Group coaching programs are fast spreading like wildfire. Most coaches are beginning to see it as a powerful way to expand and grow their coaching business.

Creating a group coaching program takes you away from the conventional one-on-one coaching to the one-to-many model. With a group coaching program, you help more clients get results faster and the time constraint in serving just one client is eliminated. The time you save can be invested into making your coaching program better.

As beneficial as a group coaching program is (which I will talk about much later), it is important to understand what makes a group coaching program. Remember, it is still a coaching program, though involving more than one client. This means that the primary aim of a coaching program, which is helping clients achieve their goals, must not be side-stepped.

So what are those things that make a group coaching program?

Features of a Group Coaching Program

To ensure that clients get their desired results, there are certain features a group coaching program must have. These features are the number of clients in the group, common or inter-related problems and goals, and a problem solving strategy.

Let’s have a detailed look at these features.

1. Number of Clients in a Group

By ICF standard, a group coaching program must not exceed the threshold of 15 participants.

However, you don’t have to be limited by the number. You can have a crowd and yet get amazing results for them. It’s all a function of the structures you put in place.

On the flip side, people tend to feel a lot more important when they belong to a small group. Their potentials are much more harnessed and interaction with others is easier.

Take a normal Facebook group. If a group is crowded, chances are that you lose interest in it overtime. I don’t know about you, but I’m more effective when I belong to a small group.

People form sororities to build smaller communities within Colleges. Even within such sororities, there are small interest groups. The reason is to make the groups small enough for members to effectively participate.

In the book, A Primer of Communication Studies, the author said, “Small groups that add too many members increase the potential for group members to feel overwhelmed or disconnected”. The smaller the number of clients in a group, the more effective and focused they are.

The large group is okay. However, you can break them down to sub-groups for effectiveness and accountability purposes.

2. Common or Inter-Related Problems and Goals

It is true that people are different and no two people have exactly the same problems. However, people can be going through challenges that are similar to others. This is where group coaching comes to play.

The clients you put in a coaching group must have related problems they need solved. Their demography might not be an issue. They might even be located in different places. But if they have inter-related challenges, it’s okay to put them in a group. That way, they can help each other, even without you being there all the time.

Again, their goals and aspirations must be aligned. That way, if a member of the group desires to achieve a particular goal, they collaborate with other members of the group. Two good heads, they say, are better than one. Together they can hold each other’s hands and move towards achieving their goals – individual and collective goals alike.

3. Problem Solving Strategy

The way you help clients solve their problems in a one-on-one setup involves you asking questions that guide you in proffering a solution for your client.

In group coaching, problems are tackled using an iterative process.

Let me explain…

For instance, a group member shared a challenge with the group. They don’t just begin to share opinions and reeling out advice. They ask the member questions that help in clarifying and specifying the problem. These questions come from different perspectives. From the answers they get, possible solutions can be identified. Then the necessary action can be taken to solve the problem.

This in no way suggests that you are pushing your coaching responsibilities away to the members of the group. As a matter of fact, this iterative process aligns with the core purpose of coaching – partnering with clients.

In the past few years, the boundaries of group coaching have expanded. Whether your clients are small business owners, people with life issues, parents, or top executives, they can all be accommodated in a group coaching program.

The modality for group coaching has also moved from in-person (where the group members have a physical meeting) to virtual (online platforms). This is because the online platforms give both coaches and clients the opportunity to connect to other participants from various parts of the globe. Platforms such as Facebook, has made it easier to create and host group coaching programs online. This comes with great benefits for both the coach and the clients.

Benefits of Group Coaching

I said earlier that a group coaching program is very beneficial. Here are some of the key benefits to coaches and clients alike.

1. It gives clients opportunities for collaboration and networking.

The beautiful thing about group coaching is the opportunity to bring people with varying perspectives together to help each other. Clients get to realize that regardless of the different life experiences, they share patterns, fears and challenges. They also share similar passion about their goals and dreams.

So, the more they work together to transform certain areas of their lives and business, they build helpful relationships – something they would not have gotten just working with you.

The bonds they create help them to become accountability partners to each other. This will inspire them to take action when the need arises, knowing that someone would follow them up. It saves you a lot of stress as a coach. The partnership is essential for their long-term growth and success.

2. Clients get results faster

Group coaching offers your clients the opportunity to learn from each other. They are not just limited to learn from you about what to do to get results, they get exposed to other options that could reduce the time it takes for them to get results.

As they listen to each other’s experiences and offer feedbacks, they stand a chance to get quick breakthroughs. This is because they have a practical insight on how others are applying your strategies to their lives and businesses. It encourages them to move above their limitations and work towards actualizing their goals.

3. It helps you grow your business quicker

A group coaching program helps you serve more people, get results for them and then double or even quadruple your income. If they are high paying clients, then your business takes the journey to the north of success faster.

It also saves you time, which you can invest in making your program better. When your program is better, the value it brings increases and you can charge higher for it.

Key Considerations Before Starting A Group Coaching Program

As nice as creating a group coaching program may be, it can kill your business if you do not pay attention to certain things. There are things you need to consider before creating and enrolling clients into a group coaching program.

1. Is it the right time?

For the sake of clarity, creating a group coaching program is only feasible if you have had some experience in the coaching business. Don’t get me wrong, but if you don’t see yourself up for it, then don’t delve in yet.

For you to get into group coaching, you must have helped individual clients solve specific problems. Over time, you will identify common problems and challenges of your ideal clients. Then, you can create a group coaching program to address these common challenges.

2. Who qualifies for the group coaching program?

In a group coaching program, you bring together clients with common challenges and similar goals in life. However, they still have their differences and varying perspectives of certain matters. Hence, sharing common challenges isn’t enough to qualify for a group coaching program.

You must get to know a client’s ability to relate and interact with people. This is important because one mistake at this point can jeopardize the purpose of the group coaching program.

Remember, it is not about filling up a group, it is about bringing people together to help one another in achieving their goals.

3. How will the members benefit from the program?

Clarity is very important in creating a group coaching program. You have to be very clear about what the program is and how it can help the participants.

Group coaching programs are not hangout forums. Granted, the members can interact, bond and network, but it is one benefit out of so many. As a matter of fact, it is a secondary benefit.

You have to develop a coaching program that addresses and solves the challenges of the participants. Though some participants might need to lean on others to get results, but you need to create the template. The only reason your group coaching program will succeed is if everyone gets their desired outcome from it.

Do you think you are up for it?

I have taken time to dissert as much details as I can in relation to creating a group coaching program. I have talked about the features, benefits and things to consider before delving in. The ball is in your court.

If you need help implementing all these in your business, schedule a breakthrough strategy session with someone on our team.

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