Thursday, May 31, 2007

HR Potpourri, Taking Your Team to Extraordinary

It's another exciting end to the week. My blog post earlier this week on Virtual Team Challenges has been picked up by the HR Carnival Blog hosted this week by Deb over at the 8 Hours and a Lunch Blog. The posts she's selected this week go all the way through recruitment, to on-boarding, training and team building. You can check out this week's HR Carnival here. If virtual team issues are also a passion for you, Robin Good over at Kolabora has also picked up the article. He's got a treasure-chest of really great links to articles on virtual teams and virtual collaboration -- I hope that you will check it out!

Another one of my articles has now been posted to If you are looking to boost your team development process, please check out my article: Team Building Tips: Take Your Team from Great to Extraordinary. I hope that you will enjoy the article and take away some tips that you can use for your own team building initative. If you are looking for an external facilitator for your next retreat, team coaching or team building initiative, please feel free to contact me toll free at 1-866-217-1960.

I am off to Atlanta this weekend for the 2007 ASTD International Conference. I will be co-facilitating three sessions early next week for Coach attendees. If you are attending the conference, I hope that you will consider joining me on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday for the Learning Lab for Coaches. More information about this new conference component can be found in your tote.


Jennifer Britton, CPCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Group Coaching Essentials
Email: jennifer[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

90 Day Biz Success Program Starts July 10th

Back by popular demand, the 90 Day Biz Success program starts July 10th. This powerful group coaching program is designed for both new entrepreneurs who are looking to launch their business, as well as experienced entrepreneurs who are wanting to accelerate to the next level.

This ninety-day program combines two group coaching sessions per month (by phone) along with a thirty minute individual coaching session with Certified Coach Jennifer Britton each month. Course participants also receive thirty-six business tips delivered to their email box, three times a week, as well as a toolbox of resources in the program workbook. Course size is limited to 8 business owners to ensure individualized attention.

The program will be held from mid-July to mid-October on Tuesdays from 7-8pm (EDT). The group calls will be held on July 10, 24, August 7, 21, September 4 and 18th with the final celebration call on October 9th. Monthly individual coaching sessions will held a time convenient for the business owner.

Benefit from the momentum created in a group environment, and join other business owners from across North America in this intensive business success program.

Participants will:
* Develop or refine their business vision
* Explore their unique strengths and abilities as a business person, identifying areas for improvement
* Identify opportunities for collaboration and partnerships with other business owners
* Develop their marketing strategy and budget
* Investigate how their business can leverage technology to build their client base and increase sales through an introduction to blogs, podcasts and other platforms
* Develop a concrete business and marketing action plan for 2007
One session will be dedicated to additional topics that matter most to participants.

The program includes:
* 7 one-hour interactive teleseminar programs;
* Bi-weekly topic module notes and resource links;
* 36 business tips delivered to your in-box, three times a week during the 90 day program;
* Three individual 30 minute coaching sessions with Coach Jennifer Britton (held once a month by phone);
* A group follow-up call one month after the program (at a time convenient for the group)

The cost of the summer program is $297 US (that's only $97/month) if paid in one installment. You can also pay in three installments of $119 US. Prices will be going up in September when the next 90 Day program starts. Space is limited to 8 and will likely go fast.

To register, contact me toll free at 1-866-217-1960 or pay by PayPal at the website. Further information about the program and our upcoming 5 week Developing Your Business Vision teleseminar program (starts June 18) can be found here.

I hope that you will join me for either one of these exciting programs this summer, designed to move your business forward!

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: info[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com

Monday, May 28, 2007

What Job Seekers Want in a Position

Late last year I wrote a post entitled, "What job seekers are looking for", based on research put out by Accenture. Recently, DDI and Monster released the "Slugging Through the War for Talent: Selection Forecast 2006 -2007" which had some very interesting findings with implications for HR, job seekers and also managers.

The study found that of the survey respondents (3,725 job seekers, 1250 hiring managers and 628 staffing directors in 5 global regions) felt that the war for talent continues to heat up, with 2007 being no exception.

Job Seekers indicated that they wanted to following in a new position (beyond salary and benefits):
* Opportunities to learn and grow (78%)
* Interesting Work (77%)
* A good manager/boss (75%)
* An organization you can be proud to work for (74%)
* Opportunity to advance (73%)
* A creative or fun workplace culture (67%)
* A compatible work group/team (67%)
* Balance between work and personal life (65%)
* Opportunity for advancement (64%)

Interestingly, the 2006 Accenture study found job seekers listed their top three priorites as:
1. Offers challenging and interesting work - 60%
2. Recognizes and rewards accomplishments - 58%3.
Provides an opportunity for fast career growth and advancement - 44%

From your perspective, how closely does it align with what you think? What implications could this have for your job search or hiring?

The DDI/Monster study also looked at why employees leave their current positions, with the top three reasons being listed by job seekers as:
1. Insufficient compensation, benefits, rewards/recognitiion
2. Lack of growth/development opportunities
3. Did not feel efforts were appreciated

The study finds a discrepency between these internal reasons cited and the staffing director and hiring managers perspective that in fact employees are leaving for external reasons (for example, a spouse moving, returning to school). How would you rate your hiring managers in terms of keeping their fingers on the pulse of exiting employee's reasons for leaving?

If this is an area of interest for you, I would encourage you to take a look at the DDI Monster Survey results and look at how aligned they are with your organization or personal job search. I would welcome hearing your thoughts - please feel free to comment below.

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Email: jennifer[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Virtual Team Challenges

Many of you will know that working with virtual teams is one of my passions as a trainer and coach. If you haven't read earlier posts on the subject of virtual teams I would invite you to check out my earlier posts on the topic:

Defining Virtual Teams

Leveraging Technology for Virtual Teams

Creating the Foundation for Virtual Team Success

As I wrote in my earlier posts, virtual teams bring with them some amazing opportunities, as well as some real challenges which need to be navigated to enable virtual teams to perform at their greatest.

Some of the common challenges which virtual teams face are:

*Navigating across timezones (rather than an 8 hour day virtual teams may be "operating" 24 hours a day, possibly 7 days a week)

* Working across technology - use of different platforms and technology available from the location

* Working across cultures and languages

* Creating a shared vision for all team members

* Nontraditional communication methodologies which may require equipping staff with enhanced skills in virtual communication

For virtual teams to flourish they require that a high degree of trust be established between individual team members. The foundation for this can be started through an on-site teambuiding meeting for all team members. Ideally, the team should have face-to face meetings at the start of their project, or in the early stages, to develop a common vision, protocol and understanding of their roles. Regular (semi-annual or annual) face-to-face meetings can provide the opportunity for the team to further connect and check on alignment on these issues, while working through challenges and opportunities facing the group.

Many times, communication (positive and negative) can be the foundation for virtual team success. What is communication like in your virtual team? What needs to be enhanced? What can you leverage?

If you are working in a virtual team and looking to take your team and results to the next level, I would welcome hearing from you.Much of the work I am doing as a relationship systems coach is very applicable to the virtual team environment. I would be happy to further discuss how this support may benefit your virtual team.

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Job Search Strategies - For Candidates

Copyright 2007 - Jennifer Britton
With university and college graduations just behind us, a huge number of new graduates are heading out to secure full-time paid employment. The next few months especially will be very busy with resume development, interview preparation and lots and lots of hopefully strategic planning for the job you want to land.

As an HR consultant (and having sat at the table at the other side for thousands of interviews) and in my career coaching work, I often receive a number of inquiries regarding tips for job search and interviewing. Today's post, and likely a couple of subsequent posts, will focus on interviewing tips for candidates. If you are an employer, you may want to review my recent posts for you, in the last few months (Interviewing Tips 101 for Employers and Interviewing Tips Part II).

If you are a new graduate, or someone looking to transition to a new position, consider the following:

1. Create a clear vision of what type of position you want:
Ask yourself the following questions: Ideally,
* what job do you want to move into?
* How much pay?
* Where is it located?
* What type of working envrionment is it?
* What's the culture of the organization like?
* What are the hours like?
* What benefits (monetary or other) would you like?

Also consider the following questions:
Where would you like to be in 3 years time career-wise?
Where would you like to be in 10 years time career-wise?

Once you've answered these last questions, ask yourself "What do I need to do to get there?" Working backwards is sometimes the easiest way.

2. Spend time doing research
Based on your vision, spend time doing research on possible companies you would like to work for, or positions you would like to apply to. Time spent on planning and research, and in developing a "game plan" can pay off in multiple ways. Beware, however, of getting stuck in the "research" trap and not moving from this place. The results of your research should inform your next steps and game plan.

3. Build your network
What is the strength of your professional network? Do you belong to any professional associations related to your career? Personal and professional networks continue to play a key role in job search strategies. From keeping abreast of what is new in your industry, to learning about best practices, and what employment opportunities may exist, time spent on building your network can also pay off. Discussions with individuals in your network can help inform your expectations and understanding of what opportunities may exist.

If you feel that your network could be more extensive, look into opportunities within your local community. In addition to in-person formal networking events, there are now a number of virtual/online networking communities.

Relationships continue to play a key role in the world of business -- how can you continue to strengthen yours?

4. Invest time in preparing your resume
Given that it is common for many positions to have hundreds, if not thousands of applicants these days, invest time in preparing your resume. Presentation is key, and watch out for any grammatical mistakes, as well as typos. It may also be necessary to tailor your resume for different positions you are applying for, by highlighting your different skills and experience, based on the job posting.

With the rise of many online recruitment banks/sources, keywords are playing an even larger role. Rather than having an individual scanning through the different resumes received, computers now do this. If certain keywords do not show up, your resume may not be picked up out of the thousands in the "bank" for that important first cut.

More on resumes in a future post.

5. Dedicate time for the job search and Persevere, Persevere, Persevere:
Your job search could take time, depending on the type of employment you are looking for. It can also be a frustrating experience, especially when you do not hear back from companies for an interview. Keep persevering, and strategically applying for new positions as you hear of them. Depending on how you like to work and plan, it may be useful to set aside small blocks of time on a regular basis to scan your recruitment sources, develop your application packages and send them out.

I am interested in hearing what other questions those of you who are looking for jobs have. Please feel free to comment below.

Upcoming posts will focus on interviewing tips, resume preparation and general career transition support.

I will be offering a group coaching program starting this summer on career transition. More details will follow on this blog. I expect that space will fill quite quickly. I will also be offering in the next month or so a free call on career issues - please drop me an email with "Career Call" in the header. I will keep you posted as dates and times for the free call are set.

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: jennifer[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Managing Across Generations

Many months ago, I wrote a post regarding inter-generational management. I had actually hoped to do a number of posts on inter-generational management issues, and it slipped away.The issue has returned to my radar screen in recent months. What issues are facing your organization in terms of managing across generations?

Today's workforce is comprised of several distinct generations, each with their own work, leadership and communication style. The three main groups are the Baby Boomers (many set to retire in the next five to ten years, leading to what many researchers dub a massive looming talent shortage), the Gen Xers (my generation) and Gen Y.

The Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL) has completed a 7 year study on generational conflicts at work and have found the following truths about them. Jennifer Deal has an excellent article on the Ten Truths for Working Across Generations. You can read her article at the link, but she raises some excellent points:

  • All generations have similar values. The CCL study found that the generations were very siilar in their values priorities, including family, balance, achievement and others. What differs is the behavior.

  • Trust is essential for all generations. Trust in uppper management and the people they work directly for.

  • Loyalty depends on the context, not the generation. As a GenXer myself, I really like this one. The study found that younger generations were not more likely to change jobs than the older generations at this age.

  • People of all generations have the same ideas about what oragnizations can do to retain them, including: opportunities for advancement, learning and development, respect and recognition, better quality of life, better compensation.

  • Everyone wants a coach -- the younger and older generations. Where are you investing your support for coaching in the organization. Is it only at the C-Level? What about younger, emerging leaders? As I do quite a bit of work in this area, through group, team and individual coaching, I would be very interesting in speaking with you about how coaching initiatives could sustainably be implemented to lower levels and with younger generations.

I hope that you will check out Jennifer's article here, and review the CCL study --- very interesting findings. Does it turn any of your "truths" about inter-generational management on its head? For me, it once again underscores the reality that people are people, are people. Regardless of culture and age, we all want the same thing, just its' appearance may look at little different.

I'd welcome your thoughts, and hearing from you, particularly on coaching intiatives for the younger generations.

With best wishes,


Jennifer Britton, CPCC, CHRP, CPT

Potentials Realized ~ Group Coaching Essentials

Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960

Email: jennifer[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com

Thursday, May 03, 2007

My Business and Life Lessons

My Business and Life Lessons
Copyright 2007 - Jennifer Britton. All rights reserved.

Dave Prouhet over at Business Advice Daily, a small business advisor, had a great post earlier this week on My Business Life Lessons. Author and Management Consultant, Jm Stroup, over at Managing Leadership, emailed me this morning, encouraging me to add my own thoughts through my own blog this week. You can visit's Jim's excellent post the other day "Lessons from the School of Hard Knocks". Dave will consolidate and post all our blog contributions as a single list in a short while.

As a former manager myself, and now a business owner and management trainer, coach and consultant, I am always amazed at how the principles of business, leadership and management are transferable across industries, sectors and niches. Here are a few of the golden rules I live and work by:

1. People are the strength of the business -- Invest in your people, you invest in your organization. At the end of the day, a business is more than just its' balance sheet. It is a web of people and their strengths and talents. Treat your employees well, and you will tend to get engaged employees, willing to give it their all. Invest in your people as much as you can - and remember investing is not just about money.

2. Pay people first: This issue pops its ugly head a lot in the small business world, non-profits, and increasingly in larger corporations. Make sure your people are paid! Late pay cheques or payment for invoices is not just a legal issue, but it will weaken the foundation of your most important resource - your staff and/or suppliers.

A number of times, especially at the end of a fiscal year, I am always surprised to hear about business owners and CEOs paying themselves first, and others later. What's the impact of this? What can you do as a manager, or business owner, to make sure your people are compensated on time, and for what they are worth?

3. Build your team - As Jim Collins says so eloquently in Good to Great!, get the right people on the right bus in the right seat. Hiring wonderfully skilled people only gets its' leverage when they are in the right position, at the right time, with the right organization and culture. Take time to build your team, in terms of recruitment, training and ongoing team building intiatives.

4. Recognize the leader in all: If you haven't gathered through reading this post already, I come from the school of participatory management. I truly believe that there is a "leader" in each one of us. The more we can as managers, coaches, leaders find the "leader" in others and create the environment for them to step into their leadership capacity, the more engaged and productive your staff will be. My philosophy as a manager was always to work myself out of a job -- not the most financially sustainable, but certainly the most important for organizational capacity building.

What leadership qualities do your staff possess? How much have they explored their own capacities? Is it time to invest in some leadership training for your team?

5. Delegate wherever possible: A very common pitfall for business owners and newer managers is to hoarde responsibility, taking on every little task, and failing to share authority and responsibility. The cost? Burnout, disgrunted employees, and even business failure.

By building the capability of your team, and leveraging their strengths and interests, delegation is a natural progression. Not every task can be delegated in every situation, but what could you pass on to another? What would be challenging and a stretch, but within a person's capability? What support would you need to provide that employee?

I often refer to delegation as a muscle. The more you do it, the easier it gets, and the stronger your team becomes. Delegation of tasks builds ownership of the results to the team, and hence, a stronger organization.

6. Create Momentum -- I speak a lot about Building Momentum in my work and my writing. Momentum is a wonderful thing and enables work to take on a life of its own. Whether you are a new business owner, or a seasoned manager/leader, what momentum is present in your work right now? Like a snowball that gathers up speed (and size) as it rolls down the hill, what will it take to steer that momentum towards the results you want?

7. Regular Consistent Effort -- A number of management speakers like Robin Sharma, talk about the value of regular consistent effort towards goal achievement. Small, daily actions over time can have a huge impact. It's like making a 1 degree tiller change that may seem small at the time, but will move your ship to a totally different location.

Ask yourself, what is one goal you could focus on this month, and take small, daily action steps towards? I'd love to hear what your results look like after a month!

8. Ensure that people are clear about their roles and responsibilities. Whether you are a business partnership, a team or a couple, spend time looking at the roles you play and how it all fits together. Lack of clarity about roles, and who is responsible for what, costs business billions of dollars every year. In today's world of matrix management and virtual teams, role clarity and clear understanding of responsibilities is taking on even more importance. Not sure about where to start with this one? I'm sure that others blogging about this, myself included, would love to support you on this through some coaching or training work.

9. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate - Effectively!: In my world of work and life, communication is the foundation of everything. Invest in becoming a more effective communicator-- is what you are saying really understood the way you intended it to be? Globalization and working across cultures quickly shows the cracks in our own communication styles. What do you need to focus more on?

10. Be Clear on Your Vision - If you don't know where you want to go, how will you know when you get there? I could say a lot about vision, values and purpose...and will leave it for another post, but ask yourself, "What is my vision for my work in 1 year? 3 years? 5 years? 10 years?". What is the fire in your belly? Are you walking your talk?

I hope that you've received some value from what's turned out to be quite a lengthy post. I'd love to hear which of my golden rules resonate with you. What are your top work and life lessons?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts,

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, CPCC, CHRP
Potentials Realized ~ Group Coaching Essentials
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: jennifer[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

HR Potporri - Team Coaching, Corporate Retreats, Interviewing

One of my earlier blog posts, Interviewing 101 - Part II, was featured today on the blog in this week's HR Blog Carnival. The interviewing tips I include are specifically for employers. It was a follow-up to an the first part of Interviewing Tips for Employers, which you can find here.

Every two weeks the HR Blog Carnival is hosted by a different HR blogger. As a Certified Human Resource Professional myself, it's wonderful to see the amount of resources available online for HR professionals around the world. For many years while I was working globally, About: Human Resources was a treasurechest of resources for me as a manager. I love the fact that Susan now blogs regularly on different HR related topics. You can check her out at

A new article of mine - "Corporate Retreats: Six Essential Design Principles" is now available for free distribution through You can link to the article here. If you are an HR manager planning your next retreat, I hope that you will find some valuable tools. If you are looking for a facilitator, or facilitation team for your next retreat, please feel free to contact me toll free at 1-866-217-1960.

Yesterday, I was a guest panelist speaking on Team Coaching for the International Coach Federation Relationship Special Interest Group. I joined Phil Sandahl, Co-Active Coaching Co-Author, and Principal of Team Coaching International (which provides an excellent team assessment for organizations). Kathy Hay of Kathy Hay Worldwide and Integra Leadership Inc. Is your organization leveraging team coaching? How are training results sustained within your company? Do you have a team that's just forming or is undergoing transition? Are you getting the most from your team building resources. If you are interested in learning more about team coaching, and what it could do for your organization, please feel free to contact me, or visit this webpage where I have with more information on what team coaching is all about.

What are your biggest HR questions right now? Please feel free to comment below -- I'll feature them in an upcoming blog post. I look forward to hearing from you!

Have a wonderful week,

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, CPCC, CHRP
Potentials Realized ~ Group Coaching Essentials
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: jennifer[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com