One-on-one vs Group Coaching

The process of coaching is really amazing: it is fascinating how a client may go so deep down into himself to connect to his true nature and resurrect again stronger, empowered and ready to go.

However, to achieve that, the client needs to feel safe first and trust the coaching process which is quite challenging, isn’t it? Especially in Group Coaching more than in One-on-One Coaching sessions because people are exposed to many peoples’ views, thoughts and ideas that may amplify their fears and skepticism and prevent them from being themselves.

Paul Polman says, “Working together on solving something requires a high level of humility and a high level of self-awareness.”

So, what differences exist between One-on-One and Group Coaching? And how can we handle both?

When it comes to ICF rules, standards and coaching competencies, those for Group Coaching are not different from One-on-One Coaching.  The core is the same. A qualified coach is there to help the clients as individuals or groups move throughout the four main phases of coaching: Setting the Foundation, Building Trust, Communicating Effectively, and Facilitation of Learning and Results. He’ll initiate the discussion, refrain from giving advice, ask powerful questions, sum up, and mirror back until the group members all together as one team or as multiple individuals living their singularity apart from the group, go beneath the surface of their limiting beliefs, reframe perspective, and gain more enlightenment.

The group dynamic is, however, different when it comes to first defining its mission: it can be set around one common goal for all the members such as increasing one’s company sales, designing a strategy, or implementing a project as well as structured around multiple individual goals related to one theme or topic. It is like when we all come to talk about relationships but with different reasons and goals for each of us.

Because of the diversity that characterizes group coaching, it may also induce higher levels of pressure and stress. People are afraid of being judged, especially before many others. How can this be transformed into positive energy? How to make the group feel safe, exchange, learn from and support each other is one of the major challenges to handle.

But as challenging as it may seem, that exercise is really rewarding. The intensity of the memorable moments it creates, the positive vibes it spreads, the creative process it implements, the sense of belonging it induces are such phenomenal catalysts of change and drive and can catapult individuals to higher levels of self-awareness and achievements.

In conclusion, One-on-one and Group Coaching obey the same ICF rules and standards, though, additional attention should be paid to the dynamic within the group until it gels, interacts and start blossoming.