Congratulations! You’ve decided that you want to create a group coaching program.
You know it will expand your impact and help you fulfill your purpose in a bigger way.
And, it doesn’t hurt that you can create affordable coaching options for potential clients while still making a good living!
Except… what do you DO with your clients once they’re in your group!
In today’s blog, I’ll share a simple, traditional group coaching structure with you. It’s simple and traditional because IT WORKS! It’s a structure that helps people focus on the work they’re doing.
Try this simple structure in your first group coaching programs.
The first session is designed to achieve 3 goals:
Review the guidelines of the group
Help everyone get to know each other and start bonding
This kickoff session can be a little longer than the rest of the sessions. If your sessions are planned for 60 minutes, you might make this one 90 minutes.
Here’s a recommended agenda for the kick off session. You can also grab this and all the session agendas by popping your email in below.
- Share the agenda for the session
- Welcome + introduce yourself as the coach (share a story!)
- Group introductions + icebreaker
- Review “What is Coaching”
- Review group guidelines
- Have everyone share their intention for the program
- Wrap up with an easy assignment for next session (something they can do to prepare, or to get in the group mindset)
I recommend following a consistent structure for each of the subsequent sessions. We want people focused on the work, not anxious about what’s coming up in the group. Unpredictable structures take the attention off the clients and the work they’re doing. So keep it simple and keep it the same, week after week.
An agenda for subsequent sessions might fill 60 minutes as follows:
- Share the agenda for the session (people like to know what’s coming up, so give them a quick “Here’s what we’re going to do today”
- Give everyone an opportunity to share about what’s come up for them in the time between sessions
- OPTIONAL: Introduce a topic, exercise, tool, or bit of teaching.
- Give the group time to work through the tool or exercise (it is OK to have quiet time while people work through this, or you can break them into pairs)
- Coaching time!
- Hotseat coaching: Each participant will get X amount of minutes on a rotating basis. Mary + Joe get coached in session 1; John + Matilda in session 2, and so forth
- Open coaching: Whoever wants to speak up, speaks up and gets coached. The coach uses time management to make sure whoever wants to speak up gets a turn
- Laser Coaching: Each group member gets 5-7 minutes or so to be coached around something specific
- Wrap up: Review major themes or takeaways + co-create, or give an assignment
Like the kick off session, the final session is an opportunity to seal up the container, so to speak. It’s like the final day of sleepaway camp! Everyone exchanges numbers, seals their bonds, talks about all the ways that camp has changed their lives forever.
It’s the same in your group! This is a time to celebrate wins and ask the participants to talk about the ways their lives are now different, compared to when they enrolled in your group.
This can also be an opportunity to talk about next steps for individuals who want to enroll in a 1:1 coaching package with you.
There are infinite ways to seal up a container. Here’s one agenda to borrow:
- Share the agenda for the session
- Give everyone a chance to share what’s happened for them since last week
- Give everyone time to think about where they were when they joined the group (and share)
- Give everyone time to think about their Top 2 takeaways + ways that their lives have changed (and share)
- Optional: Have them create a specific action + accountability plan for keeping those changes alive, and give the group a fun way to reconnect in a month after the group has ended (e.g. a video conference or group phone call)
- End with reading a passage or poem that relates to your group or expresses the wins that your group has experienced
- Exchange contact information for those who wish to stay in touch
This traditional group coaching structure allows space for the group to dive deep into the topic around which you are coaching. In no time, you’ll be creating transformative groups that fill your practice with clients who come back to you again and again!