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8 Questions About Group Coaching and Programs (Answered)

If you’re interested in group coaching then this is the article for you.

In it, we’re sharing answers to eight common questions we receive about coaching programs. By its end, you’ll have a ton of insights to make an informed decision on whether it’s right for you as a student or product line for your business.

Let’s get to it.

How Does Group Coaching Work?

Group coaching clients deeply benefit from peer learning, or what’s commonly referred to as the “collective wisdom” of the group. 

Peer learning is often as important as the interaction with the coach (and, in some instances, can prove more beneficial at times!). Many clients feel that the peer experience offers more time to reflect and integrate insights. 

Masterful group coaches step back. They create a strong process framework from which the coaching emerges.

What are the Benefits of Group Coaching?

Coaches may find that coaching in a group environment is a powerful way to leverage their time and resources. It also enables them to work with more clients over less time.

Organizations may find benefit due to the scalable nature of the process, opening up communication between silos or group members in different parts of the organization. Over time, these relationships create a valuable network across an organization. 

Group coaching can also be positioned as a training follow-on, supporting learners with the transfer and application of their learning, creating an ongoing accountability structure. 

How is Coaching Structured?

Group-centered coaching is an ongoing conversation, which supports change over time.

How does this work?

You see…

Coaching is a powerful process, which can be enhanced by working with others.

The group coaching model is based on the following principles:  

  • A group of 6-10 dedicated, vetted people
  • A coach who is trained in coaching principles and has the know-how and skills to facilitate the group’s goals and needs
  • A group environment, learning process, and community element that is designed to support the group members to work with each other, as well as with the coach
  • A set of ground rules to support the group process and a defined outcome for the group to work towards
  • A clear process for the group to work through, plus the commitment from the group members to work with each other and with the coach
  • A commitment from the coach to support the group process as well as a commitment from the group members to support each other and commit to the process. 

Group-focused coaching works best when all of the cohort attendees are vetted before being allowed to join the program. In the coaching environment, it only takes one or two proverbial bad apples to spoil the bunch. 

Your groups will live and die by the quality of the community you create in each program.

Note: Do keep in mind that the dynamics are different for every type of group. Let the principles guide its structure, but then shape it to what it needs to be based on your intent, attendees, and purpose.

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Is There an Opportunity in Coaching as a Business?

At the moment, group coaching is a niche within the coaching profession.

Very few coaches have been trained in this area, and those that have tend to be larger organizations, operating from a corporate office location. This will change as more people become aware of the power of coaching.

What’s the Difference Between Group and On-on-One Coaching?

So how is group coaching different from working with a coach one-on-one?

In one-on-one coaching, you work with a coach to try to make sense of your situation or challenge. You receive feedback and advice from the coach as you go through the process. 

In a group setting, the structure is more prescribed, and there are often more ground rules around participation and interaction. The quality of this experience often depends on the quality of the leader and the process framework. 

In recent years, many organizations have begun to offer coaching programs as an employee benefit as part of their training program for staff wellbeing or as part of their organizational development offering.

How Is Group-led Coaching Different Than Taking an Online Course?

There are significant differences between an online course and a group coaching program.

One of the main differences is that a coach is giving you feedback and advice as you complete the course, rather than being a facilitator of your journey. In the group coaching model, the coach is more of a facilitator, allowing the group to work with each other and build their own insights through being together in a process. In some ways, the experience is more like being in a classroom environment where you are working with others on a topic.

Are You an Ideal Group Coach Student?

You may be wondering, “How do I know if it’s for me?”

Group coaching is not for everyone. 

If you are comfortable working with others and enjoy the process of learning with others then it is worth exploring. If you are looking for an individual solution to your challenge, then coaching may not be the best option. 

Does Group Coaching Work?

Of course, it works!

It can be powerful when it works well, creating a sense of community within the cohort, and often between people who have never met each other before. It can create an ongoing accountability structure that creates change over time. Also, it can be scaled up or down based on the coaching budget or capacity.

If you’re interested in developing the skills to grow your business, then connect with our team about our latest business cohorts. Or, check out our social where you can learn what we’re about, ask questions, and stay up-to-date with our programs and events!

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