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The Group Coaching Model: A Guide for Your Life Coach Career

More and more, the significance of life coaching in improving healthy lifestyle behaviours has been acknowledged and promoted by the public and the medical world alike (Olsen & Nesbitt 2010). As a certified Life Coach, you will build collaborative and supportive relationships with your clients, setting goals and developing solutions for growth regarding various aspects of their lives. Through active listening and posing challenging questions, a Life Coach not only facilitates goal attainment but, more importantly, works on helping a client practice self-directed learning while focusing on their emotional, physical, and cognitive, personal growth (Losch, et al., 2016).

As its name suggests, group coaching involves multiple participants engaging with each other and their Life Coach simultaneously. Group coaching is generally led by trained instructors, and group facilitators qualified to help their clients learn problem-solving skills and techniques to benefit various areas of their lives, such as education, employment, relationships, and self. At Rhodes Wellness College, our Life Skills Coach Certificate offers a comprehensive 12-week program in which you will learn not only about individual coaching but also how to transfer your knowledge and skills to facilitate group dynamics. 

Keep reading to learn more about the group coaching model and its many benefits to your clients and your life coach career. 

How does Group Coaching Work?

Not to be confused with team coaching, where team members work towards the same group goal, group coaching involves members who individually work towards similar goals. Group coaching members may not be part of a team; in fact, they may not even know each other (Brown & Grant, 2010).

During your life coach training, you will be mentored and trained specifically on effectively handling group dynamics, in addition to lesson preparation and presentation so that you can achieve an inclusive and positive learning environment for your group. Unlike individual coaching, where a Life Coach plays a primary role, group coaching allows a Life Coach to play a secondary role acting as a guide, allowing group members to interact and learn from one another organically. This is achieved by giving structure through workshops and activities that allow group members to feel comfortable and safe to share their knowledge and learning with healthy conversations while being overseen and mediated by their Life Coach.

More technically, group coaching can be delivered in person or virtually. The size of the group could be as small or big as is appropriate for the coaching goals at hand. Sessions are typically 60 to 90 minutes long. The structure of group coaching may differ depending on the needs of your clients and your intent as a Life Coach. For example, one structure might be an all-day or multi-day workshop. Another would be multiple sessions over a set time period, whereas a third option might be a continuous program. 

Group Coaching allows for versatility when you become a Life Coach regarding the setting, group size, duration, and length of sessions.

Is Group Coaching effective?

By creating a safe learning space, a Life Coach allows group members to feel supported in sharing and exploring their own experiences, knowledge, and issues. This leads group members to discover their strengths and weaknesses, develop internal motivation, and increase their self-efficacy to set and follow through with their individual goals. (Armstrong, et al., 2013) In addition, members also learn to model behaviours from the group facilitator, such as encouragement, affirmations, lack of judgment, rapport-building, active listening, and a strong focus on positive progress (Armstrong, et al., 2013).

One study specifically compared the effectiveness of group coaching as opposed to individual coaching or self-coaching when it came to procrastination (Losch, et al., 2016). The study found that the group coaching members gained a better and more varied understanding of the mechanisms of self-control, motivation, and time management techniques than all the other forms of coaching. This was attributed to the shared knowledge and skills imparted in group sessions by multiple people with differing experiences, whereas individual coaching focused on problem-solving strategies tailored to one individual client. 

Studies show group therapy can be even more effective than individual coaching because of the shared knowledge and skills shared by a diverse group.

How Group Coaching Benefits Your Clients and Your Life Coach Career

Group Coaching has many benefits for both your clients as well as your own life coach career. Firstly, group coaching can be very exciting to facilitate as you witness the growth and development of trust and motivation within the group. Under your guidance, your clients will share and learn from each other while setting and achieving goals. 

In addition, offering group coaching can provide your clients with a more affordable option to private coaching while also providing you with a less complicated schedule. Not only does this allow you better management of your time, but it also gives you the capacity to reach more clients leading to a bigger impact, increased income, and faster business growth. 

Do you want to become a certified life coach?

Contact Rhodes Wellness College for more information today!

Works Cited

Armstrong, C., Wolever, R. Q., Manning, L., Elam, R., 3rd, Moore, M., Frates, E. P., Duskey, H., Anderson, C., Curtis, R. L., Masemer, S., & Lawson, K. (2013). Group health coaching: strengths, challenges, and next steps. Global advances in health and medicine2(3), 95–102. https://doi.org/10.7453/gahmj.2013.019 

Brown, S. W., & Grant, A. M. (2010). From GROW to GROUP: theoretical issues and a practical model for group coaching in organisations. Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, 3(1), 30–45. https://doi.org/10.1080/17521880903559697

Olsen, J. M., & Nesbitt, B. J. (2010). Health coaching to improve healthy lifestyle behaviors: an integrative review. American journal of health promotion : AJHP25(1), e1–e12. https://doi.org/10.4278/ajhp.090313-LIT-101

Losch, S., Traut-Mattausch, E., Mühlberger, M. D., & Jonas, E. (2016). Comparing the Effectiveness of Individual Coaching, Self-Coaching, and Group Training: How Leadership Makes the Difference. Frontiers in psychology7, 629. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00629

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