Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year End Reflection Questions and New Year Wishes

I hope that the end of 2013 has been wonderful for you and your loved ones. It's been an interesting
holiday season in the Toronto area, with significant impact from an ice storm just before Christmas to a widespread outbreak of flu and cold. For many families, ours included, it was an opportunity to really take the pace down, disconnect and focus on what's important.

This month I have enjoyed sharing regular year end reflection questions at the Effective Group Coaching Facebook page. I know that not everyone is on Facebook, so if you are not, here's a selection of some of my favorites. You can also read some of them in my December Ins and Outs newsletter (click here to access the December newsletter).

I hope that you will find time in the coming days reflect on the year end questions, and potentially use them with some of your own coaching clients:

Each year at this time, I carve out time to write out my business vision for the next year which also includes a summary vision for the next year. I post this at my desk to keep it in the forefront each and every day. What will support you in keeping your vision alive this year?

In my 10th annual year end group programs call a few weeks ago I took at look at some of the key priorities, and best practices, I see in our work with teams and groups for 2014. If you haven't had a chance to listen into that call (approx 50 min), I hope you will do so. You can listen in here. Enjoy!

I have really enjoyed connecting with so many of you this past year here at the blog, in person at your organization or at speaking engagements or via phone. I look forward to continuing to act as a resource for you in your work with groups and teams in 2014.

Have a terrific start to the new year and wishing you all the best for 2014,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Potentials Realized | Group Coaching Essentials
Author of From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013) and Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2013)
(416)996-TEAM (8326)

During 2014 I hope that you will join me for an upcoming program including the:
Group Coaching Intensive : April 5-6, 2014 in Toronto - 15 hours of in-person training (being renewed for 15 CCEs)
Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar (Jan 10 - Feb 7 on Fridays from 12 - 1:15 pm ET, 6.75 CCEs)
Advanced Group Coaching Practicum (Jan 10 - Feb 14 on Fridays from 10:30-11:45 am ET, 8 CCEs)
Mentor Coaching Group for ACC Renewals and ACC/PCC Portfolio Routes - Fridays 9-10 am ET Jan 10-April 11
2014 BizSuccess Virtual Business Planning Retreat - Tuesday Jan 7 by phone (10-4 pm Eastern)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

New Video Post - Visual Tools

I've just posted a new Video today on three visual tools I love using with teams and groups that I am working with. Whether it's a retreat, a group coaching session, or a strategic planning session, I continue to see the positive impact these three resources have in stimulating dialogue and conversation.

In this 2 minute 40 second video I speak briefly on:
Visual Explorer from Center for Creative Leadership. More info from their site here.
The JICT Images Deck available at CoachingToys.com. More info from their site here.
The Coaching Game - Points of View. More info from their site here.

I hope that you will check these out and consider how you might use one, or all three, during your 2014 engagements with teams and groups.

Enjoy the video:

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Potentials Realized | GroupCoachingEssentials.com
(416)996-TEAM (8326)
Join us for an upcoming program including: The Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar (6.75 CCEs starting Fridays at 12 noon ET Jan 10th), the Advanced Group Coaching Practicum (8 CCEs, starting Fridays at 10:30 am ET Jan 10th), the Mentor Coaching Group (starting Fridays at 9 am on Jan 10th).
I'll be hosting the 2014 Virtual Business Planning Retreat day again on Tuesday Jan 7th from 10-4 pm ET in case you missed it this  month. More info here.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Group Programs - What's Different Today, Trends and Future Possibilties

Group Programs - What's Different Today, Trends and Future Possibilities
By Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2013.

I hosted my 10th Annual Year End Group Programs call yesterday, an annual tradition for me in terms of
taking a look at recent trends and looking to the horizon of what's ahead.

As I was preparing for the call, I reflected on what has changed in the realm of group programs and coaching over the past 9-10 years. Here were some of the things that came to mind:
- Ten  years ago we were talking about teleseminars and teleclasses as opening a whole new vista. Today, consider how webinars, Google Hangouts are continuing to create connection and new learning opportunities.
- The growth of mobile learning - being able to really learn just-in-time from so many places - by smartphone, tablet, web etc.
- The continued appetite for connection with others
- Ten years ago group and team coaching were undertaken by only a few, and many in the coaching profession felt that the coaching conversation can only ensue in the individual environment. Anything else was not coaching, but training or facilitation. Today team and group coaching are really recognized as sub-disciplines of our work.

I spoke yesterday about some of the things I see on the horizon, as well as current issues we want to continue keeping an eye on. Briefly they include:

1. A continued need for, and emphasis on, relationship building. What relationships have supported you throughout this year? What new relationships do you want to foster in the new year. Coaching is a highly individualized service. How are people getting to know you, and what you offer? What approaches have you found most effective in building relationships this year?

2. Synergy and blending in our approaches, in service to the clients we work with. Today's business and personal challenges and opportunities require a multi-disciplinary approach. Coaching is one part of any solution. how do we synergize with others, and blend our skills and approaches in the variety of contexts we engage in. Coaching philosophy and approaches are grounded in the client as being the "Expert". With this in mind, what does synergy and blend, look like, and mean, for our clients?

3. Measurement - A critical part of any coaching conversation is having the client, team or group, identify what success is going to look like for them. At the same time, as coaches we need to continue to keep an eye on measuring impact, and capturing client stories (in a way that maintains their confidentiality). One of the conference sessions I enjoyed the most this year, and found most validating, was Lisa Edward's presentation at the ICF Mid-West Regional Conference. She made me realize that I'm already doing many of the things that are seen as best practice.

4. Sustainability - Sustainability is also a key consideration for the work we do. I know that this is an often over-used word. My entire career, especially prior to coaching when I worked with the UN and on international development issues, entailed working with others to create sustainable futures. I have flagged sustainability as an issue to keep an eye on, on a number of levels. First, exploring what sustainability means for our clients and their results? Second, sustainability for the organizations we work with. How can we partner to build additional capacity in the organizations and entities our clients are part of? Finally, sustainability is also key for ourselves as a coaching business. What will enable you to build a sustainable business?

The Brundtland Report provided us with the following definition of sustainable development more than 25 years ago,
"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

What does sustainability mean for the coaching profession as a whole?

Sustainable development has always been grounded in a systems approach. What is your impact on the web around you.

I hope that you enjoy listening to the entire 50 minute call. In addition to quickly talking about these four areas, I also go into some recent research which has come out from the ICF about what coaches are doing, as well as some key reminders for making your own group programming (whether is it group coaching, or workshops, or retreats,  most impactful. You can listen into the call here.

Each year the call is a way for me to say thank you for your support. I also want to thank you for joining me here at the blog - whterh this is your first post that you read, or your hundredth. As always, I look forward to your feedback and suggestions on what you'd like to see going forward.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season!


Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC
Potentials Realized | GroupCoachingEssentials
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
(416)996-TEAM (8326)

Our 2014 programming starts on Friday January 10th with the start of the Mentor Coaching Group - ACC Renewals, and ACC/PCC portfolio; The Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar (6.75 CCEs), and the Advanced Group Coaching Practicum (8 CCEs). The 90 Day BizSuccess program starts Tuesday Jan 14th. I hope that you will join us!

Friday, December 06, 2013

10th Annual Year End Group Programs Call

You are invited!

I'm pleased to share with you details for my 10th Annual Year End Group Programs Call. The call will be
held on Thursday December 12th from 12 - 12:45 pm ET. We'll be meeting this year at 1-805-399-1000, access 998223.

I started this annual call during my first year of business as an opportunity to focus in on some key best practices and trends around group programming. This year will be no different. In addition to sharing with you some of the insights I've gleaned from my work, and from continuing to support a large number of coaches who work within team and group coaching around the world, I'll invite you to share your successes and insights.

The call will run for 45 minutes, and if you can't make it, I will post a link to the recording. Of course, it is always terrific to have you there live! There is no cost for the Year End Group Programs call, other than your time and long distance charges.

The call will precede another annual tradition for me - my year end Virtual Business Planning Retreat. It will be held on Thursday December 19th from 8:30-2:30 pm Eastern. You can visit our new site at http://bizplanningretreat.com.

Have a great week and looking forward to connecting with you next Thursday!

With warm regards,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
(416)996-TEAM (8326)

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Common theme areas for group and team coaches

There is a dynamic tension between structure and letting it all go in team and group coaching
engagements. As a fundamental approach, coaching is shaped by the coaching client. In a team or group coaching engagement there are often multiple "agendas" or priority focus areas for the individual members of the group or team. In addition to facilitating conversation at the start with the team or group to decide on potential topic areas, it's likely that there may be some very common elements that show up in your conversations - whether you are working with business leaders, or new managers, new moms, or those in career transition. The same holds true when working with teams.

Some of the common theme areas you may find yourself working with are:
- Vision
- Values
- Strengths
- Beliefs
- Goals

When working with a team you may opt to have people explore these topic areas at the individual level first, and then look at it from the team and/or organizational levels. Consider what is going to work best with your approach, especially if you are working with the team as a system

For each of these areas, identify what resources you have at your disposal already?
What can you do to adapt them for the group or team context?
Thinking about the specific group or team you are working with, what do you think their preferred approach is going to be?
What will support them into action and further awareness of these issues?
What other resources do you want to add to your toolkit?

Resources you may want to look into:
- Strengths - There is a multitude of resources out there for working with strengths. Marcus Buckinham's books, StrengthFinder and VIA Strengths are all popular choices within the coaching world

- Vision work can take on a variety of shapes from having individuals create a vision board to visualizations, to index cards and MindMapping. What tools do you already have at your disposal?

- Values work - Again, values work is foundational to much of the work we undertake with our clients. Values checklists, visualizations, coaching are all ways to get at values. What approaches do you think will be valued most by this group or team right now?

For more ideas and detail, you'll want to check out the Appendices of both of my books (listed below). What resources would you recommend to others?

Have  a great week,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, BCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
(416)996-TEAM (8326)

Monday, December 02, 2013

December 2013 Group Coaching Training and Business Retreat

A quick announcement about two of our December 2013 programs you may be interested in:

1. The Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-4:15 pm
Eastern/New York by phone this month in accelerated fashion. Geared to give you immediate tools and ideas you can implement into your own work, this program consists of 5 x 75 minute teleclasses, an e-manual and access to me for individual laser calls between each call. The program is approved for 6.75 CCEs with the ICF.

Here's what one alumni recently said about the program:

"I knew I wanted to do some group coaching, and I had the audience in mind and the facilitation and coaching skills to pull it off, but I wanted to some support and greater understanding of group coaching.  Who better to get it from than Jennifer Britton?  Her strong facilitation skills, great content and deep experience were perfect for my needs, and guess what?  My first group coaching program got off the ground the week after I finished the course!  Thanks, Jenn – just the kick in the pants I needed."  - Coach Jen Schenkel

Our topics include the foundations and best practices of group coaching, design, marketing and implementation tips, along with exercises and other resources for group coaching programming. Cost: $425 US or CDN (plus HST)

December 2013 dates: Tuesdays and Thursdays 3-4:15 pm Eastern: December 3, 5 10, 12, 19

2. 2014 Virtual BizPlanning Retreat
My year end virtual business planning retreat has become a tradition over the last five years. Are you a coach or business owner looking for space and structure to plan for your business for 2014? Join me for a 6 hour program where you'll have a structured, and FUN, planning process. We meet as a small group for approximately 15-20 minutes of each hour, with the remainder of the hour spent offline working on our own plans.

Your registration includes six hours of structured individual and group activities, a 40 page business planning retreat manual, 9 templates you can use in your business next year, and access to me throughout the six hours for individual coaching as well.

Cost: $225

Dates: Friday December 6 and 13 between 10:30- 1:30 pm Eastern OR
Thursday December 18 (8:30 - 2:30 pm Eastern/New York)

Looking forward to connecting with you this month!


Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC
GroupCoachingEssentials | Potentials Realized
(416)996-TEAM (8326)

Top 10 Group Coaching Blog Posts from 2013

As we move into the final month of the year, it's a great time to pause and reflect. It's can also be a busy
time of year for coaches as many of our clients are creating space to plan for the new year, and we ourselves are looking to launch new programs.

Most of you know me for my practicality in getting to the core, so we can undertake MORE impactful work with clients. As such, here's a quick list of the top 10 posts (in terms of reading) from the blog this year. I hope that you find them useful in the work that you do, and that you may also consider joining me  for an upcoming program so you don't have to reinvent the wheel (see below).

Drum roll please......Here are the top 10 posts for 2013 from the Group Coaching Ins and Outs blog for 2013:

What? So What? Now What?

Team Coaching Characteristics

The Benefits of Group Coaching

Bringing in more visuals to your group programs 

Mentor Coaching - Three Things to Consider

Three pitfalls for any teleseminar or phone based program

MindMapping: An Essential Part of Group Program Design

Six Ideas for FieldWork in Your Next Coaching Engagement

Coaching Business Builder - Every Action has a Reaction

and finally....

 Team and Group Coaching Tips: Coaching Many

Which one did you enjoy the most? What posts would you like to see during 2014?

Enjoy this last month of the year!

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC

Join us for an upcoming program. December 2013 programs include:
The Group Coaching Essentials Teleseminar (6.75 CCEs) - Tuesdays and Thursdays 3-4:15 pm Eastern/New York: 12/2, 4, 10, 12 and 19
2014 Virtual BizPlanning Retreat - Friday Dec 6 and 13 (1030-1:30 pm Eastern) OR Thursday December 19 (8:30- 2:30 pm Eastern) - by phone