Monday, January 26, 2015

Secrets to Running Multiple Groups at One Time

Group coaching may be appealing to many coaches who are eager to work with more than one person at
a time, as well as focusing their efforts. As group coaches it is quite feasible that you will have more than one group running at a time, whether you work with public groups, corporate groups, or virtual groups, or all of these.

AS someone who usually has half a dozen groups occurring at any one time,  I often get asked "What are the secrets to running multiple groups at a time?". Beyond marketing (which would be the focus of a handful of posts on this same topic), from a programmatic standpoint there are several things which are important to keep an eye on:

1. Pay attention to the systems you have built in your work - and if you haven't got them, build them as you go. Administrative pieces can take up a huge amount of time, especially if you have multiple groups running at any given time. You'll want to consider how do you streamline:
- Registrations
- Payments
- Distribution of materials for each week's session (Distribution of PDFs if virtual by email? LMS? Photocopying if in person? Other?)
- Scheduling of 1-1 time with groups
- Keeping in touch with group members, supporting them to feel connected
- Tracking attendance (especially if any of your programs are approved for professional development certifications)

2. Consider what's going to work best to stay connected with your group members. My personal philosophy is one that is very high touch, and verbal. Most of my programs include a short 15 minute laser call with each participant. This is in contrast to other approaches which might include private Facebook connections or other written channels. Consider who your group members are and what they value. For example, if you work with a client group who are inundated by email and are trying to disconnect, will they want more communication online or not? What are the connection modes people will value and engage in?

3. Always keep an eye on marketing - Even if you are "busy" working with groups and have a full slate, remember that these experiences will come to a close. Consider how to build in time even while running a group to plan for, promote and fill the next group.

4. Schedule in time to keep incorporating current feedback you are receiving for the next group. Your clients will provide you with invaluable feedback about what works, what doesn't and what they want next. Build time into your schedule to incorporate this regularly. Once programs are well established you may want to flag certain programs or products for a "Refresh/Rebrand/Replatform"

5. Remember that relationships are key. As coaches, relationships are the fabric of our business. The deep connection we are able to form with participants, even in a group setting, requires attention and focus. What are you doing to stay connected? To give back to your participants/alumni? What are you doing to keep the conversation alive? What are they looking for next from you?

Together each one of these strategies forms an important part of being able to sustainably run mulitple groups at once.

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC, CPT | Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)

Two programs starting later this week - The Advanced Group Coaching Practicum - designed for those who want to get practice and feedback around group coaching in-action (Thursdays 1:30 - 2:45 pm ET Jan 29 -end of March)  OR the Mentor Coaching Groups (for ACC Renewal and ACC/PCC portfolio routes) starting Friday January 30th at 9 am ET.

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Friday, January 09, 2015

Ready to lead more effective virtual programs? Join me Thursday

Virtual programming allows us to expand our reach and impact without having to travel. For the past ten
years a bulk of my work has been virtual. Whether I have been leading teleclassses and teleseminars with groups of coaches, business owners or leaders, or webinars for international teams and professionals, most days finds me connecting with people in handful of countries and timezones.

For the last 9 years I have offered the Group Coaching Essentials program where we talk about, and model, group coching approaches in the virtual domain, but it was only last fall that I started offering the Virtual Facilitation Skills Intensive program. This is a ten week course (virtual and online of course!) providing you with a virtual train-the-trainer.

We take a look at tips, tricks and techniques for creating engaging online programming whether it is a teleclass, webinar, group or team coaching program. You also get practice in the skills and different platforms as a virtual facilitator.  Each week we'll be meeting on different platforms including bridgelines, webinar platforms, Zoom, Skype and even Google Hangouts. For those that know my training it's all about giving you practical things you can adapt for your work right away.

The program will meet on Thursdays from 11:45 - 1:15 pm ET for ten weeks from January 15th to the end of March. The cost is $950 US or $316/month (three installments paid in Jan, Feb and March) for this 15 hours of training. You'll receive a 100 page e-manual plus numerous supplements to support you in your own work leading high impact virtual programs.The group size is limited so I can work closely with each one of you, providing with you opportunities to practice your skills as well.

There is space for four more professionals to join in! I hope you are interested. We are going to get kicked off this coming Thursday January 15th at 11:45 am Eastern/New York.

Click here for more information and to register for the program.

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC, CPT | Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)

Also starting next week is the Mentor Coaching Groups (for ACC Renewal and ACC/PCC portfolio routes) starting Monday January 12 at 10:30 am ET (2 spots still open). 

Key Topics we're covering in the Virtual Facilitation Skills Intensive include: designing powerful programs, more than 2 dozen facilitation tools you can use virtually and in person, dealing with tricky issues, difficult participants, a virtual facilitation skills self-assessment, how to navigate different platforms, creating energizing and engaging virtual presentations, plus lots, lots more!

Monday, January 05, 2015

2014 Trends in Group and Team Coaching Work

Copyright 2015, Jennifer Britton

2014 Trends in Group and Team Coaching Work

By: Jennifer Britton, All Rights Reserved.

Last month I hosted two year end calls. One a traditional year end phone call (30 minutes), and the second a year end screencast (45 minutes) If you missed them you can View the 45 minute screencast at my From One to Many Resources page (scroll to the bottom of the page)

It's become an annual tradition for me over the past ten years to provide an overview of some of the trends from the past year, and an overview of what might lie ahead with respect to group and team programs. In both calls I shared some of the trends from last year as they relate to group and team coaching, along with possibilities I see for 2015.

Today's post is going to cover the some of the trends from 2014 I have seen around group and team programs, with an emphasis on group and team coaching. My next post will look at 2015 possibilities for group and team programs.

There were a number trends I saw in my work, which was reflected through the hundreds of conversations I had with coaches at coaching conferences I presented at, training sessions I led and peer dialogue. Some of the key coaching trends last year I noticed were:

Group and team coaching becoming more embedded - Group and team coaching became even more embedded in learning processes during 2014, especially in the realm of leadership development. It is much more common today to hear of how group coaching is being used to follow-up with leadership training, or how organizations are turning to team coaching rather a one-off team process. There is still a long way to go, but many organizations are seeing the value of a sustained series of conversations for groups and teams in their organizations.
Questions to consider: Where do you notice coaching becoming an integral part of your client's lives and work? What opportunities does this create?

Time Crunch on the part of our clients. Clients continue to be even more time crunched. Savvy organizations are realizing that coaching (individual, group and/or team) all provide important pause points in a frenetic day. Coaching not only focuses on supporting our clients into action (ICF Core Competency # 9) but also supports our clients in deepening awareness around issues that are important to them and their work (ICF core competency #8). The one hour a week (or every few weeks) spent working with a coach individually, or with peers and a group or team coach, provides a critical pause point for many of clients to stop, look strategically at issues, gain insights and make better decisions.
Questions to consider: What do you notice about time availability on the part of your clients? What types of solutions are they looking to? 

Teaming - Amy Edmonston coined the term teaming in her book Teaming several years ago. the ability for all workers to enhance their competencies in the area of team work, and their ability to move in and out of quickly forming (and disbanding) teams is becoming a reality for many today. Again coaching can provide an important role in supporting teams in creating common visions, and creating sustainable frameworks which they can carry from team to team.
Questions to consider: If you coach teams, what do you notice about the types of teams which exist? What is their life-cycle? What coaching support could they benefit from?

Integration of coaching - The establishment of coaching cultures is becoming embedded in many more organizations today who are looking at many different ways to integrate coaching into their learning and development processes. This enhanced understanding of what coaching is, and what coaching is not, makes our work as internal and external coaches easier in many respects, as organizations can select from a variety of different coaching solutions (internal/external, group/individual/team). Personally I like to look at it as an "and" rather than "either-or" and most of my clients see it that way as well.
Questions to consider  - What does integration mean for you? For your clients?

Partnering  - I included partnering as a trend for 2014 as I am increasingly seeing coaches recognize and leverage the enhanced abilities and impact created through co-faciltation, and other collaborative approaches with fellow coaches and other professionals. I know how important partnering was in creating results for last year, and would like to thank those who I was able to collaborate with!
Questions to consider: What role did partnering play for you last year? What results did you get? What opportunities for partnering exist in 2015?

What trends did you notice last year? What opportunties does this create for you and your clients?

Have a great start to 2015 - and stay tuned in the next few days for my post on 2015 possibilities. You can also listen into what I shared last month at the 11th Annual Year End Group Programs Call which is now at the From12Many ("From One to Many" ) Resources page (scroll to bottom).

Best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC, CPT | Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)

Join me for a 2015 program including the Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar(6.75 CCEs) starting Thursday January 8th (6.75 CCEs),  the 10 week Virtual Facilitation Skills program starting Thursday January 15th at 11:45 am ET OR one of the Mentor Coaching Groups (for ACC Renewal and ACC/PCC portfolio routes) starting Monday January 12 or Friday January 30th.


Saturday, January 03, 2015

January 2015 Programming - Mentor Coaching Group, Virtual Facilitation, Group Coaching Essentials

It's January and time to focus in on building your skills and confidence as a coach. Here are three programs I will be offering this month online.

This month in the virtual domain, you can join me for:

Virtual Facilitation Skills Intensive (6 spots open)
Thursdays 11:45 - 1:15 pm Eastern/New York : January 15 - March 29 (10 weeks, no class March 19)

Wanting to boost your skills in leading webinars, teleseminars and virtual programs? This program is geared to coaches, trainers and other leaders who are responsible for running virtual programming themselves, and want practical tips to make their virtual learning events engaging, impactful and exceptional. This is a virtual train-the-trainer, specializing in giving you actionable techniques and tools you can use right away in your programming (webinars, teleseminars, skpye based programs, Google Hangouts).
This is a 15 hour course delivered over 10 weeks (1.5 hours a week) covering topics including engagement in the virtual domain, key virtual facilitation skills, along with some of the foundations of facilitation you can use in any environment. You will also have the opportunity to lead one of the classes, and we will be using and working in a variety of current virtual platforms including Zoom, Google Plus Hangouts, and webinar platforms.

Cost: $950 US, includes the 15 hours of virtual class time, weekly module notes
What you will need to participate - Phone and internet access. We will start off week 1 on the phone and skype, adding different platforms each week (i.e. Zoom, Google Plus Hangouts etc). The schedule for these platforms will be shared with you in call #1.

Group Coaching Essentials (6.75 CCEs)
Thursdays 10:15 - 11:30 am Eastern/New York: January 8 - February 5, 2014 (4 spots open)
My flagship program, the Group Caoching Essentials teleseminar turns 9 this month! Approved for 6.75 CCEs with the ICF, this five week teleseminar covers practical tips in the areas of designing, marketing and implementation of group coaching programs. Weekly assignments support you in moving from vision to a draft of your own program. Registration includes the 5 group calls, weekly 15 minute lazer calls with me, and weekly module notes (15-20 pages of content and resources). Cost: $425 US.  Click here to learn more and reserve your spot.

Mentor Coaching Groups for ACC Renewals and ACC/PCC (portfolio Routes and ATSCH)
Mondays 10:30-11:30 am Eastern: January 12 - April 13 OR Fridays 9 - 10 am ET starting January 30 running to early April
This ten hour program meets the requirements for ICF mentor coaching for those working towards their ACC or PCC portfolio/ATSCH or ACC Renewals. The program is geared to support you in sharpening your skills as a coach, while deepending your understanding of the 11 core competencies of the ICF. You also receive feedback on your coaching skills as demonstrated in the coaching lab. 7 of the hours are in small group setting (3-5 coaches typically) and 3 hours of individual mentor coaching are scheduled with Jennifer. Cost: $1000 US or CDN (plus HST)
Click here to learn more and reserve your spot in one of the January groups.

Have a great month!

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC, CPT | Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)