The Growth Coach believes in the power of group coaching and all the benefits that come with it. Group coaching creates an opportunity to develop a shared language, discuss best practices, and to learn from peers.
In a world changed by a pandemic, most group coaching sessions are now being held online. Video conferencing, which was once viewed as a last resort or a way to save money, is now the norm and is likely to become a standard way of practicing business from now on.
As a business coach, it’s crucial to understand this change, and what it means for the future. Shifting your own group coaching business to an online experience is the perfect way to do that.
Group coaching is considered one of the most appropriate services for scaling online. Whether you are tweaking the model you use for traditional, in-person, group sessions, or completely rebuilding your structure, there are some key points to keep in mind as you move to an online format.
Don’t Pretend Online Coaching Is Something It’s Not
There are plenty of managers and business executives who continue to ignore the simple fact that an online meeting is a very different experience than a meeting in person. While virtual meetings may be more productive than face-to-face meetings, there are some real differences in using an online platform and they must be addressed.
It’s important to establish rules for your presentation. Set a time for questions and a system for asking questions. This can help you avoid a situation where several people are talking at once, making it hard to hear the points being made or to process the conversation.
Setting dedicated times for yourself to stop your presentation or discussion, and ask for questions, builds a safe space for your attendees to reflect on what they’ve heard and to present their thoughts. Some people don’t feel comfortable in a setting where they have to talk over others to be heard. This can lead to important questions never being asked.
Consider The Abilities of the platform you’re using
Not every business coach will approach coaching the same. There are a variety of models coaches use, and the lesson plan or syllabus often varies between each one. When moving your group coaching sessions online, it’s important to research what platform can work best for what you are trying to accomplish.
Almost every video platform today offers the ability to record the meeting. Others offer “hand-raising” options, or even breakout rooms in which attendees can meet “privately” with someone else to have a discussion or work on a specific task together.
Figure out what works best for the way you like to coach and stick to that platform. Your group coaching sessions will become easier as you master the system.
Celebrate the Benefits
Switching to online group coaching sessions can create many obstacles, but virtual meetings also offer some advantages.
For example, the recording capability of these online meeting platforms offers its own unique opportunity. The ability to record a meeting means the ability to share the meeting with anyone who was absent, as well as creates the opportunity to review and highlight specific parts of the conversation and meeting back to the attendees.
Not everyone will want a full recording sent of a meeting they already attended but noting the time a specific comment was made is a great way to go back, review, and highlight the insight.
The online experience also offers you a chance to get creative and try new methods of teaching. It may be time to experiment with new graphics or visual teaching tools. It’s also an easy way to incorporate video into your coaching.
Overall, the most important thing to keep in mind while switching your group coaching business to an online platform is that everyone, not just you, is now experiencing your coaching in a new way. Be sure to embrace the new platform and its offerings, while staying aware of the limitations it may create.
Of course, at The Growth Coach, we have our own developed method for group coaching and shifting to online coaching. Good business coaches require a strong background in business itself, in leadership development, and in accountability and support. But it also requires the development of programs, tools, and materials and often the best coaches are ones supported by other coaches in their network. If you’re interested in finding out more about how The Growth Coach can support your business coaching endeavor, you can find more information here.