Group coaching. Does this term stir up any anxiety in you? There are many stigmas surrounding group coaching that lead many people to avoid it. In fact, statistically men avoid group coaching the most and when they do begrudgingly join they tend not to thrive in group environments. Too many people believe professional coaching in general is a sign of weakness, of an inability to take care of themselves, and/or only for people who are failing at life. Marry this lack of information about the benefits of professional coaching with the very human fact that people are generally unwilling to open up as much in front of a group of people and it’s not difficult to see why some people would shy away from group coaching.
However, maybe you do like professional coaching but you just want to keep it one on one. That is fine. What works best for you is what works best for you. According to Bath University, some of the top leaders in the FTSE 100 and Fortune 100 have their own personal professional coaches to help them succeed. Still, here are three benefits to group coaching you may want to incorporate into your professional life:
1. A Problem Shared is a Problem Halved
Have you ever felt like you must be the only one to be annoyed by something in a professional setting? Well, you’re not alone…literally. Forbes reports findings from a 2019 study that shows 41% of men and 29% of women feel lonely at work. The same study found 23-25% of women and “a third of employed men (32%) said they felt abandoned by coworkers when under pressure and also felt alienated by coworkers.” When we’re on our own we can tend to feel like our problems are all on our shoulders. A professional coach helps with this in one on one sessions, but group coaching allows even more perspective to help diagnose and potentially alleviate the problem. Even if there isn’t necessarily a problem to solve, knowing you have a room full of people that empathize with you is incredibly cathartic.
2. Think Outside the Box
A major benefit to group coaching is that it inspires an environment of creativity, of diverse perspectives, and of looking at a problem from multiple angles. These are all skills that are vital to the successful development of a professional. It may help to think of group sessions as a time of professional development—like a seminar or networking—but with a specific focus. There is also a cost-benefit to group coaching compared to traditional professional development. Bath University agrees, saying “If you attend a leadership training program, for example, your costs could include travel, accommodation and meals, plus the course fees. Not to mention the hidden costs of being away from your work.” Developing your professional goals in this way is proven to be effective from CEO to Administrative Assistant. So really, professional group coaching isn’t much different than what you’re already doing, except that it could benefit you more and cost you less! See, thinking outside of the box is pretty great.
3. Protect Your Achilles Heel
You know the story of Achilles, right? He was the ancient Greek hero who was strong and fast and beloved by the gods—and could only be defeated in battle by a tiny spot on the back of his ankle. That’s exactly how successful professionals who don’t think they need any help get defeated: they don’t look after their blind spots. Some people are born for the boardroom and yet can’t understand why they aren’t meeting all their professional goals. A professional coaching group can help you see the areas you need to work on better than you can alone. Harvard Business Review says that “effective executive coaching enhances individual capabilities; it doesn’t remake the alpha into an unrecognizable powder puff. The coach’s challenge is to preserve an alpha’s strengths while correcting his or her weaknesses.” Maybe you feel like what you’re doing on your own is good enough and you just need to put the time in to reap your rewards. Perhaps that’s true, but “A coach can be a sounding board and a mirror to enable you to see yourself and your options in different ways.” As demonstrated above, group coaching can offer the same benefits as individual coaching but multiplied exponentially. So why settle for being good when you could be great!
Group coaching has dozens of other benefits—both for professionals who take their initiative and for companies who require professional group coaching for their staff. Read more about these benefits through the links below. Your professional career goals are achievable and valid. A professional coach can help you get there.