Monday, December 19, 2011

Top 10 Questions About Group Coaching During 2011

Top 10 Questions about Group Coaching During 2011

Copyright 2011 - Jennifer Britton, All Rights Reserved

It’s been really interesting for me to connect with so many coaches and other professionals looking at group coaching over 2011. Speaking engagements have seen me out in the Martimes of Canada (East Coast) and as far West as Banff. Last month I traveled to Philadelphia and presented at their Fall Conference. Throughout the year I’ve also presented virtually to many SIGs, special interest groups and other coaching schools.

A majority of my sessions/presentations have been interactive and it’s been really interesting to track some of the questions I’ve continually been asked this year. Here are 10 that really have hit my radar screen, as well as links to some resources I have, in case you too have the same question:

1. 1. What skills do I need to be great group coach? Remember that group coaching is an extension/specialization of the coaching profession. Great group coaches are skilled in the core coaching competencies, as well as experienced in group process issues. Practically this means getting out and working with groups. It’s like a muscle – if we don’t use it, we can lose the skills. What opportunities do you have/can you create to work with groups ?

2. 2. What do I need to understand about how groups work? This past summer I presented to Suzee Eibling’s Group Coaching SIG on Group Dynamics and Group Coaching. It was a blast! This topic is of real interest to both experienced and new coaches. For those who have a copy of my book, Effective Group Coaching, please check out Chapter 3 which goes into considerations for coaches regarding group development as well as learning styles.

3. 3. What’s the difference between team and group coaching? Many coaches, myself included, will probably find a natural progression and interplay between the team and group coaching work they find themselves working within. Both are sisters. What I cover throughout the Group Coaching Essentials program is highly transferable to the team coaching context.

Some of the key differences of course are the relationships which may exist as well as the role of leadership, and other team roles that may exist. Please check out some of the recent blog posts I have written this fall on Team Coaching and Team Coaching resources (click on the team coaching tab here at the blog).

4. 4. How do I price group coaching? I actually think this was the most popular question I was asked throughout the year. I cover it more in depth in the Group Coaching Essentials program. There is a huge range out there, which I feel is reflective of the diverse groups coaches are working with, and how they position group coaching in their business offerings. Some of the considerations you will want to think about of course is your contact time, group numbers, overhead (materials, insurance, venue etc).

5. Positioning Group Coaching In Organizations – A few weeks ago I spoke to the ICF Coaching and HRD SIG. I spoke a bit about positioning organizational group coaching. You can listen to the recording here. For those interested, you may want to become a member of this SIG. More info through the ICF’s SIG links.

6. 6. What exercises can I use? There are some terrific resources out there on the web these days. Most coaches will already have a selection of great coaching exercises that can be adapted for groups. We spend a week of the Group Coaching Essentials program looking at this topic, and you can check out the many blog posts I’ve written over the years on this (use the Exercises tab). This year I’ve also seen a resurgence in the number of coaches purchasing the Engaging Exercises E-Manual (one of the first products I created for my business in 2005). Also refer to the Appendix of the Effective Group Coaching book (40 pages of exercises there).

7. 7. From a business perspective, what do I need to have in place? The question of systems for your business and work is a very common and important question I get asked frequently. Please check out this post from 2010 as well as a more recent one on systems which can support you in making the work easier.

8. 8. How Should I market group coaching? A huge question! Consider your audience, your marketing strategy, your strengths. I’ll be working with coaches and trainers this Thursday December 22nd during the Year End BizSuccess Business Planning Virtual Retreat (10-4pm ET) and a main focus of the day will be on planning for your business, as well as your marketing! A few spaces still open – click here for more info.

9. 9. How much can I fit into a group coaching session? I always remind coaches of the Less is More principle. Much of the benefit from a client’s perspective is the opportunity to connect and be in dialogue with others, and have time for space, focus and reflection. Often this means not trying to cram too much into a call or in person session, and thinking about what is a nice to have, rather than a need to have.

10. And probably the number one question – How can I build a successful business as a coach? I’ve heard this question for years throughout the 90 Day BizSuccess program, and during the early years of my business when I worked part time as a Business Faculty Lecturer. Building a coaching business is similar to other businesses – it takes time, focus and perseverance. I often remind coaches of the importance of the 1% rule – taking daily, or regular action, on important business goals. What are your business goals for the next year? Who is going to support you and hold you accountable as you move forward?

I look forward to continuing with the Coaching Business Builder series of posts here at the blog during 2012, as well as continuing to work with coaches individually on their own business development, as well as through programs like the Mentor Coaching Group and this week’s Year End BizSuccess Business Planning Virtual Retreat.

I’m eager to see where I’ll be connecting with coaches next year! If you are looking for a speaker for your group/association/conference on topics related to coaching, group coaching, leadership or business development, please contact me. I’d love to connect and learn more about your needs.

Questions – as always please feel free to reach me directly by email or phone (listed below).

Have a terrific holiday season!

Warm regards


Jennifer Britton, CPCC, PCC

Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)

New programs start in early January 2012 - Group Coaching Essentials (6.75 CCEs - Jan 12th and 24th), Mentor Coaching Group (Jan 13th)

Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Phone : 416.996.8326

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