According to Gallup 2023, the best organizations in the world boast approximately 72% employee engagement. The report also revealed that lower engagement costs the world economy over $8 trillion.
Employee engagement means people know what to do and have what is needed, which includes support teams and leaders. Group coaching creates an environment that encourages diverse thinking, shared learning, and engagement.
What is group coaching?
Group coaching is an immersive, peer-based program that accelerates the development of leadership skills. Participants benefit from group coaching programs as it promotes accountability and transparency. It also encourages innovative thinking as participants gain exposure to different people with diverse perspectives.
Core benefits of group coaching
The primary focus of group coaching is to create a leadership culture for ongoing learning, enhanced awareness, and identifying necessary actions for emerging, new, and seasoned leaders. Some core benefits of leadership group coaching training include:
- Application and integration of new leadership concepts and skills
- Developing and enhancing self-awareness for experienced as well as new leaders
- Building new relationships and networks with other leaders in the organization
- Providing focus on participants’ leadership goals and growth opportunities
The coaching sessions may vary in cadence, format, length, and structure based on the specific goals of the participants and organization. The coaches must create a confidential and safe space and adapt to the requirements of the participants to encourage maximum engagement and learning. Group coaching sessions may include the following:
- Action learning:
Participants take turns to be in the hot seat where they are faced with some challenges and/or opportunities. The group asks questions and actively listens to support the person in the hot seat to get clarity and find possible solutions.
The participants explore real situations or topics with the trainer to ensure everyone contributes their perspective. Topics can be related to awareness, building trust, developing relationships, or strengths, and others.
- Reflective learning:
The coaches encourage individual participants and the group to reflect upon things using open questions.
- Skill building:
An important objective of leadership coaching training programs is enhancing the participants’ abilities. Some skills that are developed in such training programs include active listening, empowerment, emotional intelligence, and others.
Group coaching to enhance organizational collaboration
Promotes collaborative approach:
Group coaching is not a competitive forum or an evaluation vehicle. This encourages participants to assume the responsibility of helping each other learn new skills and develop existing capabilities rather than identifying mistakes. The objective is to support each participant via constructive advice and feedback.
Encourages active listening:
Listening is an important part of learning and participants agree to become sounding boards for each other. Each participant provides appropriate feedback about behaviours and shares honest views while asking insightful questions.
Provides real-time feedback:
Group corporate coaching programs encourage a collaborative attitude but still leave room for discussing shortcomings. Participants are encouraged to see themselves from other people’s perspectives to improve their skills. The trainers must put in place a structure to build self-awareness without leading to mediocrity or defensiveness and withdrawal.
Builds trusting and supportive culture:
For greater learning agility and productivity, participants must share a common commitment to maintain complete confidentiality. The psychological safety encourages participants to honestly reveal their challenges or doubts while comfortably sharing their perspectives and opinions.
Ways to enhance leadership development with group coaching
Organizations can use group coaching in multiple ways to promote and enhance leadership development. Some of these ways include:
Creating standalone coaching programs wherein a group of leaders are brought together for regular coaching conversations. These can occur at periodic intervals, such as fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, or any other suitable duration.
Extend the conversation and learning keeping in mind the existing curricula and training.
Embed group coaching into leadership development. An example is to schedule virtual coaching calls monthly if the sessions are conducted quarterly. These monthly calls can provide a focused space for people to engage in dialogues related to their learnings and the implementation of the new skills and insights acquired during the workshops.
The shift from individual to group coaching is inevitable for leadership development and learning. Coaching offers several options to groom and grow future leaders and companies are increasingly adding this to their leadership development programs. Group coaching accelerates and enhances leadership development and can be an integral component of the overall development process.