Once you’ve established yourself in one-on-one coaching, group coaching is the natural next step in the field coaching. Group or team coaching is usually opted for by a group of clients in similar circumstances (such as working in the same company at similar levels, or simply looking to achieve similar life goals). For a clientele with a similar, if not the same, set of goals they wish to achieve and obstacles they wish to overcome, group coaching can be a viable solution. It also saves you precious time, while delivering impact to a larger number of people.
Want to learn more in detail about group coaching?Check out our ultimate guide to group life coaching.
To run successful group coaching programs, you need to make sure they land well with your clients and lead them to their desired objectives. Here are 5 best practices for you to follow.
1. Have a shared focus
Having a focus in terms of your niche is the most basic criteria. Online group coaching programs need a commonality in terms of what the clients are looking for. For instance, if you’re a health coach who specializes in helping clients achieve optimal hormonal health, all the clients in the group need to be looking to address their hormonal issues (or improve hormonal health). The desire or objective doesn’t need to be exactly the same, but it should revolve around a common theme that you can help address in a group setting.
The focus then is to delve deeper by setting individual goals for each client along that align with the shared goals of the entire group to aim for all round maximum satisfaction. Simply.Coach allows you to combine common skill-building group sessions with 1-on-1 sessions, automatically track each participant’s as well as the group’s progress, automatically schedule sessions based on everyone’s shown availability, create a shared resource library and so much more.
2. Structure your program into modules
If you have a specific shared outcome for the group and have a structured methodology you like to apply with most clients (that also sees repeated success), then you can package that into different modules. Simply.Coach enables you to make this process super smooth and easy with its Journeys feature. With this feature you can map any coaching methodology onto a reusable program template. Which means you can plan and multiply a framework of your typical coaching journeys, to coach at scale – in a group setting for instance! This also allows you to ensure consistency, professionalism, and quality for each and every group coaching engagement in the future.
3. Focus on building a community
When you are coaching in a group setting, it is not only about building a relationship between you and the client, but also the relationships the clients build among themselves. People who have a common goal and come together in a group coaching program can gain a whole lot if a community is enabled for them. This can happen by setting up processes that allow them to learn from each other and be each other’s peers and partners. Enabling them to peer coach for learning & practice and providing an open forum for interaction and communication during and after the coaching engagement are some ways you can foster a strong community spirit that keeps on giving.
4. Vary your approaches
Group coaching involves a more dynamic approach compared to one-on-one coaching. While you can make modules and give a certain amount of structure, you will have to make small changes from group to group.
For this purpose, you will need to read each group and adjust the types of conversations you facilitate to help them come closer to their goals and leave feeling satisfied from your online group coaching program. You can do this by picking some or all of the following kinds of conversations:
- Large group discussions
- Breakout rooms to discuss specific topics between smaller groups
- Paired settings to allow for closer collaboration and peer coaching
- Solo reflections and homework
- Practicing a concept with a volunteer client and allowing the group to observe and learn
All these allow for coaching to happen in varied manners that enables deeper learning.
5. Use a platform for effective collaboration & management
This is not a plug-in for a plug-in’s sake, believe us! As we have built and grown Simply.Coach, we have borne witness to many coaches who have managed to elevate their group coaching programs by using the features that the platform has to offer. These are a few of the myriad of features and benefits that these coaches have loved:
- Manage clients shared and individual goals and progress, all in one place
- Send automated reminders for sessions and actions towards corresponding goals
- Client workspace for ease of communication and seamless collaboration
- Start common skill-building session and seamlessly branch off to 1-1 coaching later
- Share resources in a shared content repository that everyone can access
- Send nudges to entire group or selective few
- Set up, manage, and review responses of coaching tools of the entire cohort in a single dashboard!
Group coaching is an excellent way to scale your business if you’ve found success with your 1-1 coaching engagement and find yourself struggling to find empty slots in your calendar to take on new clients. If you want to scale your coaching business without getting overwhelmed by the complexities of volume and management that come with group coaching, sign up for a free 14-day trial and take Simply.Coach for a spin. If you’d liked to be walked through the platform, someone from our team will be happy to give you a demo as well!
1. How do I create an online group coaching program?
An online group coaching program can be created by first understanding your ideal client and their most common issues and goals in detail. Once you know who exactly you coach and how you can help them, putting your standard coaching methodology into modules and then publicizing it via social media and other online marketing platforms is a good way to get started.
Simply.Coach is an enterprise-grade coaching software designed to be used by individual coaches and coaching businesses. Trusted by ICF and EMCC-credentialed coaches worldwide, Simply.Coach is on a mission to elevate the experience and process of coaching with technology-led tools and solutions.