I consider myself to be fiercely independent and outrageously resourceful. From a young age, I was programmed to solve my own problems, move my own barriers, and work through my own obstacles. Help? I don’t need it. Support? I can take it or leave it.
This mindset has had its advantages in life and my career. It’s made me strong, capable, and resilient. But it’s also had some disadvantages.
I can appear distrustful or distant. I’ve turned down opportunities for teamwork or collaboration that would have expanded my learning and growth.
It wasn’t until started working with Transitions Coaching that I began to recognize the benefits of immersing yourself in a group. I’ve noticed that when individuals come together in a truly safe space, an astonishing thing happens: they share experiences, ideas, and understandings, they uncover assumptions and misconceptions, and they gain new insights that can lead to individual and collective growth.
This is exactly what happens in our group programs, like The Leadership Lab and Navigating the Journey of a Career Transition. Group coaching enables powerful interactions among leaders and peers. In a group setting, you create experiences that aren’t typically available independently or one-on-one.
There are countless benefits to group coaching, and these are a few that rank at the top of our list:
Opportunities to experiment, explore, and practice.
Working in a group allows you to practice valuable skills like listening, asking insightful questions, and giving and receiving feedback. It also presents opportunities to tune into others’ perspectives and emotions and get comfortable with vulnerability. These experiences can help you hone skills valuable to leadership and collaboration, like coaching, motivating, and aligning people.
New perspectives and diverse points of view.
Each group member will have unique experiences, points of view, and goals. They’ll see the world differently, and learning from their perspectives can help you gain new and deeper insights. Members of a group are also likely to find shared traits and common ground that create meaningful connections. Exploring group members’ commonalities and differences can shed better light on your gifts and open your eyes to potential blind spots.
A built-in accountability system.
Joining a group can create almost-instant accountability. Immersion in a group facilitates peer learning and creates a supportive community that can motivate you and encourage you to persevere. Revealing your challenges and goals to others can push you to take action, knowing that group members will be joining you on the journey. Group dynamics also offer the unique opportunity for observation of your interactions, which can provide valuable insights and feedback for personal growth and development.
A long-lasting support network.
You’ve heard others say it, and you may have experienced it firsthand: leadership can be lonely. Luckily, many group coaching cohorts help solve this problem. Members of the group develop openness and trust and become a source of support for each other. The relationships you build with other participants often endure beyond the group, too. Engaging in this type of relationship-building can help you create greater connectedness with others, professionally and personally.
It’s worth noting that the benefits of group coaching can occur whether you’re participating in a group inside or outside your organization.
Whether you find yourself in a group of peers who are familiar or previously unknown to you, the potential for growth is the same. You’ll have the opportunity to broaden your perspective, expand your learning, and increase your growth.
However, these benefits will only emerge if you approach coaching with the right mindset and willingness to engage. How do you get the most out of your group coaching experience? Here are a few things to consider:
Be curious. Come to the group with an open mind and willingness to authentically engage. Ask good questions, offer honest feedback, and share your point of view. This will demonstrate that you value others’ experience, knowledge, and skills.
Engage authentically and honestly.
Group coaching isn’t meant to be a kumbaya experience where all you do is sing each other’s praises. You’ll discuss challenges, explore vulnerabilities, and reveal shortcomings. Be open to seeing yourself through others’ eyes.
Be vulnerable and take risks.
Growth requires vulnerability, and group coaching will ask you to step outside your comfort zone. While you explore your challenges (and help others explore theirs), you’ll need to rely on courage to ask tough questions, approach sensitive issues, and offer honest input.
Enter group coaching with the right mindset and you’ll increase your chances of finding support from others and a safe place for exploration.
And through the process, you can trust you’ll be building skills for personal and organizational growth.
If you’re seeking space to learn, experiment, practice, and grow your effectiveness as a leader, check out The Leadership Lab. With the structure of a meaningful curriculum and the support of others seeking the same outcomes, you can achieve a renewed sense of who you are and why you lead. Learn more about Transitions Coaching and meet our team here.