Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Signature Programs - Questions to narrow your focus

Over the weekend one of my guest articles for the Coaching Tools Company was published. This
month's article was entitled "Create Your Own Signature Program: What, Why and How to Get Started". You can view it here.

It was a really fun article to write as I have been able to support hundreds of coaches in developing their signature programs since 2004  - whether they have been online learning programs, workshops, retreats, or group and team coaching work. In fact, I think I've supported coaches in developing all of the different types of programming  I mentioned - from VIP days to intensives.

In the article I explore some of the questions you want to be asking yourself before you start focusing on a topic, or range of topics. Here are a few questions I share in the article:
  • What are the areas you want to become known for?
  • What's the one area, or niche, you want to take deeper?
  • What are your clients looking for?
  • What are the issues every client or a majority of clients, explores in your conversations?
  • What makes your approach and philosophy unique?
These are all questions that can help support narrowing your focus. The more narrow the focus, the easier it is for someone to say "this program is for me"?

One of the refreshing shifts I am seeing in the space of group programming is a recognition that we will likely have multiple programs running,and being marketed at any one time.

Personally, as a designer, I believe in creating customized solutions for different clients I work with. I have seen in my business that some people are attracted to earning in the deep dive of a virtual VIP Day with me, or a weekend Intensive program, whereas others prefer to connect and learn in bite-sized pieces over a longer span of a weekly virtual program like Group Coaching Essentials.

Since 2014, I've also noticed a large group of professionals who like the flexibility of engaging in on-demand programming, like I offer over at our on-demand portal of the Coaching Design Studio.

Different program options allow for different paces and engagement levels in the learning process, as well as budget.

We still have 8 weeks of 2018 available, just enough time to get some new programs off the ground. What are the signature programs which are waiting to emerge for you?

If you'd like some support, consider joining me for the Learning Lab and Design Studio, a live Friday group which meets the 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month from 845- 930 am ET, or engage me for a five hour package of coaching services, or a half day strategy session. View these options here. You can also book me to work with you virtually for an entire day with one of my VIP Design or Business Development Days.

Let us know using the comments what signature program you are planning to create and/or launch in the next few months!

Best wishes,

Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized | /GroupCoachingEssentials
Phone: 416-996-8326
Group Coaching Essentials - All things group coaching
Effective Virtual - All things virtual
Coaching Business All things business related (for coaches) 

Six Exercises for Your Next Group or Team Coaching Conversation

Today's blog post gets you thinking about the topic of activities and exercises for group and team coaching conversations. Having a robust toolkit of things we can pull on "in the moment" is critical
What Do You Have In  Your Toolbox?
in group and team coaching success.

Whether you are coaching a group of business owners, or a virtual marketing team, tapping back into your coaching toolkit is always a good place to go. Consider how you might be bringing some of these standard tools and coaching approaches into conversation:

* Wheel of .....(depending on your focus it could be the Wheel of Life/Health/Leadership/Small Business/Parenting).

* Values Work - Whether it's helping clients explore their "Peak Experience" or taking them through a checklist to help them gain clarity, values work is a part of the coaching process with many models. Values help with prioritization, decision making, visioning etc.

* Vision work - We are coming onto the end of the year - just a little under 100 days left. When did you last connect your clients with their vision?

* Somatic, geography or body-centered coaching approaches - The body has a lot of wisdom which may not just be accessed through verbal conversation. What might you incorporate to support clients getting in touch with their kinesthetic knowledge?

* Strengths resources - From strengths assessments like StrengthsFinder and VIA Strengths, to strengths cards, supporting clients in identifying and leveraging their strengths can be a critical part of the coaching conversation. Is this an area your clients are exploring, or wanting to explore right now?

* Visual Cards - There is a wide variety of visual tools in the marketplace. What might you do to incorporate more visual card work in your work? Take a look at my site Conversation for more ideas and inspiration.

 What other coaching tools do you "go to" or incorporate on a regular basis?

Feel free to share resources with us via the Comments Section.

Warm regards,

 Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized | /GroupCoachingEssentials
Phone: 416-996-8326
Group Coaching Essentials - All things group coaching
Effective Virtual - All things virtual
Coaching Business All things business related (for coaches) 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Two upcoming October trainings for coaches - Group Coaching Essentials and Virtual Facilitation Practicum

A quick reminder that there are 2 upcoming (virtual) training programs starting in the last half of October 2018.

First of all, starting this Friday October 19th at 11:45 AM I'll be launching the 6-week Virtual Facilitation Practicum. It’s geared for coaches, trainers. and professionals who want to get more experience and gain confidence in conversation. This program covers the gamut of virtual conversations.

It is a small group setting and each professional leads a virtual call on the platform of their choice,
Virtual Facilitation Skills Intensive
receiving feedback on their skills. In addition to the practicum element of the course, we’ll be taking a deeper dive on topics related to design, exercises, leading and marketing virtual programming (webinars, conference calls etc). This is the second part of the program that makes up the Virtual Facilitation Skills Intensive (a 15 hour virtual train-the-trainer).

Cost for this 6-week program is $495 US and you can register by contacting me.

Interested in this 15 hour series? The Virtual Facilitation Essentials will start up again in November. It's a five week 75  minute program held weekly, and has been approved for 8.5 hours of CCEs.

The second program I wanted to tell you about is the flagship Group Coaching Essentials program. Our next fall 2018 group will start on the afternoon of Tuesday October 23rd with calls meeting on October 23, 30, November 6, 13, and 20th. Group calls will run from 3 to 4:15 PM Eastern on zoom.
This program is approved for 8.75 CCE is with the I CF, geared for coaches who want to explore best practices of design, marketing, and implementing their own group coaching. The program will be of interest to those  who wanting to add this on to their mix of offerings. Weekly assignments support you to further your own ideas and program planning actions.

I do hope that you'll join us for one of these upcoming programs this month.

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, PCC
Potentials Realized | /GroupCoachingEssentials
Phone: 416-996-8326
Group Coaching Essentials - All things group coaching
Effective Virtual - All things virtual
Coaching Business All things business related (for coaches)  

Sunday, October 14, 2018

What to Pack and Prep for Back to Back In Person and Virtual Group Engagements

This week I'm facilitating a number of different back-to-back programs. It’s one of the crunch weeks that usually emerge every quarter. From new virtual groups, to in-person groups, from one off team events to in-person speaking. In one week, I'll pretty much be leading the full range of what I offer in my work.

A question I often get from coaches and others new to this work is "What do you pack and build in as you go to prepare for your own work?".

Prepping for Back-to-Back Group Engagements
I thought it would be useful to do a bit of an exploration of what's in my toolkit as I step into this week of both in person and virtual calls. 

First, remember that we work doesn’t start when you meet with the group or team. It begins way before that. Have you built in enough time to meet with them and get to know them? Have you built in the the time you need for preparation?

One of the key success factors to ensuring that programming is the right fit for everyone attending is holding a pre-call one on ones. While this may not meet everyone's needs, it does provide a key component of building trust and connection as you go to design and pull together program elements. While it’s easy to think that group A will be like group B, more often than not, they will be different. 

Our work needs to be tailored to the different groups that you work with. This can take some time, and shouldn’t be left to last minute. 

You may also want to include multiple pre-checks along the way (through phone calls or sharing materials for review) to make sure that there is enough time to make changes as needed. 

If you are a solopreneur and don't have a team around you, be sure to do a last minute quality check. It can be useful to run it by others who can catch any last minute typos or changes in font size. These are little details but it is a big one!

Some of the other things I always want to make sure I have for in person-programs include enough materials plus an extra copy or set of all handouts and eval forms. Also, for for every in-person engagement,  I like to pack:

  •  Post it notes
  •   Colored Dots
  •  Markers and some extra pens
  • masking tape 
  •  any visual cards I'm going to use
  • a spare set of the handouts/worksheets or binder I am using.

I also always carry my presentation or any files on earth on USB key, in addition to having it on my laptop. I also want to make sure I have my remote control for slides/laptop. 

Before I close my briefcase I do a final check for cords. It's inevitable that once in awhile cords got left behind so create a bit of a checklist for yourself at just to see what you're missing!

This week, in between my in person work I'm also going to have to be doing some calls on the road. Given that “technology usually happens”, what's critical for making this happen while on the road is:

  • 1   making sure I have the contact details for each call I am leading. This usually includes access codes, back up dial in and url links;
  • 2.       making sure I have the backup contact details and number;
  • 3.       making that the app on my phone works;
  • 4.       Ensuring I have the participants email addresses and phone numbers in case tech happens.

 I also need to remember to pack headphones and a spare battery charger.

These are small details but they mean the big difference of being able to do work well on the road.

When getting ready to deliver back-to-back programs during the week, a final area is to make sure that your building in enough time for yourself what will help you transition from activity to activity.

Anytime you have “crunch weeks”, it is important to pause once it’s done. How will you take some time to recharge afterwards? When you are working for yourself, you may find you have 80 hour weeks but these should not represent every week. It is important to build in “focus breaks” for yourself before, during and after the event.

The last part of the year can be a very busy time for teams and groups as they are usually trying to fit in events during the fiscal. It an be important for you to decide what you can, and cannot take on, and who you might be able to refer to.

Let us know what you pack in your kit for either in person and or virtual programming by commenting below.

Have a great week everyone!

 PS - I hope that you'll join me for an upcoming program including our upcoming community calls – including Monday October 15th 11:15 – 11:45 am ET call on Team Tools for the Virtual and Digital Space. This call will be held in my zoom room (zoom room 270-302-0415).
Tomorrow I'll be sharing more about 2 additional October programs starting in the next 10 days. Stay tuned!

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, PCC
Potentials Realized | /GroupCoachingEssentials
Phone: 416-996-8326
Group Coaching Essentials - All things group coaching
Effective Virtual - All things virtual
Coaching Business All things business related (for coaches)