Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Summer Community Call on Group and Team Coaching - Best Practices

I enjoyed our summer community call last week on Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching. For those that missed it, you can access it online here with other past community calls.

I am always eager to hear what topics you would like to have spotlighted in future calls - feel free to comment below!

I've also just started the latest A-Z series over at the Effective Group Coaching Facebook page. Our August a-z series is on activities and resources for Team and Group Coaching.

Hope that you had a great July!

Warm regards

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Host of the Group Coaching Essentials program (starts Thurs Aug 9, 6.75 CCEs), the Mentor Coaching Group (starts Friday August 10 at 12 noon ET), and the Virtual Business Planning Retreat (Aug 10 and 17)
Phone: (416)996-8326

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Reminder Summer Group Coaching Community Call Thurs at 11 am ET

A quick reminder that my summer Group Coaching Community call will be held this Thursday from 11 - 11:45 am Eastern. You are invited to attend! The topic this month is Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching, as well as virtual group programs. 

You can join us at 1-712-432-3066, access 503003. Callers are responsible for their own long distance charges.

Looking forward to having you join us!

Warm regards,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Join us for an upcoming program: Group Coaching Essentials Teleseminar (6.75 CCEs starting Aug 9), Mentor Coaching Group (for ACC renewals and ACC/ PCC Portfolio starting Aug 10), and the Advanced Group Coaching Practicum

Sparkers for Group and Team Activities

Team StoryBoard Activity
Are you on the lookout for some cool things to do with your groups and groups? I know that I always am.  A couple of weeks ago during the Group Coaching Intensive  here in Muskoka, coaches led the group through an exercise of their choice. I was introduced to a couple of new processes and tools that I really liked.

 Many of you have heard me speak about my love of using Visual Explorer from the Center For Creative Leadership with Groups and Teams. I continue to be amazed by the resonance groups and teams of all sizes, and industry-backgrounds, find with this tool.  Last week one of the coaches brought her Journey Card deck which she had purchased at the Coaching Toys site. I immediately fell in love with these given their smaller, more portable size. The deck also comes with a booklet with questions and other supports for coaches using this tool. Personally, I got a lot out of being part of a group coaching conversation with the tool and know that I will be adding this into my own toolkit for work with teams and groups.

Some sites that I continue to turn to for inspiration when I am engaged with new groups and teams are:
-      -    BusinessBalls.com
-       -   Wilderdom.com

One book I find I continue to turn to for inspiration is  the Retreats that Work book. This book is a treasure-trove of cool ideas which can be adapted for more of a coaching approach – great if you are doing more intensive or corporate work. This book, along with many others I suggest, are listed at the Amazon Affiliate bookstore I have set up.

Definitely check out the Coaching Toys site for other cool resources and tools. As you look to build your own toolkit of resources feel free to let us know what you are looking for, or share ideas on tools/resources you find invaluable! I know that this is a very popular area for coaches as we saw yesterday in the 4th call of this month's Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar which focuses on tools and resources for group coaching.

Have a great week!

Warm regards

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC, BCC, CHRP
Group Coaching Essentials (6.75 CCEs) - Next teleseminar group starts Thursday 10:30 - 11:45 am ET on August 9 (runs to Sept 6)
Mentor Coaching Group for ACC Renewal and ACC/PCC Portfolio - next group starts Fridays 12 - 1 pm ET : August 10 (7 hrs group mentor coaching, 3 hrs individual mentor coaching)
Phone: (416)996-TEAM (8326)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

An Ode to Stephen Covey

 I’m working remotely this month from Muskoka and am not as plugged in as usual. Yes smart phone connected internet but no TV. I just heard of the passing of Stephen Covey this morning. What a great loss. My work as a coach, but also as a leader, has been so impacted by his writings over the past 15 years.

Flash back to 2001 when I was still working as a leader and manager within the UN. I had the opportunity to participate in a 5 day 7 Habits workshop with the rest of my colleagues in Barbados. Thank you Errol for your masterful facilitation that week. I still have your business card. What a gift the 7 Habits was! Yes, my world of work with the UN in those days was so much  in quadrant 1 (crisis mode) as it is to date for so many organizations. Over the next few years we moved the needle to move it to quadrant 2. 

It was during that seminar that I really took a stand for wanting to bring training and facilitation work more front and center in my work. As a Program Manager every day looked differentt – project and program management, evaluation, governmental negotiations, staff visits etc. Little did I know that 2 years later in 2003, I would wake up with an eye infection that went out of control, leaving me with permanent scaring of one of my eyes. This was the event that tipped the scales for me, putting an end to my full-time international career, but opening the door for me to think about what I wanted to do next as a professional. And back I circled to my own vision of the work I had done in the 7 Habits workshop of running my own training company and working with others to be more masterful facilitators. This in fact became such a foundation for my personal work I did as a coach trainee with CTI that fall of 2003. So much of what I had taken a stand for during the 7 Habits workshop (including being able to work from the cottage during the summer here in Muskoka one day) became the seeds of Potentials Realized, my business today. 

As I look back now in 2012, it is amazing to see how the act of setting my vision, has really helped me create a new path. As an author, educator and pioneer in the field of group coaching, I still continue to ask myself “What quadrant am I operating from today”? How am I creating time for personal leadership and true re-creation? 

I know that Covey has left his mark on my work and the work that I do with leaders. How has his legacy impacted yours?

Have a wonderful week,
Jennifer Britton
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Phone: (416)996-8326 (TEAM)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Virtual Program Facilitation Challenges - Three to Keep an Eye on

Avoiding the pitfalls with your first virtual program –webinar/teleclass/teleseminar

With technology continuing to evolve, and more people accessing online learning of some sort, it is likely that at some point you will add virtual programming to your offerings, whether it is a preview webinar, a teleclass, teleseminar or a virtual group coaching program. I’ve written about virtual programming tips for many years now as virtual programs have been a popular part of my business for the last 7-8 years.

Three challenges to keep in mind if you are preparing for your first (or 100th virtual program):
Technology Breaks down – Check out the services you are using and have a back up. Make sure your connection works from your landline and mobile. Sometimes there can be a difference as to what you can access and where. Know how to complete quick items like record, mute, unmute, raise hands, chat or work a white board. Practice is usually the only way to master these.

No one shows – Whether you have 4 people on the call or 40 people on the call, consider how your virtual program (or components of it) can be packaged for future benefit. Back in 2006, I offered a series of Business Brown Bag calls – 45 minute calls for business owners, of which 15 minutes were a presentation on pertinent business topics, with the reminder of the call a more group coaching format. I recorded the first 15 minutes of my presentation and made these into podcasts. It became a popular resource for business owners, and unknown to me at the time, a marketing vehicle that generated interest and registrations for many years.

Low energy: Virtual programs can be challenging for new facilitators in terms of the energy and feedback you receive. If you are using only a phone based system, other than enabling people to raise their hands in response, or signal on their keypad their agreement, it may feel like you are talking into a black hole. Your energy is imperative in keeping the flow going.  Remember too that it is critical to engage your group members every 5-7 minutes. Without involvement and engagement it is challenging for anyone to continue to focus, let alone participate.

What other challenges do you find common in leading virtual programs?

Have a wonderful week,

Jennifer Britton, BCC, PCC, CHRP
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2012)
Host of the Group Coaching Intensive (15 CCEs - July 12-13, Huntsville), Group Coaching Essentials (6.75 CCEs, starts Aug 10), Advanced Group Coaching Practicum  (starts mid-August)
Looking to take action on your group program ideas and want time and a structure to focus on designing your program? Join me Friday July 20 and 27 (10-1 pm Eastern) for the Group Program Virtual Retreat
Phone: (416) 996-8326

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

July Programs for Coaches

Ah - the hot, hazy days of summer. It's also a great time to take some time to focus on yourself and your learning.

Here's a quick listing of upcoming programs which start this month:

Mentor Coaching Group - Tuesdays 10:30 - 11:30 am Eastern staring July 17th (one spot still open): Geared for coaches who want to sharpen their skills, particularly those needing to fulfill their mentor coaching requirement for their ACC renewal or their ACC/PCC portfolio route. We meet as a small group of 4-5 coaches for 7 hours of group mentor coaching calls over 3 months, and for 3 x 1 hour individual mentor coaching calls. Cost: $1000 US (payable in one or monthly installments)
Upcoming Program start dates:
Tuesdays 10:30-11:30 am Eastern/Toronto/New York: Group Calls will be held on July 17, 24, August 7, 14, 21, Sept 11 and 25 plus 3 hrs of individual coaching calls (1 spot still open)
Fridays 12 - 1pm Eastern/Toronto/New York starting August 10. Group Calls will be held on August 10, 17, 24, September 1, 28, October 12, November 9 (3 spots open)

Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar: Looking to launch your own group coaching work this fall and want road-tested tips, tools and ideas for your programs? Join me for this 5 session teleseminar which looks at designing, marketing and implementing your program, as well as other exercises and resources for group coaching, along with best practices. Approved for 6.75 CCEs with the ICF.
Upcoming start dates:
Tues/Thurs 12 - 1:15 pm Eastern/New York: July 10, 17, 19, 24, and 26 (4 spots open)
Thursdays 10:30 - 11:45 am Eastern: August 9, 16, 23, 30, September 6 (4 spots open)
Cost: $375 US or $375 CDN
Coaches may opt to follow this up with the Advanced Group Coaching Practicum which includes opportunities to practice and receive feedback on their skills (phone based program)
Click here for more info and to register.

Advanced Group Coaching Practicum: Take a deeper dive with group coaching issues, and also lead a small group coaching virtual session with your peers to gain invaluable feedback. 6 x 75 minute phone calls. 
Upcoming Program start: 
Wednesdays 7-8:15 pm Eastern: August 8, 15, 22, 29, September 5 and 12, 2012
Click here for more info and to register

Group Coaching Intensive - Thursday and Friday July 12 - 13 (15 CCEs with the ICF) in beautiful Huntsville, Muskoka, CANADA
Join me for this 2 day in person program where we immerse ourselves in conversation and practice with group coaching. We cover all the bases - best practices, tricky issues, design, implementation, virtual and corporate programming, and also give you several opportunities to practice your own group coaching skills. A couple of spaces still left for next week's program. You'll receive a 75 manual, copy of the Effective Group Coaching book, the Group Coaching Toolkit (a box of resources for your own programs), light lunch both days, and a follow up group call. More than a dozen tools and resources are included in the two days as well. Cost: $950 plus HST. Register with a colleague and each save $125 off  your registration. Click here for more info and to register. Hope to see you next week!

Summer Business Planning Virtual Retreat: Friday August 10 and 17 (By Phone: 2-5 pm Eastern each day): Is it time to focus in on your business, make some plans for the rest of the year, and take action on key goals? Over the 6 hours of this virtual retreat you will have the opportunity to focus and take action on your business planning. Cost: $195. Click here for more info and to register

If you have any questions about these upcoming programs, please give me a call or drop me an email. Hope that you are enjoying your start to summer.

Warm regards

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