th(half hour only), as well as 3 individual one hour mentor coaching calls with me.

This program is ideal of you have left your mentor coaching hours to the last minute. For those who are renewing their ACC this will enable you to complete your mentor coaching hours before the end of the year in the allotted minimum three month period.

Each call we will focus on two of the ICF Core Coaching Competencies and discuss what successful application of the skills looks and sounds like in coaching. Each week one coach will also have the opportunity to coach another group member during the call, and will receive real-time feedback on their skills.

Coaches who have taken the program have stressed how invaluable it is to receive peer feedback on their skills, as well as explore the core competencies deeper. You will also receive weekly module notes and have structured assignments to take your learning deeper.

Ready to go? Space is limited to 4-6 coaches. The cost of the program is $1000 US (for all 10 hours of group and individual mentor coaching) or $1000 CDN (plus HST). You can pay in one, two or three installments.

For more info or to register please visit http://bit.ly/9NbDhI. Questions - feel free to call me (note I am out most of this week working with different groups and will aim to get back to you as soon as I can!).

I look forward to having you join us. Please pass this link on to any other colleagues you know who might be interested.

Warm regards

Jennifer Britton
Group Coaching Essentials.com
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Phone: (416)996-8326
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Always have a back up

Whether you run teleclasses, workshops or group coaching it's always a great idea to have a back up. This morning a new Group Coaching Essentials program launched. 20 minutes into our call, and mid-stream into our group introductions, the bridgeline failed. A facilitator/coach's worst nightmare! Luckily I've learned from experience to always have a back up and within five minutes we had easily migrated over to a new bridgeline. Regardless of the beads of sweat that did emerge on my brow for a minute as I located the backup number, it was a great learning experience for the coaches on the call who will be leading their own groups in a short while! I know that they will always have a back-up bridgeline, based on this experience.

Recovery is key when problems emerge. Remember that as the coach/facilitator/leader your tone, energy and composure will have a key impact on if the program goes off the rails, or it swings quickly back on course.

So whether you are running a teleclass/teleseminar/group coaching program by phone and need a back-up bridgeline, or a coach who works in person and may need a back-up hand-out, remote or set of markers, consider for yourself "What back up do you need to put in place in the event that things break down"?.

If you've got an experience to share that others can all learn from around this topic, please email me, and we can feature it on a future post.

Have a smooth rest of your week!


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Group Coaching Essentials - Want to learn what to look out for with your own group coaching program? Join me for the October session which starts October 11th from 7-8:15 pm Eastern. 6.75 ICF CCEs.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Group Coaching Intensive: Nov 5-6 in Toronto

Looking for hands-on practice and feedback on your own group coaching skills? Wanting to add some tips, tools and ideas for your own group coaching work? Join me for the Group Coaching Intensive program in Toronto from November 5-6th. An early bird rate is in effect until the end of this week.

This two day in person group coaching training program, provides coaches with hands on practice and feedback on their group coaching skills, as well as road-tested tips, tools and ideas for designing, marketing and implementing their group coaching work. This is an intensive program and space is limited to 8 coaches.

The program has been described as:

MUST for a group coach building their business – Ellen Nyland, CPCC

Informative, Action Oriented and Professional – Beverley Rodrigues

The “REAL” thing on group coaching – Elaine Bradshaw

If you want to create, synergize, and learn about group coaching, then this is for you Link– Ryan DaCosta

Hands-on, practical, great practice sessions, and lots of opportunity to interact with peer coaches – Margaret Imai-Compton

Save $175 (plus tax) on your registration if you sign up by September 15th. Regular pricing is $950 (plus HST), early bird savings to the end of this week is $775 (plus HST).

An application will be submitted to the ICF to have this program re-accredited for 15 CCEs by the ICF (as was our April and June 2011 programs which included 13 hrs of core competencies and 2 hrs of Business Development).

I hope that you will join me!

If you have any questions or want to register, please click here for more info and a downloadable brochure, or contact me by phone at 416.996.8326.

Warm regards

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com
Can't make it to Toronto this fall? Join me for the phone based Group Coaching Essentials program starting Sept 15th (Thursdays at 10:30 am Eastern) or October 11th (Tuesdays at 7 pm Eastern). The GEC program is an ICF approved CCE program (6.75 hrs).

8 Ideas for Preparing For Your First Phone/Web Based Session

Over the past seven years, a majority of my work at certain points of the year is virtual, delivering teleclasses, webinars as well as group coaching programs by phone. I often get asked in the Group Coaching Essentials program "What do I need to have in place when I lead my first virtual program (by phone or web).

Here are 8 ideas I offer as a starting point for preparation for you own virtual program, from my book Effective Group Coaching:
  1. Attend other calls as a participant to see different styles in action. Ask: What did the facilitator do that I liked? What did the facilitator do that had a positive impact on the group? What di the facilitator do that had a negative impact on the group's experience? What exercises did they use? How much time was allotted for discussion? How did the facilitator address different learning styles? The one learning point I want to take forward is .....
  2. Test run the technology
  3. Refer to FAQs on the website of the technology you are using for tips on how to mute, record etc.
  4. Have PINs/Passwords readily at hand
  5. Always have a back up bridgeline
  6. Develop a contingency plan - expect the unexpected!
  7. Send out a reminder before the program - people do forget!
  8. Identify possible pitfalls
(Copyright 2010, Britton - pp, 137. Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)

I often encourage facilitators and coaches new to virtual work to do a test run. What will make you feel confident as you run your first phone or web based session?

Have a great start to your week!


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Group Coaching Essentials - Our next ICF-approved CCE program starts this Thursday September 15th at 10:30 am Eastern - 2 spots open! Registrations also being accepted for October 11th.
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Coaching Business Builder - Work SMARTER not Harder

For coaches in the northern hemisphere the last few weeks have really been about getting back, and starting new, routines. What are your goals and hopes for the remaining months of the year? In my newsletter this month I included questions to consider to make the most out of the rest of this year.

Today's business builder tip is about working SMARTER rather than harder.

What does working SMARTER rather than HARDER mean for you?

Here are some possible ideas which may enable you to leverage your time:
1. In developing new programs and new content, consider how they can be adapted for new products (i.e. a new audio, an e-book, blog content, a downloadable handout)

2. Consider what systems would support you in your business so that you don't have to reinvent the wheel each time.
Check out past blog posts on systems I suggest which may include: payment, registration, questionnaires/intake materials, workbooks etc.

3. Take a look at what results you are getting from your activities.
What is giving you the most impact? What hasn't borne fruit yet? What does need to be let go of?

4. Starting now, track key items for your work.
This may be inquiries, referrals, testimonials, financials, marketing outcomes.

5. Answer the following: The most important thing I could do to work SMARTER is: _________________.

Have a wonderful week!

Warm regards
Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2011)
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Join us for an upcoming program: The Mentor Coaching Group (Starts Sept 16th), Group Coaching Essentials (6.75 CCEs, starts Sept 16), The Group Coaching Intensive (Toronto, November 5-6)