Credit: Paul Stevenson

In the past several weeks, I’ve been asked about the topic of group coaching at least six times.  Currently I offer three groups and they are a wonderful and sustainable source of income in my business.  They are also one of my best sources of new referrals.   Your helping business could probably benefit from more of them.

When NOT to Focus on Groups

Once upon a time, there was an enthusiastic new coach.  He had heard about the income potential of coaching groups and had facilitated various groups in his previous career.

So he sent out word he was starting a group coaching program at a fair price.  Within a short time he had enough people to start two groups.   But things quickly went downhill.  Clients weren’t satisfied.  Within 6 weeks of starting, most of them dropped out.  Our coach friend was NOT happy.

That new coach was me.  If you haven’t yet learned how to help people make big and lasting shifts in individual sessions, you’re not ready for groups.

5 Great Reasons to Offer More Group Coaching

If you’re good at helping people get the results they want one-on-one, then it’s probably time to consider offering groups (or additional groups).  Here’s why:

  1. Groups are FUN!  Facilitating deep work in small groups is one of the greatest pleasures I’ve ever had.
  2. You make more money.  With skillful attention to structure and pricing, you make much more money per hour with group coaching.
  3. Increased support.  When group members are working on similar issues, they support and cheer each other on.  This is incredibly helpful!
  4. More value for the client.  Through “borrowing benefits” and positive dialogue with other group members, clients get value beyond your time and attention.
  5. Larger network.  A member of a group can tap into the network of everyone else in the group – often with incredible results.
  6. BONUS: When a group’s energy is flowing, it’s like nothing else.  People can’t help but tell their friends.  In other words, it’s great for referrals. :)

Keys to A Successful Group Coaching Program

Since my initial crash and burn, I’ve looked deeply into what allows coaching groups to succeed.  Here’s what I’ve learned:

1) Have a clear focus to each group. Know who your ideal client is and communicate this in your marketing.

2) Have a personal conversation with each potential member to discern whether they are a good fit for your experience level and coaching style.

3) Assess each candidate for her ability to both give and receive.  People who are very out of balance (in either direction) will disrupt what Napoleon Hill called the “group mind”.

4) To lead deep group work, it’s essential to experience it.  Attend workshops, trainings and coaching groups offered by skilled facilitators as often as you can.

What are your questions or comments about group coaching?  Do you have experience you could share?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the form of a comment below. Also, if you need help setting up a thriving group coaching program, feel free to contact me to discuss your situation.

Paul Zelizer
Paul Zelizer

Paul Zelizer is one of the first business and marketing coaches to focus on the needs of Wisdompreneurs – people who have a business is based on the principles of wisdom and spirituality. In addition to conscious entrepreneurship, Paul is passionate about just about anything you can do in the mountain high country, power yoga, dark chocolate, sustainable living, ecstatic poetry and deep centering breaths. He lives in a solar adobe home in the mountains near Santa Fe, New Mexico.