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What scares me about running coaching groups (and classes)

November 13, 2013

Worried WomanOk, I produced and directed the First Annual Group Coaching Megasummit.  And yes, I’ve run many groups of my own. 

But here I am, about to create a teleseminar series to help people run groups the way I do it (leading to passive income) and I’m scared.

What am I scared of?  I’m the kind of person who likes to make sure that everyone is happy.  How can I start teaching something that will make everyone happy? 

There will be some beginners who won’t understand what I’m talking about, and more advanced people who will be bored to death as I explain more elementary principles.  

They might be mad at me.  They might not like me.

Isn’t that pathetic?  I just finished presenting an event where experts taught us that groups are magic, that the more experienced love to help the beginners, and the beginners are helped by role models.

As a matter of fact, I’m so nervous about what could go wrong, that I’m having trouble getting started with planning.

So I’m going to pull myself up by my bootstraps right now.  I need to take my own advice.  I need to:

  • Adjust my mindset (not everyone will like you, and that’s OK)
  • Talk to my people (that’s YOU)
  • Find out what people want to learn from a class like mine
  • Decide who I want to target in my class
  • Remind myself of the value of my knowledge and my tools
  • Trust in the power of the group

That feels better.  I just need to take the small steps.

Which leads me to the second point (the first is “Isn’t it ironic that I’m scared, and can anyone relate to what I’m going through?”).

Jumping WomanThe second point is:

 I want to talk to YOU.

 If you have run a group or class, or you have what it takes to do so (a responsive list of people who follow you and want to get more from you), you could really help me. 

 I’d like to ask you a few questions about what your experiences have been (or lack of experience) and similar questions.  Nothing more than that.  It should take about 10 minutes. [I’m not going to sell you anything!]

 I would LOVE to talk to you either on Skype or on the phone.  If you are interested, please write me at info@finishagent.com and we can schedule that quick call.  It will be fun!

 I only have time to talk to 5 people, so it will be first come first served.

 In the mean time, I would love it if you would post below whether you’ve ever run groups or classes where you weren’t satisfied with the results.  An example would be very helpful.  I’d also love to learn what you’ve tried before to make the problem better. 

 You can help me learn about YOU!

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10 thoughts on “What scares me about running coaching groups (and classes)

  1. I’ve run group classes for my “Publish Your eBook Blueprint” class. I started out by filling a small local room with students for a Saturday class. I had enough interest to run the class back-to-back on two different Saturdays.

    I learned a TON from teaching the material. Even though I was ready for the first class, I refined my material and was even better for the second week’s participants.

    Once I had it down, I offered a group teleseminar for sex weeks. It went okay BUT I wasn’t able to take the information and repackage it into my home study program.

    So I taught it AGAIN — this time specifically for the home study class. Every time I teach the class, it gets better. I am not changing what I’m teaching, but I learn from feedback and refine how I say it so I’m clearer.

    The biggest thing I kept remembering was that I’m the expert; my students don’t know my material. So they don’t know when I’m not teaching the material in the EXACT way I wanted to or when I hit three of the four points I wanted to make.
    Kimberly Eldredge recently posted..The Difference Between a Guest Blogger & a Ghost BloggerMy Profile

    • Congratulations, Kimberly, on how well you have done on implementing and then improving your “Publish Your Ebook Blueprint” course. You’re a role model to us all. I have this tendency to want to give the really good class first, and skip the first three times where I was improving on it. But I’m sure the value is there for participants every single time.

      You’re right about the expert part — that’s also my problem — I know so much that I don’t know how much I know. I have a lot of “unconscious competence.” It’s hard being a psychologist; I’ve known this stuff so long, and everyone knows a little about psychology, so I start to feel like I don’t know anything different.
      Gina Hiatt recently posted..What scares me about running coaching groups (and classes)My Profile

    • Looking forward to chatting with you. I’d like to hear more from everyone about creating content while in the process of running the group. I guess I can’t imagine that…I always have a framework that is in some ways over-prepared. Then I adjust to meet the needs of the group as part of the process. Usually there is “left over” content. How would it work to go into a group coaching session (or classroom) without prepared content?
      Kathryn recently posted..Hello world!My Profile

  2. Hi Gina–great conversation starter! And if you want to talk, it’s 703/216-5734. I’ve been teaching at different levels for about 20 years so am often in the position of working with a group with many different levels of expertise. And it’s tough sometimes to reach every person in the room. In my one-day “boot camps” where I get anyone from the very unprepared to PhD candidates, I present a range of material and I tell the folks that there will be something for everyone. For instance, in working with writing issues, I remind them that we might start easy but we end with some of the toughest problems they’ll ever face. My undergrad classes are sometimes the toughest “sells” and the place where I have to remind myself almost daily that I’m not going to reach every student every day. But over the years I’ve found that the most surprisingly resistant students will pop up later to tell me how much they got out of the class. I try to call images of those students to mind when I hit a tough spot in class. So I guess the lesson is to design approaches that can reach a range of people, remind yourself that you’re not going to reach everyone every time, and to draw on images of past success when the going gets tough. Looking forward to more conversations like this…

  3. You have struck a chord with most group leaders, I’m sure. Everyone has their insecurities; reaching out to peers for support and conversation about it is one of the best antidotes I’ve found.

    I do some planning for my groups, but I work very intuitively so I do a lot of course correction on the spot to adjust my material to what I sense the group needs in the moment. Afterward I always feel like I must have missed something but, like Stephanie, I am a recovering perfectionist, so I remind myself that’s what’s happening. Then I remind myself what went well and ask myself what I think will make the group even richer for the participants and myself next time.

    Sometimes, if I know some people in the group well enough, I will give them a call and ask for feedback (Not, “What did I do wrong?” or “What could I do better?”, which I think aren’t appropriate, but maybe, “I’d be interested to hear how the group served you,” and then after they tell me, “What is your sense of how the group might serve you even better in our upcoming meetings?”
    Martia Nelson recently posted..Feminine Wealth & Owning Your True BeautyMy Profile

  4. Boy do I know what you are feeling right now! Isn’t it funny how our subconscious can start putting up false barriers to us doing our best work? When I find myself in this mode, I remember FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real.

    I’m a recovering perfectionist and many of my clients are or want to be. I still find those instances where I try for perfection and that is when the fears creep in. Reality is that the exact right people will find you and adore your content when you deliver it with a giving heart. (Which I believe you will.)

    Some of the best group advice I was ever given was being told that creating programs was best when you created as you delivered. It really does work! It allows you to get feedback and really serve the audience that has stepped up to say yes to you.
    Stephanie LH Calahan recently posted..Product/Program Promotion: Problems & Profits – Launching Lessons Learned Interview Dr. Venus Opal Reese Live Event LaunchMy Profile

    • I believe that it’s true that creating the content as you teach will help you create a better course, Stephanie. But it’s so not my personality! I like to have everything finished and wrapped up with a bow, before the first person signs up. But I need to make a change, and this is my first step in trying to do that.

      Stephanie, have you ever run a group or a class where you weren’t satisfied with the results?
      Gina Hiatt recently posted..Survey Says: Not enough coaches run coaching groupsMy Profile

      • Hi Gina, I really acknowledge your courage to make this issue public. I have made a quite different experience when to create the content than Nartia and others.

        In conducting former groups I took the often heard advice to heart to create the content while running the group. Bad advice for me. Really bad. It set me under enormous pressure and what once was a pleasure for me – creating content – became a heavy burden.

        In my last group I created the content ahead of time and it was my best group ever (there were also some other changes). But I really felt how I could be relaxed and enjoy the group and have a safe feeling that everything was prepared.

        This experience convinced me never again to delay the content creation.

        Creating content early is also a recipe for me to remember what I had intended. When I have just an outline and try to rember weeks later, in most of the cases I do not remember exacty and I am afraid that I might have forgotten something important.

        There are enough possibilities to adjust during the time the group is running: you can add extra stuff, use a forum to start new discussions, use in between teleseminars/webinars etc.

        I think the most important thing for every group leader is to find out what works for you and to forget all the advice of others.

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