Monday, September 19, 2016

Six Coaching Questions Around Goals

Last year I did a series which included coaching questions around different areas we explore as coaches with our clients. You can view them here.

At the core of any coaching process - whether we are working with individuals, groups or teams - is goal setting. Along with support to action and awareness, and creating an environment where there is ongoing focus and accountability, goals are another key focus area for any coaching conversation.

Today's post includes six questions you may want to explore with clients when working on goals. Once a person has articulated the goal some areas  you can explore with them include:

1. What's important about this goal? (it may be framed in the big picture? Short term? Long term?)
2. What will success look like?
3. What outcomes do you want?
4. What might get in the way? (or what could be a roadblock?)
5. What resources do you need to be successful? (OR What will help you be successful?)
6. When you are successful with this, what's possible?

What are some of your favorite goal questions?

In addition to using questions, it's also important to recognize that there are a variety of ways we can be working with goals, dependent on the styles and preferences of our clients. There is of course the SMART goal framework where we help clients articulate goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound. We can also support clients on what John Whitmore terms in his book Coaching for Performance - CLEAR  goals - Challenging, Legal, Environmentally Sound, Appropriate and Recorded.

For an alternative view on CLEAR Goals check out Peter Economy's INC article on "Forget SMART Goals - Try CLEAR Goals Instead. You can read it here.

How do you work with clients around goals? What questions will support them this week.

Have a great start to your week,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC
Group Coaching Essentials | Potentials Realized  
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Upcoming programs include: Mentor Coaching Group for ACC Renewals and ACC/PCC portfolio (Fridays 12 noon ET  which started on Sept 9 or Mondays at 9 am Eastern/New York - starting September 26), the Advanced Group Coaching Practicum (Fridays 1:15 - 2:30pm ET 10 CCEs) and the Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar starting Thursdays 12 - 1:15 pm ET on September 22 (8.75 CCEs)
Join us in Toronto on November 5-6 for the Group and Team Coaching Intensive (19 CCEs) - a 2 day deep dive into group and team coaching theory and practice - 5 spots open
Contact us by phone: (416)996-8326

Monday, September 12, 2016

Group and Team Coaching: Three Essential Items for your Toolkit

While Group and Team Coaching is primarily conversationally based, and our standard coaching
tools are our best ally, there can be some additional resources you will want to have on hand, to support your team and group coaching conversations.

1. Visual Cards - Visual Cards such as Points of You, the JICT Deck, the Conversation Sparker(TM) deck or Visual Explorer, are a great way to get people in dialogue. Whether you are working on creating a vision, exploring values, or mining for strengths, visual cards can be used in a myriad of ways for both individual and collective coaching conversations with groups and teams.
As in any coaching process, when we bring in additional resources we want to place the most emphasis on using these external tools in support of goal setting, action and awareness.
If you are curious as to how to work with visual cards, please check out my 40 Ways to Work with Visual Cards E-manual (which can be bundled with the Conversation Sparker cards) or view this 30 minute blab I hosted last fall on working with visual cards

2. Post it notes - Now coming in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes, post its are a great way to get all voices at the table or on the wall. take a look back at the 2007 post I wrote on different ways to use post its and index cards. Some ideas of where you may want to incorporate post its:
1. As a way to mine for coaching topics or agenda items
2. As a feedback/evaluation mechanism at the end of the session
3. To look at enablers and derailers for a team (there are some neat red and green arrow post cards available for this - check your local dollar store or office supply store to see if they have these on file)4. To explore different perspectives around an issue
5. To get different priorities on the table


3. Questions - While it's fun to bring in lots of different tools, it's important to remember that questions are the one thing which  helps clients explore and move into action. Questions can be used to open up conversations, expand awareness, focus choices, and move people into action. What are some of your favorite coaching questions?
Over the years I've focused quite a bit on the topic of using questions in team and group coaching. Please check out these related posts here:
Core Coaching Competency - Powerful Questions - read this 2012 post here
Powerful Group Coaching Questions - What? So What? Now What? - read this 2011 post here
Six Powerful Questions to Close a Group Coaching Session - read this 2015 post here
Six Questions to Focus - Read this 2016 post here.
Six Coaching Questions to Strengthen Connection in Groups and Teams - read this post here

What would you put as your top 3 most important tools in your coaching toolkit?

Have a great start to your week,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCCGroup Coaching Essentials | Potentials Realized  
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Upcoming programs include: Mentor Coaching Group for ACC Renewals and ACC/PCC portfolio (Fridays 12 noon ET  which started on Sept 9 or Mondays at 9 am Eastern/New York - starting September 26), the Advanced Group Coaching Practicum (Fridays 1:15 - 2:30pm ET 10 CCEs) and the Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar starting Thursdays 12 - 1:15 pm ET on September 22 (8.75 CCEs)
Contact us by phone: (416)996-8326





Thursday, September 08, 2016

Advanced Group Coaching Practicum starts Friday Sept 9 at 1:15 pm ET (10 CCEs)

Tomorrow is the start of many of our early fall learning programs - some which have filled, and
some which still have room.

One program that some of you may be interested in which still has 2 spots open is the Advanced Group and Team Coaching Practicum, approved by the ICF for 10 CCEs, including 9.25 hours of core competencies.

This program focuses on both GROUP and TEAM Coaching. Calls will be held on Fridays from 1:15 - 2:30 pm ET on Friday September 9, 23, 30, October 7, 14, 21.


Throughout the program we take a deeper dive around the following topics:

- Core skills and techniques in group and team coaching

- What’s the difference between group and team coaching

- Tricky issues in group and team coaching

- Engagement, systems and support for group and team coaching

- More exercises and resources for group and team coaching

- Virtual programming best practices (webinars, teleseminars/teleclasses, group and team coaching by phone)

- Co-Facilitation and Co-Leadership

- Advanced Issues in Marketing Group and Team Coaching

- Advanced Design Issues in Group and Team Coaching



A main focus of the program is to provide coaches with an opportunity to lead and receive feedback on their group and team coaching skills. Each coach will lead the group through a 25 minute group coaching conversation and will receive written and verbal feedback on their skills.



What’s included in ;program registration:

- 6 x 75 minute calls

- Access to1-1  laser calls with Jenn between each group session to focus on your own skills and programs

- Weekly module notes which form an electronic manual for you to take forward.

- Links to audio, video, print and web resources geared to support you in your work

- Written and verbal feedback on your group and team coaching skills

 The program is approved for 10 CCEs with the ICF (including 9.25 hours of core competencies). Registration is limited to 4-6 coaches per practicum. Cost: $495 US for the program.

Click here to jump in with us tomorrow!


Here’s what past participants have said about the program:


"I highly recommend the Advanced Group Practicum with Jennifer. It provided me with tools and insights to be able to develop and implement my own group coaching program. The materials and content over delivered so the value enormous. The practicum was awesome and it gave me a safe space to try a group coaching and to receive feedback.  I would do it again!”

Cindy Hooker, CPCC, ACC,Gold Dog Consulting,www.golddogconsulting.com

 "The Advanced Group Coaching class created an environment where I finally gained the courage to try it out! I was fully supported by the wonderful leadership of Jennifer Britton, equipped with great planning tools, a safe space to explore new technology, freedom for creativity, wonderful collaborative learning, and a very positive environment to grow ~ a true gift! Truly life changing for me :)"

- Coach Michelle Mullins


For more tips, tools and ideas to support you with your work, I hope that you will check out my blog at http://groupcoaching.blogspot.com and our other social media links below.

Haven’t taken the Group Coaching Essentials teleclass yet (8.75 CCEs)? We are currently accepting registrations for our program which starts on Thursday September 22nd from 12 - 1:15 pm ET: September 22, 29, October 6, 13, 20 ET and runs for 5 calls. More info at http://www.groupcoachingessentials.com/pages/gec.

There's still a couple more spots in the Mentor Coaching Group for ACC/PCC starting Friday September 9 meeting on Fridays from 12 - 1 pm ET. This 10 hour program meets the Mentor Coaching requirements for ACC/PCC. Group calls will be held on September 9, 23, 30, October 7, 14, November 11, December 9. More info and registration for the Mentor Coaching Group here.

Hope that you are having a great week of back to work!

Best
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPTGroupCoachingEssentials.com
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Email: info {at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Monday, August 08, 2016

Four Activities for Building Trust and Connection in Group Programs

My recent series of posts on activities and approaches has been warmly welcomed by readers, according to the blog stats. Continuing along in this vein I wanted to share with you four different activities I've used throughout the years in building trust and connection in groups. Taking time to not only create ways of working or group agreements at the start of our work, but also to get to know each other, is key to success within the group coaching process. Without trust and connection it's hard to drop into the depths needed for a coaching conversation.

Here are four of my favorites. Each can be used both in person and virtually:

1. Personal Logos - One of my favorite at the start of a group process is to get each person to introduce themselves to the group and to share one thing that they bring to the group process is to draw it in a logo. It's always amazing to see what similarities and differences show up in groups, and when working with teams have them notice and comments on the synergies, themes and gaps that show up.

2. Visual Cards introduction - as a twist to personal logos, lay photographs out in the raining room (or on a whiteboard  - with copyright approval) - and have people select the photo that represents what they bring to the conversation.

While these two are great starters,  you will want to introduce activities that provide the opportunithy to share at different levels.

3. A third favorite I've been using was introduced to me by a participant in a Facilitation Skills Training I did (thanks Jason!) called COINS. Get people to select a coin from their pocket or from a cental source you have. Ask them to look at the date on the coin and have them share something about themselves and the experience they had in that year. Several times now I have seen this be a significant activity in accelerating the trust factor in groups, depending on the vulnerability demonstrated by group members and what they choose to share.

4. Who am I when I am at my best? Providing people with the opportunity to leverage their strengths, or think about who they are at their best, provides the opportunity for expansion. This is a short activity which can be very powerful, especially if done in a team, where team members can share with each other, their memories when they have seen each other at their best.

What are some of your favorite activities to create trust and connection with groups?

Here are some other posts on connection you may find useful:

Creating Connection amongst group members - from 2014. Click here to read

Check out the Appendices of both of my books - Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013). Available at Amazon, Indigo and other booksellers.



Have a great start to your week,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPTGroupCoachingEssentials.com
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Email: info {at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Registration is now open for our fall programming including:
Advanced Group and Team Coaching Practicum (10 CCES with the ICF including 9,25 hrs core competencies): Gain practice and confidence in your group and team coaching skills in this hands-on practicum based class. We'll be taking a deeper dive into content around group and team coaching, as well as giving you a chance to lead us through some group and team coaching activities. Starts Friday September 9th at 1:15 pm ET (runs for 6 weeks, no call 9/16). Click here to learn more and register

Group Coaching Essentials (8.75 CCEs) - Our flagship program celebrating our 10th year in supporting coaches through the best practices of designing, marketing and implementing group coaching programs. We cover content related to best practices, and model a number of approaches you can use in your own groups (in person, virtual, corporate and public groups). Weekly assignments support you in moving from program ideas to skeleton structure. Starts Friday September 9th at 10:15 am ET *runs for 5 weeks, no call 9/16)Click here to learn more and register.

Mentor Coaching Group for ACC Renewal and PCC - Looking to recertify or work towards your ACC or PCC? Join us for this 10 hour mentor coaching group where we take a deeper dive into the core coaching competencies - what they are, what approaches we use and what they look and sound like. Seven hours of small group calls, and 3 hours of 1-1 mentor coaching with me. Group calls are held on Friday September 9th - two separate groups (Group A - 9-10 am ET, Group B - 12-1 pm ET)  Click here to learn more and register.



Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Summer Community Call - Five Areas you may want to revisit in your group and team rogram design work

Last week I hosted our summer community call. The focus was on five areas you might want to revisit and tweak within your own group and team programming. In the call I also share the evolution of some of my own programming over the last 12 years, such as the early days of the Your Balanced Life(TM) program in 2004 and how it has evolved into a program which is now licensed for other coaches to offer.

Thanks to those that joined live and who have listened in already. I host these calls quarterly with the intent of shining the light into different areas of our work and also bring people together for dialogue and learning.

I've posted the Call to our Resources page over at FromOneToMany.com - view it here (scroll down to the bottom) or view it on YouTube.

The call runs for 32 minutes. View it here:



Stay tuned for our fall community call which will happen in September!

What's your favorite pointer? Some attendees indicated they liked the piece around engagement, and also hearing about the evolution of some of my program work. Feel free to share your favorite below.

Enjoy
Jennifer


Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC, CPT
GroupCoachingEssentials.com | Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Looking to Building Your Toolkit as a Coach, Trainer or Facilitator? Join us throughout 2016 on Fridays at the LearningLabandDesignStudio.com. Special summer rate on - join us for the rest of the year for $1100 US.
(416)996-8326

Monday, July 18, 2016

Four Activities for Opening Group and Team Coaching Sessions

Having a robust toolkit of activities in your back pocket is a must have for team and group coaches.  Building onto other posts here at the Group Coaching Ins and Outs blog (Four  Ways to Create Coaching Closure with Groups etc), today's post covers four of my favorite activities for opening group and team coaching sessions.

Trust and connection is key to successful coaching conversations, and in a group setting, it is likely that people will not know each other. In a team setting, history, roles and power differentials can also impact trust and connection.

These four activities can be adapted for the different groups and teams you work with:

1. Personal Logos: I've used this activity with multiple groups and teams. With teams it is always really interesting to see what themes emerge from the logos people choose. Instructions are simple, ask people to create a logo which represents what they bring to the group or team. Have them write it down as part of their name card. Get each person to introduce themselves according to their logo. Have the group or team notice the patterns, similarities etc.

2. Visual Cards -
Visual cards can provide a new "spark" for conversation. Lay photographs (your own or a photo deck like Conversation Sparker Cards) out on a table and have people select the card that either:
1. Represents that they bring to the group;
2. Represents their hope for the work together;
3. Signifies where they see the team right now (for teams)

If you have time, you may want to ask people to select a second photo which represents:
1. What they hope to gain or achieve through your work together
2 Where they would like to see the team going (for teams)

Check out one of the blabs I did last fall, dedicated to working with visual cards. As I mentioned in my July Team and Group Coaching Newsletter (subscribe here), one of my biggest sellers at last month's ICF Mid-West Conference was the 40 Ways To Work With Visual Cards E-manual. Check it out here.

3. Patrick Lencioni's Personal Histories
 - Many coaches and trainers love the resources included the Patrick Lencioni's Five Dysfunctions of Team Playbook. One you will want to look up and consider using is his Personal Histories exercise. I have used it with executive teams from mining, full teams involved in television, and also with teams in customer service. When time has been available, it's been a valuable exercise in building connection at the start of one day and longer sessions.

4. And the generic go-round - Who are you, what's brought you here. For virtual shorter calls giving people an opportunity to connect and hear each other's voices can be important and can help with boosting engagement and ownership of the call. When people come to a virtual call and realize that something is a little different with their introductions, it may be easier to cut through the assumption that your program is goingt to be another experience of "Death by Conference Call"

People remember the start and end of things and a memorable kick off can be very important.Taking time to focus on creating the space for trust and connection helps people feel safe to take the conversation to a deeper level, and really bring themselves into the conversation.

What's going to help you feel confident around that? What are your next steps around this?

Have a great week,
Jennifer

 Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC, CPT
GroupCoachingEssentials.com | Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Looking to Building Your Toolkit as a Coach, Trainer or Facilitator? Join us throughout 2016 on Fridays at the LearningLabandDesignStudio.com. Special summer rate on - join us for the rest of the year for $1100 US.
(416)996-8326

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Four Activities for Coaching Closure with Groups and Teams

Four Activities for Coaching Closure With Groups and Teams
Jennifer Britton, GroupCoachingEssentials.com. Copyright 2016.

It's the early part of June and a popular time of month for many groups to wind down for the summer. In the Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar, and the Advanced Group and Team Coaching Practicum, I get a lot of questions about different activities coaches can use to create closure with the
groups and teams they are coaching. Today's post includes four of my favorites:

1. Photo Cards - Many of you know my love of incorporating different photo cards. They are a different way to "spark conversation" for multi-lingual groups, and connect with people in a different way than questions do.  Whether you are using my Conversation Sparker Cards (TM) or CCL's Visual Explorer, of the Points of You cards, consider bringing these in as part of your closure.

Possible questions can be:
Select the card which represents what's changed for you during our work together.
Select the card which represents what's next for you.
Select the card which highlights your learning.
In a group coaching context you may have each group member select a card, wheras in a team coaching context they may select both an individual card and a shared card.

For more ideas of how to use visual cards check out the 40 Ways to Use Visual Cards e-manual I released a few months ago which includes detailed instructions around how to bring visual cards into your coaching, facilitation and training work around topics like innovation, change, closure, strategic planning etc.

2. Creating a Roadmap of Next steps - Coaching has goals, action and awareness at its core. What are the next steps the group or team members are committing to? Who will they be accountable to? Have people either write these out, or jot them down in a one page plan (check out this month's newsletter for a downloadable One Page Plan). You can also give them a blank roadmap and have them write out their next steps. This is something I incorporate into alot of my own programming, and it has a different impact that just writing it out in a table.

3. Appreciations - This spring I 've been doing a lot of work with global, virtual and intact teams. In today's business world there is not a lot of time built in for sharing with peers. That can be one of the major benefits of team and group coaching processes. Leave time for group members to share appreciations with each other. A small token may help to lock in the learning, or a written piece of paper with comments from peers may solidify the coaching process and be a valuable takeaway for each group member.

4. Closure Metaphors - Metaphors are a powerful tool for coaches. Whether we are creating these through drawings, or photos or verbally, what is the metaphor people are closing off with?

What are some of your favorite closure activities? As always, please feel free to comment below.

You may also want to check out my 2006 post on The Importance of Closure For Groups here.

As popular a time a year it is to close off with groups, summer is also a popular time to start new groups. Next week's post is going to focus on four activities for kicking off your group and team coaching. Stay tuned!

Have a great week,
Jennifer

 Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC, CPT
GroupCoachingEssentials.com | 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 us throughout 2016 on Fridays at the LearningLabandDesignStudio.com
(416)996-8326

 You'll get hands-on practice in more than 24 group and team coaching activities during the July 14-15 Group and Team Coaching Intensive - Join us in beautiful Bracebridge Muskoka on July 14-15
(Thursday and Friday) for a two day hands on training around best practices for team and group coaching. We have just submitted a CCE renewal application for 19 hrs (including 17 hrs core competencies). Register with a colleague and each save $200 plus tax. Special room rates available for those coming in from out of town. Bracebridge is 2 hours north of Toronto, easily accessible by bus (takes you to the front door of the venue!) and car.
Can't join us this summer in person? Consider the Summer 2016 sessions of the Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar (starts Thursday July 7th at 10:30 am ET - 8.75 CCEs) and/or the Advanced Group Coaching PRacticum (starts Thursday July 14th at 12 noon ET - 10 CCEs)