Group coaching, round tables, masterminds, action learning sets…. call it what you will but I LOVE it. It is such a powerful, quick and efficient way to learn, develop and get results that I, as the facilitator get such a buzz.
The buzz comes from the energy in the room and the surprises that crop up on each and every session. I will give you a quick summary of what group coaching is, just to put it in context, but the main purpose of this posting is to share my absolute passion for it.
What is group coaching to me?
Group coaching is a group of individuals that meet, virtually or physically with the goal to learn something new, solve a problem or topic and crucially to move forward.
The format I like to work with regardless of the setting is simple.
We clear the air/space to focus on the coaching environment.
We share any learnings, successes, failures, or anything else that cropped up after the previous meetings, holding the accountability.
We then find the problem or topic in question. This maybe different for each individual, or if we a working as a team for a business, we may focus on a business problem or topic.
We explore the topic, brainstorm, coach, share experiences, share perspectives and clarify.
We identify the learning, and lock in an action, commitment What, When, How!
Why do I love it?
As the facilitator and coach, my role is to hold the caching space, ensuring everyone is IN, time keep, structure and guide. This requires skill and discipline, but also enthusiasm and courage, all in service to the client/group.
I love the tension we all have as we enter the room. The uncertainty of what will unfold during the group session. The excitement, anticipation and trepidation is tangible and gives a little spark in the air. It gives an energy to get going.
All clients enter slightly reserved at first, but as soon as the session starts, the speed at which they get into it surprises me every time. Within 20 minutes everyone appears more relaxed and the sharing, creativity and innovation starts to bubble out of them.
Now here is the thing, it is contagious and gets bigger and bigger. We have all seen a group of children play. It all starts nice and safe and quiet, and then before you know it there is energy and excitement and a lot of noise. Everything becomes heightened in a group, especially the learning.
Yes it is my job to help steer that energy, ensure that the group stays on track and everyone is listening and being heard, whilst keeping the energy going. I love it.
I love to witness barriers being brought down, sharing and collaboration being second nature, and respect and honesty being out there. The behaviours normalise and we all learn how much richer our experiences are when we connect, share, and support.
We forget we have this innate ability to be this way. We become wary, untrusting, and create masks, through fear and control. Imagine if we could bring some of that back into our relationships and work places.
Well you can, and that is why I love group coaching. I love it because in no time at all, we start behaving without fear, competition and control.
We move from ME to WE.