Is group coaching right for me?
If you’re here, chances are you’ve done a fair bit of personal development work on your own, perhaps with the help of self-help books, podcasts or apps, but now you’re ready to explore a different route. You’re ready to invest and work with a coach, but you’re not sure which approach is right for you.
While there are lots of different styles and approaches coaches can take, we want to take a closer look at group coaching to help you decide if this could be an option for you.
What is group coaching?
One-to-one coaching is where you and your coach meet alone for sessions. These may take place in-person or remotely, but either way, it will just be you and your coach meeting. Group coaching, however, as its name suggests, is where you and a group of fellow coachees meet with a coach. Again, this may take place in person or remotely. Usually, you’ll all have similar goals in mind or you’ll be a team who already work together (some people use ‘team coaching’ as another term for group coaching).
Who does it work well for?
Life coach Amie Crews explains that group coaching can be used in a variety of ways, but there are two fundamental areas where it works well.
“The first is where there are a group of individuals with a shared need – for example, group coaching for people who are thinking about starting a business. Although each person may be at a different stage of their thinking; the power is in the shared exploration and learning from one another’s experiences and challenges. It can also form side benefits such as a longer-term peer support network and even bring collaboration opportunities.
“In a slightly different space, I think group coaching is vital in any team situation; where teams are newly formed, and perhaps unknown to each other, and in established teams or workgroups.
“The power in creating a safe coaching space cannot be underestimated. Group coaching fills the void between team conversations and management conversations and provides that space to create a formidable team ethos moving forward.”
As Amie highlights here, just like one-to-one coaching, group coaching is about creating a safe space. Coaches may even put into place ‘rules’ or ‘expectations’ for the group to ensure the work you do together is safe and judgment-free.
“This space is a neutral zone; where all have equal contribution and any hierarchy is left at the door. This enables deeper conversations, a shared sense of purpose, common ground, and clarity of vision; what they are here to do. Couple this with group coaching conversations to explore individual and team values and navigate newly formed relationships and elicit potential issues before they arise; it’s a winning formula.
“For any team, this is a space where, in time, vulnerabilities can be shared and worked through, creating an environment where the team thrives, as a team, with the individuals all having their part to play.”
Is this approach right for me?
Group coaching can offer many benefits but isn’t the right fit for everyone. For example, if you would prefer to have the coach’s full attention during a session and thrive when you’re given space to work alone, group coaching might not be the right fit.
If you’re considering group coaching, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I work in a team that would benefit from group coaching?
- Would working alongside a network of others with a shared need support me?
- Am I happy not to have the sole attention of the coach during every session?
- Am I excited to meet others and learn from them?
- Would joining a diverse group with different ways of thinking be beneficial for me?
If you are nodding along, answering yes to these questions then group coaching might just be perfect for you. Try reaching out to a coach who offers group/team coaching to learn more about how they work and how they could support you.