Monday, September 09, 2019

Building Your Group and Team Coaching Toolkit: Agreements (16)

Agreements are at the heart of any coaching process. It’s what shapes HOW we operate, WHAT we do, the roles and responsibilities we undertake. Agreements also play a key role in shaping the safety in a group or team coaching process. Without clear agreements it is unlikely that people may drop into the coaching conversation.

In a group coaching context, agreements may include:
A group coaching agreement between the coach and each client. This may include items including what you are including, roles and responsibilities of the coach and client, What coaching (especially group coaching) IS and IS NOT.
Pre-calls with each client to learn more about them and their coaching goals, as well as share more about the program and process of coaching. This is an important part of co-creating agreements. Pre-calls may run for 15 to 30 minutes depending on the coach.
The Ways of Working/Group agreements created in the first coaching conversation. This may include items such as Confidentiality, Work between sessions, preparation for each coaching conversation etc.

Agreements happen on two levels for teams – how the team and coach operate together and more importantly, how the team agrees to work with themselves (both during the session and after the session). Research continues to show that the establishment of team norms via a team charter, or team agreements also is a critical success factor.

The establishment of team norms asks teams to talk about what important to them, and acceptable to them, behaviorally. For teams who have done work around their values, it may be useful to have them think about how the values translate into action. For example, what does the value of respect look like in action? What behaviors are visible that demonstrate respect? What behaviors DON’T demonstrate respect.

On the team coaching level, agreements will also be co-created around HOW the team wants to be, communicate and act during the coaching process. Some examples of common items which are on team agreements are  Start and End on Time, Prepare, Put Technology Away, Confidentiality (What is said in the room stays in the room and is not spoken about around the water cooler)
Agreements also have a touch point with goals in that the agreements will likely impact and shape the goals of the process. For example, if there is an agreement that the team will be prepared for the conversations, they will realize that they need to undertake conversations in between the team coaching touchpoints and start building conversations into those moments.

In the resource space, a lot has been written on team agreements. Reaching out to your colleagues and/or local ICF chapter is a possible step to see what they use and ascribe as best practice. 

Practically, take some time this week to review what you have in place in terms of agreements for group coaching  clients and/or think about how you will co-design this with team coaching client.

Enjoy your conversations!

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)

Join us for an upcoming ICF CCE approved program - Group Coaching Essentials , Advanced Group and Team Coaching Practicum (starts Friday September 13: 10 CCEs) or the Certified Facilitator Program for PlanDoTrack and the Coaching Business Builder starting this coming week. Mentor Coaching Group for ACC/PCC also starts September 13 and runs to December 2019

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