Group coaching programs have exploded in popularity in recent years.
By harnessing the power of group dynamics, group programs create supportive communities where individuals can learn, grow, and achieve their goals.
Especially in the online space, you can now find groups teaching and supporting people across the world with things as diverse as relationships, health and wellness, business, mindset, trauma, technical skills, and much more.
As a coach, group programs offer a way to reach new clients, diversify your business, and grow your income. But unfortunately, because many coaches don’t understand how to run a group coaching program, they neglect this impactful and lucrative opportunity.
In this comprehensive guide, we explore all the key elements of creating a successful group coaching program. We’ll cover everything from understanding the unique benefits of group coaching to developing a program template and engaging participants.
Finally, we detail how online platforms, like Quenza, can help you get started running a group coaching program in no time.
Group coaching is a collaborative and interactive process that brings together a small group of individuals with similar goals or interests to work collectively toward their personal and/or professional development.
Unlike individual coaching, group coaching leverages the power of peer interaction and collective wisdom to foster learning, accountability, and support. It offers a unique blend of personal attention from a coach (the amount varies by program) and the benefits of a community. This makes group coaching a highly effective space to grow, learn, and transform.
While group coaching shares some similarities with team coaching, it focuses more on individual goals within a supportive group context.
Group coaching programs may be offered in person, online, or a combination of both. They can also include a component of 1:1 work, which may be an optional “add-on,” or a standard inclusion in the program.
Group coaching offers some unique benefits compared to individual coaching, including:
Group coaching provides a rich learning environment where participants can gain insights, perspectives, and knowledge from others in the group. The diversity of lived experiences and personal expertise within the group fosters a dynamic exchange of ideas, enabling accelerated learning and personal growth.
The advantage of being exposed to such multiple viewpoints is that it encourages people to step out of their world. As a result, they increase their understanding of how they operate in the system around them. For organizations, that means greater cross-team interactions. For personal lives, it means more empathy for those who maybe think differently, leading to more social harmony.
The presence of a supportive group creates a sense of accountability and motivation. Participants feel encouraged to take action, set and achieve goals, and overcome challenges with the support and guidance of their peers. The collective energy and shared commitment propel individuals to stay focused and make progress.
Group coaching offers an affordable alternative to individual coaching, making it accessible to a wider audience. It also allows participants to benefit from the coach’s expertise at a fraction of the cost. Finally, the structured format of group coaching sessions optimizes time utilization, as participants can learn from each other’s experiences and challenges much faster than in a social setting.
See the images below to get a concrete overview of the benefits of group coaching for coaches and clients, respectively.
Next, we’re going to get into some of the more practical and technical aspects of how to run a group coaching program.
If any of this starts to feel a little overwhelming, complex, or time-consuming, keep in mind that many of these steps can be automated and streamlined with a variety of digital coaching tools.
Throughout the article, we’ll give examples of how Quenza can assist. But if you want to dive right in and take a look for yourself, you can sign up today for a full-access 1-month trial for only $1.
How to Structure a Group Coaching Program
To ensure the success of a group coaching program, careful consideration must be given to its structure and design.
Here are 5 evidence-based steps to follow for structuring a successful group coaching program:
1. Define Objectives and Target Audience
Clearly articulate the purpose of the coaching program and identify the specific goals it aims to achieve. Additionally, define the target audience to ensure the program’s content and format align with their needs, goals, and desires.
Alternatively, when used within a wider group context such as in an organization, a group coach will use specific brainstorming sessions to uncover and align the group to specific goals. In those cases, coaches also have individual information from pre-planning 1-on-1 sessions.
Decide on the program’s duration, whether it’s a short-term program spanning a few weeks or a long-term program conducted over several months. Determine the frequency and duration of coaching sessions, being mindful of the participants’ availability and commitment level.
Tailor the coaching methodology and techniques to suit the objectives and needs of the group. This may involve a combination of coaching models, such as cognitive-behavioral coaching, positive psychology exercises, or mindfulness-based approaches (depending on the goals and focus of the program).
Set clear expectations for participants regarding attendance, active participation, confidentiality, and commitment to the coaching process. Clearly communicate the guidelines and ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities within the group.
Develop a system for tracking and evaluating participants’ progress throughout the program. This may involve individual assessments, self-reflection exercises, feedback forms, or group evaluations to assess the program’s effectiveness and identify areas for improvement.
Evaluation is one area where Quenza truly shines.
Rather than having to create tools yourself, send them out, then analyze the results—Quenza automates everything.
You can choose from dozens of ready-made and customizable intake, assessment, evaluation, and feedback forms.
Send them with the click of a button.
Then automatically analyze the results.
Developing a Group Coaching Program Template
A well-designed group coaching program template serves as a roadmap for coaches to ensure consistency, effectiveness, and a seamless coaching experience for participants.
We’ve detailed key components to include in a group coaching program template below, but customizing the template to fit specific coaching goals, target audience, and preferred coaching methodologies is crucial. Be sure to adapt the template based on the unique needs of the group to provide a tailored and impactful coaching experience.
Program Overview and Objectives – Provide a clear and concise overview of the program, including its purpose, goals, and expected outcomes. This section sets the tone and creates alignment among participants.
Session Structure and Agenda – Outline the structure of each coaching session, including the flow, duration, and key activities. Define the agenda to ensure well-organized and focused sessions.
Coaching Tools and Resources – Identify the coaching tools, exercises, and resources that will be utilized throughout the program. These can include worksheets, assessments, readings, or multimedia materials to enhance the learning experience.
Participant Materials and Worksheets – Prepare materials that participants can use to support their learning and progress. This may include reflections, goal-setting templates, or action-planning guides.
Communication and Support Channels – Clearly outline the communication channels available to participants for any questions, concerns, or additional support needed between coaching sessions. This can include email, group messaging platforms, or dedicated online forums.
The Expansions library in Quenza, with 250+ resources covering a wide range of topics, provides the ability to seamlessly design and deliver an individually tailored group coaching program in no time.
Once you’re clear on the structure of your program, all you need to do is browse (or search) the library of Expansions and choose which Activities might suit your group participants.
Then, you simply piece together your chosen activities into a sequence for group sessions with your clients.
Here’s an example.
No one wants to feel like they’re at a boring work seminar or lecture in a group coaching program, so it’s important to keep sessions lively, engaging, and entertaining.
One of the best ways to do this is by incorporating interactive exercises and activities throughout the sessions.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Icebreaker Activities – Start each session with icebreaker activities to create a relaxed and open atmosphere. These activities can range from simple introductions to interactive games that encourage participants to share and connect.
- Competency-based Exercises – Integrate exercises that allow participants to practice and develop new competencies relevant to their goals such as active listening. These can include role-plays, simulations, or group projects that provide opportunities for hands-on learning and application.
- Group Discussions and Case Studies – Facilitate group discussions and present relevant case studies and examples that stimulate critical thinking and shared learning. Encourage participants to explore different perspectives, offer insights, and collaborate on problem-solving.
- Individual and Group Goal-Setting Exercises – Guide participants in setting both individual and group goals that align with their aspirations. Provide frameworks and tools to help them define actionable steps to hold themselves (and others) accountable throughout the program.
To help you keep clients engaged and actively participating in your group, we’ve created a drag and drop Activity builder that you can customize with resources that will be of particular use to your clients.
This makes it a breeze to add things like audio recordings, videos, and worksheets. You can use your own resources, those available in our Expansion library, or even third-party content (presuming you have permission).
Once your group participants have their Activities, you can work through them independently or together, communicating and interacting throughout with the secure chat feature.
This means no more relying on distracting social media platforms to let your group members communicate with each other.
Selecting a Group Coaching Platform
While it’s not an absolute requirement, most coaches running groups use a digital platform to assist with the tasks involved in administering a program. And this is even more so the case with online groups, where technology can greatly enhance the ability of the coach and participants to communicate and interact with each other.
When choosing a group coaching platform, several factors should be considered to ensure a seamless coaching experience that is both stress-free for the coach, and results in the greatest benefit for participants.
Here are some key considerations:
The platform should be user-friendly and accessible across various devices and operating systems. Participants should be able to easily navigate the platform and access coaching materials, resources, and communication channels.
Evaluate the platform’s features, such as video conferencing, file sharing, interactive whiteboards, and messaging. Consider whether the platform allows for seamless engagement, collaboration, and integration of coaching tools.
Ensure the platform provides secure and private communication channels, as confidentiality is crucial in a coaching setting. Even though information may be shared between group members, it’s important to verify that the platform complies with privacy regulations to protect participants’ personal information.
Quenza is an all-in-one digital platform that helps coaches and therapists increase client engagement, scale their practice, and provide automated care.
What’s unique about Quenza is that both our Lite and Standard membership tiers provide full access to the platform. Either option includes the Quenza app for 1:1 coaching and counseling. Plus, Quenza Groups, is our innovative solution for delivering successful group coaching programs online and in-person.
With Quenza Groups, creating a group coaching program only requires following 3 simple steps.
Step 1: Create a Group
Step 2: Send Activities and Pathways
Step 3: View Group Results
Group coaching programs offer a powerful and transformative approach to personal and professional development.
By leveraging the collective wisdom and support of a group, combined with the skills and knowledge of a coach, individuals can achieve remarkable growth and breakthroughs.
In this guide, we have explored the fundamental aspects of how to run a successful group coaching program, including structuring a group, developing a program template, engaging participants, and selecting a suitable digital platform.
Armed with this knowledge, and the powerful tools provided in Quenza Groups you can create an enriching and impactful group coaching experience that empowers individuals to reach their full potential.
To try Quenza Groups out today, sign up for a 1-month full-access trial for only $1.
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- ^ Jarosz, J. (2021). The impact of coaching on well-being and performance of managers and their teams during pandemic. International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring, 19(1), 4-27.
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- ^ Murray, M. (2015). Coach yourself to success: 101 tips from a personal coach for reaching your goals at work and in life. AMACOM.
- ^ Krebs, P. (2018). Group coaching: A comprehensive blueprint. IAP.
- ^ Lee, J. (2017). Group coaching for individual development: The mediating role of learning goal orientation. Human Resource Development International, 20(2), 139-157.