How do you coach a group and still make impact on each individual in the group by being able to address their individual needs?
When coaching an individual client, you can easily address their needs by listening deeply to them. The client sets the agenda, and lets you know what is working along the way. If their gremlins come up, they can be taken care of. You can hear the right question to ask because there is only one person talking.
In a group, this can become exponentially more complicated. With more people there are more agendas, more gremlins and a bunch more questions. Right? Well, yes and no. While this is true, it is only partially true. As a group coach, you can organize all of this in a way that the individual needs can be addressed at an even deeper level by taking some simple steps.
Have a specific topic or theme that the conversation is centered around.
Creating a common overarching agenda will support each person in the group to bring their questions and concerns. And they will be able to learn from each other, and consider possibilities that they hear from other group members, that they may never have thought of themselves.
Offer individual support alongside the group.
In addition to group meetings, you can build in some 1:1 coaching time. If your group meets 3 times per month, you can offer an individual session on the 4th week. Or you could offer a 1:1 Foundation session prior to the start of the group. And inviting each member to a laser session during the course of the group can also address the individual needs.
Trust the process.
There is a magic that happens in groups, and once you have prepared yourself and have a structure in place, trust the process and just coach. Know that there is a reason these people have come together, and that they will be supporting each other. You just need to create the container of structure and safety, and allow that magic to come forward.
There is a story I heard years ago, about a person who died, and was taken to a banquet room. There was a table set with a sumptuous buffet of all kinds of wonderful foods. And there people sitting at the table with spoons with very long handles tied to their wrists. Try as they may, they could not get the food into their mouths, as the handles of the spoons were too long. The people were starving, and the food was right in front of them. It was hell!
Next, the person was led to another room with a similar scene. Same banquet table and sumptuous buffet. Same people with long-handled spoons tied to their wrists. Yet this was heaven. Because in this room, the people were feeding each other.
There is a HUGE power in a group of people who are nurturing each other, while moving through a challenge in life. Give yourself and your clients the gift of a specific theme, the option of individual support, and trust the process. The impact on each individual can be profound.