What Are The Benefits of Group Coaching? | By Jennifer Britton July 12, 2013 Reading Time: 2 min 30 sec Share10Tweet1Share6Pin320 Shares Jennifer is a thought leader in the realm of group coaching and has been working with teams and groups since the late 1980s. Group coaching is a growing field, and as you read on, some of you may find you've been group coaching for a while without even realising it. Below Jennifer outlines some great examples of group coaching as well as group coaching benefits for organizations, individuals and you, the coach. As an increasing number of coaches and organizations look to integrate group coaching it is important to explore the benefits for clients, organizations and coaches alike. This article examines several of the group coaching benefits I mention in Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010). Examples of Group Coaching in the public arena: Business Coaching: A three-month group business coaching program is held by phone for service-based professionals. The focus of the program is on business visioning, goal setting, action and accountability. A Retreat: A retreat process held over the course of several weeks by phone, focusing on better work-life balance issues. While the program is marketed as a retreat, the program is grounded in a group coaching approach. It builds on the core coaching competencies, focusing on goal setting, action, awareness and accountability for the group members. Career Transition: A month long group coaching process is held in-person for people in career transition. The group meets in person weekly, exploring topics such as strengths, career inventories and vision. Examples of Group Coaching in organizations: Women transitioning back to the work force after maternity leave participate in a group coaching process. Benefits include enhancing their internal networks, and strengthened communication across the organization. A global organization is building their own internal coaching culture, and key personnel from different offices are trained in coaching skills. Group coaching calls are held on a regular basis for six months after the initial training. They support group members to share their learning, take action on their learning plans, identify additional supports needed, and share best practices. A national insurance organization equips their national training team with skills in group coaching, to enhance their own skill base in order to more effectively support their learners and new recruits, for better transferability of the learning process. Group Coaching Benefits for Clients Group coaching clients have identified the following as some of the benefits of a group coaching process: Peer Learning process: For clients, group coaching can be appealing as it involves a peer learning process. - Some coaching clients may prefer a collaborative group learning environment where they learn from the insights and contributions of peers, as they do from their own reflections. - For clients who are more introverted, the peer learning process may feel "less on the spot" and provide more time for reflection and articulation of their insights. - The "collective wisdom" created and explored is often identified as a key benefit. Lower Cost: The lower cost for a group coaching process may also be a contributing factor for coaching clients to say yes. Depending on how coaches position group coaching in their business mix, they may offer group coaching at a lower price point. Group Coaching Benefits for Organizations Many organizations across the public sector, private sector and non-profit world are now offering group coaching. Benefits of the group coaching process in organizations include: Scalability: In many organizations which have an established, or an evolving coaching culture, scalability is a key benefit to the group coaching approach. It can support the cascading involvement of professionals at lower levels of the organization. For example, organizations may look to create a group coaching process for new managers, or offer a group coaching program to sustain the conversation after a training initiative. Cross-functional fertilization and support for culture change: In today's business context of breaking down silos, a group coaching process often brings together individuals from different parts of an organization. - The conversations which ensue often create a web of relationships across departments, leading to the opportunity for the fertilization of ideas and different perspectives across seemingly disparate groups. - These new relationships across an organization often provide an important vehicle for culture change. Making it Stick: A decade ago, I was initially attracted to coaching as a leader myself, curious about how adding coaching to the retreat and training work I was doing with teams could support the transfer of learning. Today, many professionals are positioning group coaching as a follow-on to support learning initiatives, helping to make the learning stick. Lower Cost: The lower price per person can also be perceived as a benefit for organizations (public, private and non-profit) in seeking out group coaching programs for their staff. Group Coaching Benefits for Coaches: Group Coaching is not going to be a preference for all coaches. Some coaches may prefer the 'deep dive' we take with individual coaching clients. Others may enjoy the width and breadth a group coaching conversation leads the group in. The ability to create a safe environment where group members feel confident to engage in a coaching conversation, the ability to step back and let the group lead the process, can be a motivator for many group coaches. Leveraging time: Group Coaching can provide coaches with the opportunity to offer coaching services at a lower price point, while working with more clients. Scalability: With the leverage created by working with more people at one time, it may free up a coach to undertake additional activities within their business. In summary: An important part of the coaching relationship involves finding out from those being coached what they see as the benefits. Question for you: What do you see the benefits of group coaching for yourself, your clients and the organizations you work with? Contributing Author: Jennifer Britton, MES, CPCC, PCC, BCC is the author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010). Her second book "From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching" will be released mid-July. Jenn supports coaches in designing their own group coaching programs through the CCE-approved Group Coaching Essentials and Advanced Group Coaching Practicum programs. For many more tips and ideas visit the Group Coaching Ins and Outs blog or learn about her books on her Potentials Realized website. If you liked this article about Group Coaching and Group Coaching Benefits, you may also like: What is Group Coaching? also by Jennifer Britton Our eBook: 21 1/2 Workshop Icebreakers and Exercises .pdf Coaching Tools 101: Using Coaching Tools & Exercises in Workshops Part 1 Categories: Executive Coaching, Group Coaching, Workshops & Seminars 14 Comments Joy Grant July 14, 2013 This is a great article! Thanks for the informative useful information. All the best, Joy Reply Emma-Louise July 15, 2013 Thanks Joy - glad you found it helpful. Warmly, EL Reply nichole July 17, 2013 This could not have come at a better time for me. I was interested in group coaching but I was not clear on the client benefits. This helped a lot. Thank you. Reply Emma-Louise July 17, 2013 Hi Nichole! I'm so glad you found it helpful. Warmly, EL Reply Shad Morris October 18, 2016 I can understand how some teams don't work well together, and I was wondering if team coaching did anything for them. It's interesting that scalability can support involvement with professionals. I know that I would have some issues with that, and would probably benefit from it. Reply Emma-Louise October 18, 2016 Dear Shad, great question. I think the idea behind team coaching is usually to help teams perform at their best. Which I believe would include helping teams that don't work so well together. * Jennifer has written many articles for us on team and group coaching, (eg. on managing conflict within teams, difficult participants and more that you may find helpful): https://www.thecoachingtoolscompany.com/tag/jennifer-britton/ * And you may also like this article on the "forming, norming, storming etc." cycle of teams: https://www.thecoachingtoolscompany.com/get-your-team-performing-beautifully-with-this-powerful-group-development-model/ Jennifer has also written a couple of books, they are available on Amazon and online book sellers! Thanks for taking the time to comment, and I hope this helps! Warmly, Emma-Louise Reply John April 25, 2017 Wow, I had no idea that group coaching could be so applicable. I really like how it mentions that coaching can be applied to things even as specific as women transitioning back into a workforce after leaving for maternity reasons. If I were a manager or a boss, I would see this as a great opportunity to educate and instruct my employees so that they can be successful and informed in their respective jobs. Reply Emma-Louise April 25, 2017 That's great to hear John! Thank-you for taking the time to comment 🙂 Warmly, Emma-Louise Reply Kevin Reed October 9, 2017 Hi Jenifer, you are absolutely right. Group coaching benefits both clients and establishments. By the help of a group coach, one can keep his cornerstone on his targets. He can surround himself with other competitors encountering almost identical provocations. He can gain incitement from group solace. Also, group coaching can make himself accountable and also he can grasp new aim setting, movement controlling, trouble management and other beneficial tactics. Moreover, I can say that group coaching is highly advantageous and it explores our inner strengths by which we will toast our victory without being sized up as a show-off. Reply Emma-Louise October 11, 2017 Dear Kevin, thank-you for taking the time to comment. We are glad you enjoyed Jennifer's latest article - and seem to wholly agree with it 🙂 Warmly, Emma-Louise Reply Rosie Beckett November 29, 2018 I recently hired a lot of new employees onto the team that I supervise and I am thinking about enrolling all of them in a group coaching program so that they can learn leadership skills and get to know each other better. You make a great point that this coaching would give my team a chance to collaborate and learn to work together, which is vital for the success of my company. In the long run, this would benefit my company and help us to create better and long-lasting relationships with our clients as well as co-workers. Reply Emma-Louise November 29, 2018 So glad you found this article helpful Rosie 🙂 I would definitely check out programs that Jennifer offers too (the article author). Warmly, Emma-Louise Reply Callum Palmer July 9, 2019 I've never really thought about doing this as a group. As you said, it does have some benefits from doing this by yourself. I'll have to look more into this as I think it would for sure benefit me. Reply Eli Richardson September 18, 2019 I liked how you said that scalability is a key benefit to the group coaching approach. One of my friends recently hired a few employees, and he wants to prepare them. I'll advise him to enroll them in a coaching course. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.