Last week, astute reader Sue Paananen, in response to my blog post, Survey Says, Not Enough Coaches Run Coaching Groups, asked, “…could you please describe how group coaching is different than group teaching, at least in a nutshell?” She wasn’t the only one who has asked me this, so I decided that it was time to write a post about this topic, and try to fit it into a nutshell.
Here’s why this whole subject of coaching groups is on my mind. My virtual conference on coaching groups has a name and 23 speakers lined up!
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Back to the question of what is the difference between a coaching group and a class or course.
There is actually a continuum between a strictly defined “class” and an equally strictly defined “coaching group.” It’s easier to describe each one if I start at the two extremes.
I have found in my experience and in discussing this issue with many coaches, that most coaching programs consist of classes, not coaching groups.
Here is a chart showing my semi-scientific guess of what percentage of group programs are actually classes, coaching groups, or a combination.
Don’t get me wrong, teaching is wonderful, and coaching is wonderful. I’m not saying that one is preferable to the other. The needs of the client, the preferences of the client, the skills and preferences of the teacher/coach, all go into making the decision about which to offer.
It’s important to educate yourself about the advantages of both teaching and coaching in groups. Perhaps you’ll decide to learn some group coaching skills. Learning group coaching will open up whole new worlds (and sources of income) to you, so consider adding it to your skill set!
Which have you experienced, group coaching or group teaching?
Had you been confused about the difference before?
Would you like to learn more about group coaching?