By Alvin Codner
Before we get into group coaching, let us clarify first what group life coaching is. Firstly, a life coach is a person counsels and or motivates others in the achievement of personal objectives such as choosing or changing careers, improving or enhancing relationship skills, setting and planning out goals, determining priorities, and simply one whose job is to enhance the quality of his or her client’s life by offering skills and action steps on professional and personal matters. A traditional coaching session setting would be a one on one environment between having one coach and one coachee. A group coaching session would be of the same coach and coachee environment, but it may be multiple life coaches as the facilitators or one life coach as the facilitator and as well as multiple coaches as members of the group. According to (Britton, 2010, pg. 6) there are two definitions for group coaching, which are the following:
A small group process throughout which there is the application of coaching principles for the purposes of personal or professional development, the achievement of goals, or greater self-awareness, along thematic or non-thematic lines.
A facilitated group process that is led by a professional coach and formed with the intention of maximizing the combined energy, experience, and wisdom of individuals who chose to join in order to achieve organizational objectives and/or individual goals.
Regardless of which group coaching definition you chose to use, you can assure group coaching can have a positive impact in this world. Group coaching has everything just as life coaches have to offer, but also gives more and different perspectives throughout the coaching sessions. Group coaching is a very diverse practice. Clients have the option to do coaching sessions in person (which most life coaching statistically is done in) or via telecommunications such as phone, webinars, etc. With group coaching being diverse, potential clients are more liable to lean towards coaching services because it is able to tend their needs and or preferences. Some people are not so much of a people person so they would rather do sessions over the phone and some people are more so visual learners and would rather in person. Also those who are visual learners but are not able to come into office, there are also the virtual option of webinars on specific internet programs. Here are a few objectives you can expect from the different type of group coaching programs and approaches based off (Britton, 2010, Chapter 1) and after I will breakdown how beneficial each one can be:
A one hour drop-in session with different participants each week, where clients are coached on specific themes or topics
A six-hour program delivered over the course of several weeks or months in smaller modules (i.e., one-hour sessions) to the same participants
An evening group coaching program
A one- to five-day intensive group coaching program
A one-off group call
A monthly group call held with the same participants each month (1 to 1 and a half hours per session)
A six-week program delivered weekly by phone (one hour) to a group of eight participants around a common theme
A twelve-week program which meets every other week with assigned work in between
A ninety-day program, delivered as both group calls and email support
A blended program of two group calls per month and one individual coaching call between sessions.
A group that may consist of individual members who are initially strangers to each other.
Getting more employees involved and have the potential for greater impact.
Build internal capacity
Shaping and changing corporate culture
Provides employees with opportunity to share experiences and learn together, the new collective wisdom created by corporate cross-functional, multi-disciplinary groups giving the potential to effect significant change within organizations and industries.
In reality, these different group coaching programs has more to offer than what was just stated before. Let us start off with the in-person programs. The in-person program approach can be used in school, corporate, athletics/sport and community based environments. Here are a few examples of how each area can benefit from group coaching services:
Group coaching can build students team working skills as they get more involved with the group each week.
Having a one-hour drop in session with different students each week can benefit a school by having all of the students in the school involved in coaching sessions, instead of having just a select few.
One-hour sessions for different participants can also increase the knowledge of group coaching and life coaching throughout the public school system and the parents of the students due to the fact every week different students will be going home telling their parents what they learned or did in their group coaching session. Once parents are aware of it that will potentially give them the idea to actually seek out private life coaching practices in the community for their children or even themselves and others.
One-hour sessions during school days can be beneficial if they are done in the first hour of their school day. If the themes or topics are based on productivity, encouragement to finish schoolwork, future career and educational goals, various ways to learn, best ways of studying, ways to remain focus, avoidance of distraction, and themes of that manner, they would most likely have a more positivity, proactive, and productive throughout their school day.
One-hour sessions during school days can also be beneficial to students if the sessions proceed in one of the last hours of the day. Reason being is because students will be able to reflect on their class work throughout school hours as well as get positive feedback to uplift their day and or any negative emotions gathered throughput the school day.
A six-hour program delivered over the course of several months in smaller modules to the same participants can benefit the specific students in a school who tend to have low school grades and or score low on state test.
The fact that most school semesters last 4 to 5 months the six-hour programs can be done twice (one for each semester) or three times (if the school has quarters or trimesters) and that will be equivalent to seeing consistent support towards a specific amount a students who need help in focusing, studying, test taking skills, self-confidence, and things of that manner.
A six-hour group program delivered throughout several months also can benefit who tend to have bad behavior in school throughout the school year. Within group sessions, it may be common problems or issues that are similar to others and since it is the same participants, the members of the group will learn different skills and solutions to have good behavior throughout the school year and or learn based off whichever theme or topic they as a group chose to be coached on
An evening coaching program can benefit those students who do have extra-curricular activities throughout the school year. Some students have obligations after school such as sports practice, clubs and organizations, meetings, detention, tutoring, athletic and intramural games, and many more. With these obligations happening after school, some students won’t have the time to go to a life coaching session on their own, so as group, these students can go to an evening session. These students who are proactive and tend to usually be constantly busy, majority of the time are stressing out because they rarely have time to relax and or disorganized in some other area in their life because they consistently have something going on. Group coaching sessions based on the themes and topics of time management, self-care, productivity, relaxation, mindfulness, awareness, focusing, and prioritizing can be beneficial to these types of students.
A one to five day intensive program can be impactful to students may not need coaching but actually want it. In other words, for the fact that one to five days out of a whole school year is not a lot of time, the theme or goal to be reached by members/students of this group would be a more so temporary issue than and long term issue. An issue such as a test they have to pass in the incoming week and even though they have good studying skills already, they just want to get coached on how to enhance them more.
One-hour sessions for sports team such as football, soccer, hockey, and other sports that involve teamwork can benefit from group coaching throughout the sports seasons.
Each team usually has multiple different positions. So the fact that the one-hour sessions are of different participants, each session’s theme and or topic can be based off specifically what their positions are and how they can enhance their performance.
These one hour sessions can be done before practices to improve insight on their objectives to do during practice and also motivate their mind to elevate the athlete’s productivity throughout practice.
Sessions can also be held after practices for positive feedback as well as skills athletes can be able to use in and throughout the next day of practice as well as the rest of the sport season.
The group coaching environment alone will enhance the team building skills they need on the field or court because all the athletes who are participants of the group, all have to work together to find solutions to achieve their goal at the end of the session.
A six-hour program delivered over the course of several weeks or months in smaller modules to the same participants can be beneficial to sports teams on their off season. Every sport team has a 3 to 6 month off season where the athletes are preparing physically and mentally for the next sport season. During this off season time, a six hour group coaching program can be beneficial in terms of preparation, remaining healthy, staying in shape, focusing, prioritizing, self-care, and themes/topics of that manner.
An evening coaching program can be beneficial to sports teams because most practices for sports are done in the morning and afternoon so an evening coaching program would be more convenient.
One to five day intensive program can also be impactful during the off season as well.
- One hour drop-in sessions with different participants can be very beneficial to corporate who want to achieve consistent growth.
- One hour drop-in sessions can impact each level of positions within the corporate such as the entry level employees, managers, HR, CFOs, and CEOs.
- Depending on the type of industry the corporation is in, one hour drop in sessions completed in the morning time or mid-day can have the capability to increase daily sales in different product and services, increase innovative thoughts, enhance problem solving skills, decrease creative thought barriers, and overall increase daily proactively and productivity.
- One hour drop-in group sessions can also be like a prep rally sessions in the morning to get the blood running and brain cells moving.
- A six-hour program delivered over the course of several weeks or months in smaller modules to the same participants can be beneficial towards the top level positions such as CEOs, owners, general managers, and those who are on the top of the hierarchy. This can increase business management skills, leadership skills, and time management skills.
- A six-hour group coaching program can also help out the lower level employees of a corporation if the corporation does not have a mass majority of employees and or if the employees are separated in different positions with smaller quantities.
- An evening group coaching program can be beneficial to the corporate workers whose corporate hours end around 5 p.m and will be more convenient of workers whose time work schedules are 9 a.m to 5 p.m.
- One to five day intensive group coaching program can be impactful to the upper echelon of the company as well.
Community/Public based Environment
- One hour drop-in sessions with different participants would not work in this type of environment when it comes to the coach going out to the public and recruiting clients and members to participate within the group coaching sessions. Even though it won’t work well in that manner, one hour drop-in sessions are still possible. The coach can be at the office for certain hours of the day that is specifically for group coaching participants. It will be participants who do know each other initially coming in based off how the client markets his or her group coaching services. If the coach markets the one hour drop in sessions properly, the potential members of the group will drop in on the specific hour all at the same time and a group coaching session can begin. With that option added to a coaching business, it will add another component to the services that coaching business already provides. It will also provide a little more quality and variation to what he business can offer to a potential client.
Those were all the ways in-person coaching programs can positively impact different environments we live in. Here are a few ways virtual group coaching programs can have an impact:
Virtual group coaching programs can be highly beneficial to school public systems in this time in age because students spend more than half of their time out of the day on electronics.
A one-off group call can be beneficial to certain schools that may not have much knowledge of what life coaching and or group coaching is. A one-off group call is a group coaching session that only occurs once and is not repeated or in any type of sequence. This group call would be more so of a sample of how group session would go. It would not be as long as an average coaching call, but it will give enough insight to the school staff of how group coaching calls are conducted. This is beneficial to the school because once the one-off group call is completed then the school will have the option whether they want to consider continuing with group coaching services or not instead of signing a long term contract or agreement without having much knowledge of what they will be receiving.
A monthly group call held with the same participants each month (1 to 1 and a half hours per session) can be beneficial to home school students who are more so anti-social and learn more via computer and or over the phone. With this option of group coaching services, it will be more convenient for the parent(s) because with the group coaching being virtual (via internet, phone, or webinar) they don’t have to leave their homes to a certain area to connect with others who are also home schooled.
Home schooled group coaching call themes and topics will consist of and help increase social life, self-discipline, prioritizing, focusing, and good studying habits. Most home school students will have the same issues and obstacles they go through as a home school student but never get a chance to express how they feel because home schooled students tend not to have much of a social life growing up. With that being a potential possibility, group coaching will actually open that door of opportunity to have a community of home schooled students conversing and coaching themselves on home schooling issues.
A twelve-week program which meets every other week with assigned work in between is also another beneficial virtual program service for home schooled students as well in school students. Home schooled students are already familiar with getting assignments to do over the week or weekend to be completed by the week after. This would be of the same practice and it will also help them remember objectives and lessons learned during the current session. This service will also help and be impactful to in-school students throughout the school year because the assignments given can be given on Fridays, therefore they will be able to keep their mind proactive and productive over the weekend. Those assignments will also lead them on and set them up for the next theme of the group coaching sessions for the week following.
A ninety-day program, delivered as both group calls and email support can be beneficial to all students and school public school systems.
The ninety-day program will be beneficial to students who rather be on the phone then in class scenery and the email support can give the constant positive feedback towards students as well as school staff.
The ninety-day program provides an open pathway of communication to the students, parents, and teachers in need of and support to meet there need throughout the duration of the coaching sessions.
A blended program of two group calls per month and one individual coaching call between sessions can be beneficial to students who may not feel of the group session call. Sometimes as group sessions are conducted, some members of the group would want to say something or partake in the discussion; they get cut off by other members of the group and never get a chance to speak out what they wanted to say to the group. When this happens, the one on one individual coaching session calls between group coaching calls opens up the opportunity for the facilitator to reach out to the students and have more understanding as well as the student speak on what he or she wanted to speak on the group coaching call prior to the individual coaching call.
Virtual programs are beneficial for corporations and business with whose location are in less populated cities, in the suburbs, or areas private life coaching practices are far away from. Most headquarters of big time fortune 500 companies are in areas where there is a lot of land and warehouses. Life coaching and group coaching service offices are usually based in the city areas and headquarters of some corporation may be in a whole other state than the group coaching company they want. Having the ability to have a virtual group coaching call via internet program such as Skype, oovoo, and tango and also via telephone opens up the opportunity for corporations and business to hire any group coaching company they want to in the world and not just have to settle for the local services which would be an investment they may not want to take as a big time corporation or business.
A one-off group call can be useful to CEOs of a fortune 500 company or any big time business with a lot of employees or a franchise. These one-off group calls can be set up by the CEOs and will beneficial to them for the simple fact some of them who don’t have time to really go out to every establishment, he or she can get positive feedback about how certain establishments are doing from the facilitator.
A monthly group call held with the same participants each month (1 to 1 and a half hours per session) can be beneficial to big time companies who want to see growth in a specific area of their corporation. There are businesses out there that have corporations with multiple positions to keep their product or services up and running. Positions of those big time corporation such as President, CEO, COO, Marketing team, legal admin, franchise admin, finance department, salespersons, operations, engineers, designers and many more. Let’s say that a certain franchise wants to see more innovation from their marketing team this year. These monthly group coaching calls can help increase innovative thoughts, create awareness on what is needed, help markets stand out in their field of business, enhance their marketing skills, help create action plans to achieve their weekly and monthly goals, bring up awareness on their resources, help with their planning and goal setting, and manage progress and accountability throughout the career year. This will create good chemistry between all the marketers of the company and the facilitators of the coaching service practice as time goes by throughout the year. This will bring continuously growth throughout the career year as well.
A six-week program delivered weekly by phone (one hour) to a group of eight participants around a common theme would be beneficial to upper echelon and the top 8 positions on the hierarchy of a fortune 500 business or big time company or franchise. This group coaching service will be impactful to CEOs, COO, general Managers, Presidents, Founders, Head of Operations, HR, and positions of that stature. It will help increase leadership skills, problem solving skills, management skills, team working skills, and more. Themes and topics will be easier to specify for these top 8 positions of the hierarchy would have similar issues and be very much so different than those who are positioned on the lower levels of the hierarchy.
A twelve-week program which meets every other week with assigned work in between can be beneficial to new employees of a company who are going under training or orientation for the entry level position they got hired for. This gives the opportunity to continue the training within a group setting. The corporation trainer or orientation guide may see some new hires struggling with some of the new information giving throughout training and believe the new hires may need a little more support outside of training hours. In this case, when the new hires go home they can join the group coaching calls to increase their awareness, increase their understanding, figure out how they will balance out their personal life and new work life, and work on adaptive skills to be able to progress and proactive in a positive and productive way as they grow throughout the start of their new career.
A ninety-day program, delivered as both group calls and email support brings up the open pathway of communication the facilitators and group members. This ninety-day program would be beneficial to small business who have 10 or less employees and looking for some coaching to start off their business, get out of a mid-business crisis and or create some action plans push their business forward. Small businesses who can expect group coaching services to provide action start up plans that help than map out, plan and goal set exactly what they have to do and where they have to go to successfully meet their goal of starting up their business. Small business can also expect this group coaching service to provide a clearing outlet when going through tough situations and business issues as time goes by but at the same time find solutions through powerful questions, brainstorming, holding the group’s agenda, bottom-lining, challenging, clarifying, designing action, planning and goal setting, and direct communication.
A blended program of two group calls per month and one individual coaching call between sessions would beneficial to new hires of a company as well as different departments within a corporation or company. This would be beneficial to new hires of a company because it will increase their personal skills and have the continuous personal development in order to meet up the corporations expected from the new hires. This will also be helpful to certain departments within a company or corporation (chosen by the CEO) that may be lacking in meeting the goals of the company and not meeting up to standards. This will be able to create awareness as whole with the group coaching sessions and then with the individual sessions in between the group calls will be able to focus in on prioritizing specifically what actions steps need to be taken as an individual in the group to be proactive and productive within the corporations.
Virtual group coaching programs can be essential for sports teams whenever teams have their off seasons and are away from where ever it is that they originally practice at.
A one-off group call could be used as a sample group coaching call for the team members who may not have much knowledge of what life coaching or group coaching is. This will most likely be a brief call summarizing how a group coaching session will be conducted and how life coaching works. Once this call is made it gives the opportunity to the athlete to tell his or her coach whether he or she wants to continue through with the sessions throughout the off-season. This will save time for the facilitators and also group members. The only way life coaching as a whole can work is by cooperation between the coach and the client. In this case, group coaching is even more led by the group member’s participation. The facilitators impact on the group is nothing compared to how important the group’s participation and cooperation as a whole.
A monthly group call held with the same participants each month (1 to 1 and a half hours per session) would be beneficial to head coaches who want to have players of a specific position to grow in their personal development. On some teams there may be a group of athletes who have bad attitudes or think they are too good for the team and are quite anti-social. As a head coach, he or she wants everyone to work, communicate, and cooperate like a team and have a great bond between each other. This group coaching service will be able to create awareness of the problem, increase communication skills, design action plans, and manage progress and accountability. As time goes by the head coaches will be able to see growth in that specific group of athletes and would most likely use it for other groups of athletes in the future.
A six-week program delivered weekly by phone (one hour) to a group of eight participants around a common theme would be beneficial to the coaching staff of a sport team. Most sports teams have around eight coaches, so this would be an even match when it comes to having enough participants for the group coaching sessions. Coaches will also will have all related coaching issues so the themes could be along the lines of scheduling, prioritizing, better ways to do play calling, increasing presentation skills, increasing public speaking skills, and group coaching calls will be able to create awareness and design action plans for the coaches to have an understanding of what action steps are needed to be taken to increase what they as a coaching staff feel they lack in their coaching careers on a personal and as well as a professional developmental aspect.
A twelve-week program which meets every other week with assigned work in between would be beneficial for players coming on to a new team. Getting traded to a new team or just beginning to play for a team in a new sport for you can be difficult for the new members of the team. This group coaching services will be able to help the new player on finding new ways to learn and stay focus on the new plays and formations they have to learn for the new sport system they are in. This group coaching service can help the new athletes with focusing, learning new habits, breaking old habits from teams or sports prior, increase awareness, planning and goal setting, positive reflection, and re-framing. This also can be helpful to sport teams during their off season to keep the athletes mind proactive and productive with the assignments given to complete between coaching sessions.
As you can see, the positive impact group coaching can have in the educational and corporate environment are endless. Due to lack of research on group coaching, I plan on using the suggestions stated here in this paper and correlating and collaborate my capstone paper to create another research proposal to be conducted on the positive affect group coaching can have on educational/school, corporate, and community/public based environments.
Britton, J. J. (2010). Effective Group Coaching. Retrieved from