Monday, August 18, 2014

Key elements in starting a group or team coaching engagement

It is no surprise that one of the ICF core coaching competencies is about Designing the Coaching
Agreement and another is about Creating Connection and Trust. The start of a group and team coaching engagement is one of the most important things to start planning for, and considering, as your relationships with group and team members, and the expectations you create together, create the foundation for a successful engagement.

Today's blog post encourages you to consider these elements in starting up your next group or team coaching engagement:

1. Get to know group/team members: For years I've talked about, and written about, the importance of a pre-program 1-1 call in terms of getting to know your group members, identifying common issues/themes across the group, and also answering any questions about the program. These pre-calls are also important in starting to create shared expectations about the coaching process.

2.Creating Ground Rules/Ways of Working - Creating shared agreements about behaviors which will support a positive learning environment is key component of the first call. Discussion around confidentiality and what this means, and other process issues, helps to create shared understanding. It also becomes a reference point if behaviors do not match these shared agreements during your work.

3. Building connection amongst group members. Consider your introductory activities and how you want to start building relationships amongst group members. Trust and connection is key in the team and group coaching process. What will bring together the group? What themes do you want to illustrate in your work together? Whether you bring in a visual deck like Conversation Sparker Cards(TM) or look to a site such such as for inspiration, remember that people tend to remember the start and end of things, so your kick off is key!

4. Identify areas for coaching - a number of coaches ask " How is it possible to coach more than one person at a time?". Key to success is identifying the common areas people want coaching around. This can look different in different types of programs.

For team coaching, assessments often get at the core what the issues are. Assessments like the Team Diagnostic Survey from Team Coaching International, or the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team(TM) help to pinpoint areas where there may be systemic areas of focus - low trust, inability to work across conflict etc.

In group coaching you may be marketing a program publically - for example - a business group coaching program for solopreneurs. Your program description may have drawn some of your group members to the program. Ask group members to identify and prioritize key focus areas. Working together through dialogue, what are the key topics for each session

A key definer of the coaching process is that it is shaped by the people being coached, so watch your balance between coaching and facilitation.

What else do you want to consider as you move into preparing for your fall programs? What else will create a positive first session?

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)

Join us for an upcoming program including:
 The Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar starting Friday September 12  from 10:15-11:30 am ET by phone, with calls held September 12, 19, 26, October 3 and 10 (5 calls, 6.75 CCEs)
Advanced Group Coaching Practicum - starting Thursday September 11 from 10:15 - 11:30 am ET running to mid-October (6 calls, 8 CCEs)
Mentor Coaching Group starting Friday September 12 at 9 am Eastern, running for 3 months to mid-December. Meets the 10 hours of mentor coaching requirements with the ICF.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Five From One to Many Tips -

With the ongoing changes to Facebook algorhythms you may not have seen these recent From One to Many Tips posted at our Effective Group Coaching Facebook page. Here are five which were posted oer the last month - As you read through them, which ones can you incorporate into fall and winter programming?

Check out past posts which go into some of these topics including Four Approaches to Consider ,

Check out the post on Key Components for Designing Group and Team Coaching for some additional percolation points around engagement and design.

View my December 2013 video where I talk about some of these decks at the Effective Group Coaching YouTube page here.

You can also read a 2014 post on Five Ways to Use Visuals.

Check out the group coaching tools tab for a multitude of ideas of what you might want to incorporate or resources you may want to go to for inspiration when developing your next program. Both of my books - Effective Group Coaching and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching - have 40 plus page appendices with many other group coaching activities listed.

During week 4 of the Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar we cover more than a dozen tools, and each week of the teleseminar I bring in through modeling and your own participation a different approach or activity which you can adapt for your groups.
If you haven't done so, make a list of all the resources you have available to you.

Have a great weekend,

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)

Join us for an upcoming program including:
The Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar starting this Wednesday August 13 from 10-11:15 am ET by phone, with calls held August 13, 20, 27, September 3, and 10 (6.75 CCEs)
Mentor Coaching Group starting Thursday August 14 at 9 am Eastern, running for 3 months to mid-November. Meets the 10 hours of mentor coaching requirements with the ICF.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Mentor Coaching Group starts Thursday August 14 at 9 am Eastern/New York by phone

For those working towards their ACC or PCC credential with the ICF I will be starting a new Mentor
Coaching Group starting Thursday August 14th at 9 am ET.

This is a 10 hour small group mentor coaching program, where we explore the elevent competencies of the ICF. Three hours are scheduled individually with me over the three months, and seven of the hours are scheduled by phone for one hour calls in a small group setting (maximum 6 coaches). 

During our group calls we spend half of each class exploring two or three of the competencies each session, also discussing approaches and resources you as a coach utilize. The other half of each of the group call is a coaching practicum, where you on a rotational basis will have the opportunity to coach at least one other participant. You will receive feedback on your skills, and you will also benefit from seeing different styles at play.

Group calls will be held on Thursdays from 9-10 am Eastern on August 14, 21, Sept 11, 26, October 2, 16, November 6.

Each group call is supported by module notes, which include more information about the competencies. 

Here’s what a recent alumni said about the program:
An excellent programme, supporting me to develop my confidence and capability as a coach.  Jennifer is a brilliant facilitator and very generous coach, sharing her comprehensive knowledge and expertise.  The opportunity to work with other coaches in the group calls and practicums was particularly empowering and affirming.  I loved it.  I feel I’ve really grown as a coach.” - Lorna Shaw,

Cost: $1000 US or CDN (plus HST) for the 10 hour program

Click here to learn more or reserve your spot

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC, CPCC, BCC

Group and Team Coaching: One Size Does Not Fit All

The variety which shows up in my work with teams and groups is what keeps me energized, and I do
Photo by Gratsiela Toneva
believe more effective, . Whether it is a new program I am rolling out with a team, or a new coaching group I am taking through the 90 Day BizSuccess program with, each group and team experience is different. One size does not fit all.

As you will note throughout my years of writing here at the blog, I often write, It Depends. Our work as coaches is highly customized, and needs to be shaped by their realities, priorities and preferences.

As you consider how to work with your clients, put them front and center. Ask yourself:
What are their needs? What are the top issues or questions keeping them up at night? What are the issues they are really grappling with?

What are the styles at play? Each group we work with will have a variety of personalities, ways in which they see the world, and ways they learn. Are these people who see the world in broad strokes or fine details? Providing your clients with an assessment such as MBTI, Everything DiSC, Insights or other, can provide them with valuable information, as well as cues for you in terms of what different approaches you may want to bring in. For example, if you know that the group has a preference for learning through action, versus reading, this may prompt you to bring in more experiential processes, rather than reading activities between touch-points.

How long do they want to meet for? Some coaches are successful in launching and running year long group coaching processes. Personally, most of my clients have a much shorter window of time they feel comfortable committing to. Three to four months is usually their window of time. What are your clients preferences in terms of length they want to meet for each touch point and the sessions overall?

In person or virtual? Each group and community is different. Throughout the summer months I work in a smaller rural setting where people value a face to face connection. The rest of the year I am based in Toronto where we face one of the longest commute times in North America. Rather than meeting in person on a weekly basis, I usually find many of my Toronto based clients prefer either more intensive meetings (i.e. full weekends, half days over several weeks) or phone based work.

As you consider your clients, what are their particular needs. What makes them unique? What can you offer to them?

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC

Join us for an upcoming program including the:
Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar - 6.75 CCEs - starting Wednesdays at 10 am ET on August 13th - Sept 10. Five calls packed with practical, actionable tips for your own group coaching design, marketing and implementation.
Mentor Coaching Group - Thursdays 9-10 am Eastern starting August 14th. Are you looking to get ICF credentialed (ACC/PCC) or need to renew your ACC? This program meets the requirements for mentor coaching with the ICF. 7 calls with a small group (max 6 coaches), 3 individual calls with me. 10 hrs. Click here for more info or to register.
Summer Virtual Business Planning Retreat - Friday August 15 from 9-3 pm ET by phone. Six hours of structured group and individual activities to move your business forward. More info at