Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Reminder - Group Coaching Essentials telseminar starts Friday at 10am ET

A quick reminder that the Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar program starts this Friday May 3rd at 10 am Eastern/New Ork. Geared for coaches who want to introduce group coaching, or other group programs into their offerings (workshops, retreats, teleclasses) we cover road-tested tips and ideas for your own program design, marketing and implementation. The program is approved for 6.75 CCEs with the ICF, for those in need of CCEs for renewal.

Over the five weeks of the program we cover topics ranging from:
  • best practices for group caoching
  • adult learning principles and how groups develop
  • tools and techniques for designing programs with your clients front and center
  • marketing and pricing group coaching
  • exercises and resources to support you with your group work.
 Each call is supported by weekly module notes and your registration includes access to me for weekly 1-1 laser calls to zoom into your own specific program plans. Class size is generally 4-8 coaches to ensure individualized attention.

The May program will run on Fridays from 10-11:15 am Eastern/New York with group calls held on May 3, 10, 17, 31 and June 14th. 3 spots are still open.

Cost: $395 US or CDN (including HST)

You can learn more about the program or register here.

Prefer to learn in-person? Join me for the 3rd Annual Group Coaching Intensive to be held in Huntsville, Muskoka, CANADA this July 11 and 12 (Thursday/Friday). Benefit from an early bird savings on for the program to mid-May. More information about the Intensive (approved for 15 CCEs) here.

Best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Phone: (416)996-8326
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mentor Coaching: Three things to consider

Several months ago, an article I wrote on Mentor Coaching, was published in Choice Magazine. Entitled "Mentor Coaching: Developing Your Muscle and Refining your Craft" (Choice Volume 10, Number 3, September 2013). You can download a copy of the article here at our Resources page.

For many years now I have supported coaches through the ICF credentialing process, as well as CPCC certification. It is always a pleasure to see coaches sharpen their skills and develop further clarity about their work - where their strengths lay, where they are going, and where they want to focus.

Things you will want to consider with mentor coaching:

1. Individual or group? For several years now I have offered Mentor Coaching Groups involving a maximum of 4-6 coaches. The feedback from participants is that they really enjoy the group process, and being exposed to different coaching styles, approaches and techniques. For many coaches they feel that they get the best of both worlds as we have an opportunity to take a deep individual dive in three one-hour individual mentor coaching sessions, and then look expansively at the core coaching competencies with peers, through a broader lens.

For those going for a credential or certification the first time, individual mentor coaching has definite benefits in provding a much deeper level of focus on your skills and direction.

Which approach will support you best, at this stage in your coaching evolution?

2. Background of the Mentor Coach - What are you looking for in your mentor coach? What particular type of experience do you want them to bring? Some of the considerations here might include - experience in working with a particular type of client group, offering a specific type of coaching services (i.e. individual, team, group, family, relationship coaching), or experience in using specific coahing models or resources.

What is the background you are looking for from a mentor coach?

3. Mentor Coach experience and understanding of the core coaching competencies - For those renewing their ICF credential, or undertaking the portfolio route, the mentor coaching process should take a deep look at the ICF core coaching competencies. How familiar is the mentor coach with these? How familiar are they with the gradients from level to level (ACC, PCC, MCC)? What experience have they had in training and supervising other coaches? What is their track-record with supporting coaches successfully through the portfolio route?

What other considerations are important for you in selecting a mentor coach?

The International Coach Federation also has some exceptional resources around the mentor coaching process. I would encourage you to check out their website.

With best wishes,

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

Upcoming Mentor Coaching Groups (max 4-6 coaches) will run from May 10 - August 9 (Fridays 9-10am Eastern/New York: Group Calls May 10, 17, 31, June 7, 14, July 26 and August 9) and July 10 - October 9 (Tuesdays 10:30 - 11:30 am Eastern/New York). Click here for more information and to reserve your spot. The program includes 7 hours of small group mentor coaching calls, three hours of individual mentor coaching calls, and module notes for each group call. The program is geared for ACC renewals, as well as ACC and PCC portfolio route candidates.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Group and Team Coaching Focus Areas: a- z part 1

This spring I am doing an a-z look at focus areas for coaching teams and groups over at my Facebook page. 

Here is a through e:

What else would you add as additional areas you have coached teams and groups around? Hope that you will follow future focus areas at my Facebook page.

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, PCC
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (being released this summer!)
Join me for an upcoming program: Group Coaching Essentials starts Friday May 3 at 10 am ET (6.75 CCEs - calls May 3, 10, 17, 31 and June 14) or the Mentor Coaching Group for ACC Renewals and ACC/PCC portfolio routes (Starts Friday May 10 and runs to August 10th at 1:30 pm ET - space limited to 4-6 coaches)
Phone: (416)996-TEAM (8326)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

3 Pitfalls for any phone based program - group coaching, teleseminar, teleclass

Phone based programs continue to make up a large percentage of my programming, especially in the winter months. I also really enjoy working with group members all over the world, and this is often one of the consistent pieces of feedback I receive after running teleclasses, virtual retreats and group coaching programs by phone. It is encouraging to see more virtual programs being offered, and being filled.

I've got many posts on what makes phone based program work well, including:
Group Coaching By Phone: 4 Things to Keep in Mind
Virtual Program Tips
Teleclasses and Teleseminars: 5 Tips

So what gets in the way with phone-based (and virtual) programs?

1. Technology - Technology does not always work. Case in point, a new group I started running last week. Everyone except for myself and one other participant dropped off at the hour mark, with no other warning (such as bells indicating that people had left). It was only through the posing of a question to the group, and a email that came in from one of the participants that

Solution: Have a back-up and always let group members know in advance what they should do if they get bounced off the line *i.e. try again and check email for instructions if an alternative bridgeline needs to be accessed.
Don't panic as a facilitator, and keep in mind you may still be heard or visible. I was on a virtual call as a participant a few weeks ago and the faciliator thought that they had lost us. Little did they know that we could in fact hear their swearing and reaction. Do not panic!

2. Lack of connection felt by the group - It is surprising how facilitators overlook how important it is to build connection amongst group members. Connection is an essential ingredient for group coaching, and is an important foundation even with a telesemianr or teleclass which may be more content focused. Engagement levels will be impacted if group members do not feel connected with the host and/or others.

Solution: Consider how you can build connection (as appropriate) amongst group members. If it is an extended program are you giving air time for everyone to speak? Are you encouaging that people send out a bio/photo between calls? For one-off engagements are you posing questions to the group which they can respond to verbally, by email/chat or by using their key pad?

3. The multi-tasking mindset -  The multi-tasking mindset can be common place for many of us. What can you do to capture people's attention and keep it focused.

Solution: Consider these questions: Are you making a request for people to disconnect from other technologies? Are you changing the pace frequently (ie. every 5-7 or 10 min)? Are you creating opportunities for individuals to pause and engage at their desk?

What other pitfalls may exist for you in your phone-based program? What can you do to avoid them?

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Host of the Group Coaching Essentials program (6.75 CCEs starting Friday May 3 at 10:30 am Eastern) and the Mentor Coaching Group (starting Friday May 10 at 9am Eastern)

Monday, April 08, 2013

MindMapping - An essential part of group coaching design

"How do I design a group coaching program" is one of the most common questions I get when I speak
to coaches. From experience, there is always a tension between doing some per-preparation design, and also having this infused buy the group or team participants.

One of the design tools I wrote about in Effective Group Coaching was the MindMap (Refer to chapter 5 on Design).  My Effective Group Coaching Tip today on my Facebook page was in fact a reminder of this handy design tool (see today's blog post photo).

MindMapping is a right-brained tool, originally created by Tony Busan. Business Dictionary.com provides the following definition of mindmapping:

Graphical technique for visualizing connections between several ideas or pieces of information. Each idea or fact is written down and then linked by lines or curves to its major or minor (or following or previous) idea or fact, thus creating a web of relationships. Developed by the UK researcher Tony Buzan in his 1972 book 'Use Your Head,' mind mapping is used in note taking, brainstorming, problem solving, and project planning. Like other mapping techniques its purpose is to focus attention, and to capture and frame knowledge to facilitate sharing of ideas and concepts.

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/mind-mapping.html#ixzz2Ptfn9TBX

I find mindmapping a terrific tool to capture program ideas as I move through initial deisgn, into pre-program calls, and then program design.

Some professionals my prefer to draw their MindMap by hand. If you prefer using the computer some of the diferent MindMap software you may prefer are:
Buzan's ThinkBuzan.com

There are also a number of great apps available for MindMaping on a iPad or Android. You can see me talk about my experience using MindMapping on an Android tablet here.

The activity I pose in today's Effective Group Coaching tip is to spend 10 minutes MindMapping all of your program ideas for an upcoming program. Capture all of your thoughts around potential themes, questions, activities, venue, to dos etc.

Have a great week!

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
My newest book - From One to Many - Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching will be released mid-June.
Phone: (416)996-TEAM (8326)
Email: info{at}potentiaslrealized{dot}com

Join me for an upcoming program including the:
 Group Coaching Practicum - 8 CCEs: starts Tuesday April 9th at 4:30 pm Eastern/1:30 pm Pacific. Practice and get feedback on your group coaching skills in the virtual domain. Group calls April 9, 16,
30, May 14, 21 and 28, 2013
Group Coaching Essentials - 6.75 CCEs: starts Thursday April 11th at 10 am Eastern/7 am Pacific. This teleseminar provides coaches with the foundations of group coaching - design, marketing, implementation and exercises. Group calls Thurs 10-11:15 am ET April 11, 19, May 2, 9, 16, 2013. The next program will start in May on Fridays 10-11:15 am ET May 3-31, 2013.
Mentor Coaching Group - For ACC Renewals, and ACC/PCC Portfolio Routes, Fridays 12 - 1 pm ET April 12 - July 12th. 10 hours of mentor coahcing - 7 hours small group calls, 3 hours individual calls. Click here for more info and to register.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Effective Group Coaching Tips #2

Here are some of the recent Effective Group Coaching Tips I've posted at our Facebook page:

For those that are moving their programs into the virtual domain, consider these tips:

For those that are looking for more of a checklist/reminder of things to do/consider before the start of the program:

What other program supports will help you move your group programs into reality this spring?

Have a great week,

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

Join me for an upcoming program by phone this month. Programs include: Group Coaching Essentials (6.75 CCEs starting Thursday April 11th at 10 am Eastern - 5 spots open), the Advanced Group Coaching Practicum (8 CCEs starting Tuesday April 9th at 4:30 pm Eastern by phone  - 3 spots open) and the Mentor Coaching Group for ACC Renewals and ACC/PCC portfolio routes (starts Friday April 12th at 12 noon ET - 3 spots open)