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Wendy Buckingham  /  Creator, Life Coaching Professionally

Life Coaching Groups To Leverage Your Skills And Income

Creating targeted life coaching groups as well as offering one-on-one coaching is a an opportunity to build a vibrant and diversified practice with programs that are affordable to all.

 The Benefits Of Coaching A Group Of Clients

Life coaching groups of clients, whether in person or online has a lot going for it for both the client and the coachees in the group.

It's a great way to leverage your coaching skills and time and be able to offer an affordable option to those clients on a tight budget. It can also be a lot of fun as the group dynamic develops!

When facilitating a group life coaching session, as well as coaching input, you are there to act as a sounding board, reflector and adviser and to hold the members of the group accountable for their intentions and actions.  

Group of five penguins waddling by the shore with text overlay saying Life Coaching Groups Can Work With Anyone, Anywhere.

This type of coaching may not follow the strict definitions of life coaching but it is an accepted and viable way of effectively serving more than one client at a time.

The group can be a random collection of clients or a group of people in a specific industry or with similar interests and goals. 

You can charge a lot less to each member of  the group, yet in a one hour group session still make a lot more than you would coaching one person for a single session.

And there is always the possibility that someone in the group will 'upgrade' to one -on-one coaching! 

Coaching Groups With A Specific Interest

Life coaching groups can be made up by people with a similar background or interest to address relevant issues.  This interest might be based around a career, professional or industry theme.

The coach sets the context and format for the session and the members of the group contribute the subject matter. As one person raises an issue, another will have a question or a suggestion.

For example, a group of health care professionals may meet with the coach once a month and share the handling of issues on a predetermined agenda. 

And again although it is not strictly life coaching, those issues such as relationship, communication and confidence will invariably come up and the coach can guide the participants to solutions as well as making sure there is no bullying or telling rather than advising.

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Your background or coaching niche can also help with your credibility in coaching special interest groups.

For instance, if you had a background in accounting, you would be well qualified to coach a group of accountants.  Mentor coaching of new coaches by experienced coaches is often done very successfully in groups as well.

Some possible niches for group work that you could explore are:

  • Multi level Marketing
  • Solo business people in the same industry
  • Life Coaching Goals Groups
  • Retirement
  • Creativity
  • Health and fitness

Tools And Processes For Your Group Coaching Sessions

Box with young professional woman on front and title Coaching Tools Megapack.

To make your group coaching more effective, I recommend you check out the coaching tools and processes packs created by  The Coaching Tools Company. You buy them in online format and they are easily distributed to your group participants whether you are working with the group face to face or online..

There are packs of processes that would be useful whatever the focus of your group from a time saving Welcome Pack to helpful coaching aids including Personal Growth Coaching, Work Life Balance, Business, Career and Time Management.

If you don't want the full kits, many of the templates in them can be purchased separately.

Group Coaching Reference Books

If you are thinking about life coaching groups, Group Coaching by Ginger Cockerham,  an ICF Master Certified Coach, is available via Amazon. 

I trained at CoachU with Ginger as one of my instructors and she really knows her stuff. This book is an excellent resource and one I can recommend.

Goal Focused Life Coaching Groups

In this model, the coach puts together a group of clients, either new or existing,  and they meet for a series of sessions. The members of the group may be a team, such as a sports team, or be completely unrelated. I have more on becoming a Team Building Coach on the linked page.

The first group life coaching session usually begins with the coach facilitating the goal setting process for each person. Sometimes this may even have been established with individuals by phone or email before the event to speed up the process.

Subsequent sessions feature 'checking in' on progress and handling any issues. All group members will probably become active in the process, giving input, perspective and group support.

My book Be Your Own Goals Coach is a complete goal setting, planning and achieving template and can be a handy reference to use in goals groups. Have a look at this preview and see if it could be of use to you.

Remote Group Coaching Using Phone, Zoom or Skype

You don't need to meet face to face with your group. Remote coaching allows you to broaden your group base to those who you cannot get together with face to face.

 I once ran a remote group to mentor new coaches who lived interstate or in another country  by telephone . It was successful and hugely rewarding.  I've also run my Goals Clinics this way.

If you want to run your group sessions by telephone rather than Zoom or Skype, check Google for companies that still offer telephoning conferencing.

The rules and tips for remote coaching by phone (or Zoom and Skype with no cameras) are pretty much the same as for face to face though the traffic control can be a little more challenging if you can't see who wants to speak next.

So you need to have a list in front of you of who is on the line and make sure everybody gets a chance to contribute.

It's also important to acknowledge each person as they come online so everybody knows who is there. Also asking people to say their name before they speak and to use their mute button when they are not talking is good remote group etiquette.

On this page I have lots more information and tips on mastering remote phone and online life coaching with a one-on-one client.

Six Tips For Success With Life Coaching Groups

1. Start off with introductions

It may sound obvious but I've been in a group where the leader plunges straight in without allowing for introductions.  Getting each participant to introduce themselves and say what they are hoping to achieve from participating in the group can be a great bonding and trust proceess.

2. Allow time for trust to build

If the life coaching group is drawn from strangers (and often even if they know each other) they may have to  develop trust over a couple of sessions before any of the real issues are going to emerge.

3. Traffic control

You need to be able to strongly facilitate the sessions so that everybody has the opportunity to participate - not just the talkative.  Allow enough time and space to deal with a particular participant's pressing issue, while making sure no-one hogs all the attention!

4. Set Firm Guidelines

In your first group session establish firm guidelines about punctuality, confidentiality, permission to give feedback, and how feedback is to be delivered. Inappropriate input from one member of the group to another is something to be watched out for and controlled. 

5. Deep issues that need individual handling

Whilst group life coaching is ideal for checking progress on goals or publicly stated action steps, it can sometimes be difficult if one-on-one caching to explore a deeper issue that comes up for the participant is needed.

When this happens you may decide to offer a brief private conversation to deal with the issue away from the group and, if appropriate, give the participant the opportunity to  convert to one-on-one coaching.  

6. Follow Up

A couple of weeks after the last session do a follow up phone call or email to see how each participant is going.  Make it personal mentioning something you remember about them.  This is great PR and can even lead to more coaching. 

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Created and written by Wendy Buckingham, Class One Productions P/L. Sydney

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