Guidance on Group Coaching
by Ali Hendry, Education Director (Europe) for Radiant Coaches Academy
I love group coaching; it feels like a natural part of my coaching offering. The first few times felt daunting, but like most things it was the thought of it rather than the doing, and within minutes I settled right in.
I had a head-start with group experience, having worked as a diversity & inclusion trainer, and I ran a theatre company leading drama and improvisation workshops.
When my work moved over to zoom I spent time learning the craft of creating live, rounded workshops out of a flat screen. At first, it was exhausting! I had to learn what technology could do (best to focus on what it can do, and not its limitations), and how to create a safe container where all feel included. All this amongst battling broadband and user challenges! After a couple of months things settled.
I was excited to try group coaching during my training with Radiant Coaches Academy, and when I received my certification in March 2021 I set up monthly group coaching sessions. I want to share what I have learnt from running zoom group coaching.
- Decide if you want to run sessions where people know each other or not.
- Do you want to have worked with all participants in advance of the session? Perhaps the cohort comprises your individual coaching clients and is an add-on to your offerings.
- Do you want to set a theme for the session, or see what arises? If you set a theme, do participants need to know this in advance?
- How regular will you run them?
- What platform will you use?
- What’s the booking process?
- What length of time do you want?
- Will you allow latecomers?
- Charged for or free? i.e., are you running these to generate an income, or to grow new audiences, or to engage the clients you already have?
Below is what has worked for me, I invite you to have a read and explore what would work for you.
My monthly “Connection Coaching” Sessions for LGBTQIA+ women and allies
- 60-mins in duration.
- Participants must have access to a zoom camera, I find this helps with safety.
- Zoom doors close after 5-minutes, and no latecomers.
- Free entry for people in my Facebook community group (4) ah coaching community | Facebook
- Maximum of 10 people, some of which I know, and others I don’t. I have their names in advance because they book via Eventbrite, as opposed to it being a drop-in. I find this helps promote their commitment.
- Go to each person at the start and ask them their name and where they’re located, to get their engagement, to ensure they feel included, and allow them to feel into their space in the zoom room, which can help empower them to speak up later.
- The rules are shared. This includes confidentiality, keeping your camera on, talking about your own story/journey only, explaining what coaching is. I put the rules into the chat and read them out, because people process in different ways. Participants are asked if they have anything to add. Then I ask them if they are happy to verbally agree to them.
- Then I run up to 3x 10-min sessions, spotlighting myself and the client. Everyone else keeps their cameras on, to encourage a group energy. These 10-minutes are pure coaching (I am also a trainer and mentor, but I don’t use these skills in the sessions because I find the power is in sharing and learning from experiencing someone’s story).
- Between each 10-minute session I encourage people to share what came up for them, while they were listening to the coaching. I ensure they are sharing their own experiences, and not making judgements or comments about the client.
- Afterwards I pull an oracle card and we share what it means to us.
- And then I do a “soft leave” where I stay on zoom for an extra 10-minutes, if people want to hang out, chat, ask me any questions.
Have a look at how I describe my Connection Coaching on the Eventbrite booking: Monthly Connection Coaching with Ali Tickets, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite
Group Coaching is a fantastic way to reach a wider audience. It brings a consistent, reliable event to your coaching practice, and means you regularly experience the wonderful power of a growth mindset cohort.
If you have any questions reach out to me here: https://alihendry.co.uk/contact/