Group coaching is not a concept that is widely spread (yet) in Belgium. But when you look at the UK and the US, you will be able to find plenty of group coaching programs. But what is group coaching about? It is gathering a group of people around a common goal or theme and have them work together to reach their individual goals – together.
But why would you consider group coaching instead of individual coaching? Actually, there are many reasons to do so:
1. you are not alone
An important item to realise when you are facing a challenge or want to achieve a goal, is the realisation that you are not the only one. The mere fact that there are other people who are striving to achieve the same or a similar goal, is comforting in itself. It can give you confidence that you are not alone in figuring out how to get there and that might be all you need to persevere.
2. benefit from the wisdom of the group
When you are embarking on a journey with a group of people, you can benefit from their experience and learn from their mistakes. It can be very comfortable to know that your choices and decisions have been preceded by the choices and decisions made by other people. It is great to learn about the pitfalls from other team members and understand how to overcome them.
3. extend your network
After going through an entire group trajectory together, you will automatically bond with the people in your group, as you are having similar experiences and help each other to navigate these experiences. This will build relationships that are much stronger and long-lasting, because they are rooted in the knowledge that you have gone through something together. As the other people in the group are people you might otherwise not meet, the group coaching sessions will expand your network, but not in the ‘add another linkedin connection’ way, but in a more profound way that is based on mutual respect and understanding.
4. hold each other accountable
Because you are working through a similar challenge with different people at the same time, buddies can be assigned who hold each other accountable for their progress. When there are tasks to be executed, actions to be taken, phone calls to be made, etc, the buddy will inform about your progress on these topics. Being held accountable largely increases the chances of actually executing the actions and therefore your success in actually achieving your goals.
5. learning to ask for help and to accept help
Something that many people struggle with is asking for help on the one hand, but also accepting help on the other hand. Being in a group coaching setting, allows you to do this in a safe environment. And it is even expected behaviour! Throughout the program, you will find that asking for help makes it much easier for you to get to certain insights and that accepting help is actually fun for the person offering the help. A win-win situation! And now you can even apply it in your daily life!
A group coaching program can take many forms and can use a mix of different formats, including one-to-one sessions, live group sessions, webinars, pre-recorded video’s or podcasts, an online forum for members to interact and share experiences, phone calls for Q&A, personal assignments or worksheet, an off-site inspiration/learning/sharing day and probably some more. Some of the programs are completely digital, while some others offer a mix of digital and face-to-face interactions.
So, would you be considering to participate in a group coaching program? And if so, what do you think could be the biggest benefits? What would you prefer for the format? And if not, what would be holding you back?