A lot of Executive Coaching or Leadership Coaching I do with London Business School is Group coaching. Group coaching involves a coach working with 4-5 people who often work in the same company but not in the same team, division or department. They are usually at similar levels within the organization and want to further develop their leadership ability. So it’s a group of people who have a similar objective but do not really interact with each other in the organization and often have never met before.
Amazingly even though these participants work in the same organization which could appear competitive they create a safe, confidential and trusting place with the help of the coach to grow their leadership abilities.
Within that group we review 360° feedback on each participant to understand their strengths and weaknesses to define an action plan. There is a lot of sharing, discussing and reflecting to help each person understand themselves better and the impact they have on others, how they are perceived by others. The action plans that are developed contain a mix of leveraging their strengths and some attention on key weakness gaps. We try to identify small things they could change that can have a big impact.
In a recent group coaching session that I was doing a couple of the participants expressed the feeling of overwhelm and profound confusion halfway through the programme (for clarity, the group coaching happens within a week long programme that includes classroom work, faculty instruction, assessment tools and exercises in addition to the group coaching). We brought that into the coaching session with all the participants and were able to structure the balance of our session to help them sift through all the information and learning to identify the 2-3 key points around their leadership for each of them. An example was: be less controlling and commanding and more engaging. And then we did some brainstorming around these key points to give them tips, behaviours and ideas for how to live those leadership focus areas back at the office. Continuing with the same example, suggestions included listen more, talk less, take time with people, ask questions rather than telling, explain the objective and let them figure out the how.
Proudly the feedback for the group coaching at the end of the programme was very positive, receiving scores of 5 out of 5 on ‘quality of session delivery’ and ‘relevance of the content to your career/personal development’. One participant wrote “open and honest feedback from Anne and group members to help me clearly identify the areas of improvement and put together an action plan. A BIG THANK YOU to Anne!”