Monday, January 30, 2012

Coaching Business Builder - Build Momentum Around Your Most Important Goals

What momentum are you creating in your business this year? As coaches build and expand their businesses, momentum can take on a life of it's own.

Over the years I've seen a lot of coaches fall into the over-planning, analysis-paralysis place, where "I'm just not ready" or "I don't have enough information" takes over. What are you clear on with your business? What are the steps you want to be taking on a regular basis?

At the end of last year during my year end BizSuccess Virtual Retreat, I asked coaches to consider:
1. What are your most important goals for 2012?
2. What's going to help you get there?
3. What might get in the way?
4. What are the regular steps you want to be undertaking to support your action?

Consider these questions for yourself. Remember that consistent action over time, adds up, and creates a momentum of their own.

As we look into the month of February, what are the one or two focus areas that you really want to take action on? What makes these goals so important? In achieving them, what will this create?.

Make these goals visible and make sure time is scheduled for them.

Have a great start to the week!

Warm regards,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Group Coaching Essentials - Next teleseminar starts Feb 16th (Thurs 10:30 - 11:45 am ET: Feb 16, 23, Mar 1, 15 and 22)
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Group Coaching - Is Everyone Coachable?

Establishing the coaching focus and agreement with your group members (clients) is an essential part of any group coaching process. Many will recognize this as a core coaching competency of the ICF.

A key question to consider is "Is everyone coachable?". This issue may take on even more importance in the context where people are mandated to attend a group coaching process, for example, a group coaching program for people being onboarded as new hires.

I came across an old favorite on my bookshelf the other day - Lisa Haneberg's Coaching Basics book from ASTD Press. You may want to check it out. Lisa writes "Coachabilty is a state of mind that can be changed in an instance".

As it relates to designing your own programs, some of things to note with each group member in the start up of the coaching agreement are:
- What is their level of openness to feedback, observation, working with others?
- How open are they to learning/development opportunities?
- How open are they to different opinions? Different perspectives?
- How aware are they regarding what coaching is? Is not?
- What support are they really looking for? How does coaching fit/not fit into this?
- Does the person want coaching? Are they wanting to make a change? Take action? Be accountable for their results?

Taking time getting to know each group member is a key component for success. Getting to know each person, their preferences, their motivations as well as what they want and need, is key to positioning our work, as well as key to seeing how coaching can/cannot support, and other supports which may be needed.

Consider what you can build in to enhance your relationship with each group member, as well as the relationships amongst group members. Remember that trust is an essential element for group members engaging in the coaching process. Have you spent enough time supporting the group to get to know each other?

This week as you work with your clients - individuals, groups and teams, notice the impact of how you have created the coaching agreement. Also take note of the barriers to coaching, and what other supports could benefit the client.

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, PCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Group Coaching Essentials (6.75 CCES) - Next session starts Thursday February 16th (Thurs 10:30 -11:45 am Eastern: Feb 16, 23, Mar 1, 15 and 22) by phone

Monday, January 23, 2012

Benefits of Group Coaching To Organizations

Benefits of Group Coaching To Organizations
Copyright 2012 - Jennifer Britton, All Rights Reserved

For years, many organizations have been employing external and internal coaches to work with their leaders. In recent years, many organizations have added team and group coaching as development opportunities for their staff.

Whether it is a group coaching process which follows up a training initiative to sustain the conversation, or a stand-alone group coaching process for new managers, sales professionals, new employees, the following organizational benefits can accrue:

1. Enhanced reinforcement of learning and transferability to the workplace
2. Strengthened communication across the organization - silos/departments
3. Cross-functional Fertilization
4. Enhanced informal networks for staff
5. Culture change
6. Maximizing time and money

I expand on these benefits in my book Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010, Chapter 2).

Here are a couple of examples of how organizations have positioned group coaching:

Women transitioning back to the work force after maternity leave participate in a group coaching process. Benefits include enhancing their internal networks, and strengthened communication across the organization.

A global organization is building their own internal coaching culture, and key personnel from different offices are trained in coaching skills. Group Coaching calls held on a regular basis for six months after the initial training, supports group members to share their learning, take action on their learning plans, identify additional supports needed, and share best practices.

A national insurance organization equips their national training team with skills in group coaching, to enhance their own skill base in order to more effectively support their learners and new recruits, for better transferability of the learning process.

How could group coaching benefit your organization in breaking down silos, enhancing learning and/or maximizing your investments? As always, please feel free to share using the comments below or connect at our Facebook page.

Warm regards

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Group Coaching Essentials - new sessions starting Jan 24th (Tuesdays at 10:30 am ET) and February 16th - 6.75 CCEs with the ICF

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Four Reasons to Evaluate Your Group Coaching Work

Evaluation is an often overlooked component of the group coaching process. What do you do for evaluation of your programs? Here are four reasons why evaluation is really important:

1. To get a sense of the pulse of the group. Checking in with the group at the end of each session, and throughout is an important action to get a sense of the where the group is. In addition to "formal" feedback, scan the group throughout (whether virtual or in person) and notice the body language, words and energy of the interactions. Also notice what is not being said within the group.

2. To allow you to make changes to the pace, flow and structure of the program, real time. This feedback, both formal and real-time will enable you to change the flow, language and even structure of the program to meet the needs of that particular group. If you are a coach who runs the same group coaching program month after month with different groups, notice how it plays out differently each time, because of the different group needs.

3. For marketing purposes - Ask and listen throughout the program for what group members are learning, taking away, and having insights around. Your current group members will be great advocates based on their experience. Also do not overlook the power of a testimonial or personal recommendation from an alumni of your work. Ask group members as to what they see as the benefits and focus of the work - in the short term, medium term and long term.

4. For your own learning - As a coach, feedback is critical to know how we are meeting the needs of our clients. As we mature in our work, we may not have the same formal feedback structures that newer coaches have through supervisions, coach training and/or mentor coaching.

Questions to Consider:
What feedback have you recently received about your coaching and its' impact?
What themes you you notice?
As you reflect on the feedback you have received, what changes do you want to make?
What types of feedback do you want to build in/ask for, going fowrard?

Have a terrific week,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Group Coaching Essentials - Next program starts Tuesday Jan 24th from 10:30 - 11:45 am Eastern. Group Calls on Jan 24, 31, Feb 7, 14, 21 (6.75 CCEs with the ICF)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Group Coaching Trends for 2012

What do you see as the trends for group coaching during 2012? I addressed some of the trends I saw for this year in last month's 8th Annual Year End Group Programs Call. If you missed it, you can listen to it here (45 minutes)

Some of the trends I see as being important for this year as it relates to group coaching includes:
1. Continued diversification of types of clients/people getting involved in group coaching processes at a personal level. Back in January of 2006 when I started offering the Group Coaching Essentials programs to coaches, group coaching was raising the eyebrows of even coaches. In the last year I saw coaches go through this program with the aim to take their own group coaching to their client groups - parents, retirees, new moms, students, those in career transition, business owners, men, women, international professionals, and the list could go on. Group Coaching is also spreading the globe. Last year I worked with coaches from as far an wide as Australia, Turkey, Ireland, Germany, Bolivia, and theCzech Repulic.

Question to Consider: Which of your clients do you think would be interested, and would benefit from group coaching?

2. Continued diversification of organizations leveraging group coaching - It has also been interesting to note how group coaching is being utilized by different types of organizations - government, health care, education, financial services, safety, professional services. While some are adding a group coaching element onto their current training initiatives (i.e. leadership) to sustain the conversation, other organizations are looking to add group coaching initiatives as a stand alone, add-on or enhancement to their current coaching offerings.

Question to consider: If you work with organizations, how can they utilize group coaching to enhance their business results?

3. Leveraging Technology - As technology continues to change and as people become more comfortable with using these different tools, there is potential for group coaching leverage these domains. Although their have been some new tools in this last year, like Google Hangouts, coaches should be considerate to barriers which still exist for their group members in using the technology as well as the security and ability to maintain a confidential environment.

Question to Consider: What barriers exist for your participants/clients/group members to participate? How can technology support, or add to this?

And in closing,
  • As a coach this year what activities have you identified as helping you keep on focus and in action?
  • What activities are you going to undertake to continue to build relationships, and add value, to your client base?
  • What steps will you take to systematize your programs? (Check out my post yesterday on Leverage)
  • As a coach, what steps will you take to keep your skills in working with groups sharp? Coaching is a skill set, and like a muscle, "if you don't use it, you lose it?". What is your commitment to keeping your skills sharp this year?

Have a wonderful week,


Jennifer Britton, CPCC, PCC

Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)

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Monday, January 09, 2012

Coaching Business Builder - Leverage

For years I've talked about the importance of leverage in building a coaching business. The concept of leverage comes from the scientific concept of the lever, which can be used to enhance or expand the amount of effort undertaken.

As you think about your business and work this year ask yourself:

1. What does leverage mean to me? To my business?
2. What would leverage look like?
3. What actions can I use to maximize my efforts?
4. What people can help me expand my efforts?
5. What content/materials do I already have in place that I could expand or leverage?
6. How could I use this? Would this be a new program? Product? Ebook?

As you move through this week, notice what opportunities for leverage exist.

Have a terrific week!

Warm regards

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching(Wiley, 2010)
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com
Phone: 416.996.8326
Two new programs start this week - Mentor Coaching Group for ACC Renewals and ACC/PCC Portfolio Routes (Friday 12 - 1 pm ET - 1 spot still open) and the ICF CCE Approved Group Coaching Essentials program (6.75 CCES - Thurs 10:30 - 11:45 am ET: Jan 12, 19, 26, Feb 2 and 9 - 3 spots still open). Hope you will join us!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Upcoming January Programs - Mentor Coaching Group, Group Coaching Essentials

Here's a quick listing of upcoming programs of interest to coaches, and other professionals looking to launch their own group programs this year:

Group Coaching Essentials (Approved for 6.75 CCEs with the ICF)

Upcoming Programs start by phone :

January 2012: Thursdays 10:30 - 11:45 Eastern/New York: January 12, 19, 26, February 2, 9, 2012 (4 spots available) OR
January/February: Tuesdays 10:30 - 11:45 am ET: January 24, 31, February 7, 14, 21 (5 spots open) OR
February/March: Thursdays 10:30 - 11:45 am ET: Feb 16, 23, March 1, 15 and 22 (wide open)

Click here for more info and to register.

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 weekly 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: $375 US or $375 CDN (including HST)

Click here for more info and to register for upcoming Group Coaching Essentials programs.

"I love programs that give you lots of useable 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,

Advanced Group Coaching Practicum
(By Phone)

Starts Tuesdays 12 - 1:15 pm Eastern/9-10:15 am Pacific: Jan 24, 31, Feb 7, 14, 21 and March 6

Are you a Group Coaching Essentials alumni and want to gain further practice and get feedback on your group coaching skills? The Advanced Group Coaching Practicum provides coaches with the opportunity to gain more experience in leading a group, as well as take their knowledge base deeper. Each call will focus on an advanced group coaching issue. During each session one coach will lead us through a sample group coaching process and will receive feedback on their skills (written and verbal). Please contact me directly if you have questions. The program includes the 6 calls, lazer 1-1 with me, worksheets and an e-manual. Cost:$375 for the 6 sessions. Pre-requisite: Group Coaching Essentials. Reserve your spot in the Advanced Group Coaching Practicum here.

Group Coaching Intensive (In Person Training, 15 hrs)
April 13-14, 2012 - Toronto, CANADA
Described by past particpants as a "Must HAVE" for any group coach" and a "fantastic incubator for group coaching practice", this 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, covering key topics including core skills, tricky issues, best practices, structure, exercises/tools, and group process for group coaching. This is really an intimate look at group coaching, and space is limited to 6-8 coaches. Contact us for more info on the venue.

The program includes:

  • 15 hours of instruction and contact in an in-person environment (An application will be submitted for renewal of the program's approval of 15 ICF CCES - 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 December

Venue: Toronto, CANADA.
Hours: Friday April 13 (8:30 - 4:30) and Saturday April 14 (8:30 - 4:30) and group follow up call
Early Bird Price: $775 plus HST = $875.75 CDN. Regular Price$950 CDN plus HST (total $1073.50).
ck here to reserve your space at the Early Bird Pricing.

Can't make it to Toronto in April? Join me this coming summer in Muskoka July 12-13 in Huntsville, Muskoka. National Geographic rated Msukoka once again as a top 10 Summer Getaways again this year! Make a plan to come and explore it during 2012.

Mentor Coaching Group

Starts January 13th - Fridays 12 - 1 pm Eastern/9-10 am Pacific (By Phone)

The Mentor Coaching Group will be of interest for ACC renewals, as well as those working towards their ACC and PCC portfolio applications with the ICF. This is a 10 hour mentor coaching program, which includes 7 hours of group mentor coaching calls, and 3 hours of individual mentor coaching sessions (held monthly). We look at all 11 core coaching competencies of the ICF, and coaches have the opportunity to practice and receive feedback on their skills during the program. Each week you'll receive worksheets to support you with your learning. Click here for more info about the mentor coaching groups.

The next group is scheduled to start on Fridays from 12-1 pm Eastern/9-10 am Pacific on January 13th. Group Calls will be held on January 13, 20, 27, Feb 10, 24, March 9 and April 13, 2012. Space is limited to 4-6 coaches. If you have a group of 4 of your own and want to get started earlier, please give me a call.
Current pricing: $1000/10 hours program. Pricing will increase in January for other 2012 groups.

Reserve your spot in the January 2012 Group here - 2 spots open!

I look forward to having you join me for an upcoming program. If you have any questions, or would like to register offline, please feel free to contact me directly at (416) 996-8326 or by email.

Warm regards


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC

Group Coaching Essentials

Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)

Email: info{at}potentialsrealize{dot}com

What's Going to Be Your Focus in 2012?

Happy New Year to all readers of the Group Coaching Ins and Outs blog! I hope that your year has started off well. What's going to be your focus for 2012? Today's post includes some questions to help you zoom into what you want to create in your group program work this year, whether it is a group coaching program, workshop, retreat or teleclass. Take some time this week to reflect on, and take note of the following questions for yourself:

1. What are the top 3 most important goals for my work this year?
2. The impact I want to have with my work this year is.....
3. Key focus areas/themes I want to keep an eye on are....
4. The resources I can draw on this year are....
5. ____ will support me in getting the results I want....
6. _____ may detract from me getting the results I want....
7. I want to invest in the following for my own professional development/work this year - ______
8. The major stretch point for me this year will be.....
9. The one system which will help mLinke easily replicate/duplicate/expand my work this year will be....
10. At the end of the year, December 31st, I will be happy to say....

Have a terrific start to the new year! For those who missed my 2011 Year End Group Programs call which included some key programming/technical tips for your group programs this year, you can link to it at our Facebook page.

I look forward to continuing to act as a resource for you throughout the coming year. If you have any specific questions you would like to see highlighted/addressed over the coming months, drop me a line!

Warm regards

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