Group coaching is a facilitative process that uses the resources and knowledge of a group of people working on a common topic but with different individual goals. Unlike team coaching, group coaching is a form of leadership development where people don’t need to achieve a common goal, instead in group coaching there is a common theme or skill that everyone wants to develop together. The difference between group coaching and the team coaching style is that a team is defined as a group of people who share a common goal, work together on the same project, are co-interdependent and have the same objectives whereas in group coaching is a group of individuals that want to reach the next level in their own professional development based on a predefined topic.
Multiplied Benefits from Group Coaching
A group coaching setting offers the benefits of an individual setting but is multiplied by the number of participants in the group. For example, a professional coach may coach each of the group members, or group members may even have the opportunity to facilitate each other to new coach learnings. The good news is that with group coaching, you can offer some of the most powerful benefits of individual coaching, as well as provide your clients with some of the unique benefits that only group coaching can offer.
Take the time to get to know your group members. As in individual coaching, in group coaching the relationship between coach and client (in this case plural) is critical to success. If you are unable to connect with people prior to the start of the program, make sure you do so during your first group coaching session.
Group coaching supports peer accountability.
As a trainer and facilitator, I do my best to ensure that each member of the group feels satisfied where they are. Participation in the community reduces the risk of a member becoming dependent on their coach, and if the coach is unavailable, they can turn to other members of their group for support. Group coaching can also be positioned as an extension of learning, supporting students in the transfer and application of their learning, creating an ongoing accountability structure. Whether you are a coach developing your own programs for parents, small business owners, work-life learners, or working with groups within an organization, group coaching offers many benefits for both the coach and the client.
Group coaching is an intimate conversation space focused on goal setting, deepening understanding of key issues, actions and responsibilities. Coaching is great for dealing with complex problems because it guides and supports group members in carefully clarifying problems, identifying effective strategies for solving them, and identifying appropriate and realistic actions to implement those strategies. People practice these skills in their coaching group and then can use them when they return to their teams. It’s the icing on the cake if they’re interested in becoming a coach themselves, as I love it when group members let their genius make a difference rather than expecting them to provide all the wisdom and answers.