Today's post debunks the myth that everyone engages in the same way. Each group member you work wtih will have their own preferences with how they want to engage in the coaching process and how they want to engage with each other.
As you approach your upcoming coaching conversations consider that your group will likely consist of people with visual, auditory and kinesthetic approaches. The way we perceive, learn and our interactions in taking in sensory information can vary widely.
Visual learners will usually love any visual stimuli - from photos to what's written on the flipchart or on a worksheet, visual learners will enjoy what they can leverage off of.
Auditory learners, in contrast, learn through hearing. Whether it's through small group conversation, or connecting learning and insights with music, consider how you can bring in more of an auditory element.
Finally, kinesthetic learners learn by "Doing" and interaction. Creating a vision board, rather than just talking about it, or creating an aluminum foil model of their Inner Critics will inspire and engage kinesthetic and more tactile learners.
The impact of engagement does not just stop here. In fact, the types of questions we ask in a coaching conversation may also hav different impact across your group and team coaching mmbers. Consider these questions
What does it look like? VERSUS
What does it feel like? VERSUS
What does it sound like?
Next time you are with a group notice the impact your questions are having and where they are engaging and connecting with members, and where they are not.
in addition to learning styles, the group and team members we are working with may also have different engagement strategies in terms of processing speeds (slow/fast) and processing approaches (verbal processors who like to talk things through versus reflective processors who might prefer to reflect and write out what they realize). Consider how you can use pre-work to support processing speed and approaches, as well as "pause points" of silence, individual reflection, as well as small group work and discussion.
Another important dimension to consider is whether people are more extroverted and love engaging with others, or might be more introverted and find some of the connection time "draining". Again consider the approaches you may want to utilize in meeting these different needs - small group breakouts, large group discussion,
Our clients in the field of group and team coaching is incredibly diverse. As I have written in past posts, one of the most elemental activities coaches can undertake in setting people up for success with a group coachin gprocess is to hold a pre-call with each group member to learn more about them, including their learning preferences and personality styles. This will help you shape an even more powerful process. If you are a team coach consider the impact of holding a pre-call with each team member. In instances where the focus is building capacity of each team member these pre-calls may be more appropriate. Be aware however of any ethical issues which may arise if you are coaching a "team as a system" where in fact a pre-call may actually weaken your ability to hold the system as intact.
What are your next steps as you consider client engagement in your upcoming team and group coaching programs?
Have a great week,
Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC
Group Coaching Essentials | Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Join us for an upcoming CCE approved program including the Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar starting December 1st (Tues/Thurs Dec 1, 8, 10, 15, 17 - 8.75 CCEs with the ICF)
Did you catch my announcement in this month's newsletter about our newest on-demand course? Last week the Coaching Business Builder was released. Just like our other on-demand programs, the course includes several hours of video based content and more than a dozen worksheets and activities to support you in growing your coaching business. Both experienced and new coaches growing their businesses will find the program of interest. You can learn more about the Coaching Business Builder here at the Learning Lab and Design Studio(TM), our new online portal for all of our on-demand programs.