This article is part of The Ascender, the Highrise platform for articles and resources.

Unlock Your Leadership Potential: The Benefits of Group Coaching

Andrew Langat
February 6, 2024
Group of professionals in leadership coaching session, coach leading discussion, participants collaborating and sharing insights.
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“Coming together, ordinary people can perform extraordinary feats. They can push things that come into their hands a little higher up, a little further on toward the heights of excellence.” - Unknown.

We tend to be more successful and effective leaders when we do things as a group. This is particularly true for organizations with an effective group leader skilled in managing many moving parts that must work in synergy to realize a common objective.

Whereas initiatives such as executive coaching tend to focus on individual leaders —primarily C-level executives— expanding the scope and coaching a cohort of leaders within the organization can have great benefits, such as increasing group performance, making group members accountable to each other, a key cornerstone for a successful coaching outcome. 

One such way of studying leadership distinguishes leaders grooming successful leaders and leadership effectiveness of group members is through group coaching.

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What is Group Leadership Coaching?

Group leadership coaching, also known as "peer coaching," is a collaborative and immersive process aimed at improving the leadership capabilities of a whole group member's respected status.

Whether virtually or through in-person group meetings, it is characterized by activities, discussions, and exercises that help identify correct leadership behaviors and individual strengths and weaknesses for the group leader's responsibilities among members.

Example: Group leadership coaching of a Sales Team

Senior management organizes a group leadership coaching initiative for sales managers to enhance their group leader responsibilities and performance.

Through coaching sessions, they identified challenges such as the prevalence of unhealthy intra-competition, micromanagement issues, poor team dynamics, changing market trends, and obvious leadership weaknesses that goes unmentioned due to fear of reprisal.

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Is Group leadership coaching the same as Team coaching?

Difference between group coaching and team coaching

Though they sound similar, group leadership coaching and team coaching have distinct aims. Group leadership coaching helps individual leaders, such as emerging leaders from different backgrounds, hone their leadership styles through improvement in key areas such as communication. Imagine a diverse group of CEOs sharing leadership challenges and gaining from each other's strategies.

On the other hand, team coaching focuses on strengthening a specific team as a whole. Picture a marketing team working with a coach to improve collaboration and tackle communication roadblocks, ultimately optimizing their performance together.

Both approaches empower individuals, but group and leadership style polishes individual gems, while team coaching refines each team member's collective shine.

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10 Key Benefits of Group Leadership Coaching

Group leadership coaching promotes effective leadership competency in which leaders speak in the following ways:

1. Enhancing Self-Awareness

Group leadership coaching inculcates self-awareness, a strong foundation of emotional intelligence, and a key ingredient of effective leadership. Leaders gain a deeper understanding of their emotions through facilitated discussions and introspective exercises.

This self-awareness empowers leaders to make informed decisions, adapt to diverse situations, and build authentic team connections that can be valuable, especially for designated and emergent leaders.

Ultimately, they become self-aware. For example, when group members can share experiences, it can prompt self-reflection and the ability to see blindspots that were not previously clear. Moreover, accountability and growth offer a space for vulnerability to other group members, creating an avenue for growth.

2. Empowering Communication and Collaboration

Effective communication and collaboration are essential elements of high-performing teams. Leaders learn the building blocks of effective communication that build trust, build leadership skills, create psychological safety, and encourage open communication with all stakeholders.

Usually, a coach task leader can challenge group leaders to speak to other group members to communicate openly. First, they can teach the context and communication behaviors that group participation can use.

A coach can empower communication and collaboration among effective small-group communication participants through initiatives such as facilitating civil debate on various issues and brainstorming ideas that can support groups hone communication in a real-time manner.

These shared knowledge and experiences among group members enable challenge group members to learn from other group members' communication competency while allowing the coach to offer real-time feedback on areas of improvement.

3. Igniting Innovation and Creativity

Leadership coaching can ignite innovation and creativity and catalyze organizational growth. Group members learn to foster a culture of experimentation, encourage diverse perspectives, and reward creative thinking. Moreover, they develop strategies to identify and nurture new ideas, transforming challenges into opportunities.

For example, A group of engineers at a tech company is struggling to develop a new product idea. Management organizes the team members to undergo group coaching to unearth what may be causing challenges.

After working with a coach, group participants break through their creative block after group leaders are taught how to create a participative and inclusive climate for everyone when performing group activities.

4. Cultivating Accountability and Driving Results

Group leadership coaching cultivates accountability and enables leaders to truly understand their leadership positions, the cornerstone of achieving organizational goals.

Through coaching, leaders learn to set clear expectations, manage expectations, provide ongoing feedback, and hold themselves and their teams accountable for results. 

For example, A customer service team has high turnover and low morale. Things became worse when a designated leader unexpectedly leaves in the middle of a busy season. After working with a coach, they improved their communication by learning group communication theory, and other vital skills, which leads to better customer service and reduced turnover.

5. Enhanced Learning and Skill Development

Group sessions expose participants to diverse perspectives and experiences, creating a rich learning environment. Different approaches and challenges others share can spark new ideas, inspire creative solutions, and accelerate skill development that ultimately creates a good workplace.

Unlike individual coaching, group settings bring together various perspectives and experiences. This diverse pool of knowledge fuels lively discussions, challenges assumptions, and sparks new ideas. This cross-pollination of knowledge accelerates individual learning and helps team members see situations from multiple angles, enabling leaders to emerge differently.

For example, A leadership team feels stuck in unproductive conflict. Group coaching facilitates open communication, conflict resolution techniques, and leadership development resources, leading to better decision-making and a more unified team.

6. Increased Accountability and Support

Effective group leaders encourage group members to be accountable by creating a sense of community and shared responsibility, motivating individuals to stay on track with their goals. The encouragement and support from peers, group leader responsibilities, and the coach provide a powerful accountability system, boosting their commitment and progress.

For example, A team working on a complex project can leverage the diverse expertise of individuals in the group's members to overcome challenges, find creative solutions, and provide mutual support throughout the process.

7. Cost-Effectiveness and Accessibility

Group programs offer more cost-effective access to professional guidance and support than individual coaching. This makes coaching more accessible to a wider range of people, allowing them to benefit from its transformative potential in the following ways:

Shared Cost: Compared to individual coaching, the cost of a group session is divided among participants, making it significantly more affordable for everyone involved. This opens up professional development opportunities to individuals who might not have the budget for one-on-one coaching.

Economies of Scale: Coaches can reach a wider audience through group sessions, efficiently spreading their expertise and resources. This translates to lower per-participant costs compared to individual sessions.

Reduced Time Commitment: Group coaching sessions often run shorter than individual coaching, leading to lower overall time investment for participants. This is especially beneficial for busy professionals who juggle multiple commitments.

8. Strong Network Building and Support Systems

Group coaching fosters individual growth and the development of strong networks and support systems, creating a powerful catalyst for success. Here's how:

1. Shared Experiences and Goals: Group coaching brings together individuals facing similar challenges and goals. This shared journey fosters empathy, understanding, and a sense of camaraderie. Participants can relate to each other's experiences, offer encouragement, and celebrate milestones, that ultimately enhance group performance.

2. Collaborative Problem-Solving and Knowledge Sharing: The diverse perspectives and expertise within a group create a rich pool of knowledge and resources. Participants can learn from each other's successes and failures, brainstorm solutions, and share best practices. This collaborative learning environment fosters trust and strengthens connections, building a valuable support system and ultimately makes leaders emerge.

3. Peer-to-Peer Accountability and Feedback: Group coaching provides a platform for constructive feedback and accountability. By holding each other accountable for progress and offering supportive feedback, participants motivate each other to stay on track and achieve their goals. This creates a cycle of mutual support and encouragement, strengthening the network's impact.

4. Fostering Trust and Open Communication: The supportive and confidential environment of group coaching encourages open communication and vulnerability. Participants feel comfortable sharing their struggles, challenges, and successes, deepening trust and connection within the group. This open communication lays the foundation for a reliable and supportive network.

5. Expanding Professional Networks: Group coaching connects individuals with diverse backgrounds, skills, and experiences. This expands their professional network beyond their immediate colleagues, creating valuable connections that can be leveraged for future opportunities, support, and collaboration.

9. Leadership Development and Growth

Leadership coaching offers a powerful tool for promoting leadership development and growth. By providing a confidential and supportive space for reflection, goal setting, and skill development, leaders can benefit from a coach's expertise in several key areas:

Skills Enhancement: Effective leadership coaching cultivates a wide range of essential skills to perform leadership behaviors that include:

  • Communication: Mastering verbal and nonverbal communication for clear and impactful interactions.
  • Emotional intelligence: Effectively managing your own emotions and recognizing those of others.
  • Delegation: Empowering others by delegating tasks effectively.
  • Motivation: Inspiring and motivating both yourself and your team.
  • Conflict resolution: Navigating and resolving conflict constructively.
  • Growth Mindset Cultivation: Leadership coaching fosters a growth mindset, believing abilities and intelligence can continuously develop. This empowers leaders to:

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What are the Drawbacks of Group Leadership Coaching?

As explained above, group of leadership style of coaching has various benefits, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges that include:

1. Inadequate Individualized Attention

One of the drawbacks of group a coaching is the absence/limited individualized attention. Whereas it is the coach's role to encourage other group members to be the best version of themselves, it can be difficult for a coach to address each participant's challenges, goals, and peculiar needs in a group setting.

This reality might hinder the effectiveness of the coaching process as coaching tends to work best through a one-on-one approach.  For instance, a manager aiming to improve conflict resolution skills in their department may require personalized strategies that differ from a leader who wants to enhance effective communication in their department. 

2. Differing Learning Paces and Styles

Another key drawback of group coaching is participant diversity in learning paces and styles. It's a known fact that people learn differently, and as such, an approach that aims to fit all can potentially deliver wrong results. 

For example, while some participants prefer hands-on activities and immediate feedback, others prefer theoretical discussions. The difference in expectations can lead to failure in identifying problems. 

3. Potential for Group Dynamics Issues

It is common for groups to have issues such as competition, conflicts of interest, power struggles, interpersonal or communication issues, and even jealousy. This is especially true when a group comes from the departments. This can create an environment where individuals are reluctant to share openly, or interpersonal relationships within the group influence how particular communication behaviors and the coaching group process.

For instance, other leader candidates a team undergoing coaching may have existing tensions or her own opinion that affect their ability to collaborate during coaching sessions, limiting the positive impact of the coaching on individual leadership development.

4. Confidentiality Concerns

Maintaining confidentiality is crucial in coaching to create a safe space for individuals to discuss sensitive issues. However, in a group setting, ensuring confidentiality can be more challenging. 

Participants may be hesitant to share personal challenges or concerns due to the fear of information spreading beyond the group; this is especially true in organizations where psychological safety is not assured. 

This lack of openness can hinder the depth of discussions and limit the coach one candidate's supporter team and the other's ability to address critical issues. For example, a group leader of one candidate supporter team still struggling with a team management issue may be less likely to openly discuss the details in a group setting, compromising the effectiveness of the coaching process.

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How can a group coach make group coaching more productive?

Here are some ways a group coach can make group coaching more productive:

1. Create a safe and inclusive environment:

  • Set clear expectations and ground rules: Establish the group communication leadership relationship, a group's procedural related functions, confidentiality, explain that the group has only one official leader, and participation guidelines to ensure everyone feels comfortable and heard.
  • Use icebreakers and team-building activities: Help participants get to know each other and build rapport to foster trust and collaboration in the initial group interactions. A positive climate typically leads to better coaching outcomes.
  • Promote active listening and empathy: Encourage participants to listen attentively to each other and offer supportive feedback without judgment in group's task related functions.

2. Focus on clear goals and objectives:

  • Align individual goals with group objectives: Help participants understand how their individual goals contribute to the group's overall success.
  • Set SMART goals: Ensure goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound to provide a clear roadmap for progress.
  • Track progress and celebrate milestones: Regularly monitor individual and group progress and acknowledge achievements to maintain motivation and engagement.

3. Utilize diverse coaching strategies:

  • Mix individual and group activities: Balance whole-group discussions with smaller breakout sessions and individual check-ins to cater to different learning styles and needs.
  • Incorporate role-playing and simulations: Create realistic scenarios to allow participants to practice skills and receive feedback in a safe environment.
  • Use storytelling and case studies: Share relevant stories and examples to illustrate key concepts and inspire participants.

4. Foster active participation and engagement:

  • Ask open-ended questions: Encourage critical thinking and deeper exploration by asking questions that go beyond simple yes/no answers.
  • Use technology and online tools: Leverage online platforms, polling apps, and other digital tools to keep participants engaged and actively involved.
  • Delegate tasks and responsibilities: Empower participants by assigning roles and responsibilities within the group to promote ownership and leadership.

5. Provide timely and actionable feedback:

  • Offer constructive feedback: Focus on specific behaviors and actions and provide suggestions for improvement positively and encouragingly for each group member.
  • Celebrate successes and acknowledge effort: Recognize and celebrate individual and group achievements to reinforce positive behaviors and maintain motivation.
  • Offer ongoing support: Provide participants with additional resources and support beyond the coaching sessions to help them sustain their progress for each team member.

By implementing these strategies, group coaches can create a dynamic and productive learning environment where participants feel empowered to grow, learn, and achieve their goals.

Inspiring, isn’t it ? Want to learn more about connecting self-awareness to professional development? Get in touch today.

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Trust Highrise Coaching For Unparalleled Group Leadership Coaching

Ready to develop leadership skills? Maybe you are the designated or emergent leader? Or poor leadership is holding you back?

Look no further than Highrise Coaching, the premier destination for unparalleled group leadership experiences. At Highrise, we don't just refine skills – we transform individuals into more successful leaders, we believe that everyone possess leadership skills.

Our curated cohorts, led by renowned coaches, provide a launchpad for you to push past perceived limitations and embrace your full leadership power. Don't settle for ordinary development – choose Highrise and witness the extraordinary rise within yourself and your team.

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Andrew Langat
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Andrew Langat is an experienced content specialist in Leadership, Productivity, Education, Fintech, and Research. He is an avid reader and loves swimming as a hobby. He believes that quality content should be actionable and helpful.