Ask people about the dynamics of life coaching and the likely response is that it is a one to one activity performed between an individual wishing to address an issue and a coach either in person or over the telephone. The model is established and it works for most personal issues where the individual alone can make a change.
Group life coaching however is growing rapidly in popularity particularly within the business community. Many performance issues within team’s emanate from a fundamental disconnect with either the team or the perceptions of groups of individuals within it.
Group life coaching can be unbelievably powerful however the central tenet of team should always be that the whole is going to be greater than the sum of its parts.
The famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud believed that both individuals and groups are driven by sub-conscious motivators far more than they are by conscious ones. Followers of Freud believe that the identity of the individual becomes sub vented to that of the group as they effectively become consumed by the groups’ energy.
Its effects are often subtle although to bring the argument alive it is interesting how most of us will be seen in completely different ways when viewed by our family as opposed to our colleagues or school friends. Aren’t we the same person? According to group dynamics perhaps not…we act according the energy of our circumstances.
A top coach will apply the same coaching principals of self-revelation to the group environment because many team performance problems should be addressed within the team setting and the team should be oriented towards identifying the solution.
Of course the idea of group coaching can be introduced in many settings - private relationships, families, school groups etc. It is generally used in the same kind of contexts as group counseling. Group business coaching is, of course, very different.
Group business coaching must not be confused with team building events or team training. Its aims are very direct. Discuss and get the problems out on to the table, agree what needs to be acted upon and agree what the causes of the dynamic are likely to be and then finally for the whole team to agree step exactly what actions are going to be taken. Not only is a group life coaching approach the right approach for certain team issues but of course it might also be the most cost effective to the business as well.
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