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.
Life coaching groups of clients has a lot going for it as a coaching niche for both the client and the coach.
It's a great way to leverage your 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 coaching a group 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.
There are two ways to coach in a group - in person or by distance using tele-conferencing, with programs such as Skype or Google Hangout.
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 and a great coaching specialty to develop.
The group can be a random collection of clients, or a team looking to consolidate and plan an outcome.
It can also be a group of people in a specific industry with similar interests and goals.
You can charge a lot less to each member of a team or group, yet 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:)
Life coaching groups can be formed from people with a similar background or interest to address relevant issues. This interest might be a career, professional or industry theme.
The coach sets the context and format and the members of the group contribute what is to be discussed. As one person raises an issue, another will have a question or a suggestion.
The coach sets the context and format and the members of the group contribute what is to be discussed. 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 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.
If you are thinking of coaching groups, Group Coaching by Ginger Cockerham, an ICF Master Certified Coach, is one I can recommend. I trained at CoachU with Ginger and she really knows her stuff.
Your background 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 is often done very successfully in groups.
Some possible niches for group work that you could explore are:
And if you are still puzzling over how to choose your speciality you can read more about choosing and marketing your coaching niche, including some great advice from a niche marketing expert Cindy Schulson. And there's lots more information in life coaching jobs and opportunities
In this group life coaching 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. More on becoming a Team Building Coach
The first session usually begins with the coach facilitating the
goal setting process
for each person. Sometimes this may even have been established 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 goal setting template and can be a handy reference to use in goals groups. Have a look and see if it could be of use to you.
1. Start off with introductions: It may sound obvious but I've been in a group where the leader plunges straight without allowing for introductions. Get each participant to introduce themselves and say what they are hoping to achieve from participating in the group and note it down.
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 session establish firm guidelines about
punctuality, permission to give feedback, how feedback is to be delivered and confidentiality. 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.