Thursday, March 29, 2012

Flipchart Basics

This post is geared to coaches and facilitators who are new to working with groups in person. I often get asked about some of the basics of facilitation - how to create flipcharts, how to use post-it notes, etc. Today's post covers some flipchart basics for all of us to keep in mind when working with our next group in person. The picture above is me working with a wonderful co-facilitator of mine Sharon Miller at a couples retreat we ran in Muskoka a few years ago.

Flipchart Basics:

  • Use two colours – Watch use of red and green in case there are people in your group who are colour blind
  • Watch impact of All Caps/ versus larger and smaller font
  • Post flipcharts around room (ask for permission from venue)
  • Consider which flipcharts would be useful to have retained – ie. Ground Rules/Terms of Engagement
  • Creating list of topics to address/focus areas for coaching (Agenda Areas)- link to video
  • When capturing content – se participants words – if necessary have them rephrase/paraphrase themselves

When would use them:

  • Copy of Agenda
  • Ground Rules/Ways of working/Group Agreements
  • Wheel of ….Life/Management/Leadership/Business etc
  • Questions – discussion questions for pairs to consider, evaluation questions
  • Any graphics you want to share

It is likely that a majority of your learners have a preference for visual learning, so flipcharts can be an important part of the learning process.

What other tips would you suggest around using flipcharts?

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) - Check out other logistical tips in Chapter 9
Host of the Group Coaching Essentials program (6.75 CCEs) & the Advanced Group Coaching Practicum (starting April 27th - Fridays 10:30 - 11:45 am ET)
Join me in Muskoka this summer for the July 12 - 13 Group Coaching Intensive program (15 hrs of Group Coaching Training, a CCE renewal application is being submitted for the program)
Phone: (416)996-8326

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Anchor Points in Group Coaching

Last week I held my spring community call on group coaching issues. The topic was About Techniques for Engaging your groups. The call recording has been posted at our Facebook page.

After the call one participant emailed me wanting more information on Anchor Points, something that I often talk about as being important in the group coaching context. An anchor point serves to create a common reference point for group members.

Having an anchor point is critical on a couple of levels in the group coaching process. First of all, anchor points through themes provide a common focus/reference point for the group coaching process to unfold. One of the ICF Core Coaching Competencies is Establishing the Coaching Agreement (CC #2), in which "the coach asks the client what they want to work on and the coach attends to that agenda throughout the coaching" (ICF Minimum Skill Requirements Document). Having a common theme or anchor point for each session which everyone has come with the understanding around, allows the client to be able to articulate their needs in a way that is meaningful to them, and allows the coach to coach around that. Here's an example, in working with a group of business owners or new managers, one of our weekly themes might be Values, or Exploring our Strengths. Our themes can be created by the group in a first session, or they may be pre-determined by the program (i.e. 90 Day BizSuccess Program). The common anchor point of values provides a tighter focus for the individual members of the group to come with needs around, and hold coaching conversations around. As a coach, I continue to see that these session anchor points provide more traction for the group, and more synergies. I also want to point out that it is one possible way of running your groups.

A short while ago I also posted about Providing Visual Anchor Points in the group coaching process. You can read the blog post here which includes different techniques to use. This is a second layer where Anchor Points are critical in supporting the learning and growth process in the virtual and in person domain.

What other ways do you see anchor points playing out/being important in the group coaching context?

Have a terrific week,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Potentials Realized
Email: info{at}
Phone: (416)996-8326
Next Group Coaching Essentials program starts Thursdays 10:30 - 11:45 am Eastern: April 12, 17, 25, May 3 and 10 (6.75 CCEs) - Note new start date (By Phone)
Advanced Group Coaching Practicum starts Fridays 10:30 - 11:45 am Eastern: April 27, May 4, 11, 18, June 1 and 8 - Geared for those that want more feedback and practice on their group coaching skills (By Phone)

Monday, March 05, 2012

Group Coaching : Keeping the Conversation Going

"Group Coaching is an intimate conversation space, focused on goal setting, awareness building and accountability" - As I was quoted in Choice Magainze (Vol 9, Number 1, pp 31)

Group coaching is all about the conversation. I also like to remind coaches that the impact of coaching really happens outside of the contact time we typically have with a group, when they return to their work and/or life.

Keeping the conversation flowing for participants - internally, and with others - is something to consider when designing your next program.

Keep in mind the following strategies to keep the conversation going:

1. Create a workbook or worksheets for participants to use/reflect on between the coaching conversations
2. Consider how journaling can add to the coaching process
3. Provide group members with a reading list of books/other resources they might find interesting, and content, related to the topics you are coaching around. You may also want to encourage the group to create their own reading/resource list.
4. Create a private Facebook group for members to keep the conversation going
5. Send out regular questions for people to consider. For years I ran the 90 Day BizSuccess Group Coaching program for business owners. Each week group members would receive an email tip/quote from me into their inbox. It helped keep the program top of mind, and also stimulated some great thinking! Using a program like Constant Contact can help make these an automated process.
6. Create Accountability partners within the group - one or more participants who meet between the group touch points with a focus on conversation, sharing and accountability

What other strategies have you used to keep the conversation flowing with your groups?

Have a great week!


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Host of the Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar program - 6.75 ICF CCEs. Next Group starts Tuesday March 20th (Tues 7-8:15 pm Eastern)- March 20, 27, April 3, 10, and 17 - 4 spots open
Next Mentor Coaching Group starts Friday March 23 (Fridays 12 - 1pm Eastern) - 10 hours of mentor coaching (7 hrs group, 3 hrs individual). Meets requirements for ACC renewal and ACC and PCC portfolio route - 3 spots open
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com