5 Ways to Explore Vision with Groups or Teams | by Jennifer Britton MES, CHRP, CPT, PCC

Team with Coach Creating Vision by Jennifer Britton

It's that time of year where getting really clear with vision becomes a central part of your work as a Group or Team Coach.

Why Vision?

Vision can be a significant foundation piece of any group or team coaching process. Developing a vision helps to create clarity on what we want to create in our business:

  • Vision takes us to the 30,000 foot view, allowing us to see the big picture.
  • Developing a vision helps create clarity on what we want to create in our business or lives.
  • A vision helps us decide where we want to focus, and where we don't want to focus. This can help us say YES and NO powerfully.
  • Vision connects us with our purpose and WHY - helping us through the ebbs and flows of life, business or work.
  • From our vision comes our goals - large and strategic as well as granular and immediate.
  • From our goals we can create a roadmap and break down our goals into concrete, regular action steps.

This article explores several ways to work with vision with your Team or Group Coaching clients - and the differences and similarities between Team and Group Coaching.

First, What's Different when Working with Groups and Teams around Vision?

The notion of vision is different for coaches when working with groups and teams.

Team Coaching: Most team coaches are working to strengthen the collective capability of a team. So, when working with vision, the focus is usually supporting the team to create a shared vision. And then helping each team member create alignment between their work, role and how that supports the shared vision.

Group Coaching: With group coaching the members of your group may come from different locations, organizations and backgrounds. Group members may not be connected other than having a common interest and/or focus, and being brought together through the conversations you lead. In group coaching, the focus is primarily individual. And this usually means the coach is working with each individual to get clear on their unique vision.

However, the tools we use to work with vision for both group and team coaching can be very similar. What's different is the lens we take - and enter the conversation with.

Here are 5 Ways to Explore Vision with Groups or Teams

Just as with other coaching focus areas like strengths or values, there are several different ways to support clients exploring vision. Here I include 5 of my favourite ways to work with team and group visioning.

1) Create a vision board or tableau of the vision

In today's digital space this might consist of a variety of photographs or collages. In person, you could provide the team with resourcing like scrapbooking materials, or have them harvest their own during the session.

2) Take the group or team through a series of reflective "looking back" prompts

I start by asking the team or group to imagine that it's a year from now (or you could choose 3 years from now, or project completion). Then I then ask the team or group to work backwards, taking a few minutes to explore some reflective questions. By looking back from a place of success you help the team or group really visualize what lays ahead. Typical prompting questions I include are:

  • What have your successes been?
  • Where has your focus been?
  • What products or services have you been focusing on offering?
  • Who you have been working with?
  • What's been happening?
  • What roles and processes have allowed you to excel?
  • What have you taken a stand for?
  • What have you become known for?
  • What have been the major milestones?
  • What goals have you achieved?

3) Incorporate a guided visualization

Take your group or team through a guided visualization, and then afterwards tease out the ideas and elements of the vision. As already mentioned, with a team there will be a focus on pulling together to create a joint or shared vision. Whereas with group coaching, the focus will be on helping individual clients tease out and firm up their own unique vision.

Example One Page Vision Worksheet - copyright Jennifer Britton

Example One Page Team Vision Worksheet ©Jennifer Britton

4) Create a one-page vision worksheet - a series of prompting questions

Create your own one page form or worksheet with questions which team or group members can use to map out their vision.

5) Finally, have the team or group members create a model of their vision

Ask your group or team members to create a 3D model of their vision. You could use aluminum foil, plasticine clay etc.

When working with vision, it's important to go one step further, asking them how they are going to keep their vision alive. Leaving time in your work to create a physical structure like this means clients can return back to the office with something tangible. It helps them have something they can refer to, to keep the vision "active".

Wrap up

As we wrap-up this look at visioning, here are some questions for you to consider for yourself:

  • What are the tools you want to incorporate into your work around vision?
  • When have you scheduled time to create your vision for your work? To revisit your vision?
  • Who are you going to share your vision with? How will you keep this visible to yourself?
  • Take a few minutes to note for yourself what is important about vision for you and your clients. Enjoy the conversation!

Next Steps with your Teams and Groups

The next step may well now be supporting the client to chunk their vision down into bite-sized pieces and discrete goals, while keeping the vision visible.

Editors Note: You may find this article (also by Jennifer Britton) helpful: 7 Things to Consider When You Set Goals with Groups & Teams

Contributing author: Jennifer Britton is the author of five books including the Coaching Business Builder Workbook and Planner (2018),  Effective Group Coaching and From One To Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching. Jennifer provides a wide range of supports for coaches, and other professionals who are working with teams and groups. From her Conversation Sparker Deck to the 40 Ways to Work with Visual Cards, she's committed to helping coaches create engaging and impactful work with the teams and groups they support, while creating a thriving business.

On Fridays throughout the year you can find Jenn working virtually with coaches around team and group program design:

If you liked this article on How to Create Vision with Groups and Teams, you may also like:

Image of Team and Coach Creating Vision at Work by Chaay_Tee via Shutterstock

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