In December, during my 10th annual year end group programscall I shared four areas of importance for 2014 as it relates to group and team coaching. These four areas were: synergy and blending, relationship building, measurement, and business sustainability. Two of these four areas - relationship focus and measurement - were also highlighted at the start of last year.
Throughout the last part of 2012 and into early 2013 I spent a lot of time in dialogue with group and team coaches as I wrote my most recent book, From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching. In addition to a strong set of coaching skills, these four areas were often mentioned individually, or in totality by more than the dozen coaches I interviewed for the book.
As team and group coaches, here are some things to consider as we move forward this year:
1. Synergy and Blend. Coaching is one of many approaches available to individuals, organizations, groups and teams in the process of change and realizing their own potential. Many of you have heard me speak or write over the last several years of the importance of us being able to blend the best of many different disciplines in the work we do.
As group and team coaches it is essential that we lead from our core coaching competencies (refer to the eleven core competencies of the ICF). Masterful team and group coaches blend additional skills into making their work with teams and group that much more impactful. Some examples of blend include knowledge of a variety of facilitation approaches, and an understanding of team effectiveness, and OD.
For coaches working in the organizational context synergy is also critical. It is very likely that your coaching support are dovetailing into other corporate intiatives. What questions will help your clients also make the connection and link to other leadership, talent management initiatives in an organization? How does your work feed in?
Question to consider: What does blend and synergy mean for the work that you do?
2. Business sustainability is a second area I flagged as a focus area for coaches for 2014. Business sustainability is important in terms of our own businesses (for external coaches), as well as the sustainability of the businesses we partner with. Economies around the world continue to change in interesting ways, and events such as natural disasters (ice storms, for example) are not just events half a world away. Since the early 1990s I’ve been involved in working with organizations, communities and also nations on sustainability issues. My work for more than a decade with the international development community - the UN and other aid agencies - gave me deep appreciation of the complexity of what sustainability means. I hope that throughout the year we may have opportunity to dialogue and explore what sustainability means, and looks like, for each one of us.
Question to consider - What does sustainability mean for you and your work and/or business?
3. Relationship building/focus was another area I spotlighted again as a key focus areas for coaches during 2014. Coaching has become much more mainstream in recent years, and there are still large pockets of individuals who are not aware of what coaching is and how it can benefit their individuals, leaders and teams. Coaching is also a service which is highly relationship focused, influenced by the relationship, and trust and connection that is creted between coach and clients.
Question to consider: As you think about relationship building for yourself in 2014 what’s important? Who do you want to connect with? Build relationships with?
4. Measurement was the fourth area I highlighted in my year end call. Organizations and prospective clients are hungry to know more about the impact of coaching and what value it really has. Many of us have opted to utilize tools which are grounded in emprical measurement such as the Team Diagnostic Survey from Team Coaching International. As coaches it is also important for us to have the dialogue with our clients in terms of how they are going to measure success, and what metrics they may be tracking already.
Question to consider: What’s important for you, your clients and measurement this year?
As always I welcome your thoughts and comments. Please feel free to do so below, or at our Facebook page. If you missed listening into my 10th annual year-end group programs call, you can listen to it here approx 50 min).
Have a great start to 2014!
Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC
Potentials Realized | Group Coaching Essentials
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
I hope you will join me for an upcoming program to deepen your skills and move your work forward:
Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar starts Friday Jan 10 from 12 - 1:15 pm ET (6.75 CCEs). Calls held 1/10, 17, 24, 31 and 2/7.
Advanced Group Coaching Practicum starts by phone on Friday Jan 10 from 10:30 - 11:45 am ET(8 CCEs). Calls held 1/10, 17, 24, 31, 2/7 and 2/14.
Mentor Coaching Group for ACC and PCC portfolio and ACC Renewals - Friday Jan 10 from 9-10 am ET. 7 hrs group calls, 3 hours individual calls. Runs to April 11, 2014.