One of my primary focus areas was managing and leading change. As a coach, this was an area that interested me the most, since much of leadership is about anticipating and handling changes, and, sometimes, even proactively creating them. In today’s VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world, driving through the rearview mirror is no option. Coaching – with its future focus and outcome orientation – is a powerful aid to organizations in leading change.

My own experience was that individual one-on-one coaching was not enough, and it is not possible to do for up and coming leaders. Something more was needed to expand the scope of coaching within an organization to make the process more effective in supporting institutional leadership.

Here are the benefits of group coaching, which I believe will lead to group coaching through change!

  1. Group coaching enables change management
    Group coaching overcomes this limitation through the inherent connection built during coaching between individuals supporting each other while working in the same environment.
  2. Group coaching builds teams from groups
    Group coaching creates an emotional bond between group members to help form an engaged team.
  3. Group coaching allows organizations to set ROI based outcomes
    In the case of individual coaching, it is often difficult to set goals that rise above the scope of the individuals, especially areas that they do not directly control. Groups can be formed with cross-functional members to address various aspects of a business issue. Companies can set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timeline) goals, and these can measure through return on investment criteria. The outcome individual in the group in terms of both qualitative and quantitative terms within limits of accountability can be measured.
  4. Group coaching enhances emotional intelligence
    Individual coaching leads only to self-awareness. Any further social awareness is, at best indirect. In the case of group coaching, the coach can create and demonstrate the combined power of self- and social knowledge. This possibility has significant implications in transforming organizational culture through enhanced emotional intelligence. Since sustainable and significant cultural changes in any organization require group intervention, group coaching is relevant.
  5. Group coaching creates synergy
    The group coaching process can achieve high levels of energy multiplication through synergistic strengths and participant insights. A group coaching process is innovative and creative. Sharing ideas within the group can lead to powerful personal transformation as well.
  6. Group coaching is a powerful Organizational Development intervention
    Some studies found a similarity between group Organizational Developement interventions in the form of labs with group coaching, with results, achieve in shorter time frames.
  7. Blended group and individual coaching transforms the Organization
    Blending group and one-on-one coaching together actually magnifies the effectiveness of group coaching. The group sessions should address larger business goals, while individual sessions address behavioral issues concerning people, which may not come up for discussion in the group.

Framework for group coaching

These seven factors and I can list many more, can truly transform organizational culture. What this requires for success are a few simple frameworks.

  • Groups with a size maximum of 10 per group can be cross-functional or of the same function and would need to have a common organizational focus.
  • The corporation must spell out the group coaching objectives (monthly or quarterly or yearly).
  • The process must be blended, typically 6 group interventions of about 3 hours each, interspersed with six hour-long individual sessions, over 3 to 6 months.
  • Organizations establish a follow-up mechanism.