Traditional lecture-based training programs have been ineffective in knowledge retention. However, this training method is still adopted by a large number of organizations. Although training plays an important role in leadership development, it needs to be paired with active learning strategies like group coaching to ensure knowledge retention and its application.

Active learning strategies encourage participants to collaborate, contribute, discover, discuss, reflect, and share. As a result, the learnings are retained and actively implemented, which delivers a higher ROI on the investment.

Group Coaching Overview

Group coaching programs are immersive, peer-based, coach-led sessions that leverage the collective expertise, knowledge, and skills of several leaders. It promotes cross-functional sharing of knowledge for exploring and identifying behaviour and mindset shifts to bring in higher accountability, innovation, and transparency.

The primary goal of group coaching is providing unique opportunities for building trust, brainstorming, giving and receiving feedback, and troubleshooting. Culture moves from the up towards the bottom and when leaders develop strong and trusting relationships, the teams also adopt the same culture.
Advantages of group coaching for leadership development

An important part of leadership development is an effective corporate coaching program. People like to grow and expect their companies to provide opportunities that enhance their personal and career growth. One-on-one leadership training is undoubtedly effective; however, leadership group coaching training programs offer distinct advantages, which include:

1. Learn and practice new skills

In group settings, participants and the coaches feel and see the impact of attitudes and behaviours of every individual. This allows them to learn and practice new skills. For example, if a participant wants to enhance their communication skills, they can practice within the group setting while the coach provides insight into any issues.

2. Collaboration across departments

Often leaders from one department do not have much interaction with leaders of other departments. Group coaching offers participants a safe environment to connect with each other in unlikely ways that allow them to share ideas across different aspects of leadership development. Every participant benefit from the shared experiences and wisdom of the group. The benefits extend beyond the engagement as it provides the opportunity to build trust across functional peers.

3. Inviting different perspectives

Every participant in group coaching has varied experiences, goals, and personalities. In such settings, leaders may find solutions and gain better insights from different perspectives and thoughts based on the past experiences of the other participants.

4. Increased accountability

When participants work together in leadership coaching training programs, they are beholden to each other and not the coach. Often, participants assume more responsibility for their actions and commitments as they feel increased accountability to each other. Additionally, when the participants understand that they are accountable, they are more likely to exchange accurate information and choose the right alternative.

5. Builds an organizational culture of growth and learning

As participants understand the challenges and successes of other people, they are more open to different opportunities and perspectives for inter-organizational collaboration. Compared to traditional training programs, leaders are more likely to make long-term adaptations to their learnings and implement the changes to develop their skills. Group coaching improves trust, morale, and self-awareness, which may result in greater commitment to organizational growth.

6. Achieving organizational goals

Generally, leaders meet the various teams and interact with them only at scheduled company meetings. Such brief and limited interactions may not enable the leaders to understand the roles of other team members and have much lesser insight into their challenges and successes. With group coaching, participants get the opportunity to explore leadership skills based on other people’s experiences and departments bringing in more appreciation, empathy, and understanding. Stronger relationships are built and knowledge transfer and implementing the learnings in daily work becomes easier and more effective.

7. Real-time feedback and active listening

While group coaching encourages collaboration, there is still an opportunity to discuss any shortcomings. Participants are encouraged to have an open mind towards feedback provided by others and be more willing to improve based on the perspective of other group members. Coaches provide a strong structure to build greater self-awareness towards challenges and openness to feedback. Listening is an important leadership trait and group participants are agreeable to provide accurate feedback and share honest views while asking insightful questions for the overall development of all participating leaders.

Leaders become more accountable, innovative, and transparent when they receive group coaching. They not only achieve personal growth but learn from other people’s successes and mistakes to gain new perspectives. Group coaching will be the new normal for leadership development. Companies are advised to include group coaching as part of their leadership development programs.