The concept of Group Coaching has long been a difficult one for people to get their minds around. The mention of Group Coaching provokes a wide variety of reactions and raises difficult questions like:
- How does one meaningfully coach a group, given the exponential increase in complexity of interaction as group size increases?
- Is there a magic number for the size of a group at which point Group Coaching is no longer effective?
- How does Group Coaching differ from “Developmental Facilitation” – or does it?
- How does one maintain “unconditional positive regard” for all members of a group when often it is quite clear that one particular person is a major source of group dysfunction?
- What methodologies and tools are available that can be used to aid the process of coaching groups?
For much of the past sixteen years, we have been grappling with these questions and issues (and quite a few more!). We have both worked as group coaches involved in an extensive network of multi-agency partnerships created to improve the pace and quality of environmental clean-up at military installations all over the country. We have both then gone on to apply our experiences and learning in a broader set of group contexts.
Our experience in the field has caused us to adopt a relatively pragmatic view of what Group Coaching is and how it can be done. Our conclusion: Group Coaching is complex and fraught with many challenges, but it is not rocket science, and any competent coaching practitioner can learn to be an effective group coach.
On December 9, we will be facilitating a workshop with the ICFNE Maine Chapter to explore the concept and practice of group coaching. Core questions derived from our own experience in the field will drive discussion, supplemented by our own perspectives and conclusions in each of the areas examined. We will be capturing key learnings and sharing them with participants in a subsequent ICFNE blog post, as was the case with the inaugural ICFNE Maine Chapter workshop on Coaching Boundaries that was facilitated by Susan Gallant PCC and Sue McLeod ACC.
If you coach groups, are interested in coaching groups, are intrigued by the subject, or simply want to participate in what is sure to be a stimulating discussion, we urge you to attend!
Please click here for to register & for more information.
Janet Eastman, ACC is Founding Principal of Eastman and Guare Consulting. She is an experienced management consultant and executive coach who has worked in large and small corporations as well as governments and non-profits. Her coaching practice focuses on supporting people to achieve their professional goals and connecting with their passion. Janet has coached senior executives and business professionals at different levels across a variety of industries including aerospace, healthcare, geographic technology and food processing. Her work with business professionals typically focuses on the achievement of professional goals, the personal barriers that are inhibiting them and targeted communication and leadership skills. Janet has recently broaden her practice to include life coaching working with people who feel stuck in their lives and want to create a new paradigm of success. She has found this work very satisfying as well. Janet has her MSW, an Organization, Systems and Development Certificate from the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland and is certified by the International Coach Federation as an Associate Certified Coach.
Joe Foran, PCC provides leadership coaching for individuals and groups. His approach is informed by his own career experience as a manager and executive. He also coaches individuals and small companies through transitions caused by retirement, management succession, or the sale of a business. He is Founding Principal of Coaching|Collaboration|Creativity in Naples, Maine. He is also Senior Consultant with the federal sector OD practice group; The Management Edge, Inc., and the international leadership development practice group; Coverdale Global. Joe has a Masters degree in Organization Development from Fielding Graduate University and is an MBTI Master Practitioner.