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6 Pitfalls To Avoid When Designing A Group Coaching Programme
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You have to be careful in respect of the number of participants you include in any one programme. The reason being is that if you have too many people at one time, there may come a point where they get frustrated if they don’t get the amount of attention they paid for. Besides, it may very quickly become a logistical nightmare. Even if there is a strong link between the participants, the more people there are, the less stable the link becomes. Having communication issues is the last thing you would want right from the start. On the other hand, having only 2 or 3 people in one entry level programme is a high risk strategy; if one or two cannot make it, you end up having to deliver private coaching at a group rate. Besides, one advantage of a group session is being able to create a community spirit; with only 1 to 3 people, it is a lot more difficult.

2. Not aiming at a specific targeted result.

Coaching a group programme is different from a group coaching. The notion of a programme entails the concept of achieving one single result which all participants are aiming for. If the goal of your programme is too broad or general, people will have different ideas and interests and it will be more difficult to develop the community aspect within the group and people will not bond with each other so easily. On the other hand, if you want your group coaching programme to be successful, it must target a specific result.

3. Not having a proper structure.

By definition, a programme delivers a structure to the client which he lacks on his/her own. As opposed to the traditional one-to-one approach where clients reveal whatever issues they have during a single session, in the programme each module, section or session must be structured in such a way as to allow the participants to achieve the results they signed up for to begin with. You’ll have to find the right balance between the transfer of knowledge and coaching. This equilibrium must reflect the type of group coaching programme you offer.

4. Not providing adequate content.

Providing too much content is just as dangerous as providing too little. If you offer too much content, you may run the risk of overwhelming the participants and see them giving up and leaving in the middle of the programme. On the other hand, if your content is too vague, general or too short, people may be left feeling frustrated and cheated of achieving any real tangible results from the programme.

5. Not managing participation.

In every programme, there are always a few dominant personalities. If you don’t handle these people correctly right from the beginning, they may very well monopolise the entire time, leaving others without the chance to say anything. Although you must encourage participation, you also have to ensure that everybody has an equal opportunity to speak up and ask questions.

6. No accountability.

The success of your group coaching programme depends on the participants, or more accurately, the participants’ own success. We all need to be held responsible for our own actions. A group setting facilitates this commitment as it is more difficult to make excuses for something when we commit ourselves in front of the group. Do not deliver your programme as a curriculum, make sure you have set some accountability rules which will allow you to follow your clients’ progress.

This is only the tip of the iceberg; there are many more errors which are made in terms of group coaching programmes, however if you manage to avoid these particular ones, you’ll already have a distinct advantage over many coaches out there.


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