Monday, June 03, 2019

Expanding Your Group and Team Coaching Toolkit - Creativity (11)

Depending on the types of clients you work with exploring creativity may be at the heart of your   This week we are going to explore the landscape of expanding your group and team coaching toolkit around CREATIVITY. This is a huge topic and today’s post is literally, the tip of the iceberg. Creativity is a topic of importance to most professionals today – those who have it as the main part of their work – authors, artists, course creators AS WELL AS other professionals who are being called upon to do things in sometimes a radically different way due to changes in resourcing, timelines and/or other factors (political, environmental etc).

In today’s business context we’ve been talking a lot about VUCA for several years now, where things have become volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Whether you are leading (or supporting) people who see each other every day or are supporting remote teams, creativity is a “go to” in times of disruption and change.

Let’s take a look at some of the different tools we might incorporate in our work as group and team coaches. In addition to several creativity tools which I mention on a regular basis such as “visual cards” or Mindmapping, helping people expand and explore different perspectives around topics is a central part of creativity. The focus may be slightly different in the landscape of coaching many.

When group coaching, it’s likely that the perspectives work will be on the individual. Questions like “What’s another way of looking at this?” or “What’s another perspective?| can help the individual expand their thinking. Inherently, in a group coaching process, hearing from others about their perspectives can also be a powerful way to expand thinking.

In a team coaching context it’s likely that the focus on perspectives may be a blend of individual and collective. In fact, in coaching for creativity we may be aiming to expand thinking, harnessing the varying perspectives across a team so they can explore the myriad of angles possible.

Many coaches have know the power of time urgency in their work as well. For many years, as I have coached using exercises such as the Sweetspot (something I share in From one to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching), I’ve helped people “short circuit some of their creative blockages” by giving short time windows. Whether it’s been 90 seconds to come up with an answer to a  question of “What do your clients want, need and prefer” OR giving people a two minute writing prompt, the use of time windows may also be another way to jiggle some new creative spins, and move people out of blocks.

A third one I wanted to mention is something I have incorporated in my own work since the spring of 2016 – offering shorter program cycles which I call Sprints and Hacks. For years I would work with program designers for a 4-6 hour program, providing them with lots of space for structured program design. A few years ago, inspired by the rapid iteration of Agile processes, I started shortening this and offering 45 – 60 minute design sprints. The results have been amazing! Several of the skeletal programs which were initially sketched out have come to fruition for several group coaching clients. How might a sprint or hack focus expedite your clients work?

Questions to consider - Coaching For Creativity:

What does coaching for creativity mean for you?

What does it mean to be creative?

What’s going to help you get unstuck?

What role can time play with unleashing creativity?

What’s another way of looking at things?

If you knew you would not fail, what would you do?

What else?

Resources to check out: /: A great article How to Coach for Creativity and Innovation in the Workplace by

The Creativity Coaching Association -

Coaching Toys Company -  : Find a wide variety of great tools you might incorporate as you explore this topic

MindTools – MindTools takes a deep dive into a wide-range of topic areas, providing links to resources and how tos

Enjoy the exploration this week,

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, PCC – Potentials Realized 
Leadership | Teamwork | Business Success
Author of Effective Virtual Conversations (2017), Coaching Business Builder Workbook and Planner (2018) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013)
Follow along with the #90DaysPlanDoTrack series over at Instagram @CoachingBizBuilder 
Join the conversation at the Conversation Sparker Zone - our online community where you can explore virtual and team issues, coaching, productivity and business development)


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