Planning your First Month

Tips and suggestions on a successful first month for your group chat

It’s important to start your first month with a plan. Once your subscribers have paid to sign up they will want to see they’re getting good bang for their buck. This can be pretty daunting for beginners, so we’ve got some pointers and a sample Month #1 plan to help you get started.

The Basic Format 📝

The format will change depending on what makes most sense for your group, but we suggest the following when mapping out each week:

  • Theme Introduction 👉 introduce your week’s theme and the corresponding activity, either by sharing talking points, reading materials or other resources.

  • Activity or Challenge 👉 outline the activity and challenge for the week and encourage your group members to put theory into practice.

  • Check-In or Discussion 👉 check in during the week and simulate discussion in your group, or organise a synchronous chat where group members share their thoughts at the same time.

Quorum Tips

💡 Map out your first month in a calendar so you have full visibility of your to-do list.

💡 Map out your talking points and any resources you would like to share. Do some research to find interested articles or videos relating to your themes.

💡 Schedule messages in advance to check in and keep discussion alive in your group.

💡 At the end of your Week #3, ask your group about any themes they would like to explore next, or run a poll to find the most popular topics.

Sample Plan for Leadership Coaching with Romy 📆

Below is a sample of Romy's Month #1 Plan for her leadership and coaching group. She's planned her content for each week, what resources she'd like to share, as well as writing and scheduling her messages in advance.

Week#1 – Inclusivity in Meetings 🗣
Week#2 – Leadership Styles 🦸‍♀️
Week#3 – Ownership 👩‍✈️
Week#4 – Mastering Conflict 🙅‍♂️
Week#1 – Inclusivity in Meetings 🗣

Day 1 - Theme Introduction and Challenge Setting

Theme Introduction

Today, let's look at how to make meetings more inclusive. Why?

👉Because over 50% of our time is spent in meetings.

👉Because women are more likely to be interrupted, even by other women!

👉Because an open meeting environment invites better collaboration. So meeting spaces are the perfect place to get started with inclusive leadership.

Challenge Setting

"So how can I make my meetings more inclusive?" Your task for the week is to try out these four key tips in a meeting of your choice, and see how it changes the discussion.

👉 Do a mental roll call. Is every who should be in the meeting present? Use your list of invitees as a guide.

👉 Share the topic and any materials in advance of the meeting. Not everyone is comfortable thinking of ideas and sharing them on the spot, so you may only hear from the dominant voices in the room if you don’t give your team a chance to prepare.

👉 Invoke a “no interruptions” policy in yours meetings. Depending on your team, this may require assigning a moderator to ensure every voice has the opportunity to be heard.

👉 Use the ‘Round Robin’ technique. Once you’ve posed a question to the room, go around the group one-by-one to get everyone a chance to share their thoughts. This helps to set the tone for future meetings too!

Day 3 - Check In

How everyone been finding this week’s challenge? Has it lead to richer discussions in your meetings, or have you experienced reluctance?

Let’s pick a time on Friday to discuss how we found the exercise. When suits everyone?

👉Friday 11am

👉Friday 2pm

👉Friday 3pm

👉None of the above

Day 5 – Discussion

Hey guys, hope you’ve all a chance to implement some of those ideas to make your meetings more inclusive. Remember it may take a few tries before it become the norm! I’m interested to hear how you got on?

Week#2 – Leadership Styles 🦸‍♀️

Week#2 – Leadership Styles 🦸‍♀️

Day 1 - Theme Introduction and Challenge Setting

Theme Introduction

This week we’re going to look at the different leadership styles, discover which one is closest to yours, and discuss the disadvantages and advantages of each style.

Why?

👉Self-awareness is key to great leadership. Knowing your leadership style will allow you assess your strength and weaknesses, and discover where you can improve.

👉 Determining your leadership style will help you to manage and communicate more effectively, particular with working with those how have a different leadership style to yous.

👉 Discovering your leadership style helps you to recruit and collaborate more efficiently, so you can creating a well-rounded team (by matching creative with analytical, for example).

Challenge Setting

Take this quiz to determine your leadership style and report back. Your results may surprise you! Do you think your work well with others who have the same style as you, or different?

*You can take the quiz here.*

Day 3 – Check In

Did everyone have a chance to find their leadership style? Do you think your results are accurate? Were you surprised? 🦸‍♀️

Here’s a great Ted Talk on leaderships styles and how they impact an organisation.

Day 5 – Discussion

I discovered I’m a democratic leader, and I think it’s true! While that’s great for collaboration it can sometimes causes delays on projects. What do you think are the positive and negative aspects of your leadership style?

Week#3 – Ownership 👩‍✈️

Day 1 - Theme Introduction and Challenge Setting

Theme Introduction

This week’s topic is a daunting but important one: taking ownership.

Why?

👉 Leaders take ownership. It’s one of the major changes that occurs when transitioning from individual contributor to team manager, and it’s most important when things go wrong.

👉 While it can be easy tempting and tempting to blame external factors when things don’t go to plan, external factors are outside of our control. Taking ownership shows that you’re focussed on what you CAN control.

👉 Ownership is not just for leaders. Great managers encourage employees to take ownership too.

Challenge Setting

Check out this article on ownership and have a think back to a time when you took ownership and it worked in your favour, despite being nervous about it.

If you’ve got some extra time, here’s a brilliant Harvard course that’s totally free! While you may not have time to complete the whole course, I suggest everyone tackle the first section and see how they go.

Day 3 – Check In

Hi folks, I'm keen to see if many of you have tried the course? And what you think so far? Does anyone plan to complete the course?

I’ve got some interesting resources on extreme ownership to get you thinking about how it applies to your career (and even your life!).

👉 Extreme Ownership

👉 Happiness at Work and Ownership Mentality

Day 5 - Discussion

Interested to hear your thoughts on this week’s topic folks. For anyone who had time to try the course, what did you think?

Are there any learning points? What are your thoughts on these examples of extreme ownership?

Next week’s topic is mastering conflict but after that we have a bit of flexibility, what would people would like to explore?

👉 Virtual Collaboration

👉 Stress and Mental Health in the Workplace

👉 Effective Communication

Week#4 – Mastering Conflict 🙅‍♂️

Day 1 - Theme Introduction and Challenge Setting

Theme Introduction

Conflict - it’s a dirty word, but a reality of life. Many of us shy away from it and some of us embrace it. While we’ll all experience conflict in our personal lives, it be challenging to deal with in a professional setting.

Challenge Setting

This week we’ll be looking at a case study about conflict in the workplace. The challenge is to read the case study and apply the themes and learnings to a recent personal experience of conflict (in particular any experience that didn’t end so well). I’ll be sharing some questions about the case study on Wednesday, so it would be great if everyone can have a read by then.

Read the case study here.

Here’s what I’d like to disucss

👉 Detail of what caused the conflict.

👉 How did you respond?

👉 In hindsight, what was the issue? Was it what you initially thought?

👉 Was there a better way of working it out? What would you do differently?

Day 2 – Check In

A friendly reminder to read our conflict case study. I’ll be posting some questions tomorrow. We’ll have a group discussion on Friday to share some of our personal experiences, so we can learn from one another. What time suits everyone?

👉Friday 11am

👉Friday 2pm

👉Friday 3pm

👉None of the above

Day 3 - Discussion

From your assessment of the case study, what do you think went wrong?

👉 What was the biggest thing that went wrong?

👉 How could it have been stopped?

👉 Do you think they could have dealt with it in a better way? How so?

Day 5 - Discussion

Now I'm interested to hear about your personal experiences of conflict in the workplace!💥 Let’s take it in turns to discuss what happened then, and what we may do differently now – particularly after reading this week’s case study!